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In the first and second blogs of “The HANA Journey” series, my colleague Tom Kurtz explored how one can get started with HANA, including finding the right use cases and defining a HANA strategy and roadmap. In part 3 we will now continue this journey and provide an overview of different deployment options for HANA, and what you should consider when evaluating these options. This discussion will not only include technical considerations, but other aspects such as speed and deployment costs as well. In the past, SAP software has been deployed on premise in the customer’s data center. As part of the HANA discussion many questions now arise on deployment and need to be answered. In the end it all comes down to a simple question that your organization is best suited to answer – what is the best and fastest way for my organization to deliver the value of HANA to the business? This is exactly where Cloud and Rapid Deployment Solutions come into play. Cloud is an essential part of SAP´s strategy. We are offering our customers the choice to deploy HANA on premise, in the HANA Enterprise Cloud, or in a hybrid model combining both deployment methods. In that sense SAP offers the customers the freedom of choice to decide which deployment method best fits their conditions. And this freedom, combined with Rapid Deployment Solutions for many HANA use cases, helps tremendously in creating innovative, fast, and high-value HANA scenarios.

Considerations to choose the right deployment option

After identifying the appropriate HANA use cases and developing a roadmap as described in the previous blogs, it finally comes to the question of what deployment option makes the most sense for your solution.  For the deployment of HANA two perspectives should be taken into account:

  1. Where is the right place for you to deploy HANA?
  2. What level of scope does your deployment need to be?

Figure 1 provides a summary view of the dimensions and available options.

HANA Journey.JPG

  1. Where is the right place for you to deploy HANA?
    To deliver HANA scenarios effectively, it is essential to understand the different alternatives available in deploying a HANA landscape. Some of the key characteristics are described in the following section:
    1. On Premise: Classical deployment of HANA infrastructure in a company´s data center. The HANA hardware is integrated into the existing infrastructure and processes. Typical questions to be answered:
      1. How does HANA fit into the data center environment and strategy?

      2. Which skillsets are required to operate HANA and how do we develop those?

      3. What hardware do I need, what is the lead time, and how does that fit my project timelines?

    2. SAP Cloud powered by HANA: As part of SAP´s cloud strategy there is also the possibility to deploy HANA as a cloud based solution. Different flavors of cloud deployment are available and need to be considered for different use cases. A comparison of the available options can be found on http://www.saphana.com/community/about-hana/cloud-options
      1. For custom data marts or custom applications, SAP HANA Cloud Platform might be an option. Depending on the concrete situation (e.g. HANA is already licensed) different subscription based options are available (details to be found on http://marketplace.saphana.com/hcp).

      2. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offers additionally the possibility to deploy HANA based SAP systems like SAP Business Suite or SAP Business Warehouse in a cloud environment. The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is available for production landscapes and also as a Cloud for Projects to be used as a very fast and smart way to gain traction in early project phases. We come to that again when talking about project phases below.
    3. Hybrid Deployments: Hybrid deployments describe landscapes where one part is deployed on premise while other parts of the landscape are deployed in the cloud. For example this could be a deployment of development and QA systems in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and a deployment of the production system on premise. There are a couple of reasons that might lead to the decision to go for a hybrid scenario (for example hardware lead times, security, governance or strategy considerations). The cloud component of a hybrid solution offers all advantages for an organization like flexibility and scalability (for example to deploy additional test systems for a special project only for a limited period of time).

  2. What level of scope does your deployment need to be?
    The decision to go for a specific deployment option is also influenced by the level of scope your deployment needs to cover to meet your objectives.
    1. Pilot/Prototype Implementation: For setting up a first HANA pilot the cloud deployment (depending on the use case SAP Cloud Platform or SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for Projects) might be a very good way. Going for a cloud deployment speeds up the project as there is no server lead time, upfront investment, or effort for data center integration required. The system environment can be deployed within a few days or even faster allowing for very quick presentation of results and business value.
    2. Production Landscape: Both SAP Cloud Platform and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud allow the deployment of production system landscapes. So besides the on premise deployment there are also cloud/hybrid options that can be leveraged. With respect to the HANA production landscape option 1.a. mentioned questions and considerations to be assessed. Depending on the specific situation, the HANA use case and the answer to those questions an organization might go for one option or the other.

An important thing to keep in mind through all of this – the decision for a deployment method is not meant to be a ‘one way ticket’.  Rather, paths for all deployment options are offered. For example, it is always possible to move from an on premise deployment to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and vice versa. Additionally, developments started on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform or the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for Projects can be transferred to on premise or Cloud for Production when it comes to the final deployment. Of course in these cases further considerations need to be taken into account.

Finally, for many HANA use cases SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions are available to accelerate a project and offer a great starting point. These Rapid Deployment Solutions combine SAP software, content, and best practices prebuilt to target specific use cases and value scenarios.  Not only can these tools help you implement faster, they may also highlight areas where HANA can bring dramatic impact to your business. These packages are applicable for either on premise or cloud deployments, and can be used for both pilot or productive implementation projects. Depending on the HANA use case and the project scope, SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions can be leveraged as part of the project building blocks offering advantages in terms of value and speed.

Conclusion

With this third blog we complete the ‘HANA Journey’ story. Our goal has been to provide you a structured framework for approaching HANA. As already stated in the first 2 blogs – a primary factor in this journey is the business value of HANA. This can then be transferred to the deployment options as well. With cloud there is an alternative that could help you in different project phases. It is important to assess the various perspectives of a HANA use case deployment and to derive the right strategy and roadmap. This roadmap will always be customer specific considering the business value of a HANA use case and the preference for deploying the system.

Associated Blogs

Be sure to check out the first 2 blogs in the HANA Journey series –The HANA Journey: Determining When HANA is Right for You” and The HANA Journey (Part 2): How Do I Get Started with HANA?”. . And remember to continue checking back to this blog in coming weeks as we continue to release additional blogs related to the topic of SAP HANA.

I would like to thank my colleagues for their collaboration and input to this blog: Tom Kurtz (@thomasjkurtz), VP Strategic Initiatives HANA Services, and Robert Hernandez (@SRHernandez2), Director of In-Memory Services for North America

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