The best public cloud for SAP workloads gets more powerful

By Jason Zander as written on
More and more enterprise customers are realizing the benefits of moving their core business applications to the cloud. Many have moved beyond the conversation of “why cloud” to “which cloud provider.” Customers want the assurance of performance, privacy and scale for their mission critical applications. Microsoft Azure sets the bar for scale and performance, leads in compliance and trust measure, and offers the most global reach of any public cloud. Specifically for SAP workloads, our strong partnership with SAP enables us to provide our mutual customers best-in-class support for their most demanding enterprise applications.
We’ve invested deeply to ensure that Azure is the best public cloud for our customers’ SAP HANA workloads. Azure provides the most powerful and scalable infrastructure of any public cloud provider for HANA. Azure also offers customers the ability to extract more intelligence from their SAP solution environments with AI and analytics, and our broad, longstanding partnership with SAP includes integrations with Office 365 to help customer enhance productivity, too. Lastly, we have an enormous partner ecosystem ready to help enterprises succeed with SAP solution workloads.
I’m pleased to announce several new advancements to this key area of focus:
  • Support for running some of the largest public cloud estates of SAP HANA, across both virtual machines and Large Instance offerings.
    • To power SAP HANA and other high-end database workloads, we’re introducing M-Series virtual machines powered by Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v3 that support single node configurations up to 3.5TB memory. This will allow customers to quickly spin up a new virtual machine to test a new business process scenario and turn it off when the testing is done to avoid incurring additional costs.
    • Real-time, transactional business applications need scale up power within a single node. For customers using OLTP landscapes like SAP S/4HANA or SoH that go beyond the limits of today’s hypervisors, we’re announcing a range of new SAP HANA on Azure Large Instance SKUs, powered by Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v4 from 4TB to 20TB memory.
    • SAP business warehousing environments that harness and capture intelligence from massive volumes of data require multi-node, scale-out systems. We’re introducing support for SAP HANA Large instances up to 60TB memory for potential future use for applications like SAP BW, and SAP BW/4HANA.
  • SAP Cloud Platform: SAP’s platform-as-a-service offering is now available as a public preview hosted on Microsoft Azure. Customers can take advantage of the pre-built SAP Cloud Platform components to build business applications while leveraging the broader toolset of Azure services.
  • SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud: In cooperation with SAP, we are working to make Azure available as a deployment option for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP’s secure managed cloud offering. Customers will benefit from Azure’s enterprise-proven compliance and security, in addition to close connections between their other Azure workloads and SAP solutions running on Azure in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.
  • SAP and Azure Active Directory Single-Sign-On: SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication Services are now integrated with Azure Active Directory. This integration enables customers to implement friction-free, web-based, single-sign-on capabilities across all SAP solutions that integrate with SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication. In addition, SAP SaaS solutions (e.g. Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, etc.), as well as core SAP NetWeaver-based solutions or SAP HANA, are integrated with Azure Active Directory.
Last year, Satya Nadella took the stage at SAPPHIRE, announcing a new era of partnership with SAP – and at the time we shared that early adopters, Coats LLC and Rockwell Automation, were using Azure Large Instance infrastructure to run their SAP solution environments.  Since then, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with customers choosing to deploy SAP on Azure. Just a few examples of the companies deciding on Azure as their cloud platform for SAP solution landscapes are:
  • Accenture: This is the largest business warehousing SAP HANA deployment in the public cloud, running Accenture’s own mission-critical financial reporting systems on Azure. For more about Accenture’s use of Azure, don’t miss their session at SAPPHIRE NOW’17 this week.
  • Pact Group: By choosing to migrate their on-premises SAP servers to Azure, this Asia-Pacific packaging company anticipates annualized savings of 20 percent with their business now running more than 90% of its applications and compute on Azure.
  • Mosaic: One of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and potash crop nutrients moved all its global financial, commercial, and supply-chain SAP systems to Azure, increasing speed and agility. The company anticipates a year over year cost savings of 20 percent.
  • IXOM: When they needed to separate from their parent company, water treatment and chemical distributor IXOM chose to move its SAP applications to Microsoft Azure, taking a cloud-first approach to the future.
  • Subsea7: This world-leading seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor is working with Accenture to unlock cost savings and greater efficiencies through SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA hosted on Azure. Subsea 7 aims to deliver a simpler, faster and more tightly integrated landscape to its global employees, providing more mobility, agility and an enhanced user experience.
One of the key advantages of Azure is that customers can drive intelligence and insights from their SAP solution environments by integrating with solutions like Power BI and Cortana Intelligence, powering new business opportunities and efficiencies.
Our integration partners are a critical part of SAP solutions on Azure deployments as they help ensure customer success, leveraging their skill and expertise across both the Microsoft and SAP ecosystems. At SAPPHIRE NOW’17, Microsoft will host some of our top Global System Integrator partners including Accenture, Cognizant, HCL, Infosys, TCS and Wipro to showcase the value and operational improvements each of these organizations can provide to customers looking to deploy SAP on Azure.

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Microsoft Investing More Than $10 Billion In Data Centers Annually

We know Microsoft is investing billions in developing their new data centers to power their enterprise and consumer cloud services. Speaking at GreenPages’ CloudScape 2015 conference, Microsoft GM George Taylor has revealed that they are spending over $10 billion in building out data centres, more than they spend annually on R&D.
“We used to invest about $10 billion in research per year, which we still do. Our data center investments are more than that. It is unbelievable,” Taylor said. “I would have never thought that years ago. And they keep growing.”
“It is crazy,” he said. “We continue to pour money into data centers.”
He said Microsoft’s datacenter capacity is growing 10 times annually. Microsoft now has over 90,000 Azure customers, 1.4 million SQL databases in Azure, 475 million Azure active directory users and 3,200 Azure MarketPlace Applications.


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The cloud isn’t some nebulous construct that floats above us in the sky and magically stores and disseminates information. It’s actually a mind-boggling number of hard drives collected in datacenters located all over the world, connected by miles and miles of cable, so we can store enormous amounts of information and communicate almost instantaneously across the globe. You and everyone who uses the Internet to send an email, update a social media site, or host a sound file uses these datacenters. How much do you know about them?

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