50 first dates for the HANA Enterprise Cloud: Ending the isolation
The HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) is increasing in importance in SAP’s Cloud and HANA strategies. Yet, this emphasis is usually relatively primitive in that it just considers the hosted applications (Business Suite, BW, etc) in isolation rather than embedding them in broader / realistic scenarios in which such applications interact with other entities.
I’ve already blogged about the HEC as a generic extension platform and as an environment for Big Data applications but there are a variety of other perspectives that I wanted to examine in more detail.
The HEC is like a pretty but shy teenager that desperately needs to get out and meet others. In this vein, I’d like to send the HEC on a few dates
Date 1: The HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)
The HCP is SAP’s PaaS offering and provides an excellent platform to extend other environments including the HANA Enterprise Cloud. This possibility was also mentioned by Björn Goerke in a recent blog.
Yet, there are so many details that are unclear in such scenarios. Usually, HCP applications accessing OnPremise applications (such as CRM, Business Suite, etc) use the Cloud Connector to access such applications. In scenarios where the back-ends are located in the HANA Enterprise Cloud, this scenario would probably look different.
This scenario raises some interesting questions:
- Is the Cloud Connector even necessary? Both environments run in SAP data centers. My assumption is that the internal network is secure. Or are there other security concerns that might prevent such simplification?
- Who configures the Cloud Connector in the HEC? The customer? SAP? If SAP performs this configuration, is it part of the existing HEC service offering?
- What happens when the HEC is being hosted by a partner? Do they have experience in this area?
Date 2: Rapid Deployment Scenarios (RDS)
There are a variety of RDS available – there are also a few RDS that focus on supporting migrations to the HEC. My interest, however, is on the normal RDS solutions. What happens when a customer has their Business Suite running on the HEC? Are the same prerequisites necessary? Do partners who offer the RDS solution have access to the HEC instance of their customers? Since the application servers in the HEC are virtualized, are there possibilities to simplify RDS’ by using preconfigured instances?
Date 3: Fiori
Fiori mobile apps are all the rage but no one has really looked at the possibility of a customer using a Business Suite running in the HEC for such apps. The architecture of Fiori apps has three main components (UI Tools, SAP NW Gateway, SAP Backend) – all of which could easily run in the HEC. I assume that HEC service offers are in the works to provide such functionality to HEC customers. There is already a Cloud Appliance Library – Virtual Appliance for Fiori but HEC would provide such functionality in a managed service that could exploit the existing on-boarding services to quickly / easily provide Fiori-related content.
I’m stopping after three dates but you get the picture. Many of the typical usage scenarios that include OnPremise applications (Gateway usage, relationship to SAP Mobile Platform 3.0, etc) you can also apply to the HEC. It is only when you more realistically depict such scenarios that the power of HEC is evident. I have the feeling that current marketing campaigns concentrate primarily on the “cloud-angle” rather focusing on broader scenarios which will emerge as customers move to this new environment and reflect on their experience in OnPremise settings.