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Managed hyperscaler backing services on SAP Cloud Platform: Best of both worlds!

Update: Managed hyperscaler backing services now available in SAP Cloud Platform trial accounts!!

Context

In July 2019, we witnessed an evolution of the SAP Cloud Platform strategy with a strong focus on building differentiating business service capabilities and clear intentions to partner with hyperscale cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft, for commodity technical services like open-source databases and data stores; where these hyperscalers are already market leaders.

Following this development, we had announced the retirement of open-source backing services PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, and RabbitMQ from the platform, and provided a BYOA (Bring Your Own Account) approach for integrating and consuming your own hyperscaler PostgreSQL databases from SAP Cloud Platform applications.

We received considerable customer/partner feedback about challenges with the BYOA approach like,

  • the need to interface with multiple service providers for contractual, support, and maintenance discussions,
  • concerns about application security and networking, like public endpoint exposure of databases,
  • costs of owning and managing hyperscaler accounts and databases.

So, in February 2020, we announced an update to the backing service strategy, with plans to deliver a ‘fully managed’ backing service offering.

In the subsequent months, discussions ensued and the following decisions have been taken with respect to replacements for the retired backing services:

  • PostgreSQL and Redis services will be replaced by new managed services based on hyperscaler offerings. (detailed in this blog)
  • The recommended replacement for RabbitMQ will be the SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Messaging service.
  • There will not be any replacement for MongoDB from the SAP Cloud Platform. Alternatives like SAP HANA (Document Store), PostgreSQL (JSONB), or Object Store on SAP Cloud Platform could be considered, based on the use case. Supporting assets and samples are currently being discussed. More information on assets would be provided by the end of this year.

In this blog, however, we only focus on the new managed hyperscaler service offerings for PostgreSQL and Redis.

 

Introducing the ‘hyperscaler option’…

Keeping our promise, we are excited to announce the general availability of 2 new CPEA services on SAP Cloud Platform (running on AWS & Azure infrastructures):

  • PostgreSQL on SAP Cloud Platform, hyperscaler option
  • Redis on SAP Cloud Platform, hyperscaler option

The new services will be available in the Cloud Foundry environment and provide well-known, open-source technologies

  • PostgreSQL: object-relational database management system,
  • Redis: in-memory key-value cache,

and are based on native offerings from hyperscalers.

Meaning, the new services deliver an abstraction to SAP Cloud Platform consumers and ‘under-the-hood’ utilize the corresponding hyperscaler services, based on the infrastructure where the SAP Cloud Platform account is deployed.

Currently the new managed hyperscaler services will be available for SAP Cloud Platform CPEA customers running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure data centers.

The new services will also be onboarded to the low touch digital channel SAP Store, within the next month for non-CPEA customers to purchase directly.

Support for other providers like AliCloud and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is in planning*.

* 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.

 

 

Benefits of the fully managed ‘hyperscaler option’ services

  1. Services will be offered via SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA) contracts and hence there will be no need for customers/partners to interface with the hyperscalers directly.
  2. Service instances will be provisioned in SAP-owned hyperscaler accounts and hence customers/partners do not need to own or manage hyperscaler accounts.
  3. SAP Cloud Platform will manage ‘Day2’ operations (availability, data backups, etc.) of the PostgreSQL and Redis instances for customers/partners and also integrate the services into the existing platform experience.
  4. Services will be covered under the SAP Cloud Platform Support model and hence SAP will be the single point of contact for support and will liaise with the hyperscalers.
  5. Explicit setup in place for private communication between applications on the platform and hyperscaler backing services.
  6. Services will offer increased commercial flexibility by moving away from T-shirt size SKUs/materials, towards technical component SKUs like Compute & Storage and usage-based charging.

 

PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option

Overview:

‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’ is based on native PostgreSQL services:

  • ‘Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL’ on AWS
  • ‘Azure Database for PostgreSQL’ on Microsoft Azure.

Features:

  • Support for multiple PostgreSQL versions 9.6, 10 & 11 (and more, when supported by hyperscaler).
  • Configurable as:
    • High Availability(HA) instance/Multi-AZ (on AWS) for production.
    • Single-AZ/non-HA instance for development
  • Automated backups with a 14-day retention period and point in time restore.
  • Data encryption at rest.
  • Support for PostgreSQL extensions.
  • Support for configuring maintenance windows for your database instance (on AWS).
  • Flexible service plans which support the ‘land and grow’ approach for database sizing.
  • In-built audit log integration.

Resources:

  1. Overview and Service Plans: Discovery Center
  2. Service details in SAP Help Portal: Documentation
  3. Check out the new commercial model: Estimator
  4. Have questions: FAQ

Migration support:

With the GA of the new ‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’ service, we also provide a self-service migration tool, which will support data migration between the ‘old’ PostgreSQL service and the new PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option service.

The tool will support asynchronous replication and online data migration capabilities between the source and target PostgreSQL instances, with the need for only a re-bind to the new database instance, post-migration.

