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Consuming hyper-scaler backing services on SAP Cloud Platform: An Update

Context:

In November 2018, a little more than a year ago, SAP announced a ‘Customer First’ strategy with a vision of creating the best experience in the software industry for our customers; one which is unified, outcome-focused, trustworthy and empathetic.

We, @ SAP, continuously strive to enable our customers/partners to innovate and realize value by accelerating the adoption of SAP Cloud solutions so that they can optimize and transform their businesses.

In early 2019, SAP had announced the evolution of SAP Cloud Platform towards a Business Technology Platform and as a part of that, came our decision to partner and integrate with hyper-scale cloud providers extensively.

This change aimed to provide our customers/partners the freedom to choose any hyper-scaler and leverage those innovations within their existing SAP landscapes.

The evolution also outlined that the existing SAP-managed & operated commodity services/backing services – PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, and RabbitMQ, would be retired from the platform starting in July 2019.

Challenges with BYOA approach:

At the heart of this backing services – hyper-scaler strategy was the concept of BYOA (‘Bring Your Own Account’) which allowed customers/partners to consume offerings like PostgreSQL databases directly from their own (existing or new) hyper-scale provider accounts.

The introduction of BYOA was based on the assumption that most of our customers/partners would already possess a cloud infrastructure footprint with one or the other provider, beyond the scope of their current project with SAP Cloud Platform (essentially on the same provider).

While this assumption definitely turned out to be true, we also received strong and substantial feedback that the experience of working with SAP Cloud Platform turned out to be cumbersome.

This was attributed to the need for interfacing with multiple providers (SAP + the hyper-scaler), during the procurement of services and also for the maintenance & support of said services. It was also highlighted that the overhead of maintaining contracts with multiple providers for a single project was quite undesirable.

We heard you!

As you know, SAP has recently been focused on the importance of capturing your experience data or ‘X’ data and bringing it closer to operational ‘O’ data/processes, in order to provide you delightful customer experience.

In the true spirit of ‘walking the talk’ with X+O, SAP Cloud Platform decided to act on the feedback from customers/partners. As a result, we are pleased to announce that there is an update to the backing services – hyper-scaler strategy.

While we still firmly believe that the strategy of partnering with hyper-scale providers is the right-way ahead. We will now provide technology services from these cloud infrastructure providers as a ‘Fully-managed’ offering from SAP.

Meaning, SAP Cloud Platform will continue to offer services like PostgreSQL, delivered and operated by the hyperscale provider; however, SAP will manage these services for you. Customers will no longer be expected to procure hyper-scaler accounts on their own to consume these commodity services. These backing services will be available to you for purchase from SAP, and SAP will also be your interface for maintenance & support aspects of these services.

With this new managed offering, customers/partners consuming hyper-scaler provided services on SAP Cloud Platform will enjoy a consistent procurement, provisioning and consumption experience, just like any other service on the platform.

What does this mean for you?

The ‘Fully-managed’ offering is currently in development with an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of early Q3/2020* (*see disclaimer).

This change also has a couple of side effects:

  • Support for BYOA (Bring Your Own Account) to consume hyper-scaler PostgreSQL services will no longer be required and is planned to be removed from the platform in the mid to long term.

We have started reaching out to customers/partners currently using the BYOA approach for PostgreSQL, to understand requirements and provide suitable recommendations. With this, we wish to ensure that all BYOA PostgreSQL users will have a way forward. Keep an eye out for emails from our support – SAP CP Core Support (sapcpcoresupport@sap.com).

  • The retirement timeline for current ‘SAP- managed & operated’ backing services has been extended from Jan 15th to June 30th, 2020. Please reach out to your SAP Account Executive for more information.

Again to reiterate, existing customers who have purchased and use the ‘SAP- managed & operated’ backing services will continue to be supported until the end of the current contract term.

More details on the ‘Fully-managed’ offering will be made available when the services are ready for General Availability. Supporting materials, guides, migration recommendations from current SAP-managed offerings and tutorials will also be published to help you in this transition. Watch this space…

In case you have more queries on what this change means for you, please write to sapcpcoresupport@sap.com with ‘Managed Backing services’ in the Email Subject for prompt responses.

* Disclaimer:

All forward-looking roadmap statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates, and they should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.

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  • I believe this decision will strengthen the SAP Cloud Platform as a viable alternative for application development in the SAP ecosystem. To me “multi-cloud” means that I do not have to bother on which hyperscaler my application is deployed. The BYOA approach was the opposite of this.