In an internal account planning meeting:

  • “So what about to offer another architecture option for their SAP with Linux on Intel/AMD ?” — I said.
  • “No no. A customer of this size can’t have such a critical application in Intel/AMD platform. System P [with AIX] is more reliable.”

Then I had to explain that Intel/AMD is not a platform. Is an architecture.

Linux on Intel/AMD is a platform. Windows on Intel/AMD is another platform. And the last one is probably the one he doesn’t trust for such a critical application. You can trust on the first option, man !

Current Intel/AMD servers are very reliable. Have excellent chipsets, support advanced virtualization, are as fast as hell, and together with Linux are as reliable as any other UNIX server. By the way, Linux is UNIX, in case you didn’t notice.

SAP is trying to drive customers IT budget to their pockets, instead to the infrastructure guys pockets (as IBM). They are advising customers to switch to cheaper architectures (as Intel and AMD) so they have more money to spend with SAP. This is an opportunity for Linux.

If a company is making changes to their IT infrastructure, is hard to find a good reason to not switch UNIX servers to Linux on cheaper architectures. (By the way, total cost of ownership for Linux on System Z can be even cheaper for big datacenters.)

Main reasons for customers to insist on UNIX are legacy applications, culture, and a damn good UNIX sales force.

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