• 6 min read

Optimize costs and increase agility with the latest SAP on Azure offerings

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW is an event we look forward to year after year, as it’s always a place to meet with our customers and learn how we can continue to build the best cloud platform to support their evolving needs.

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW is an event we look forward to year after year, as it’s always a place to meet our customers and learn how we can continue to support their evolving needs. This year, those conversations will take a different format, but thanks to technology, we can still connect with our customers across the globe.

We’re hearing from enterprises that more than ever before they need a trusted cloud partner to support business continuity, agility, and real-time decision making for their mission-critical business processes. In addition, they need help to manage costs effectively.

To help our customers achieve these goals, and as part of the Embrace initiative with SAP, today we're announcing a series of new offerings and reference architectures. These offerings unlock the power of Azure for SAP workloads, including integration with SAP Cloud Platform and Microsoft products like Office 365 and Power Platform.

  • M-series virtual machines (VMs): Our latest updates to M-series virtual machine (VM) offerings will help increase agility through seamless scale-up and scale-down.
  • New use cases supported by reference architectures for integration scenarios: As part of our Embrace initiative with SAP, we are announcing five use cases supported by reference architectures that cover integration scenarios that will help our customers get immediate insights by integrating their SAP and non-SAP environments.
  • More Azure Large Instances options: We are also launching 18 new SKUs for Azure Large Instances including the largest Intel Optane bare metal instances available in the cloud, so customers can choose the optimum configuration for their workload profiles while optimizing costs.
  • New DevOps capabilities: We are making it even easier for customers to automate and integrate SAP workloads in Azure using ready-made building blocks to support a DevOps model.
  • NetWeaver-certified virtual machines: Our latest SAP NetWeaver-certified virtual machines deliver a lower price to performance ratio and help drive total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction.

M-series updates increase agility and cost effectiveness

One year ago at SAPPHIRE 2019, we introduced our Mv2 virtual machine series to support customers with databases from 6 to 12 TBs, the largest-memory SAP HANA-certified configuration available on virtual machines in the public cloud. Since then, adoption has grown rapidly with customers like Luxottica Group, Kennametal, Coats, and Accenture relying on Mv2 virtual machines for their production workloads.

  • Seamlessly scale up or down from 2 to 416 vCPUs and from 16GiB to 12TB Memory

As the needs of your SAP workloads on Azure change, you can change to different virtual machine families or sizes without worrying about the underlying hardware and by simply resizing your virtual machines. With our latest investments in the Gen2 virtual machine support for Mv1 (aka M-series), you can start small with your SAP database with the Esv3-series and move to larger sizes on the Mv1 (aka M-series) as your workload needs grow, and seamlessly scale up to the Mv2-series as your workloads approach over 400 vCPUs and up to 12TB memory. Learn more about Gen 2 virtual machines advantages.

  • Achieve flexibility and agility with our expanding regional footprint for the M-series

The Mv1 (aka M-series) virtual machines are available in 34 regions and Mv2 virtual machines are available in 12 regions, and we are now expanding our regional availability footprint even further. For Mv1 (aka M-series) virtual machines we have recently added United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central and will be adding US West, US Central, and North Central US in 2020. For Mv2 virtual machines, we will be expanding to Brazil South, Germany West Central, Japan East, UAE Central, North Central US, and West US in 2020. Please refer to virtual machine availability by region for the latest regional availability.

  • Reduce software licensing costs with our new Mv2 constrained core sizes

Starting in July 2020, customers can constrain the Mv2 virtual machine vCPU count while maintaining the same memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth of the unconstrained core Mv2 size.

