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Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra

Imagine SAP PI in a cloud !!!

SAP is dominantly used only by big companies. Normally Integration solution based on PI is only provided to SAP customer. PI only makes sense if you have a large SAP installation and a major part of your applications are from SAP. It is not worth for small companies to go for it directly. The problem with small and non-SAP customers is that they can’t afford to invest huge amount of money in SAP products.

 

With so much buzz around cloud computing and SAP Netweaver PI being pushed more and more towards SOA based architecture, let’s try to visualize PI in a cloud. Before that, have a look at what wiki says about cloud computing “Cloud computing customers do not own the physical infrastructure, instead avoiding capital expenditure by renting usage from a third-party provider. They consume resources as a service and pay only for resources that they use. Many cloud-computing offerings employ the utility computing model, which is analogous to how traditional utility services (such as electricity) are consumed, where as others bill on a subscription basis.”

 

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Suppose there are 3 independent small growing companies C1, C2 and C3, having different vendors like V1.1, V1.2 etc. None have them have SAP system in their landscape. Normally if they want to have a middleware, they would go for 3 independent implementations (M1, M2 and M3) and you can imagine the cost involved in it.

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Now if they are proposed a solution in which they use common SAP WAS with PI installed in a cloud as a middleware and they only need to pay the efforts involved in the development of their interfaces and support. In this way, they would get full fledged benefits without installing it in their landscape and connect to market and provide more cost-effective ways of meeting their business needs.

 

With the above kind of implementation, it would be possible to attract small and medium company for service based solutions to grow their business directly providing them the benefits of Business Process Management (BPM) and Service oriented architecture (SOA) through SAP PI without asking them for full fledged SAP implementation directly. This kind of implementation can offer dramatic improvements in business agility and operational efficiency with significant cost savings.

 

Let me know your ideas and thoughts about it.

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      15 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Nimesh Patel
      Nimesh Patel
      It's really a great thinking to have PI in cloud environment.But the only concern over Cloud is the Company's Data security.

      Small or Big, any company have concern over security of its data and that can't be compromise in any way.

      So this can be successful only in case of tight security methodology.

      Regards
      Nimesh Patel.

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Nimesh,

      Thanks for raising your concern. Security is obviously a genuine issue at infrastructure level. But I don't think it would be a problem at interface level, PI is quite capable of handling it.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      One probable solution I can think of is providing the SWCV level authorization to the different users of different organization. But as per the concept here we are talking about one development for all organizations. Can we have any more views on how it can be implemented for different companies with one PI Server.
      Author's profile photo Amit Shivhare
      Amit Shivhare
      Really it is good innovation blog.
      @Nimesh Patel
      I have gone through some document regarding cloud commuting security issue I think with the help of some effort we can manage data security.

      Like in simple word we can given SAP XI user authorization at interface level in both JAVA and ABAP instance I know it is most common thing I am talking about
      We can also use cryptography JAVA module in adapter level for hide sensitive information. Etc

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing_security

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks Amit.

      Regards,
      Sunil Chandra

      Author's profile photo Nimrod Gisis
      Nimrod Gisis
      Many 3rd party companies provide integration services between partners (GTnexus,Intra etc.)

      Having PI the platform to implement this integration
      will have no benefits,on the contrary  - 3rd party vendors has developed tailor masde integration platform to support SLAs,alerts and standarts where SAP PI was design for the organization inner IT.

      I see the only advantage of Integration platform in cloud computing when it comes to Hardware and regular expenses.

      Also,today this kind of Integration in the cloud companies force the customer\partner to comply with EDI standards with not much flexibility
      and we all now that that common message structure
      + data resolve the integration dilemmas.

      I believe that 3rd party integration companies to provide business \ financial advantage but a decent IT organization should remain "loosely coupled" from services when they can and grow in house IT knowledge.

      Like we handle our selves in the stock exchange, Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket....

      Author's profile photo Nimrod Gisis
      Nimrod Gisis
      Network limitation.
      Although today's network backbones provide high byte rate if I'll have my PI cloud in EMEA and my organization and partners are all located in South Africa ....
      async. message travel time will increase dramatically not to mentioning sync messages... 
      Author's profile photo Daniel Graversen
      Daniel Graversen
      Hi,

      for some clients I'm working on it would be a really good idea. I don't know if a standard cloud service could be used, but a remote hosted PI could allow them to have a pi to the relative few scenarios they are using.

      It will also make the transission to PI much easier, because the customer already had some scenarios running on the platform.

      Daniel Graversen
      Figaf

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Daniel,

      Glad to see a comment from you 🙂

      Cheers,
      Sunil Chandra

      Author's profile photo Dharamveer Gaur
      Dharamveer Gaur
      Hi Sunil,
      First would like to congratulate for thinking in this direction.
      I believe SAP will think and develop Cloud model that can suits this and definitely will come up with kind of component where concerns like security, alerts, monitoring would be taken care.
      Now let see how they are going to manage and implement this. Message load, peak time, disaster recovery plan should we taken care by service provider. It would really increase PI presence and attract small Enterprise.

      There are different vendor jumping into Cloud…let’s wait when SAP will announce something on this. I don’t think it’s going to take long time…be ready for new SAP Cloud world.

      Thanks,
      Dharamveer

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks Dharam 🙂

      Regards,
      Sunil Chandra

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Sorry Sunil, I'm not seeing the light in this blog. If we're talking small & medium enterprises then why would they be using a full blown SAP Web AS? What about the licensing costs of a full blown SAP Web AS for SME's?

      Surely SAP Business ByDesign is much more suited to this discussion, see following blog for what SAP ByD brings to the party & all in the cloud:
      The specified item was not found.

      The other concern is that what if the 3 companies concerned compete for the same business at some stage? Where would the differentiation & value proposition come in?

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Trevor,

      Thanks for bringing SAP ByD to the discussion. I was not aware of it. It seems nice to see SAP doing efforts and designing something especially for SMEs. My intention of writing this one is in the same direction to attract SMEs but in a different way with PI in picture as an independent middleware.

      While discussing about differentiation and governance with one of my manager Vandana, she came up with some really good points:
      1. Number of invocations per regular interval of any specific interface for any specific party (may be identified based on the sending or receiver party embedded in a particular field in xml path)
      2. Total volume of data (number of messages and total size) sent or received by a particular party
      3. A system that can maintain agreement of a party with the cloud owner in terms of expected volume per day with any specific instructions of peak volumes at specific time of the day
      4. Number of violations of the agreement. Capability to block message if the volume exceeds specific term of agreement.
      5. Metrics of total message flow across all users to identify hardware or load balancing requirements.

      Regards,
      Sunil Chandra

      Author's profile photo Pavan kumar
      Pavan kumar

      Wow Sunil.Your prediction is into reality now and I am really surprised that this blog was written in 2010. Excellent!!!

      You are the man ?

      Sharing this blog.

      Cheers

      Pavan Nukala

       

       

       

      Author's profile photo Sunil Chandra
      Sunil Chandra
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Pavan,

      Thanks for the kind words! Agree that the blog and discussion here was a little ahead of time.

      Now with increased maturity in cloud governance model and secure multi-tenancy architecture, it made sense to build dedicated on-demand integration platform as a service.

      Cheers,

      Sunil Chandra