SAP, Dell partner on in-memory and the cloud

SAP's applications will ride on Dell's cloud platform, and Dell plans to roll out appliances powered by SAP's HANA database

SAP and Dell are expanding their relationship in the areas of cloud computing and in-memory databases, the companies will announce on Monday during the Sapphire conference in Orlando.

First off, SAP customers will be able to deploy the applications on Dell's VIS Next Generation Datacenter Platform, which has been bolstered in recent years by acquisitions like storage optimization vendor Ocarina Networks and server provisioning provider Scalent.

SAP and Dell will be joined at Sapphire by a representative of the University of Kentucky, which is moving its SAP implementation to a Dell-managed cloud, said Kaj van de Loo, senior vice president of technology strategy at SAP.

While SAP completed the research and development work required to ensure its software can be easily virtualized years ago, some testing and certification was required to ensure compatibility with the management tools and other "edge" aspects of Dell's platform, van de Loo said.

Dell is also joining the ranks of hardware vendors selling appliances based on SAP's HANA in-memory database technology. The in-memory processing holds data to be processed in RAM instead of reading it from disks, providing a performance boost.

HANA boxes can tap data from both SAP and other sources, and will also support a series of specialized applications aimed at specific business problems.

Dell's HANA machines will use PowerEdge R910 iron, according to a statement. An early customer includes alcoholic beverages distributor Charmer-Sunbelt Group, according to a statement.

Other HANA hardware partners include Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu. All of them will release machines according to a standard bill of materials that defines "small, medium and large" sizes and, correspondingly, a rough idea of the underlying horsepower, according to van de Loo. Pricing details have been scarce so far, but should emerge when HANA enters general availability in June.

SAP's plans for HANA stand in contrast to Oracle and its Exadata data-processing machine, which uses Oracle's own hardware.

"We know that customers have existing relationships they want to maintain," van de Loo said. "We're convinced this strategy will help us out-innovate whoever else might be out there trying to create one integrated stack for all purposes."

Sapphire continues through Wednesday in Orlando.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesapplicationsSAPSAPPHIRE2011softwarecloud computinginternetOraclebusiness intelligenceDell

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