SAP readies the Hana-powered enterprise cloud

SAP is making its Hana in-memory database available as a hosted service to power enterprise applications

SAP is making its Hana in-memory database available as a service to power enterprise applications and middleware in the cloud.

ERP, CRM and NetWeaver Business Warehouse will be available as a managed cloud service from SAP with storage that can grow on-demand.

Earlier this year, the company announced Business Suite on Hana. SAP Business ByDesign and BusinessOne suites are already running in the cloud using Hana.

According to SAP, the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud service will enable organisations to realise faster time-to-value coupled with lower total cost of ownership.

Vishal Sikka, member of the executive board of SAP, technology and innovation, said the speed of the internet allows businesses to run mission-critical transactions in the cloud.

He said that customers can bring their existing Hana licences to pay for the service, which can also be paid for directly as a managed service. He also stated that the service will be suitable for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises, and confirmed that 60 engagements are already live.

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“Customers want more and more options in how they take advantage of the value SAP Hana brings. With [this] we are delivering Hana at scale with instant value and no compromise. We are simplifying customers’ experience and expanding their choice … and we are doing this without disruption through the cloud,” he said.

When questioned by a Gartner analyst at a press and analyst briefing at which the service was announced, Sikka said the managed cloud service would enable organisations to run their SAP applications in the cloud. However, the cloud service does not appear to support multi-tenancy, which would require reengineering the core SAP system.

SAP plans to deliver the cloud service with partners, and said it would give more details at the upcoming Sapphire event in Orlanda, Florida. The service is only available from SAP, but Hana can be run on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and companies such as IBM and HP sell servers which can be deployed to run the Hana software in-house.

We are delivering Hana at scale with instant value and no compromise

Vishal Sikka, SAP

Diane Bryant, senior vice-president and general manager, datacentres and connected systems group, at Intel, commented: “SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud running on the Intel Xeon processor E7 family will provide our customers with the opportunity to deploy mission-critical solutions powered by SAP Hana with cloud simplicity. We look forward to furthering our collaboration with SAP as the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud takes customers to the next level of scale, security and reliability.”

Florida Crystals is one of the businesses running a pilot of the new cloud service. Its CIO, Don Whittington, said: "We were able to complete the app migration and cloud on-boarding in just two months. I have personally been able to experience the unbelievable performance of SAP Hana for my cost centre reporting."

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Along with hosting, SAP is also providing a platform which can be used by businesses to enhance applications.

However, Forrester analyst Stefan Ried said the "bring your own licence" model SAP has chosen for Hana Enterprise Cloud was flawed. 

"While this is great for customers that already have a Hana licence and would like to relocate it into the cloud, it is useless for customers that might have largely fluctuating data volumes or user numbers and might specifically use a cloud because of its elastic business model," he said.

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