SAP has decided to support production applications running on VMware's virtualized servers, for both Linux and Windows, VMware announced Tuesday.
Previously, SAP would support SAP applications running on VMware-powered servers only if they were in test and development environments, and on Linux but not Windows, according to VMware.
The difference now is SAP has granted hardware platform certifications to Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP and IBM servers running with Windows and VMware.
"We have a lot of mutual customers who are running SAP on VMware in testing and development environments, but they wanted to run it in production and this gives them the green light to go do that," says Parag Patel, vice president of alliances for VMware.
Getting a certification from SAP is no simple task, he says.
"It's very difficult. The benchmarks they have are rigorous. You have to go through a lot of testing and analysis," Patel says.
SAP giving the green light for running its applications in production and on Windows with VMware "opens up a huge install base for virtualization," he adds.
"Companies run their businesses on SAP," he says. "The SAP application is one of the most mission-critical applications in the company."
VMware has dominated the server virtualization market for years, but is dealing with some new challenges. Intel and AMD have begun building virtualization capabilities into hardware, a development that makes it easier for VMware's smaller competitors to build comparable and less expensive server virtualization tools.
Patel called the SAP support a "huge endorsement" of VMware's product line and says it will help set the company apart from rivals such as XenSource and Virtual Iron in an increasingly competitive marketplace. VMware, like other virtualization vendors, is working closely with Intel and AMD to take full advantage of hardware improvements.
"We're making heavy investments to differentiate our whole product line and make sure it takes advantage of the latest technologies," Patel says.