SAP Cloud Appliance Library now supports Microsoft Azure
Dear community members,
You may have seen the announcement that SAP and Microsoft recently launched (more details). This announcement covers a couple of strategic opportunities both companies are going to tackle and one of these opportunities is working closely together on cloud – specifically the support of the Microsoft Azure platform as an additional cloud provider for SAP Cloud Appliance Library. We are more than happy to announce that as of today you are able to launch SAP appliances from the Library on the Microsoft Azure platform. Today, we also made the HANA Developer Edition available on the Azure cloud and within the next weeks we plan to migrate the other solutions from the Library as well.
If you are new to SAP Cloud Appliance Library (http://cal.sap.com) or if you have been using it for quite a while, one question you might have is:
Q: Are there any differences between the HANA Developer Editions on both platforms?
A: No, there are no differences.
But then you might ask …
Q: How does this actually work? Is SAP producing two HANA developer editions which are then made available on two different IaaS cloud platforms?
A: SAP only has one HANA Developer Edition that is made available on both platforms at the same time
It now makes sense to look behind the curtain and explain how SAP software is delivered with SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). Most of you might already know, but we actually don’t deliver images (SAP + Operating System) on which the SAP software is already installed. No, what really happens is the following (now it gets technical).
- When you click on the “Activate” button in the CAL UI the CAL back end notifies the cloud provider to share/copy a couple of virtual disks (AWS: snapshots / Azure: VHDs) which hold the SAP system with/into your cloud account/subscription. Depending on which cloud provider you have and the copy technology they provide, these virtual disks are available in your account/subscription sooner or later.
- After this step is complete you usually choose to create an instance (“Create Instance” button in the CAL UI) which walks you through a guided procedure asking a couple of questions. After all information is collected you press the Finish button and then the following happens. CAL picks a pre-defined and publically available operating system image and starts an instance of it. During this process the virtual disks are attached to the instance and CAL then does the magic of unpacking/configuring the SAP system. A couple of minutes later the SAP system is deployed and you can start using it.
- If you suspend and restart your instance in the future, the waiting time until the SAP system is up and running is dramatically reduced because the initial deployment already happened in step 2 once.
One topic which you might be interested in (also from a security point of view) is that fact that we use a publically available operating system image for CAL deployed SAP workloads. Of course, this is not a random image because the degree of automation in CAL requires a highly standardized image on all IaaS cloud providers that we support. In this area we work very closely with SUSE to optimize SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for the pre-configured SAP solutions in CAL and deliver an operating system platform that is highly reliable, scalable and secure for public cloud deployments. By working with SUSE we ensure that this image is always up to date and delivers a seamless automated installation process that reduces deployment time and speeds time to value for SAP Systems.
Having said all that, enjoy the next leap we took with SAP Cloud Appliance Library by enabling another cloud provider so that you now have choice.