It is rare to see official traditional benchmarks published on virtualization, but in the case of SAP it is happening.
A couple of weeks ago, HP published an SAP Three-Tier SD benchmark on vSphere 5 and an HP VirtualSystem. This was a big system made up of 11 physical servers, hosting one "Monster" database VM and 20 application server VMs. The result was a 2x increase in the number of users vs the previous SAP three-tier benchmark that was published on vSphere 4.1 (which was also an awesome result).
If go back a couple more months, Fujitsu published an SAP two-tier SD benchmark on vSphere 5 that used a single "Monster" VM. The rules and definition of what a two-tier benchmark limits it to a single VM, which in vSphere 5 can now support up to 32 vCPUs. The really interesting wrinkle in this publication was that Fujitsu also published a native two-tier SD on the same hardware and software stack. These two official results showed that virtual performance within 6% of native.
Using the official SAP SD benchmark results the capability and performance of vSphere as a platform for SAP can be considered. The large three-tier environment clearly shows how much vSphere has grown in terms of capability from the previous version. The two-tier results show a clear comparison between virtual and native, with the difference being relatively small.
These official benchmarks are strong proof points for running SAP (and other important stuff) on vSphere 5.
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