Optimizing our Joint Customers’ Experience: An Update on the AWS and SAP Partnership

Daniel Schneiss

Posted by Daniel Schneiss on

SVP, SAP HANA Platform & Databases

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Many customers I talk to are finding the process of digital transformation a challenge. No matter what their specific pain points are, my advice always stays the same: No company can tackle the challenges and make use of the opportunities that come with digitalization on its own. Finding and developing the right partnerships that can help you set and achieve your goals and provide support at every step of your journey to becoming a digitally-mature business will be fundamental to success.

At SAP, we believe in the power of partnerships and the ecosystem. Our ever-expanding partner ecosystem and multi-channel go-to-market model is core to our growth strategy, and indeed, the majority of our customers are coming through our more than 17,000 partners and other channels, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

One of our longstanding partners is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Already today, AWS offers one of the broadest and most reliable cloud networks for SAP HANA Infrastructure as a Service instances to support our joint customers’ move to the cloud. This is the result of a long-lasting, strong, and trusted collaboration between our engineering teams.

Some of the milestones reached so far over the course of this partnership include:

  • October 2012 – SAP HANA available for production use on AWS
  • March 2014 – SAP HANA runs in production form on cr1.8xlarge instances with up to 244 GB of memory, with the ability to create test clusters that are even larger
  • June 2014 – SAP HANA Deployment Guide and a set of AWS CloudFormation templates published in conjunction with SAP certification on r3.8xlarge instances
  • October 2015 – x1.32xlarge instances with 2 TB of memory, designed to run SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache Spark, and Presto
  • August 2016 – clusters of X1 instances can now be used to create production SAP HANA clusters with up to 7 nodes, or 14 TB of memory
  • October 2016 – x1.16xlarge instance with 1 TB of memory
  • January 2017 – SAP HANA certified for use on r4.16xlarge instances

As a result of this trusted collaboration, SAP is also a partner at AWS:reinvent 2017, taking place November 27 to December 1 in Las Vegas. At the conference, we are showing that both SAP and AWS are committed to further strengthening our collaboration to deploy our joint customers’ mission-critical SAP systems.

Organizations need to be agile and flexible and cost-sensitive when it comes to maintaining SAP landscapes. With the ability to support large scale-up and scale-out SAP HANA solutions in an on-demand, pay-as-you-go manner without long-lasting contracts or lead times, customers can spin test systems up or down as needed to adjust to the changing dynamics of internal projects and market requirements.

Taking customer feedback into account, it took us around two years from the idea to the launch of the X1 cloud platform to offer a fully on-demand, flexible, Intel E7-based platform in the cloud with leading benchmarks on 17-node r3.8xlarge platform and latest the 25 node X1/2TB cluster as the first ever multi-node SAP BW/4HANA benchmark, the largest in the ecosystem. This benchmark setup comprised 25 x1.32xlarge instances (25 * 128 vCPUs, 25 * 1952 GB RAM) and demonstrates the unparalleled scalability of both SAP BW/4HANA and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a central element of AWS that allows users to rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer applications.

With the launch of the AWS X1 platform 4-socket E7 1 & 2TB, a cloud-native solution in an on-demand pay-per-use deployment model, we can further optimize the available options for our customers’ SAP HANA infrastructure. The X1E instance extends the capabilities up to 4TB for OLTP, single node, enabled by new workload driven sizing. This represents another first in our history of joint achievements – one that is also fully on-demand and based on customer feedback.

Another example of our collaboration is FAST, which stands for Fast AWS and SAP Transformation and is a programmatic and tooling collaboration around the extension of the SAP Database Migration Option (SAP DMO) for system moves combined with AWS Quick Start for SAP.

If you have an on-premise SAP application running on a non-SAP-HANA (anyDB) database, you can now use the SAP Rapid Migration Test program with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to migrate to an SAP HANA or SAP ASE version of your application on AWS. FAST provides a set of processes, procedures, and tools that SAP developed in collaboration with AWS to help customers running SAP applications (SAP ECC and SAP Business Warehouse) on anyDB to migrate to SAP HANA or SAP ASE on AWS.

Building on that, we are currently developing a joint strategy for customers to offer solutions that help migrate large workloads onto SAP HANA on AWS Cloud. By combining AWS and SAP migration technologies, we will offer an even more complete migration offering for custom non-SAP applications by both AWS and SAP, and add to the overall customer value proposition. The achievements to date mark just the start of SAP and AWS’ trusted and successful partnership, so stay tuned for more milestones to come!

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