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ERP hardware and infrastructure: Laying the groundwork for excellence

Last updated:August 2014

Editor's note

Even the most carefully built systems can't stand for long without a strong foundation, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is no exception.

Much is made of the software selection process, but unless that software is supported by the right ERP hardware, it will never be able to reach its full potential. While it may complicate the buying process, experts agree that thoroughly examining the infrastructure types available is essential to long-term ERP success.

ERP hardware is no longer strictly relegated to dusty servers tucked away in some far corner of IT. With cloud computing more prevalent than ever, organizations can now host their software entirely on virtual platforms. For those not ready to go all-in to the cloud, the hybrid approach allows users to keep some ERP functions in-house and have a service provider host the rest. The sky is truly the limit.

This guide serves as an introduction to the world of ERP hardware and infrastructure. The first section explains how to get started with the hardware selection process. In section two, cloud platforms are given a closer look. And in the final section, SAP ERP customers will find a spotlight on their infrastructure options.

1Cloud: The virtualization option

In recent years, cloud computing has gone from risky bleeding-edge technology to a common and viable option for organizations big and small. The cloud's biggest draw is its ability to save time and money. IT departments don't need to devote work hours to the basic upkeep of hosted systems, and companies don't have to buy and house expensive servers.

While much of the cloud buzz is around software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) is just as -- if not more -- valuable. In this section, learn how PaaS can bring in big savings, and discover why the hybrid approach to ERP infrastructure is also a strong contender. Then, find expert advice on how to determine the ROI of a cloud platform, and read about one manufacturer's journey from on-premises to virtual servers.

2SAP infrastructure: Choosing a platform for SAP ERP

A large portion of ERP users are running a system from SAP, a giant in the industry. With a variety of suites and deployment options available, SAP users have some serious infrastructure choices to make when installing or updating their systems. SAP itself has been taking note of the changing nature of ERP infrastructure and the move to the cloud, responding with updates to its SAP NetWeaver Web application platform and SAP HANA in-memory database technology.

In this section, find out why hardware plays such a key part in SAP software performance, and why SAP users have been slower than some to embrace virtualization. After that, get expert input on how much support matters when buying new servers for SAP environments.

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