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Offering the largest scale and broadest choice for SAP HANA in the cloud

Posted on 5 June, 2018

Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure

Microsoft at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018

Enterprises have been embarking on a journey of digital transformation for many years. For many enterprises this journey cannot start or gain momentum until core SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) landscapes are transformed. The last year has seen an acceleration of this transformation with SAP customers of all sizes like Penti, Malaysia Airlines, Guyana Goldfields , Rio Tinto, Co-op, and Coats migrating to the cloud on Microsoft Azure. This cloud migration, which is central to digital transformation, helps to increase business agility, lower costs, and enable new business processes to fuel growth. In addition, it has allowed them to take advantage of advancements in technology such as big data analytics, self-service business intelligence (BI), and Internet of Things (IOT).

As leaders in enterprise software, SAP and Microsoft provide the preferred foundation for enabling the safe and trusted path to digital transformation. Together we enable the inevitable move to SAP S/4HANA which will help accelerate digital transformation for customers of all sizes.

Microsoft has collaborated with SAP for 20+ years to enable enterprise SAP deployments with Windows Server and SQL Server. In 2016 we partnered to offer SAP certified, purpose-built, SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances supporting up to 4 TB of memory. Last year at SAPPHIRENOW, we announced the largest scale for SAP HANA in the public-cloud with support up to 20 TB on a single node and our M-series VM sizes up to 4 TB. With the success of M-series VMs and our SAP HANA on Azure Large instances, customers have asked us for even more choices to address a wider variety of SAP HANA workloads.

Microsoft is committed to offering the most scale and performance for SAP HANA in the public cloud, and yesterday announced additional SAP HANA offerings on Azure which include:

  • Largest SAP HANA optimized VM size in the cloud: We are happy to announce that the Azure M-series will support large memory virtual machines with sizes up to 12 TB. These new sizes will  be launching soon, pushing the limits of virtualization in the cloud for SAP HANA. These new sizes are based on Intel Xeon Scalable (Skylake) processors and will offer the most memory available of any VM in the public cloud.
  • Wide range of SAP HANA certified VMs: For customers needing smaller instances we have expanded our offering with smaller M-series VM sizes, extending Azure’s SAP HANA certified M-series VM range from 192 GB – 4 TB with 10 different VM sizes. These sizes offer on-demand and SAP certified instances with flexibility to spin-up or scale-up in minutes and to spin-down to save costs all in a pay-as-you-go model available worldwide. This flexibility and agility is something that is not possible with a private cloud or on-premises SAP HANA deployment.
  • 24 TB bare metal instance and optimized price per TB: For customers that need a higher performance dedicated offering for SAP HANA, we are increasing our investments in our purpose-built bare metal SAP HANA infrastructure. We now offer additional SAP HANA TDIv5 options of 6 TB, 12 TB, 18 TB, and 24 TB configurations in addition to our current configurations from 0.7TB to 20 TB. This enables customers who need more memory but the same number of cores to get a better price per TB deployed.
  • Most choice for SAP HANA in the cloud: With 26 distinct SAP HANA offerings from 192 GB to 24 TB, scale-up certification up to 20 TB and scale-out certification up to 60 TB, global availability in 12 regions with plans to increase to 22 regions in the next 6 months, Azure now offers the most choice for SAP HANA workloads of any public cloud.

Microsoft Azure also enables customers to derive insights and analytics from SAP data with services such as Azure Data Factory SAP HANA connector to automate data pipelines, Azure Data Lake Store for hyper scale data storage and Power BI, an industry leading self-service visualization tool, to create rich dashboards and reports from SAP ERP data.

Our unique partnership with SAP to enable customer success

Last November, Microsoft and SAP announced an expanded partnership to help customers accelerate their business transformation with S/4HANA on Azure. Microsoft has been a long time SAP customer for many of our core business processes such as financials and supply chain. As part of this renewed partnership, Microsoft announced it will use S/4HANA for Central Finance, and SAP announced it will use Azure to host 17 internal business critical systems.

I am very pleased to share an update on SAP’s migration to Azure from Thomas Saueressig, CIO of SAP:

“In 2017 we started to leverage Azure as IaaS Platform. By the end of 2018 we will have moved 17 systems including an S/4HANA system for our Concur Business Unit. We are expecting significant operational efficiencies and increased agility which will be a foundational element for our digital transformation.”

Correspondingly here's an update on Microsoft’s migration to S/4HANA on Azure from Mike Taylor, GM Partner; Enterprise Applications Services at Microsoft.

“In 2017 we started the internal migration of our SAP system that we have been running for over 25 years, to S/4HANA. As part of that journey we felt it was necessary to first move our SAP environment completely onto Azure, which we completed in February 2018. With the agility that Azure offers we have already stood up multiple sandbox environments to help our business realize the powerful new capabilities of S/4HANA.”

