Overview of SAP on IBM System z Landscape

A winning combination: IBM System z and SAP business solutions

IBM® technology, led by IBM System z®, provides a premier infrastructure for clients who have deployed or are considering SAP® solutions to drive better business outcomes. SAP on System z has the most robust, highly available hardware with near zero downtime, advanced virtualization, systems management, and automation tools to drive down costs. DB2 represents the most sophisticated database capable of handling large workloads and providing real-time insight.

The IBM System z portfolio, combined with offerings from SAP, can add significant value to your business in this competitive environment, help you better utilize your IT assets, and improve the return on these investments. Implemented on IBM System z, the SAP on DB2® for z/OS® on IBM System z solution uses IBM DB2 for z/OS as SAP database, and allows to run the SAP Web Application Server from a diverse network of clients. Client operating systems include AIX®, Linux on x86 servers, Linux on System z, and Windows. IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator`, or the IBM entry cloud configuration for SAP solutions on zEnterprise (PDF, 1.12MB) are examples of the portfolio working integrated with SAP solutions.

For many enterprises, SAP business software plays a central role in almost all functional areas, from business planning to customer relationship management, and from logistics to sales fulfillment. It supports complex business processes and extends services to customers, partners, and suppliers.

With operations in multiple time zones, and web-based customers and suppliers able to access your systems 24 hours a day, it is vital to run SAP solutions on a platform that can adapt dynamically to meet changing requirements. Business continuity and resilience are crucial. The pressure to continually drive down operational costs means that enterprises must achieve these goals for IT without incurring high total cost of ownership.

The combination of SAP solutions and IBM System z servers uniquely addresses these requirements, providing excellent availability, security and flexibility for business-critical operations. By selecting IBM System z for your SAP software environment, you can cut complexity and automate systems management, while enabling your business to respond faster and more cost-effectively to changing levels of demand.

IBM zEnterprise™ System as workload optimized system enables a mixed set of workloads to be deployed on best fit technologies, and meets the need of today’s hybrid SAP landscapes.

The IBM entry cloud configuration for SAP solutions on zEnterprise (PDF, 1.12MB) is a cloud offering, automating and standardizing day-to-day operations for SAP Solutions on IBM zEnterprise. Combined with SAP NetWeaver® Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM) the configuration can reduce the time it takes to refresh, clone or install complete SAP systems from days to hours. The high degree of automation also improves the quality and efficiency of SAP operations.
See tab "Documentation" for links to more information, including two short videos where SAP and IBM, leading contributors in financial software and infrastructure, discuss cloud solutions for banking.

The IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator can augment IBM DB2 for z/OS into the first class Enterprise Data Warehouse by expediting selected queries. The appliance is based on Netezza technology, connected to an IBM zEnterprise System server (see overview graphic below). It can accelerate SAP solutions by a factor of 10, 100, 1000 or even more. Integrated into SAP, exploiting the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator can decrease the time to derive business insights dramatically. The High Performance Storage Saver capability of IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator further allows you to reduce the size of your DB2 database for read-only data in SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). See tab “Documentation" for a link to a publication at SAP Community Network.

Overview of SAP on IBM System z Landscape:

Overview of SAP on IBM System z Landscape

Overview of SAP on IBM System z Landscape

The graphic depicts a typical setup for deploying an SAP system with DB2 for z/OS as database backend on System z, and shows the options of using either AIX or Linux on System z for the SAP application server platform. In both cases, the DB2 client (DB2 Connect™) provides the connection between the SAP application server and the database. Optionally, IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator can be used to expedite SAP solutions.

SAP on IBM System z solution: key values

Major requirements of a company’s IT infrastructure typically are business continuity, security, automated operations and optimal support for integration tasks. Proper protection of customer and other sensitive data is both a business and a legal requirement. As large companies usually run different applications, they require seamless integration. In addition, there are operational tasks that are performed at the infrastructure level when crucial SAP solutions are run. These should be automated as much as possible.

Business Continuity:

Near zero downtime and disaster recover for heterogeneous distributed applications help achieve ultra-high availability for SAP databases and applications, delivering always-on data and services to employees, clients and suppliers. Other requirements are to respond reliably to unpredictable spikes in demand, and to perform maintenance and upgrades of hardware or software without service disruption.

To implement Business Continuity in accordance with the core requirements, all infrastructure components have to fit together seamlessly. Based on IBM System z hardware and an operating system providing industry-leading quality, subsystems like storage, database, and systems management components are highly integrated and complete the entire infrastructure solution.

The IBM zEnterprise System takes this integration one step further with its BladeCenter® Extension (zBX). Additional SAP application servers, and technology components can run on zBX, thus enabling integrated systems management of database and application server platforms through the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager.


Protecting confidential information and business critical data is not only a business requirement, it is a legal requirement. Access to information must be restricted to authorized persons. Access controls are to be enforced, and all successful and unsuccessful authentication attempts are logged for auditing purposes. An additional method of preventing information disclosure is data encryption. A secure and reliable IT platform is of fundamental importance for the business process platform.


Application integration is a key part of the IT strategy for every business today. Large companies typically run different applications and require seamless integration. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an architectural concept in which business functions are supported by application modules called “services”. This promotes the alignment of IT and business processes based on flexible application integration. SAP Business Suite solutions are open and can be integrated with non-SAP applications. These applications may be based on CICS®, IMS™ or WebSphere®. Using open standards for the technical integration of all applications is an important design aspect of system infrastructure.

Some other important values:

Ultimate scalability allows handling enterprise databases and transaction volumes with ease. SAP environments can be harmonized by consolidating multiple applications and databases to a single IBM zEnterprise System server, for easier management, better automation, and the possibility of improved throughput and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). DB2 is optimized for SAP, and can handle seamlessly large volumes of data. The technological resources can support globalization and international business activities, for example, around-the-clock availability, support for different languages and time zones, and integration of business applications for partners and customers worldwide. The latest releases of the SAP Business Suite and industry solutions have all been shipped in the Unicode industry standard, which represents the characters of virtually all writing systems in the world. The IT infrastructure can ensure high performance along with high flexibility to handle real workload with peaks at different times.

IBM System z is an excellent choice for a fully integrated infrastructure that is virtualized, secure, and scalable.

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