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HP, SAP unite to bolster computer performance

Hewlett-Packard is adding the business software heavyweight to its new alliance that promotes better computer systems performance.

Hewlett-Packard is adding business software heavyweight SAP to its new alliance that promotes better computer systems performance.

SAP today said it is joining HP's 5nines:5minutes Alliance, a group of companies dedicated to reducing failure and downtime through stronger integration of hardware, operating system, database, application, and network.

Through the alliance, HP hopes to build a computing system that can run 99.999 percent of the time, which means the system will go down just five minutes a year.

HP said SAP, as part of the alliance, will need to invest in research and development to make sure its software runs almost flawlessly with equipment from other members--including networking giant Cisco, database and applications company Oracle, storage provider EMC, and middleware and server maker BEA.

Working together will help strengthen integration, services, and support for joint customers that can't risk having their network fail or go down, especially if they're doing business online, HP said.

"As companies embrace the Internet for doing business, and integrate their customers and partners, there is no room for downtime," SAP program director Michael Schuster said in a statement.

Through the alliance, HP and SAP said they're offering several new products to customers that support or enhance SAP's core R/3 software, which automates a company's business needs, including accounting and human resources.

For example, HP said it will develop its MC/ServiceGuard Extension software tools to manage R/3 in the event of database failure. The software tools can reduce downtime, the companies said.