IBM and SAP are to showcase technology that automatically balances the workload from an SAP application across multiple remote servers, in a demonstration at Cebit today.
The technology preview is an early peek at work that stems from the RESERVOIR (Resources and Services Virtualisation without Barriers) cloud-computing project backed by the European Union and announced last year.
RESERVOIR's aim is a "service-based online economy" that, through virtualisation, will allow broad-scale IT application and services deployments that span geographic locations and platforms, according to its website. IBM is part of a consortium working on the project that also includes SAP, Sun Microsystems and a range of European educational institutions.
The technology being demonstrated at Cebit is under development at IBM's research lab in Haifa, Israel. The demo will employ IBM's Power6 servers, which have a capability called Live Partition Mobility that enables users to move individual virtual partitions containing applications to other Power6 servers with no downtime.
IBM and SAP's move is "a significant announcement, no doubt about it," said John Willis, an analyst and blogger analyst who tracks the cloud-computing space.
"Pretty much only serious stuff" comes out of IBM's Haifa lab, he said. "These are IBM's top scientists."
Power6's partition mobility feature is interesting but not groundbreaking, being similar to VMware's VMotion technology, he said.
What's more significant is IBM's willingness to publicly test the new load-balancing technology against a "very sophisticated application" like SAP.
"If you can do it with SAP then you can do it with everything," he said. "I think that's the statement they're trying to make."