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At the recent Sapphire conference in Orlando, one of the announcements concerned the release of AWS-hosted HANA One Premium which includes Enterprise Support from SAP and annual subscription pricing.

This new offering is available today for $75,000 / year. 

As I was reading the associated material about this new offering, I was surprised to read the following the statement

Smart, secure and fast data provisioning with SAP HANA Cloud Integration (Data Services)

A bit taken back, I started reading the documentation for HANA One Premium to find more details about the use of HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) in this new offering.

The FAQ of the offering provides initial indications of what is being used:

1. How do I load data to my SAP HANA One instance Premium?

SAP HANA One Premium is preconfigured with the Data Services component of HANA Cloud Integration (HCI), an ETL tool to load data from SAP Business Suite on-premise, and other data sources.

The Getting Started document contains screenshots of the integration between the HCI and HANA One Premium as well as a detailed description of the steps necessary to get everything working (including the installation of the OnPremise HCI agent).

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An overview picture of the HCI architecture shows the important role of the Data Services Agent in the broader HCI environment.

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[SOURCE]

My assumption is that a great deal of the HCI architecture must be productive (especially the components present in the HANA Cloud Platform) in order to be included in the already available HANA One Premium offering.  Yet, I have found no indication of HCI’s changed product status. Considering the central role of HCI in SAP’s cloud strategy, I would have expected press releases and announcements during the recent Sapphire keynotes.  

Or it also could be that the HCI is being released in iterations with an initial focus being placed on the Data Services functionality and other functionality (for example, iFlows) being released later.

Conclusion

I was curious if I could find other indications of HCI’s usage in other offerings and discovered that SAP Sales and Operations Planning is also using HCI.  

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There are also more detailed descriptions of the S&OP HCI integration:

For me, HCI is critical in SAP’s cloud strategy.  Yet, it appears that HCI will initially only be offered as an extension of existing cloud offerings rather than a separate offering. HCI is usually in the background in such packages – other functionality (usually, HANA-related) in such offerings is usually given more attention.

HCI and multi-tenancy

I’d be interested to hear what happens when a customer uses HCI for two separate cloud offerings (for example, HANA One Premium and S&OP).

In particular, I’d be curious to see how such a scenario relates to HCI’s tenancy concept:

SAP HANA Cloud Integration is designed so that the involved virtual machines are strictly separated from each other with regard to the related participants. In other words, separate resources (memory, CPU, and file system) of the cloud-based integration platform are allocated to each participant – although all participants might share the same hardware. In addition, each tenant uses a separate database schema, which guarantees that the data of the different participants is strictly separated. This separation is also referred to as tenant isolation. The following figure illustrates this concept for two participants communicating with each other using SAP HANA Cloud Integration.

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[SOURCE]

Here is my interpretation of some possibilities for a customer using HCI for multiple SAP cloud offerings:

  • One single tenant with separate VMs instances
  • Separate tenants with single VM instances
  • One tenant with a single VM instance for separate offerings.

The selected solution has major repercussions and would give an indication of the broader multi-tenancy strategy for the HANA Cloud Platform.

Why the provocative title?

In the title of this blog, I was being provocative when I added “(or cared)”.   I sense that HCI is perceived internally at SAP as less important than it might have been in the past.  Previously, SAP’s cloud offerings were primarily seen as an extension of OnPremise offerings / functionality – the Cloud was complementary to the more important OnPremise environment.  In such hybrid scenarios, HCI played a critical role – this is also seen in the important role of the OnPremise agent in its architecture.  With new cloud offerings, such as the HANA Enterprise Cloud, however, we are increasingly seeing a “cloud-first” approach where even more critical functionality is being shifted to the Cloud.  In such situations, there is still the necessity of having integrations and HCI as well – yet, I have the feeling that attention in the broader ecosystem is focused on other topics that are viewed as more important.