As large enterprises, we are going through our business transformation with SAP S/4HANA on Azure and we will jointly share lessons from our journey and reference architectures at several SAPPHIRE NOW sessions.

Last November, we announced availability of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) with Azure, to offer customers an accelerated path to SAP HANA. We see several customers, such as Avianca and Aker embark on their business transformation by leveraging the best of both worlds, SAP’s managed services, and the most robust cloud infrastructure for SAP HANA on Azure.

“In Avianca, we are committed on providing the best customer experience through the use of digital technologies. We have the customer as the center of our strategy, and to do that, we are in a digital transformation of our customer experience and of our enterprise to provide our employees with the best tools to increase their productivity. Our new implementation of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Microsoft Azure is a significant step forward in our enterprise digital transformation,” said Mr. Santiago Aldana Sanin, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Digital Officer at Avianca. “The SAP and Microsoft partnership continues to create powerful solutions that combine application management and product expertise from SAP with a global, trusted and intelligent cloud from Microsoft Azure. At Avianca, we are leveraging the strengths of both companies to further our journey to the cloud.”

Learn more about HEC with Azure.

Announcing SAP Cloud Platform general availability on Azure

The SAP Cloud Platform offers developers a choice to build their SAP applications and extensions using a PaaS development platform with integrated services. Today, I’m excited to announce that SAP Cloud Platform is now generally available on Azure. Developers can now deploy Cloud Foundry based SAP Cloud Platform on Azure in the West Europe region. We’re working with SAP to enable more regions in the months ahead.

“We are excited to announce general availability for SAP Cloud Platform on Azure. With our expanded partnership last November, we have been working on a number of co-engineering initiatives for the benefit of our mutual customers. SAP Cloud Platform offers the best of PaaS services for developers building apps around SAP and Azure offers world-class infrastructure for SAP solutions with cloud services for application development. With this choice, developers can spin up infrastructure on-demand in a global cloud co-located with other business apps, scale up as necessary in minutes boosting developer productivity and accelerating time to market for innovative applications with SAP solutions,” said Björn Goerke, CTO of SAP and President of SAP Cloud Platform.

Microsoft has a long history of working with developers with our .NET, Visual Studio, and Windows community. With our focus on open source support on Azure for Java, Node.js, Red Hat, SUSE, Docker, Kubernetes, Redis, and PostgreSQL to name a few, Azure offers the most developer friendly cloud according to the latest development-only public cloud platforms report from Forrester. We recently published an ABAP SDK for Azure on GitHub, to enable SAP developers to seamlessly connect into Azure services from SAP applications.

SAP application developers can now use a single cloud platform to co-locate application development next to SAP ERP data and boost development productivity with Azure’s Platform services such as Azure Event Hubs for event data processing and Azure Storage for unlimited inexpensive storage, while accessing SAP ERP data at low latencies for faster application performance. To get started with SAP Cloud Platform on Azure, sign up for a free trial account.

Today, we are also excited to announce another milestone in our partnership. SAP’s Hybris Commerce Cloud now runs on Azure as a "Software as a service" offering.

Customers embarking on digital transformation with SAP on Azure

With our broadest scale global offerings for SAP on Azure, we are seeing increased momentum with customers moving to the cloud. Here are some digital transformation stories from recent customer deployments.

  • Daimler AG: One of the world’s most successful automotive companies, Daimler AG is modernizing its purchasing system with a new SAP S/4HANA on Azure solution. The Azure-based approach is a foundational step in an overall digital transformation initiative to ensure agility and flexibility for the contracting and sourcing of its passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and International Procurement Services on a global basis.
  • Devon Energy: Fully committed to its digital transformation, Devon Energy is pioneering efforts to deploy SAP applications on Azure across all its systems. The Oklahoma City-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company is strategically partnering with Microsoft on multiple fronts such as AI, IT modernization, and SAP on Azure. Learn more about Devon’s digital transformation at their SAPPHIRE NOW session.
  • MMG: MMG, a global mining company, recognized that existing SAP infrastructure was approaching end-of-life, and that moving to the cloud would deliver the lowest long-term cost whilst providing flexibility to grow and enable new capabilities. Immediate benefits have been realized in relation to the overall performance of SAP, in particular, data loads into Business Warehouse.

For more on how you can accelerate your digital transformation with SAP on Azure, please check out our website.

In closing, at Microsoft, we are committed to ensuring Azure offers the best enterprise-grade option for all your SAP workload needs, whether you are ready to move to HANA now or later. I will be at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 and encourage you to check our SAPPHIRE NOW event website for details on 40+ sessions and several demos that we’ll be showcasing at the event. Stop by and see us at the Microsoft booth #358 to learn more.