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Cloud Database Technologies in Eastern Europe

**In this article I’ll be discussing the difference in implementing various database technologies in the West compared to Eastern Europe. All information below is my own opinion and does not reflect those of SAP.com. Most of these reflections is based off my experience working at Awem Games in Mogilev, Belarus.**

SAP High-Performance Analytics Appliance is a premier platform that combines analytical tools with real time in memory computing as well as transaction processing. It is able to process large data volumes.

The hosting options that SAP provides can be divided into three categories:

  • Traditional: This is where the database is on site at the facility of the customer.
  • Cloud: This is a cost-effective option that allows the client to avoid the high cost investments that are associated with purchasing hardware that is usually associated with traditional on premise data storage.
  • Hybrid: This option may serve as a combination of the two previously mentioned options.

In the Republic of Belarus, cloud technologies are not as popular as one would think that they would be. Part of the reason for this is the belief that cloud technologies are inherently insecure.

This guide will lay out security information pertaining to a number of hosting options for SAP HANA databases in the cloud. Additionally, we will examine how cloud solutions can be securely used and implemented following recommended guidelines for information protection.

Introduction

Database technologies are at the heart of most software systems. SAP is a major supplier of systems that use databases. “Systems applications and products in database processing.”

Personnel management, finance, managerial accounting, services, and occupational activities of a company are covered by SAP ERP. Analytics, the implementation of information self-service, receives its full functionality from SAP ERP. Centralized data management, web services management, user management, as well as tools for system administration are also provided thanks to the system.

Systems of the future should have the capability to provide recommendations, analyze, evaluate, and predict in real time. The only way that this can be accomplished is with In-memory technology. This allows for the inclusion of new types of data, such as social media monitoring, sensor reading, and automatic meter reading via the Internet.

As a leader in the field, SAP HANA High-Performance Analytics Appliance uses real-time and memory coupled with analytical tools to aid in the processing transaction of large data volumes.

SAP Platform: Database Hosting

Operational and flexible data modeling features are provided with SAP HANA. This means less time waiting for changes to model data or perform administrative tasks with a database. The delay that often occurs with a traditional database is eliminated, downloading the backup data store.

Database hosting with SAP HANA can be divided into three categories:

  • Cloud
  • On premise
  • Hybrid

With the on premise option, you will need to purchase a hardware set as well as a reserve set for future use. When calculating capacity, one should factor in unexpected loads and a reserve for future growth.

Estimates put server capacity between 40 and 60 percent. Additionally, server hardware on premises must be maintained. This means that an enterprise has the expense of purchasing the servers but does not get a full return on their investment.

Conversely, cloud solutions allow enterprises to eliminate the need for purchasing servers entirely, or at least minimize server expense.

In most cases, cloud computing lends itself to a situation where computer resources and applications are made available for consumption as the need of consumption arises. This need is met via the Internet.

SAP HANA platform makes the transition to cloud-based solutions more effective. It is a powerful technology that provides a multifaceted solution. Users are provided non- persisted views that do not have all required details. The result is flexible yet fast data modeling.

The latency that is usually apparent in loading and backing up data as is traditionally seen with traditional databases is eliminated, thereby allowing SAP HANA changes that are taking place.

As the indices and aggregates of relational tables are eliminated, and as long as a protective support is provided, cloud solutions reduce the cost of server ownership.

SAP HANA in the cloud is designed to improve the effectiveness of the solutions offered by creating an environment that allows for continuous hardware support by the organization leasing in the public cloud (HANA Enterprise Cloud) or in the case of a private cloud (HANA Enterprise Cloud).

There is a centralized mechanism for updating databases and keeping things up-to-date with the latest SAP Patches SAP. From this, we can extrapolate some of the advantages of databases using SAP Patches SAP in the cloud. These would include:

  1. A reduction of equipment maintenance costs, at times to zero.
  2. Continual updates, which means that your system is always using the latest technologies.

Still, there are some questions about cloud information security solutions that need to be resolved.