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19 Comments

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  1. Pim de Wit

    Nice work Sherlock Richard. I wouldn’t be surprised if it already in use. Other example was the SAP Mobile Platform, Enterprise edition cloud version. This was not announced before end of Q1 2013 while it was already ready end Q3 2012. Main reason here was the fact that SAP was afraid it would cannibalise SUP license sales. I’m wondering what the motivation for not yet releasing HANA Cloud Integration is.

    Would be great if SAP open ups this platform for 3rd party products to develop their own integration packages. (Like salesforce is doing via their platform)

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      I

      Pim de Wit wrote:

                             

      Would be great if SAP open ups this platform for 3rd party products to develop their own integration packages. (Like salesforce is doing via their platform)

                         

      I’ve seen vague information about such features but I’ve never seen any details. This is also very important in my opinion.

      D.

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      1. Pim de Wit

        Hi Richard, Currently at an Infoday for HCI in WDF. Impressed with current status. Lot’s of new info on HCI. Platform will be available on SCN for test in July. Software development kit for partners is expected towards end of the year. Will try to provide my thoughts after today

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  2. Luke Marson

    Hi Dick,

    SAP HANA Cloud Integration was released to customers on Ramp-Up last year and SAP are running a Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) as we speak. I understand there are companies using it productively in the Finance domain, although not in HCM (my area). Currently only SAP Professional Services can implement HCI and this was supposed to remain until later this year, but that was based on GA of March which has now been put back until later in this year (date TBC) so I don’t know if this “restriction” will still be place for the period after GA.

    I know that SAP Solution Management for Hybrid SF solutions are very excited about the platform, but I genuinely cannot speak for the rest of SAP. This product is currently spanning several different LoBs and is under different levels of use and advancement of implementation in each one. Currently I don;t know of any SF-based implementations of HCI.

    Best regards,

    Luke

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Luke,

      Thanks for the additional details.

      I guess I’m just a little bit confused. Some parts of HCI are productive (as seen above) – other parts are in ramp-up, other parts of HCI are in CEIs.  I just don’t see a broader strategy or a consolidated communications effort for HCI – I’ve seen that there is more material available on the Service Marketplace but I’m missing a more transparent / open approach to the offering.

      D.

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      1. Luke Marson

        Hi Dick,

        I agree, although I think the fact is that it touches so many different processes, domains, and LoBs that there are different strategies for each of these. HCM, for example, is on-premise focused and is slowly moving to the Cloud meaning that “velocity” (for sake of a better word) is not as essential as where solutions as Financial OnDemand are being used with other Cloud apps. But I have to agree that there doesn’t seem to be anything coherent across the entire product line.

        Best regards,

        Luke

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  3. Yariv Zur

    Hi,

    My very personal opinion (I’m not working on HCI) – It will become more and more important as more cloud based projects go live in the SAP customer-sphere. I’m seeing the amazing growth of SAP’s process orchestration suite and in my mind HCI will serve the same functionality in the Cloud with the added value of bringing together cloud and on prem services and I think this is going to be a key component to SAP’s strategy (if executed properly, as usual).

    Y

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Hi,

      I also think that HCI is a key component to SAP’s cloud strategy but at recent SAP events I attended, I expected to see HCI announcements during the keynotes – I was always disappointed. My assumption is that other topics are viewed as more important – yet, as the number of cloud-based projects increase, SAP’s inability to offer a cloud-based integration solution becomes more problematic and provides possible competitors with market opportunities. 

      D.

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  4. Matthias Steiner

    Another interesting blog post!

    You’re absolutely right when you state that:

    “Yet, it appears that HCI will initially only be offered as an extension of existing cloud offerings rather than a separate offering.”

    AFAIK this has always been our strategy in regards to HCI: to roll it out as part of bundles like the Financial Service Network etc.

    Yet, I would not draw the (hasty) conclusion that this implies that HIC is deemed less important. The opposite, it’s very important and hence we are really careful that we nail it once we start rolling it out as a stand-alone product.

