Blog Editor-in-Chief

A Cloud That Is Not a Cloud

One of the best-kept secrets is the on-prem cloud functionality for Hana and S/4. Those with enough patience and strong nerves can ask SAP if there is a way to run Hana and S/4 with cloud functionality in their own data center.

On-prem cloud capabilities

The truth is that yes, there is such a thing. However, it may take some time for SAP customers to find a sales representative who offers this strange and rare SAP product. It would be easier to send a request to HPE directly, as it’s the IT provider SAP developed the solution with. But why bother with this at all?

Cloud computing

There are many reasons for customers to use cloud computing with their own data centers or with a host provider of their choice. One of the reasons many SAP customers cite is having their own data sovereignty alongside their SAP licenses. The issue here is not one of security, i.e. data protection, but one of governance and compliance. It may well be that data is more secure in Microsoft’s, Amazon’s, and Google’s cloud service centers. But if worst comes to the worst, physically accessing that data is difficult. Downloading and then reusing your own data is also a challenge. Once the data is in a public or private cloud, SAP customers are largely at the mercy of the cloud provider and hyperscaler. In addition to this loss of sovereignty, high costs must also be taken into consideration.

We are leaving the cloud

“Margins That Are Too Expensive and Obscene: We Are Leaving the Cloud” is the title of an excellent article written by my colleague Juergen Hill from the Computerwoche (Computer Week) magazine in Munich. In his article, he describes a user who made a serious attempt to use cloud computing over an extended period of time, but ultimately had to admit it wasn’t worth it! Even if the example given does not apply to every SAP customer, the increasing costs of the SAP cloud service could become a concern.

During the SAP Partner Summit in Hamburg, Germany in 2022, SAP made its cloud service calculations known, and the numbers were not always to customers’ advantage. The fact is that there are hardly any savings to be found in using private and public cloud services due to reduced complexity. The constantly rising costs also contradict many statements made by hyperscalers. However, lower initial investments and less administration regarding staffing and basic operations speak in favor of the cloud. This launches the debate as to which is the best S/4 Hana infrastructure.

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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