Cloud Solutions in the Republic of Belarus

Western Europe and North America have a higher consumption of cloud technologies than what is seen in Belarus. This is especially true when discussing small and medium size businesses. In Western Europe and North America, cloud solutions are commonplace and in some areas serve as the sole means of information technologies. In the Republic of Belarus, small and medium size businesses are on the rise.

Still, the market is dominated by large enterprises, which in turn build private cloud solutions or use public cloud solutions for their individual and business tasks. These could include the transfer of corporate emails, CRM solutions, videoconferencing, as well as other business applications. It is our assertion that cloud technology has not caught on in the Republic of Belarus because of a persistent belief by some that cloud storage data is insecure.

Internationally, issues of data security are governed by the ISO/IEC 27017:2015 / ITU-T X. 1631, as well as legislative regulations that apply locally.

Decree number 60 is what regulates the cloud solutions in Belarus. This is a law on telecommunication. At present, the law does not specifically address issues of data security and cloud solutions. Government policies in Belarus have been designed to support the promotion of cloud-based technologies.

Data Security in HCP

There are four key ways of maintaining cloud security:

  • Data protection during transmission
  • Encryption
  • User isolation
  • Authentication

Let’s look at how these forms of information protection are provided by SAP HANA.

Use of Authentication

Authentication in this setting involves the ability to assign roles that can then be reassigned to users of a specific application. This makes it possible to limit who has access to the application. SAP Cloud Identity services are the backbone of the security that we offer.

SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication is a cloud service that allows secure authentication as well as user management for SAP cloud apps. It is also beneficial for on premise applications. Single sign-on, on premise integration, and user management are part of what this technology offers. It makes it possible for users to reset their own passwords and reset the passwords of customers, employees, or business partners.

Identity authentication is a standalone service that is tightly integrated with SAP Cloud Platform. Identity authentication is maintained and hosted by SAP’s secure world-class data centers.

Features and functions include:

  • Single sign-on using any device
  • Secure authentication for both on premise and cloud application
  • Secure logon via social media sites, including Facebook and Google
  • Two factor authentication using one-time passwords
  • Support of SAP and third-party applications
  • Self-service password reset
  • Usage reporting capabilities
  • Responsive user interfaces
  • Password policies on application level
  • And many more

Users have the flexibility to decide whether to use authentication from the browser or to use basic authentication. Irrespective of the user identity provider used, HCP makes single sign-on possible. If someone wants to integrate other applications that are not standard with the service, they can do so using open Autorization (oAuth) scope.

Security of the Integration Using HCP

If you need to integrate on premise environments to the HCP, you can do so via Cloud Connector. This is a Secure Socket Layer SSL that makes HANA cloud platform controlled access possible.

The SAP cloud platform cloud connector is the link between applications and SAP that are on-demand and the existing on premise system. It is designed to be easy to set up and have clear configuration. You should be able to control the resources for cloud applications in the system. So you can access your existing system without exposing the whole internal landscape.

Cloud Connector can be used in business critical enterprise scenarios. It makes reestablishing broken connections easier, while providing you an audit, making it possible to log inbound traffic, as well as log any configuration changes.

From the above context we are able to ascertain the following:

When making decisions about where to locate databases, SAP HANA considers certain aspects that can influence the final decision. These aspects would include things like maintenance costs, purchasing costs, parameters of the information security of the option chosen, as well as the use capacity and efficiency.

Hosting databases on a SAP HANA cloud platform is an effective and safe option for business of all sizes. Enterprises would do well to consider using methods provided by default on the SAP HANA cloud platform.

Other Helpful Cloud Hosting Resources

  • SAP Cloud PlatformSAP Cloud Platform is an open platform-as-a-service providing unique in-memory database and business application services to power your digital enterprise.
  • Cloud Storage – Generic cloud storage platforms for individual storage compared and contrasted with enterprise systems.
  • Computer Weekly – SAP and Eastern Europe -SAP’s turn to cloud services for the delivery of its business applications seems especially energetic in central and eastern Europe
  • Domain Hosting Options Compared – Comparing both hosting solutions in Australia, Europe and Canada.
  • Cloud Identity ProtectionSAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication provides you with simple and secure … single sign-on, on-premise integration, and convenient self-service options.
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