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SAP® Application Server Consolidation on IBM System z™: Opportunity, Metrics, and Case Studies

Document Author:

Michael Zazulak

Document ID:


Doc. Organization:

e-business Solutions Technical Support

Document Revised:


Product(s) covered:

IBM eServer zSeries; IBM System z; Linux; Linux on zSeries; SAP; z9-109; z9 BC; z9 EC; z/VM

Abstract: SAP customers never run just one SAP system – they run many. Part of the reason is that each production SAP system is part of a “flock” of SAP systems with associated non-production systems. These associated non-production SAP systems are for purposes such as development, test, training, and quality assurance. Customers may also have several of these flocks to service different geographies, lines of business, and functions such as SAP’s Business Intelligence Warehouse (BW). More recently, SAP has been introducing “confederations” of production systems. For example, SAP is beginning to require certain infrastructure SAP systems such as Enterprise Portal, Solution Manager, and Master Data Management. Some of SAP’s industry solutions, such as Retail, also require an associated BW system for operations. The result of all this is that the total number of SAP systems at each customer is growing over time.

This means that the total number of servers is growing as well – especially for large customers. However, typically these servers, especially the SAP Application Servers, have relatively low average utilization. If the peak utilizations happen at complementary times, these might be excellent candidates for server consolidation.

Over the past few years, the author has collected extensive utilization data from a dozen installations, both IBM and external customers, to investigate and quantify the opportunity for consolidating SAP Application Servers onto IBM’s System z. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunity in general, the data collection methodology, the development of appropriate metrics for quantifying consolidation opportunity, the necessary server virtualization characteristics, the results of the analysis, and conclusions.



Hardware; Software; Solutions




Enterprise Application Solutions (EAS/ERP); ISV Applications




IBM System z Family

S/W Pillar(s):

IBM System z Software


Linux; VM


Server Consolidation, Virtualization, Metrics, System z, SAP Application Servers

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