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Enterprise SOA by Thomas Mattern, Dan Woods

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What is adaptive computing and how does it relate to ESA?

While ESA represents an evolution in flexibility for applications, the concept of adaptive computing represents a similar increase in flexibility on the infrastructure level so that the demands of ESA applications can be met effectively. Using SAP NetWeaver, an adaptive computing virtualization layer is created to decouple applications and enterprise services from their underlying infrastructure. The goal is to run applications or services on many different servers without ever changing configurations.

What's behind adaptive computing?

Key to the adaptive computing concept is the separation of the IT infrastructure into four standardized building blocks: Computing, Network, Storage, and Control. These represent the primary components of today's data centers.

In this context, Computing not only stands for physical servers, but also for virtual computing nodes such as logical or virtual partitions (e.g., VMWare instances). Network, meanwhile, is used as a transport medium for the virtualization layer. Also important is Storage, which refers to the centralized storage that is home to application-specific components—an arrangement which eliminates the need to move data from one server to another. This is a key to the flexibility inherent in adaptive computing; moving an enterprise service from one physical server to another can literally take only minutes. The fourth building block, Control, is provided by SAP in the form of the ...

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