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Today’s launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the next generation of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, is about more than just unveiling a new version of enterprise-grade Linux. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 represents our vision for the operating system as the foundation for the hybrid cloud and as a catalyst for enterprise digital transformation. While Linux containers and Kubernetes are often discussed as transformative technologies, nearly every IT evolution has one common denominator: data.

More specifically, this common need is to collect, analyze and, ultimately, derive value from the vast amounts of data generated by applications, services and systems. It’s the operating system that underpins big data analytics and decisioning technologies, but the demands of processing data of this scale and scope are extreme, demands that the operating system must match. Red Hat recognizes this, which is why our long-standing collaboration with SAP has continued with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 to provide a more stable, flexible and highly-available platform optimized for running SAP solutions.

The SAP portfolio of business applications and data analysis technologies, including SAP NetWeaver and SAP HANA, helps enterprises make smarter, faster decisions while accelerating business processes. These solutions provide key capabilities to business leaders as they navigate evolving, complex competitive and customer markets, which means running SAP technologies on a trusted platform is critical.

Trusted Linux, enterprise transformation

Enterprise IT and the construction industry may not seem to have much in common, but for Hilti, a leading supplier of power tools, consumables solutions and software for construction professionals, they are inextricably linked. To maintain its edge in a competitive global market, Hilti maintains a robust direct sales model, with more than 250,000 customer touchpoints each day, and works to deliver an enhanced customer experience through the timely delivery of orders (even same day) and predictive tool maintenance. Fueling all of these efforts is a central SAP system...running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Hilti made the bold move in 2009 of completely standardizing on commodity x86 servers and Red Hat Enterprise Linux to run its extensive SAP estate, a move that now enables Hilti to run its entire datacenter on the same reliable platform. But Hilti’s innovation didn’t stop with its migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and its Red Hat Innovation Award in 2009 for this work). The company has since migrated to SAP S/4HANA, again using Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the foundation, in a project that took nearly 200 man-days to complete. Having gone live with the new system in November 2018, Hilti has yet to experience any downtime, even when testing it under extreme workloads.

Hilti trusts Red Hat Enterprise Linux to do more than *just* run its critical SAP landscape; it counts on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to provide a foundation for digital transformation. Red Hat is committed to being this catalyst, which means that we must continue working closely with all of our partners that drive IT innovation, including SAP.

Building the next-generation platform to run SAP solutions

While Red Hat and SAP have collaborated closely for many years, Red Hat has recently committed to extending this work with a large engineering presence at the SAP Linuxlab in Walldorf, Germany. By maintaining a larger onsite presence co-located with SAP paired with techniques like distributed continuous integration, we will be able to certify SAP solutions more readily on Red Hat solutions software, whether it is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization or Red Hat Openshift Container Platform. Bringing our experts closer to SAP engineers and experts also helps to provide an even more reliable platform for mission-critical workloads to the enterprise, fueling more opportunities for greater combined innovation and streamlining our ability to support customers like Hilti.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 will provide the basis for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions. Through additional testing, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions adds additional value specifically for heterogeneous SAP environments, providing a smoother path for enterprises to merge, integrate or manage diverse SAP workloads and technologies.

Beyond the benefits provided by the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions includes:

  • the High Availability Add-On which addresses the need for reliability of critical SAP applications.

  • the Smart Management Add-On for more easily managing and updating large deployments of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions.

  • Red Hat Insights to help IT organizations proactively detect problems with their SAP software deployments and to best optimize the operating environment to support their business transactions and big data initiatives.

  • Extended support for certain minor releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and contained SAP specific packages

Red Hat and SAP: The hybrid cloud and beyond

As actionable information derived from troves of raw data becomes more and more important to modern businesses, our customers need more than just answers to their technical needs around analytics. They need Red Hat and SAP to support deployments across the hybrid cloud, from the database itself to the applications that interact with it. By working closely with SAP, we’re addressing this challenge, providing a stable, flexible and scalable base to underpin the intelligent decision-making technologies offered by SAP from the datacenter to multiple public clouds. And we’re not done - we’re engaging with our extensive partner ecosystem to support certified SAP deployments everywhere, regardless of cloud or architecture. That’s the future of intelligent enterprise decision-making, and we’re pleased to work with SAP to support it

Marco Bill-Peter is senior vice president, Customer Experience and Engagement, at Red Hat


Marco Bill-Peter is the senior vice president of Customer Experience and Engagement (CEE) at Red Hat. CEE is responsible for increasing the value customers and partners receive from their relationship with Red Hat. In addition to technical support delivery and strategic customer engagement, Bill-Peter's organization is responsible for the award-winning Red Hat Customer Portal, quality engineering, DevOps, product certifications, product security, product documentation, and translation services.

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