February 25, 2020

Top 5 reasons to deploy SAP on Azure – Part 1

By Himanshu Rao

SAP and Microsoft

As part of their digital transformation journey, many enterprises are in various stages of moving to the public cloud platform with the goal of accelerating innovations and improving response to rapidly changing business demands. Many enterprises moving to the public cloud are hesitant to leave behind their biggest and most critical business system: SAP.

SAP applications have been used by more than 90% of Fortune 2000 customers. In 2015, SAP announced the release of a new ERP system, SAP S/4 HANA, based on their proprietary in-memory HANA database. SAP is limiting future support for non-S/4 HANA based ERP implementations. This decision is triggering more S/4 HANA migrations/greenfield deployments by  making the public cloud  a viable choice for established SAP customers, naturally leading them to ask: Which public cloud is best for SAP?

This 2-parts blog series will seek to answer that question by outlining 5 reasons why Microsoft Azure is the most advantageous platform for deploying SAP applications. Part 1 will focus on the first three reasons, while Part 2 will cover the remaining two reasons.

SAP and Microsoft

1. Microsoft & SAP: Partnership and Alliances

Microsoft and SAP have a long history of partnership – over 25 years, in fact. And as mutual customers of one another’s products and services, the two companies have an intimate knowledge of the other’s processes. Microsoft IT runs our internal, largest SAP deployment in Microsoft Azure, while SAP IT runs their internal applications on Azure IaaS, including their other platform services like SAP Cloud Platform and SaaS solutions like SuccessFactors. SAP and Microsoft engineering resources are co-located and oriented toward innovation. Microsoft Azure is, to date, the only public cloud platform SAP has partnered with for first-in-market cloud migration and has been named the preferred cloud platform of Project Embrace. This partnership not only brings seamless customer experiences for go-to-market, but also provides unified technical support between two platforms.

2. More deployment choices: Broad range of support with cost-saving

SAP offers multiple software products, supporting a wide range of operating systems and backend database platforms like SQL, Oracle, Sybase, DB2, and HANA database. Microsoft Azure supports a wide range of SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver certifications and other SAP products along with all supported OS and database systems. For hosting SAP HANA databases, Microsoft Azure provides not only virtual machines but also SAP TDI certified bare-metal appliances – a total of 31+ distinct HANA offerings starting from 192 GB to 24 TB memory (scale-up) with up to 120 TB scale-out certification.

Cost-savings is a key factor in moving SAP to Azure. According to the Forrester report The Total economic impact of Microsoft Azure for SAP, SAP on Azure saves $7.2 million compared with on-premise hardware, and $3.1 million compared to overprovision hardware. Additional savings can be realized by leveraging other Azure features such as Reserved VM Instances, Azure Hybrid benefit, Constrain vCPU for SQL/Oracle database based SAP systems, and Azure Site Recovery for DR.

3. Performance & scale with resiliency & availability

Microsoft Azure provides support for SAP certified IaaS offerings to 34 regions worldwide out of its 55 total regions. Performance and scale is a critical requirement for hosting SAP applications, and Microsoft Azure fulfills this requirement by supporting the biggest compute option with up to 12 TB memory of VM and up to 24 TB memory (scale-up) and up to 120 TB scale-out bare-metal offering for HANA database. For HANA database storage, Microsoft Azure offers powerful storage, Azure Ultra SSD, offering single disk capable of achieving 160K IOPS, 2 GBps throughput with less than 1 ms of latency.

The high availability of SAP is again the most critical requirement. While hosting SAP applications on Microsoft Azure, there are multiple HA/DR options available including HANA system replication, host auto-failover, storage replication, etc. Microsoft Azure provides the highest application resiliency by offering 99.99% high availability for its VM or bare-metal appliance. Combined with optimal design approach, customers can achieve almost zero downtime for SAP applications on Microsoft Azure.

As you can see, Microsoft and SAP’s long partnership, cost-savings, and unmatched performance and scalability position Microsoft Azure as the most advantageous public cloud option as you prepare to migrate your SAP business systems.

In Part-2 of this series, we’ll look at two more reasons why Microsoft Azure is the most advantageous public cloud for SAP applications: integration options and security.

Reference Links:

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