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Cloud Usage at SAP


I thought of giving an update on the public cloud usage at SAP. Cloud Computing at SAP we are now driving this topic and is amazing to see that we do not see any end in new use cases. We continue to onboard between 3-10 new user groups each month.

It is the advantage of the public cloud that new initiatives do not have an infrastructure risk. If the initiative fails, then there are no commitments sitting on hardware assets. If the initiative is super successful, then you can scale along with it, without worrying.


Since beginning of 2011 the service to the SAP colleagues is now provided by the SAP IT organization.

Lets look at the chart showing the number of SAP instances provisioned in the Amazon Cloud (ec2), created by SAP employees.

We have at this point 52 active user group, reflected by the different colors in this chart. The blue color indicates a generic group and thereby contains multiple use cases. 

There are a few aspects interesting. If you look at the month June-August of each of the 4 years it is pretty much constant overall usage, yet if you look at the user groups – there is a heavy fluctuation. The constant character is obviously due to summer vacation. Also in December there is not surprisingly less consumption. 

Now in a private cloud scenario, how would you ensure sufficient capacity with such a curve? Usually capacity forecasting is done per use case. Look for instance at the light green one in January 2011 and pretty much ending in May 2011, appearing again in July 2011.


Yesterday we spoke to the participants of the SAP OPM Elite Training, which ran (thanks to Jens Koerner & Bryan Gesicki) entirely in the Amazon US West Region.

There were no issues with performance or anything else. Training is a great use case for public clouds. If managed properly it is hard to beat the pricing with a private cloud for this use case. Using our SAP Titanium Service we do not only provision with one click all the 2×50 instances, but also suspend them over night to save massively on cost. Every morning at 7am all of them resume automatically.


In the Titanium environment we have >1350 system templates of practically all SAP solutions. This makes it attractive for new users to just go there and start an ERP 6.04, HANA, Afaria, Sybase Unwired Platform, Business Objects Analytics or whatever else in order to be productive in usually 30 minutes.

More and more I hear that the significant infrastructure cost saving is actually less interesting compared to the empowerment of our user base. Counting minutes instead of weeks.

At SAP we are not yet running mission critical (PROD) use cases in Amazon, but that might very well be a next step.


If you want to see it in action, meet us at SAP TechEd in the sessions TEC120 & TEC221.

What use cases do you have in mind for the cloud?

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      Author's profile photo Martin English
      Martin English
      It's becoming obvious to me that the empowerment aspect of 'real' SAP in the cloud (as opposed to By Design !!) is the 'killer-app'. The speed at which I can restore my systems, whether from my 'gold' start point, or from any other backup, when learning and investigating makes it so much easier to try a lot of the 'what if' things that you just haven't got time for in a traditional environment.

      Some things I'd like to see you cover in TEC120 & TEC221 are your governance and internal billing processes, and your interface to AWS (which I believe is quite different from from the 'standard' AWS console).