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SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Create your SAP S/4HANA 1809 system in a fraction of the usual setup time

Summary

  • The appliance is a pre-packaged software bundle that contains an SAP S/4HANA system with pre-configured SAP Best Practices and demo scenarios.
  • It can be rapidly brought up as your personal instance with administrative rights either hosted in the cloud (takes ~ 2 hours) or on your own on-premise hardware (takes ~ 2 days).
  • Typical use cases are sandboxing, proof-of-concept, scoping, or fit-gap analysis.
  • For the cloud deployment you need a valid account at a supported hosting provider, currently those are AWS, Azure and GCP. The hosting costs will be charged to your account (typically 3-4 USD per system uptime hour)
  • Once you have such an account, the easiest way to start is the SAP S/4HANA trial (SAP licenses are waived for 30 days; only the cloud provider hosting fees apply). An extensive demo guide walks you through sample scenarios with pre-defined users and data sets.
    If you are already experienced with the underlying infrastructure (SAP Cloud Appliance Library, SAP CAL), you can jump directly to the solution.

 

General concepts

What is an appliance ?

An appliance is a compressed system template (think of it as a large .tar or .zip file) that can be rapidly extracted into a regular system instance by preserving everything that has been configured in the appliance during the development phase of it,
This makes it an ideal medium for pre-configured systems e.g. for sandboxing, proof-of-concept or scoping/fit-gap purposes.

In the SAP S/4HANA fully-activated appliances, you will find the SAP S/4HANA software (along with some other components, see further below), the fully-activated SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA (incl. technical configuration e.g. for the Fiori launchpad), and prepared demo scenarios with sample master and transactional data.

The delivery infrastructure for appliances is the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (SAP CAL, https://cal.sap.com), and if you browse this site you will see many more appliances besides the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated appliances.

 

[Fig 1]: Appliance concept, taking SAP S/4HANA 1809 Fully-Activated as example

 

How to use an appliance

An appliance can be consumed in two ways:

  1. In a hosted environment (using cloud provider infrastructure such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (SAP CAL) as bridge into the hosting providers.
    Setup time is ~ 2 hours, and the easiest way is to use the SAP S/4HANA 30-day trial.
    The full list of appliances is available via SAP CAL (https://cal.sap.com)
  2. On dedicated on-premise hardware that has a supported Linux release installed (everything else will come with the appliance). Pure setup time is ~ 2-3 days.
    This delivery option is available for a limited set of appliances only. The default shipment channel is SAP CAL.

 

Details for option 1 (hosted):
If you are already experienced with the SAP S/4HANA 1709 appliance/trial (or other appliances in SAP CAL), you will find it easy to use the new appliance release since the ‘mechanics’ are the same as before:

  • Built-in 30-day test license for SAP S/4HANA and SAP CAL (i.e. no fees to be paid to SAP)
  • Hosting provider fees are charged to your hosting provider account (~ 3-4 $ USD per uptime hour, depending on provider and data center region).
  • Support via asking the SAP CAL community
  • Possibility to extend the 30-day trial phase by acquiring an SAP CAL subscription license  (requires a valid SAP S/4HANA license as well)

If you are new to SAP Cloud Appliance Library, there’s a detailed ‘Quick Start Guide’ on the SAP S/4HANA trial page to get started. Registration in SAP CAL and one of the supported hosting providers (AWS, MS Azure, (GCP) takes ~15 minutes, start-up of your personal trial instance will take ~2 hours.

This video playlist for SAP CAL will also help to get into the topic.

 

Details for option 2 (on-premise installation):

You can receive the appliance for installation on your own on-premise hardware either via download or via shipment on Blu-Ray discs.

The shipment is free of charge, however, corresponding SAP licenses need to be in place (trial licenses are sufficient for delivery). The installation of an appliance differs from a “regular” SAP installation, we therefore recommend to have this done by SAP Consulting or an experienced SAP partner, however, customers can also do it on their own and will receive support from SAP.

Ordering of the discs/download by a partner and deploying it on customer-site afterwards is not allowed.

The following SAP note contain more information on the ordering process (it is valid for customers and partners).

 

[Fig 2]: SAP S/4HANA 1809 Appliance – Consumption Methods

 

SAP S/4HANA 1809 Fully-Activated Appliance

What is the content & scope ?

The scope of the appliance centers around the SAP Best Practices content for SAP S/4HANA and is enhanced by further scenarios.

The below walkthrough scenarios have been described in detail in an extensive demo script, but of course, you’re free to explore and adapt the system as needed since you have full administrative rights and even access to the Linux operating system.

  • Order-to-cash
  • Production Integration
  • Plan-to-produce (incl. EWM)
  • Financial closing
  • Lease-in accounting
  • Investments
  • Migration Cockpit (for data migration into SAP S/4HANA)
  • Extensibility
  • Custom Print Forms
  • Analytics (BI&SAC)
  • Predictive Analytics
  • SAP Screen Personas
  • Customer Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Portolio & Project Management
  • Demand-driven replenishment

[Fig. 3] Pre-configured walkthrough scenarios in the appliance

What is technically contained in the appliance ?

Technically,the 1809 fully-activated appliance has been created by doing an upgrade – both for coding and content – from its predecessor release, the SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01 Fully-Activated Appliance.

As before, the appliance consists of four virtual machines that are automatically bundled into one solution instance:

  1. SAP S/4HANA (the core ABAP backend incl. the SAP HANA database)
  2. SAP NW JAVA with Adobe Document Services (for forms and output management)
  3. An SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform for display of pre-configured BI reports
  4. MS Windows remote desktop for easy access to the solution

The BI platform and the remote desktop are optional components in SAP CAL (you can opt out of the deployment in the advanced mode of the SAP CAL instance creation) and are also not shipped to customers for the on-premise installation.

[Fig. 4] Technical components of the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance

More information & known issues

This blog summarizes the known issues and provides fixing hints where available. It will be continuously updated.

One important note at the end:
Once you have created an appliance instance (be it hosted or on-premise), it behaves like a regular on-premise system. And this means that SAP cannot access or patch your appliance instance, thus system tasks need to be done by the person who created the instance.

Best and enjoy the SAP S/4HANA 1809 Fully-Activated Appliance,

Joerg

 

2 Comments
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  • Hi Joerg

    Thanks for the detailed blog on this , I have a question on the content/demo data is it equvivalent to the standard IDES shipments which we get from SAP service market place ?

    • Hi,

      The content is different from the IDES.  The scope of the content is centers around the SAP Best Practices  for SAP S/4HANA and is enhanced by further scenarios from other product groups.

       

      Willie