Cloud computing is continually gaining ground in the SAP community. When regular customers are thinking of switching over to S/4 or of using Hana more generally, the question is always the same: cloud or no cloud? And if so, how?
Most have their eye on hybrid cloud computing. On-premise private cloud environments here, combined with public cloud services there, although there are also companies that have transferred their entire SAP infrastructure to a public cloud provider in the cloud.
Where initially there was only Amazon with AWS, today companies using SAP can get Hana together with Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP applications in the form of IaaS public cloud services and through pay-per-use models also via MS Azure and the Google cloud platform (GCP) from the cloud.
Upgrading the respective SAP stacks
Suse is pressing for partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft and Google with regard to IaaS public services, as is SAP. It’s probably only a matter of time before the various Hana-IaaS offerings are on an equal footing, although each of the cloud giants will try to distinguish their services from those of the others.
At the moment, AWS has the lead over Azure and GCP, which is due to the long technology partnerships between SAP and AWS as well as Suse and AWS or Suse and SAP. So it need not come as a surprise that Amazon, for example, can flaunt its automatic high-availability failover via CloudWatch or its wide range of instance types and sizes.
MS Azure, on the other hand, hopes to score by offering a suite with 4 TB for Hana or S/4 instances. In the case of AWS, the ceiling for virtual Hana machines is currently 2 TB. However, insiders such as US SAP consulting firm Bluefin are predicting that the offerings from all platforms for instance types and sizes will experience further expansion.
This could include SAP pairing up with existing or established public cloud services in order to augment their own particular SAP platform stack and be able to offer customers even more attractive packages, for example by combining Hana/Suse SLES for SAP applications with Cloud Dataproc (from Google for Big Data), with Big Query (Analytics web applications from Google) or with HD Insight (big data cloud service from Microsoft).
Like AWS and Azure, SAP’s Hana was certified and supported for Google GCP. With the Google certification, also SLES for SAP (12 SP1 and SP2) including HA functionality (extensions) is available – with support – on the Google Compute Engines as On-Demand as well as BYOS (Bring Your Own Subscription) image.
Google’s entry into the SAP-IaaS public cloud market means a reshuffling of the cards. Through the development resources made available by Google, innovations in SAP usage on the GCP will no doubt take place at shorter intervals.
Through the SAP certification Google has shown that the GCP (including the Google Compute Engines) can withstand fully-fledged enterprise workloads.
With Google’s entry into the field, it can be anticipated that the Hana usage will get a new boost – be it in connection with the S/4 application or other Hana-based SAP solutions as well as in the use of Hana as a completely ACID-compliant database for a variety of purposes.
As a recommended and preferred OS for enterprise Hana deployment, Suse SLES for SAP applications is also in on it. As are “SAP on AWS” and SAP on Azure”.
Customers will benefit from the increasingly intense SAP-IaaS public cloud competition. Because Amazon, Microsoft and Google are merciless competitors, it has to be assumed that rounds of price-cutting will follow. After all, in the past that was usually the case with Amazon’s AWS.