Customers running large-scale SAP applications can expect some much-needed relief with the announcement last week of SAP's endorsement of an IBM architecture that tightly couples PC servers and mainframe technology to dramatically boost application performance.
The endorsement could be a boon for IBM shops as those customers will be able to directly attach Netfinity servers using IBM's Escon adapters to an IBM mainframe running DB2 and SAP's R/3 applications - using the Netfinity servers as a SAP application coprocessor with their mainframes. Escon serves as a way to connect controllers, disk drives, tape drives, and printers into IBM's S/390 mainframes.
"With Escon connectivity, you don't have to go over LAN hops where you have to use TCP/IP and throttle performance. It makes Netfinity seem like a tightly coupled coprocessor to the mainframe," said Joe Makoid, vice president of sales and marketing at US reseller Bus-Tech.
"This lets customers download huge amounts of information at night or over a weekend, which makes life a heck of a lot easier," Makoid said.
By hosting SAP and other enterprise-level applications on IBM's servers, it is claimed that customers can download data from multiple hosts to one PC-based server as much as 70 times faster, using 200Mbps links, than they can via Ethernet.