SAP Plus Linux Equals A Windows Switch

    September 28, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

One Australian firm tried to make Linux work for them, but after seven months shifted to a Windows platform to run SAP.

An experienced IT manager tried implementing SAP’s enterprise resource planning software on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 platform, with IBM hardware. The Sydney Morning Herald reports how that experiment ended in July with a change to Windows Server 2003.

All the certifications from SAP for the version of Linux and the IBM servers Crest Electronics chose proved to be of no help. It’s a strange story, but one that ultimately leads to what will probably be a white paper from Microsoft in the future.

The organization’s IT manager, Anthony Horton, brought in engineers recommended by Red Hat to do the installation. That took two weeks. After that, the SAP application “would run for weeks or so and then just bang, it would stop,” Mr. Horton told SMH.

Red Hat claims in the article it asked Mr. Horton to do a diagnostic test of the balky system, but his firm never responded. They also said that Crest Electronics was not required to perform manual patching to maintain SAP certification.

Mr. Horton said some patches could run afoul of SAP if they have not certified the release level of the patch, and thus could not enable auto-patching on the systems. Linux still has a place in his enterprise, running a web server and an accounting package, and both of those use auto-patching.

For the SAP system, it’s Windows Server 2003 with the Update Service enabled. “The installation of SAP took two days on Windows, the installation on Linux Red Hat took two weeks. The total cost of ownership is actually lower in this case than with Linux because of the hidden costs of the support,” he said in SMH.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.