With cloud comes choice, with choice comes complexity. Today and in the future – across many areas of our life – openness is the key to flexibility. This also holds true for IT and the tech sector. The cloud era has clearly arrived in the enterprise sector, and there is no doubt that cloud deployments are becoming increasingly relevant for companies. This transformation guides the way to the future of enterprise IT. But as companies can choose from a variety of cloud applications, platforms, and infrastructure, they also have to understand how best to deal with the increasing complexity.
From Data to Database as a Service
One key area affected by cloud transformation is that of database and data management. As infrastructure and applications are being moved to the cloud, so too are platforms together with their “enterprise gold” – their data. Companies move their databases to the cloud for extensions integrated in a broader application environment or for point solutions. This allows a new level of choice and flexibility to quickly innovate and enhance the application portfolio based on current and future needs – both in the cloud or on-premise.
Database as a Service (DBaaS) describes a database and data management system that is delivered as a scalable and elastic cloud service and includes a certain level of self-services for users to provide a high level of agility and flexibility. DBaaS has rapidly advanced recently, with Gartner forecasting in its November 2017 Guide for Database as a Service that the revenue from DBaaS offerings will double over the next five years, at a compound annual growth rate of 34.3 percent from 2017 until 2021.
Flexibility and Choice for Data in the Cloud
With SAP’s multi-cloud approach, we are offering our customers the choice and flexibility they need to keep the pace in the innovation game. One key enabler for our customers in this respect comes with the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA service – the most advanced in-memory database designed to run fully managed on cloud environments or on-premise.
For our customers’ flexibility, SAP HANA as a Service offers full compatibility across several hyperscale cloud providers – removing complexity and allowing customers to avoid any vendor lock-in situations with one specific cloud provider. It is also planned to extend this offering to further cloud providers in the future. This also means that applications can be rapidly deployed anywhere and benefit from real-time insights into their business processes using live data. At the same time, they have the freedom to adapt capacity requirements as and when needed while the infrastructure is fully managed and optimized by the respective provider. Ultimately, as a key pillar of SAP’s intelligent enterprise strategy, SAP HANA as a Service helps remove complexity and enable agility and flexibility.
As a true cloud service, SAP HANA as a Service brings together transactional and advanced analytics including predictive, machine learning, and natural language processing that operates on various kinds of data – relational and NoSQL data structures, including the ability to connect to and federate with external data sources. Consequently, developers can make use of structured or unstructured data from the Internet, use IoT data, build customized applications running on SAP Cloud Platform, and leverage data in data marts and warehouses by building applications and running advanced analytics in real-time in the cloud. This opens the door to a whole new universe for data-driven innovations and embedded intelligence in real-life business processes and paves the way to the intelligent enterprise.
The SAP HANA service is fully integrated in SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry environment utilizing containerized deployments. This makes the service elastically scalable, allowing it to respond to changing workloads as they happen. It is ultimately one of the key reasons to move data to the cloud: Developers are able to dynamically scale usage as required.
Up to Speed in Minutes
Continuing in the spirit of flexibility and choice, customers can choose from a pay-per-use or a subscription consumption model. Creating a new SAP HANA instance via the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit enables developers to get started in just a few minutes. We also fully understand the importance of trust and security in the cloud, which is why SAP HANA as a Service comes with the latest SAP standards for data security and privacy through encryption technology to ensure companies run and innovate their business in a safe environment.
Developers can start right away and apply DBaaS in a step-by-step approach, starting with DBaaS for smaller use cases first. This is just the beginning of the data transition to the cloud. The future of data has arrived, and the future is in the cloud.
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 Gartner, Market Guide for Database Platform as a Service, November 2017