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Enabling the Managed Cloud: Our First Off Premises Migration to Virtustream

It’s the holiday season and that time of year where we get together with friends, family and loved ones.  Big gatherings are common which are fun for some, stressful for others.  My family has grown beyond the dining room in my Mom’s house, so we now find ourselves having the big family holiday dinner quite literally in the play room above her garage.  Yes, we carry all of the holiday dinner out of the kitchen, up the stairs, through a hallway, and into this room, because it’s the one big room in the house where we can all comfortably sit and eat.  So Mom gets a little stressed, but luckily she has a nice, empathetic family.  Inefficiency be damned, we optimize for the moment.

IT executives face a similar dilemma in managing day-to-day data center operations, but their customers and user base are a touch less empathetic.  Fortunately, we now have the ability to expand off-premises, so we don’t have to buy that big expensive house anymore and can pay for capacity on demand.  But we still struggle with how to optimize those expansion capabilities and manage our TCO of our enterprise IT infrastructure assets. (more…)

Moving Toward a Seamless Cloud: An OpEx, IaaS Model for the Future

Running everything under one cloud where we can seamlessly move workloads on and off premises as we need to and pay for IT infrastructure as we use it—that is the vision EMC IT is pursuing when it comes to its SAP mission-critical applications. As a first step toward that goal, we are in the midst of a pilot program to migrate some SAP applications to an off-premises environment operated by enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosting provider Virtustream. EMC acquired Virtustream, a global managed cloud services provider, in 2015.

As part of our ongoing SAP ERP journey, EMC IT will begin leveraging Virtustream’s IaaS model and its unique migration and chargeback technology in a pilot effort which will begin our methodical approach to off-premises expansion.

By the end of-April, we will have migrated our first SAP application—Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP)—to Virtustream’s off-premises hosted cloud environment. Virtusteam will then support S&OP using its unique software solution, xStream, which will also provide consumption-based chargeback capabilities, enabling us to more accurately track our utilization costs and more accurately bill business units for what they consume.
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Adopting the SAP HANA Platform to Power Your SAP Implementation

If your organization is running SAP’s software products and applications, SAP’s in-memory computing platform, SAP HANA, offers tremendous game-changing potential for delivering business value via data analytics. However, as EMC IT recently discovered, there are key steps you should take to pave the way for leveraging this new platform.

EMC is still a relatively new customer of SAP’s software products and applications, having gone live with a large-scale greenfield SAP deployment back in July 2012.  The implementation program continues to thrive, having added more SAP modules and solutions over the course of the last couple years, and gearing towards a large SAP CRM deployment in 2016.

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Why EMC IT Virtualized SAP HANA with VMware™

As our IT transformation journey here within EMC IT has been largely predicated on the benefits of virtualization, we continue to fold this strategy into our new implementations.  After going live with a “greenfield” SAP ERP implementation in 2012, we have more recently been focusing on enabling our business users and analytics through SAP HANA.  Not surprisingly, we are actively leveraging the power of VMware to support our SAP HANA rollout.

Many of the benefits of running SAP on a virtual platform apply to Virtualized HANA as well:

  • Cost and resource management (CAPEX and OPEX), leading to increased ROI
  • Increased flexibility and agility to quickly adjust to changing demands
  • Embedded High Availability
  • Efficiencies in automation

While we were certainly aware that there could be some minimal performance impacts of running Virtualized HANA versus a “traditional” physical appliance (yes, quotes are intentional), we felt that the operational and cost benefits far outweigh these impacts.  And as a service provider, does it matter?  The business users are abstracted from physical versus Virtualized HANA… and the advantages they’ve gained from a simple migration from a traditional RDBMS to Virtualized HANA have proven substantial.

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