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SAP S/4HANA Cloud and On-Premise Deployment Options

Last updated: October 15

This blog targets SAP solution architects and explains the different deployment options for SAP S/4HANA. I have used the latest terminology. It covers cloud, on-premise and hosted deployment options. Here are the options discussed:

  1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud: previously called public and is the Multi-Tenant Edition.
  2. SAP S/4HANA Cloud Single-Tenant Edition
  3. SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud managed by SAP (HEC)
  4. SAP S/4HANA On-Premise or managed by cloud providers Hyperscaler

I cover the following aspects of each option: infrastructure, license, how upgrades are managed, scope (functional, country and industry), configuration, extensibility (how solution can be extended beyond configuration) and implementation (possible approaches).

I also cover which roadmap of the SAP Activate implementation methodology is relevant, what SAP Best Practices are used and what tools are relevant. See my other blog for an overview of SAP Best Practices and Model Companies.

 

1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Commonly used by net new customers that want the full cloud approach with regular quarterly upgrades that include new configuration and new software. Also used for subsidiaries alongside SAP on-premise implementations.

Unlike all the other deployment options, the user interface is purely Fiori launchpad and configuration is done using SSCUIs and not the IMG.

 

2. SAP S/4HANA Cloud Single-tenant Edition

Has advantages of the cloud with more flexibility and control. Has standardized infrastructure processes, services and SLAs. There is a minimum number of users.

  • Infrastructure: dedicated landscape on cloud infrastructure
  • License: subscription for Software as a Service
  • Upgrades: two per year with flexibility (software)
  • Scope: same S/4HANA functional, country and industry scope as on-premise. Some third-party add-on limitations.
  • Extensibility: full extensibility but no modifications: includes Extensibility framework and extensions through SAP Cloud Platform
  • Configuration: use the IMG based on fit-to-standard workshops in the Explore phase
  • Implementation: greenfield but you can do partial imports of configuration from ERP
  • SAP Activate roadmap: SAP Activate Methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition
  • SAP Best Practices: all SAP Best Practices and Model Companies are available for sandbox systems. https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana/areas/on-premise/packageversions/BP_OP_ENTPR 
  • Customers use SAP Solution Manager to manage their project design.

Also see this blog on the 5 golden rules for single tenant edition. https://blogs.sap.com/2018/07/28/the-5-golden-rules-for-implementing-sap-s4hana-cloud-single-tenant-edition/

 

3. SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud managed by SAP (HEC)

An on-premise solution with individual and private hardware and infrastructure hosted by SAP. Hardware and infrastructure delegated to SAP with flexible service offerings.

  • Infrastructure: customer specific landscape on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)
  • License: Bring Your Own License and infrastructure subscription
  • Upgrades: annual and you choose your own speed of adoption (software)
  • Scope: full S/4HANA functional, country and industry scope
  • Extensibility: customization, modification, and extensibility possible as with ERP
  • Configuration: use the IMG based on a fit-gap approach in the Explore phase
  • Implementation: new implementation, system conversions or selective data transition
  • SAP Activate roadmap: Transition to SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Best Practices: all SAP Best Practices and Model Companies are available for sandbox systems. https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana/areas/on-premise/packageversions/BP_OP_ENTPR 
  • Customers use SAP Solution Manager to manage their project design. Most customers use SAP Best Practices activated using SAP Solution Builder or set up by SAP through a Model Company service.

The SAP Activate roadmap has 3 approaches: new implementation, system conversion or selective data transition. The term “selective data transition” is used instead of “landscape transformation” in the latest version of the roadmap. In this approach, there are tools to selectively transfer configuration and custom code from your old ERP system to a new SAP S/4HANA instance. System conversion involves converting your existing ERP system into SAP S/4HANA by migrating the database, applying software updates and doing a data conversion from the old data model to the new S/4HANA data model.

 

4. SAP S/4HANA On-Premise or managed by cloud providers Hyperscaler

On-premise SAP S/4HANA managed by the customer in their own data centre or managed by a third party.

  • Infrastructure: customer data centre or hosted
  • License: perpetual or Bring Your own License
  • Upgrades: annual and you choose your own speed of adoption (software)
  • Scope: full S/4HANA functional, country and industry scope
  • Extensibility: customization, modification, and extensibility possible as with ERP
  • Conifguration: use the IMG based on a fit-gap approach in the Explore phase
  • Implementation: new implementation, system conversions or selective data transition
  • SAP Activate roadmap: Transition to SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Best Practices: all SAP Best Practices and Model Companies are available for sandbox systems. https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana/areas/on-premise/packageversions/BP_OP_ENTPR 
  • Customers may use SAP Solution Manager to manage their project design. Many customers use SAP Best Practices activated using SAP Solution Builder or set up by SAP through a Model Company service.

What will influence your choice of deployment option? Organizations that are completely new to SAP will do a new “greenfield” implementation and can choose any option 1 to 4. What about if you are currently running the on-premise ERP Business Suite and want to move to S/4HANA?

  • The route selected by most customers is a “system conversion” where your existing system is converted to S/4HANA. This means option 3 or 4.
  • If you want to start again on a new page and do a “new implementation”, you can choose any deployment option. Note: option 1 may not cover all the processes and scope in your current solution.
  • The “selective data transition” approach allows you to take some of your existing solution into a new S/4HANA instance. Option 2,3 or 4 can be used.

When using the Transition to SAP S/4HANA SAP Activate roadmap, be sure to select the approach on the content screen.  See below.

 

 

I hope you found this blog informative.

Amin Hoque
Enterprise Architect at SAP Digital Business Services UK

3 Comments
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  • Amin, I like the article but one thing concerns me presently in the area of Data Privacy.

    1809 Cloud Edition has 1J7 Best Practice describing the implementation of ILM-full or partial to support data privacy such as GDPR.

    However, 1809 Single Tenant Edition does not. Is this a documentation error or do we have an issue with full support for Data Privacy on Single Tenant?

     

    J1809

  • Hello David

    This is really out of my area of expertise, so I cannot provide a 100% answer.

    However, single tenant edition is like any other on-premise solution and can be managed to meet data privacy legislation in the same way as other SAP deployments.

    Cloud S/4HANA is the special case where a customer has less control and flexibility that in the other deployments. That is why Best Practice scope item 1J7 is provided to show how data privacy is met.

    Kind regards

    Amin Hoque