Open Society: E-3 Cover Story September 2015 [shutterstock: 446500597, Titima Ongkantong]

Open Society: E-3 Cover Story September 2015 [shutterstock: 446500597, Titima Ongkantong]

SAP infrastructures: Transformation security

When using Hana and S/4 data center managers must align their IT infrastructures in such a way that specialist departments can implement new business cases as quickly as possible. Fujitsu provides a future-proof and future-compatible platform with Primeflex for SAP Landscapes, including Flexframe Orchestrator.

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Applicable scenarios and business cases with S/4 Hana are pending for numerous companies from different branches – once initial steps have been taken with Hana; for instance after successful introduction and longer use of SAP BW or ERP powered by Hana: for example in the retail sector in order to profitably use SAP customer activity repository applications, with the option of obtaining data and analyses about customer behavior almost in real time, thus enabling quotes or actions to be implemented more quickly and in a more customer-specific way.

Or in the production industry to enable you to work live with Hana – so that specialist departments and end users can themselves perform data analyses when using ERP, either directly or ad hoc from e.g. an SAP logistics application. And so on. Some existing SAP customers deal with a complete migration and the use of S/4 Hana at an early stage, and some do so later. Others may intend using SAP Classic and S/4 Hana in parallel – at least for a certain amount of time.

Intelligence data center as a standard feature

How should data center managers react and deal with the following: How can infrastructure resources be provided much faster and more efficiently than before for specialist departments or users for Hana and S/4 Hana applications? What must this type of IT and SAP infrastructure environment have for focused and cost-effective manageability that takes Enterprise requirements into account and supports modified operating processes? And how can SAP Classic and Hana as well as S/4 Hana be operated side by side happily or for a specific amount of time?

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Methods of achieving fast and effective provision of infrastructure resources for new applications or the implementation of profit-making business cases lead to a so-called intelligence data center – a term that has been influenced by Gartner. It is therefore possible for data center managers in particular not to be seen as a kind of constraint to companies and responsible for the fact that new applications – for example S/4 Hana applications – cannot be used in the time required by specialist departments.

The order of the day is speed and agility instead of long-term action. Intelligence data center guidelines are reflected in the Fujitsu solution offering Primeflex for SAP Landscapes including Flexframe Orchestrator and are underpinned with specific and tangible means. For good measure, security is ensured for the transformation and at the same time proven cost optimization potential is provided during the transformation process from a data center to Hana – also allowing for mixed SAP Classic and Hana usage (SAP Business Suite and S/4 Hana) as well as the involvement of an OpenStack based IaaS cloud in future.

Fujitsu Primeflex for SAP Landscapes including Flexframe Orchestrator offers a platform solution with decades of experience and know-how paired with innovative technologies for demand-oriented and profitable SAP deployment both today and tomorrow. A large number of all SAP deployments worldwide is based on infrastructure solutions and components from Fujitsu as a global SAP partner and full-range provider (also in conjunction with Fujitsu TDS) with numerous awards from SAP.

Fujitsu offers a wide range of solutions especially in the Hana environment – from a Discovery Hana Appliance for test purposes (for example also for testing S/4 Hana, see the box) and for getting acquainted with Hana, right through to large-scale Hana environments (scale-out/scale-up), including services, whereby numerous close partnerships are maintained, for example with Suse or NetApp. More than 1000 Hana projects have been handled to date by Fujitsu worldwide.

Primeflex for SAP Landscapes harmonizes in particular the coupling of SAP IT infrastructure and business requirements. And the guiding idea here is to provide IT and business-oriented services. Namely in an integrated manner, but always with the aim of simplifying and achieving user benefit – whether through cost optimization, as optimal as possible operating processes, or enforced support for specialist departments through IT.

Flexframe Orchestrator, which is an IT management software and an integral part of Primeflex for SAP, focuses on managing SAP applications, SAP database(s) and the Hana platform more simply, faster and more efficiently.

The highlight in this case is the opportunity to use standardized management in classic SAP environments and SAP Hana infrastructures in a single system. And then, the comprehensive automation of administration and maintenance as well as end-to-end administration of all physical and virtual resources. Furthermore, integrated, automatic high availability is ensured – also for SAP Hana. And in so doing, third-party products can be integrated.

Flexframe and OpenStack

In future it will be possible to operate e.g. SAP Classic and S/4 (incl. Hadoop) as well as non-SAP applications in an OpenStack based cloud IT infrastructure environment. In such a case, Flexframe Orchestrator also takes on management functions and works in an integrated manner together with OpenStack or OpenStack components (or modules). Flexframe Orchestrator assumes the management of the SAP landscape and interacts with the OpenStack components Heat (orchestration) and Horizon (dashboard).

In other words, heterogeneous SAP landscapes can be profitably managed today with Flexframe Orchestrator and also in future together with  an OpenStack architecture. (See figure: Manage heterogeneous landscapes with Flexframe Orchestrator in an OpenStack architecture) Fujitsu supports existing SAP customers that do not want to change from SAP Classic to S/4 Hana in a kind of “big bang” scenario with a profit-making solution offering.

Similar to Suse and NetApp, Fujitsu is one of the major drivers and innovators when it comes to OpenStack and Open Source and itself operates one of the largest OpenStack environments worldwide. Fujitsu, Suse and NetApp cooperate closely with each other in OpenStack projects. For example, Flexframe Orchestrator will be so interlocked with Suse OpenStack Cloud in hybrid cloud scenarios in future that it will be possible to provide and manage SAP applications in a Suse OpenStack Cloud.

The Fujitsu server and NetApp storage components, which are still directly connected today, will in future be connected via OpenStack Nova and OpenStack Manila/Cinder/Swift. All the aforementioned partners use their profound OpenStack know-how as well as e.g. integration tests and lifecycle management to ensure that customers do not have to compile or configure an OpenStack based IT infrastructure landscape with all its elements themselves and under the circumstances in a painstakingly, time-consuming and costly way – an IT infrastructure landscape which also has to meet Enterprise requirements.

And does so in many respects. As far as the use of Hana and S/4 Hana is concerned for example, it is entirely possible that high availability and disaster recovery requirements are somewhat higher than when using SAP Classic, simply because of the required constant (and persistent) use of analytics.

To sum up, the configuration of an IT infrastructure according to intelligence data center guidelines for the use of SAP Hana and S/4 on the basis of Fujitsu with Primeflex for SAP Landscapes and Flexframe Orchestrator is already a given today.

In future, there will also be OpenStack integration as a standard feature for both cloud usage and hybrid scenarios. In this way, specialist departments will be able to implement and use targeted new functionalities or business cases in a transformation-proof and quick manner.

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