    Stay tuned…

    Cheers,

    Matthias

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      The problem that I see is that once you start including HCI in various other cloud offerings, at some point you will reach a critical mass of provided features and a customer can start using the product for unexpected use cases – for example, combining S&OP and HANA One Premium, or using HCI included with HANAOne Premium for a HCP-based app.  I don’t know whether the available use cases  for the embedded HCI are restricted contractually but once HCI is released – even embedded – it will evolve. As a famous scene in the movie Jurassic Park suggests:

      Malcolm: John, the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

      Hammond: There it is.

      Henry Wu:  You’re implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?

      Malcolm: No, I’m, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.

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      1. Matthias Steiner

        Hm, all with you when it comes to control. Using the same argument when it comes to using social media in developer evangelism 😉

        Not 100% sure if I get what you’re implying here (or if you are implying something at all), but I”d say that people would be well-advised to use HCI only for supported (!!!) scenarios, right? 😉

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  5. Michael Hill

    Hi Richard,

    SAP HANA Cloud Integration is SAP’s strategic cloud integration offering.  SAP has released SAP HANA Cloud Integration, application edition and it is in productive usage by customers today for supported SAP Cloud applications such as SAP Sales and Operations Planning and Customer Cloud.  SAP is providing pre-built integration content for supported scenarios to greatly speed up the integration of SAP Cloud applications with other applications.  SAP has always taken a relatively conservative approach when releasing products to the market as to make sure the products delivered work as promised for our customers.  SAP has released SAP HANA Cloud Integration for supported scenarios with the SAP Cloud Consulting team performing the initial customizations.  We do allow our customers to perform self-service configuration and design time changes via a web-based user interface for data integration capabilities.  Later, in July, it is planned to augment these capabilities with the release of an Eclipse-based development tool for SAP HANA Cloud Integration which will be made available to partners and clients thus enabling them to fully and autonomously customize SAP’s integration flows for supported applications.  

    Please note the following SAPPHIRE NOW session (8:22 to 13:02):

    Creating Stability While Encouraging Disruption

    Also, please note the following press release:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130516-907884.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    “SAP HANA One, which was introduced a few months ago as a cloud offering, has gained more than 600 customers and provides the same leading capabilities as the on-premise SAP HANA platform. The new version of SAP HANA One is packaged with access to a trial edition of SAP Lumira(TM) software and sample public datasets to help analysts jumpstart their ad hoc BI projects in the cloud. SAP also announced the premium edition of SAP HANA One, the newest addition to the cloud-based offering that is available on SAP HANA Marketplace. The premium edition of HANA One is packaged with SAP HANA Cloud Integration to provide integration with SAP systems and heterogeneous sources. This edition is suited for existing SAP customers to run SAP(R) Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver(R) Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) applications or custom applications in the public cloud with an annual subscription contract.”

    For more information, please see the HANA One Premium Edition listing on HANA Marketplace http://www.saphana.com/docs/DOC-3621

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Michael,

      Thanks for providing an update on HCI.

      You mention “supported scenarios” in your comment. Is there a list available of these scenarios? 

      You also highlight the following description from the press release:

      The premium edition of HANA One is packaged with SAP HANA Cloud Integration to provide integration with SAP systems and heterogeneous sources.

      I’ve looked at all the material available for HANA One Premium (See quoted material in blog) and I was wondering if you could elaborate on the meaning behind “heterogeneous sources”. Are these non-SAP OnPremise assets?

      D.

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  6. Richard Hirsch Post author

    Just found the EULA for HANA One Premium on the SAP Store. Here are the parts which refer to the use of HCI:

    2.1 SAP HANA One Premium also includes a subscription based license of the Data Services component of SAP HANA Cloud Integration software as Runtime Software (“Data Services”).

    2.2       Licensee must download SAP HANA Cloud Integration Data Services Agent onto their own hardware from the applicable cloud provider’s instance in order to use Data Services with SAP HANA One Premium.

    2.3       Data Services may not be modified or altered in any way except by SAP.

    I have no idea if 2.3 refers to the configuration of the Data Services part of HCI or just the source code of this component

    D.

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