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Author's profile photo Sunil Lal

Will we be the best cloud company ever?

                 Have you ever imagined an extremely dark cloud over your living territory? It has a huge potential of providing enough water necessary for human survival for a long period of time, if harnessed properly. The same is comparable to an IT Cloud technology. Gone are the days, when there existed 32bit single core processors, and single Ethernet hardware pieces, which streamed inbound and outbound in serial. Gone are the days when your external application processes waited for data from L7 layers. Cloud computing paradigm changed them all. Recent advancement in virtualization technologies has quadrupled the utilization of hardware by many folds. This has led to the horizontal and vertical scaling of hardware and applications.

                Provisioning and scaling of on-demand processor nodes in all the computational paradigms is a blessing during the recent IT revolution. While the processors increased the speed and SSD based memory came into existence, the option that was left to the programmers was to optimally utilize the capability. This is possible today by distributing the old age data centric processes (like reporting, evaluating encryption based algorithms etc.) into multiple nodes with in the cloud. Users now have the choice to determine, whether to run their process in public or private cloud.


                How are these technologies relevant for SAP? Yes, you already got few answers. SAP can grow multifold by helping SMEs, LSEs and entrepreneurs through its cloud based enterprise solutions. Inherent feature of cloud provisioning enables high speed provisioning of SAP instances in the cloud perimeters. Users can start from a small footprint of hardware request and scale to high on demand basis. This is a big cost saving for customers, since he does not have to lock his working business capital in unused hardware resources.  Customers can scale his business horizontally as well as vertically on demand. Let me give you an example. An SAP ERP customer (call them randomly as Acme Ltd), who is doing his core business in demand planning of human capital, can decide to provide support to his clients, to verify their employee performance via another SAP application (for example Success Factor). For this service, which is only seasonal demand (only during review cycle), Acme need not permanently buy Success Factor license and run its instances in his premise. But, based on such opportunity, he can request for cloud instances of success factor and make opportunistic profits. Again, does he want to support many of his clients? The solution is to request for a horizontally scaled application instance. Does he want to support certain clients, who have 100,000 employees; the solution is in vertical scaling. Acme can request SAP to provide hardware blades with in cloud, to scale via Hardware. All these happen behind his knowledge of infrastructure and software.

                SAP, over a period of time seems to growing in the right direction of IAAS and SAAS provider.  You may ask me, where is HANA in this picture?. I purposefully kept HANA as my last item to be included in this whole landscape, to give appropriate importance to it. HANA is going to be the pillar stones for all of the above. The entire SAP technology stacks has the potential to be run on HANA cloud. Wondering how? HANA as a database, application logics in HANA, Netweaver services in HANA, Cloud provisioning in HANA, billing in HANA etc.


               Existing infrastructure and application services will get enormous boost if run on HANA. Now think about these running in HANA cloud. Even better. Vertical and horizontal scaling of HANA based services will be the ultimate system that any customer will be dreaming about.  Now why not HANA as a DB service…? Aren’t we already planned to be the best company in the world ?

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      Author's profile photo Arshad Ansary
      Arshad Ansary

      Hi Sunil,

      Very nice blog and well explained summarizing SAPs cloud offerings.

      There is a famous saying 'Charity begins at home '. Like that SAP should offer a cloud based development environment (IDE) for its developers . Right now we have an Eclipse based IDE for development which should be replaced by the cloud based with no footprints.