New use cases supported by reference architectures drive immediate insights and agility by integrating SAP and non-SAP data

As part of the unique Embrace initiative between Microsoft and SAP, we are focused on accelerating time to business outcomes by helping customers integrate across Azure, SAP Cloud Platform, and Microsoft offerings. To support this, we have jointly released a series of five use cases supported by reference architectures and will continue to release unique integration patterns to create great customer experiences. The use cases announced today are focused on identity, workflow and service integration. Over the coming months, we will start to integrate further with Office 365 Graph, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform:

1. How to consume Microsoft Azure services in SAP Cloud Platform

2. Establish identity and authentication workflow between SAP and Microsoft

3. Extend SAP S/4HANA with SAP and Microsoft services

4. Simplify business process integration across SAP and Microsoft through enterprise integration and extension

5. Intelligently optimize and automate processes with SAP and Microsoft services

New Azure Large Instances SKUs help achieve a lower total cost of ownership and the fastest recovery times in the market

With the launch of 18 new SKUs, we now offer 24 SKUs powered by the 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Platinum processors, supporting Intel® Optane™ persistent memory, making it the most comprehensive portfolio in the market. Learn more by reviewing our portfolio. Additionally, Azure Large Instances is the first to bring to market two unique capabilities:

  • NetApp SnapCenter, which enables customers to use a SnapCenter console to take and restore consistent live snapshots of databases as large as 96 TB within seconds.
  • A solution to combine the power of Bare Metal with the agility of virtual machines: With the ability to mount Azure Large Instance database volumes on virtual machines, Azure Large Instances customers can now dynamically spin up virtual machines to accomplish tasks such as refresh, consistency checks, and data distribution within minutes at a significantly lower cost than before.

Latest DevOps offerings simplify monitoring, backup, and deployment of SAP workloads

We have added new capabilities to help our customers more easily deploy, monitor, and back up SAP solutions on Azure:

  • Simplify deployment with SAP Automation with Terraform and Ansible

Since the initial announcement of SAP Automation for Azure (v1), we have evolved the vision and broadened the scope of automation for SAP on Azure. With leading industry automation tools, Terraform and Ansible, we are developing common building blocks, to simplify deployment of SAP landscapes on Azure as well as provide consistency in these deployments. Today, we are announcing that these building blocks will be available in a GitHub Open Source repository (sap-hana) as (v2) for SAP Automation by July 2020. The automation solution is based on the best practices specified by Microsoft and SAP as part of our reference architectures for SAP. You can learn more about the scenarios supported in our GitHub.

  • Seamlessly monitor SAP landscapes with Azure Monitor for SAP solutions

With the preview of Azure Monitor for SAP solutions, customers will be able to centrally collect and visually correlate telemetry data from Azure infrastructure and databases in one location for faster troubleshooting. Customers will be able to deploy Azure Monitor for SAP solutions resources with a few simple clicks from Azure portal and monitor the following components: SAP HANA on Azure virtual machines or Azure Large Instances, SQL Server on Azure virtual machines, and Pacemaker High-availability clusters on Azure virtual machines or Azure Large Instances. With the preview starting in July 2020, the product will be available in US East, US East 2, US West 2, and West EU regions with more regions to follow soon.

  • Ensure business continuity by instantly backing up your SAP HANA databases running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform

In addition to supporting SAP HANA workloads on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server(SLES), Azure Backup for SAP HANA workloads running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is now in preview. Azure’s native backup solution for SAP HANA offers zero-infrastructure backup, one-click point-in-time restore capability, and long term retention and backup management capabilities. The preview will be available across all Azure regions except for Germany Northeast, Germany Central, France South, and US Gov IOWA. Please leverage the tutorial for backing up your SAP HANA databases for your RHEL based systems.

NetWeaver-certified virtual machine updates

Achieve a lower price to performance ratio with our new NetWeaver-certified virtual machines

We are excited to be the first hyperscaler to offer new SAP NetWeaver certified virtual machine families based on AMD EPYCTM 7452 processors. These new Dasv4 and Easv4 virtual machine families offer superior performance for the SAP application layer and SAP-supported databases (excluding HANA). The increased performance of these virtual machine families provides a lower price to performance ratio, driving down total cost of ownership. You can learn more about the global availability of these virtual machines by referring to virtual machine availability by region.

We are glad we could share these updates with you and we want to hear from you on how we could continue to build solutions to help you meet your evolving needs. We look forward to seeing you at virtual SAPPHIRE NOW, where we are sponsoring the Intelligent Enterprise track on Monday, June 15. To learn more, check out our latest blog on reasons customers trust Azure to run their SAP solutions or visit our website. Please share your feedback and join the conversation with other SAP experts on the Microsoft Tech Community.