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IBM Research and SAP Demonstrate Live Cloud Migration Technology

IBM Research and SAP demonstrate new cloud technology: real-time application mobility

In a joint demonstration IBM and SAP previewed a technology that enables the live migration of SAP applications across remote IBM POWER6 systems via cloud computing.

The technology, developed as a part of the European Union-funded RESERVOIR cloud computing project, is designed to provide companies with a range of cloud computing solutions to meet their specific business needs.

Cloud computing is an emerging approach to shared infrastructure in which large pools of systems are linked together to provide IT services. This approach to delivering and consuming IT provides answers to the challenges many businesses face today: the immense complexity of sprawling data centers, the growing cost of energy, and the need to dynamically adapt the allocation of IT resources to constantly changing workloads and business priorities.

In this technology demonstration, IBM and SAP show how users can run enterprise applications in the cloud, in particular demonstrating the migration of workloads across physical servers and across data centers. This demonstration is another instance of IBM working with partners across the IT industry to gain insights about creating and configuring workloads, and help companies move to the clouds as smoothly as possible.

"The breakthrough we're showing today is that applications can flexibly move across remote physical servers, regardless of location -- which makes our work a strong enabling technology for the cloud," explained Dr. Joachim Schaper, VP EMEA of SAP Research. "Specifically, in cloud-scale environments, service providers will need to provide users with access to services across the cloud. Service providers will need to compete on performance and Quality of Service -- and so the future cloud will need to support application mobility across disparate data centers to enhance performance."


"With RESERVOIR, our aim is to provide cloud technologies that will enable energy-efficient, borderless delivery of IT services that are driven by actual demands -- with the goal of keeping costs competitive," said Dr. Yaron Wolfsthal, senior manager for system technologies at IBM's Research Lab in Haifa, Israel, where the technology was developed. "The new technology is allowing us to realize the vision of true cloud computing by moving applications across disparate interconnected networks to optimize load balancing across remote servers. When changes in workload occur, the new technology autonomically balances resource utilization and power consumption across remote servers. This is done, for example, by evacuating and turning off under-utilized servers (and possibly entire data centers) when demand drops, and powering on idle servers when load increases."

In this demonstration, the migration of SAP workloads across the cloud is supported by IBM's POWER6 systems, which enable users to run separate applications on different virtual machines, called logical partitions, on the same physical server. The IBM POWER6 system's Live Partition Mobility capability further allows for the movement of a partition from one POWER6-based server to another POWER6-based server in the data center with no application downtime, resulting in better system utilization, improved application availability, and energy savings.

The collaborative research relationship between SAP and IBM began in 1999 and has since developed a rich portfolio of research activities. On a quarterly basis, research management and key researchers from both organizations meet to identify topics of mutual interest and to leverage the open collaborative research model, including the EU-sponsored FP7 program, in order to define new project areas that will lead to exciting new research results. Besides cloud computing, key areas of interest are business process management, services science and engineering, model-driven software development, and security and compliance.

RESERVOIR is an IBM-led joint research initiative of 13 European partners to develop technologies that help automate the fluctuating demand for IT resources in a cloud computing environment. The 17M Euro EU-funded initiative, called RESERVOIR -- Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers -- explores the deployment and management of IT services across different administrative domains, IT platforms and geographies. This cloud computing project aims to develop technologies to support a service-based online economy, where resources and services are transparently provisioned and managed.

For more information on IBM and cloud computing, please visit: www.ibm.com/cloud.

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

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