I just finished three days as practically the only non-SAP consultant amongst about 200 of my SAP consulting bretheren from IBM Global Business Services (formerly IBM Business Consulting Services). I must say that it was well worth my time and as I have the bandwidth to blog about it, I will add more posts about what I learned, my observations of the SAP space as it affects enterprise architecture, SAP and SOA, WebSphere vs. Netweaver XI, and maybe a few predictions about the future of the SAP space.
Let me start my run of blogs on this topic with hardware, however. Perhaps you’ve heard these platforms:
• z-Series (the mainframe)
• i-Series (AS/400 midrange)?
• p-Series (IBM’s unix platform running the AIX operating system)
• x-Series (IBM’s Intell-based servers used for both Windows and Linux)
But... have you heard of “n-Series”? Neither had I. n-Series is the IBM brand for a storage appliance. This appliance has great usefulness in the SAP space where customers are constantly making copies of databases.
Since it is an appliance, it plugs into the customer network with its own operating system embedded in it. This frees up resources on SAP database platforms for other things.
n-Series also offers FlexVol™ which decouples storage space from physcial disk drives. With it “system administrators can dynamically assign storage space to a user from the available pool of storage resources based on that user's space requirements. This flexibility can help your organization simplify operations, improve utilization and efficiency, and make changes quickly and seamlessly.”
n-Series also offers Flex Clone™ which provides the ability to quickly make copies of databases. In the SAP space, customers are always making copies for testing, promotion, exporting via batch processes, etc. “FlexClone technology generates nearly instantaneous replicas of data sets and storage volumes that require no additional storage space. Each cloned volume is a transparent virtual copy that can be used for enterprise operations.” Apparently, the embedded operating system keeps track with which blocks of data in any given file have changed. It provides virtual copies or “clones” for data blocks which still match the original copy. It senses when a user/system has made a change to data block within a virtual copy and only then allocates new disk space. The result? Faster copies, less physical disk space required, and faster backup and recovery.
Click here for more information on n-Series
Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved
The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.