I think that SAP will have to give you Mexican food, my friends. Enchiladas for everyone. I say this because SAP has proved to be a smart, resourceful company. As such, it's reasonable to think that SAP will have to find a dance partner in order to stem a growing tide. Yes, I'm talking about a growing tide of enchiladas -- that is, ICP.
What might SAP do? Well, a ton of SAP customers run EMC big iron already, so a deal with VCE would make sense. Smaller shops have the same desires for the Microsoft application suite, and everyone seems to have the taste for VMware.
Further, VCE has one of the most interesting attributes of all of the converged offerings (that for some reason it doesn't tout very loudly): It does all the heavy lifting when it comes to patches and regression testing. This may not sound like much, but it's a huge deal. There are dozens or even hundreds of components in a system like this, and that means there are dozens or hundreds of patches that come out each year. Each of those patches has the potential to cause total chaos with other components of the system, thus rendering the whole thing useless at the flick of a switch. VCE does all of the regression testing on all of the patches of your system back at the factory -- releasing them (and normally even being responsible for installing them) in logical, bundled ways, and in logical time frames. It will roll up all the patches that pass its regression testing into one update, and then roll it out to your system. That removes vast amounts of time, money and risk from your operation, even if everything were to work perfectly all the time -- which it never does.
Regardless of the mix, it has become apparent that this consolidation trend will continue -- at least until some new management/ virtualization paradigm takes hold, rendering all hardware as disposable componentry. This has been my " data center OS" concept for the last decade. That's a long way away. In the meantime, I see this trend accelerating. So to all those vendors without dance partners, you best find your partners or look forward to a lonely time. Your customers are going to demand it.
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