VMware Gets SAP Approval, Oracle Still A Question Mark

Unlike Oracle, which last month after unveiling its own virtual server technology gave mixed messages about its support of its applications running on VMware virtual servers, SAP has certified its applications for VMware and is working with VMware on support.

Parag Patel, vice president of alliances at Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, said SAP applications are fully supported to run on VMware ESX Server 3.0 and later for 64-bit Windows and Linux operating systems.

"So SAP applications have been tested and certified on ESX," Patel said. "SAP is the most demanding mission-critical application in the world. We feel if you can run SAP in a virtual environment, you can run any applications."

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP currently has more than 40,000 customers running more than 125,000 SAP installations worldwide, many of which had been doing development on virtual servers, Patel said. "Now they have the green light to go ahead and virtualize the rest," he said.

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Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle has been giving mixed messages about support for its applications running on VMware virtual servers since it unveiled its own Oracle VM server virtualization software last month, Patel said.

A lot of other vendors are testing and certifying their applications on VMware, and the company hopes Oracle follows in the near future, Patel said. In the meantime, VMware runs Oracle on VMware virtual servers internally, as do a lot of customers, all without any problems. "Some customers feel, 'I don't care if it's not certified if it works,'" he said. "Different customers have different requirements."

Patel said that even if an application works with VMware, certification of the fact still needs to come from the application vendor. And VMware often has no advance notice that certification is coming.

"Cisco has over a dozen applications that support ESX," he said. "We didn't even know it at first. We heard about it in a meeting with Cisco when it came up in a conversation."

Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.