Here at F5 we are building a strong ecosystem of partnerships with both the large and (not so large) ISV partners. Next week I will be heading to the SAP TechEd event in Las Vegas NV to explore what is new from SAP and identify new areas for joint solutions with F5 and SAP. For those of you who associate SAP only with ERP a lot has changed over the last several years. First, SAP has made a few key acquisitions most notable have been Sybase (DB and Web Platforms), Business Objects (BI/Analytics), Success Factors (SAAS HR Management Software), Mobile Device Management (Afaria) and most recently Ariba (SAAS procurement automation).
SAP has also made substantial progress from an internal development perspective, their HANA in-memory DB is not only very compelling as a key technology platform for real-time analytics but has been a key part of their revenue growth over the last several years (160 million dollars in FY 2011).
Recently SAP has made a major push into the area of landscape virtualization. Most enterprises view their SAP applications as the Tier I of Tier I applications in their environment and are hesitant to migrate their Landscapes to a virtualized platforms without clear validation from the most trusted tier I vendors in the industry. This is where converged architectures like FlexPods come into play. Having a platform pre-validated to meet an enterprises scale and performance characteristics can provide organizations the necessary assurance that their most critical applications can be effectively virtualized. F5 is a crucial component of this overall strategy and our application delivery and layer 4-7 optimizations can ensure that SAP applications virtualized through VMware can maintain the availability and scale necessary to perform as well or better than physical server deployments.
Working with the SAP team at the Co-Innovation Labs in Palo Alto California over the last six months we were able to provide key traffic management to scale a Business Objects environment to support over 10,0000 simultaneous users over a prolonged period of time. F5 provided traffic management not only at the web tier but also at the DB tier to enable this environment to effectively scale (see diagram below). I hope to have additional solutions ideas when I return from my trip to Teched. As always feedback is more than welcome.