Kindly note that this tool will NOT support migration from PostgreSQL used via the BYOA approach.

Migration documentation

 

Redis, hyperscaler option

Overview:

Redis, hyperscaler option is based on native Redis services:

  • ‘Amazon ElastiCache for Redis’ on AWS
  • ‘Azure Cache for Redis’ on Microsoft Azure.

It is important to note that the new Redis service will only support caching use cases. Redis persistence will not be supported. This in turn means that persistence related features like backup & restore, data encryption at rest are also not available.

Features:

  • Out-of-box High Availability support (Multi-AZ only on AWS).
  • Support for sharded cluster setup.
  • Support for configuring maintenance windows for your cache instance.
  • Flexible service plans which support the ‘land and grow’ approach for cache sizing.
  • In-built audit log integration.

Resources:

  1. Overview and Service Plans: Discovery Center
  2. Service details in SAP Help Portal: Documentation
  3. Check out the new commercial model: Estimator

 

Managed hyperscaler services on SAP Cloud Platform trial

The new services ‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’, and ‘Redis, hyperscaler option’ are also available for SAP Cloud Platform trial accounts.

‘Trial’ plans for the above services should now be available in new trial accounts created after Oct 19, 2020. In older/existing trial accounts, you might need to manually configure entitlements to your trial subaccount from the ‘Entity Assignments’ navigation menu.

These trial offerings are designed to provide a means to get introduced to the new service and build sample apps for learning and understanding purposes.

 

Deprecation of support for BYOA PostgreSQL

With the release of the new ‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’ service, there will be no need for customers to embark on or continue with the BYOA approach for hyperscaler PostgreSQL consumption. Hence we now formally announce the deprecation of support for the BYOA PostgreSQL integration.

Guidance for customers currently using BYOA PostgreSQL:

  • [Recommended] Plan to adapt to the new PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option service, and reap its benefits. Migration would be possible using the Export/Import (pg_dump/pg_restore) approach and needs to handled by the customer/partner.
  • Migrate your BYOA PostgreSQL instance into a User-Provided Service (UPS) instance and continue to manage them on your own.
    • UPS migration guide for AWS
    • UPS migration guide for Azure

We will start reaching out to customers/partners currently using the BYOA approach for PostgreSQL, to understand your requirements, and provide suitable recommendations for a way forward. Please keep an eye out for emails from our support – SAP CP Core Support (sapcpcoresupport@sap.com)

 

Summary

As you see the introduction of managed hyperscaler backing services – ‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’, and ‘Redis, hyperscaler option’, comes with a host of benefits and presents a unique opportunity for SAP Cloud Platform customers/partners, to leverage hyperscaler technology innovations in tandem with business-oriented innovations from the platform, ensuring a truly ‘Best of both worlds’ experience.

With the release of these services and useful features like migration support for PostgreSQL, customers/partners running on the retired PostgreSQL and Redis services can plan for a move towards the exciting new world of managed hyperscaler services – ‘PostgreSQL, hyperscaler option’, and ‘Redis, hyperscaler option’.

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

11 Comments
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  • Dear Manjunath,

    thank you for this update. Can you confirm that I need to add two items to my Estimation for PostgreSQL: One for Storage and another one for Memory? So in total it would be 122 Euro / Month on Azure according to this estimate. I hope that could also described better in the documentation. In the “Read More” document from the Discovery Center mentions “The free trial of SAP Cloud Platform is available for testing and exploring this service”. Is that correct?

    Best regards
    Gregor

    • Hi Gregor,

      Yes. Although I am not able to open the estimate link above. You are correct.

      An instance needs to include both Compute and Storage entities for PostgreSQL.

      Will try to get this fact highlighted in the documentation. Thanks!

      As for the trial, as mentioned in the blog, we will have a trial offering for these services in the next 2 weeks.

      Best regards,

      Manju

      • Hi Manju,

        thank you for this good news. I was able to assign the Service to my subaccount and can start the step to create an Instance. I’m wondering a bit about the warning “This is a paid service plan.”:

         

         

        Can you clarify how that works out in the trial where SAP has not yet asked about my credit card?

        Best regards
        Gregor

        /
        • Hi Gregor,

          I already noticed this and am working with the team internally to fix it. There will not be any charges levied to you for using this plan. 🙂

          Best Regards,

          Manju

    • Hi Dinesh,

      The services are already available for CPEA and also on trial. Please feel free to try them out.

      Do let me know in case of further questions.

      Best Regards,

      Manju

      • I apologize Manjunath, I was referring to Gregor Wolf’s question, as I am unable to advance further than the same dialog box he is getting. My goal is to connect the Cloud Platform to the backend via Cloud Connector and to add a service instance of Portal but the service plan is called “standard”. It’s unable to be enabled, however.

        • Hi Dinesh,

          Gregor’s question is about the ‘paid’ service notice for the trial plan and this will be fixed.

          Not sure about the scenario you speak of though.

          Would it be possible to drop me an email on my sap mail id with the details and a screenshot?

          We can look at it internally.

          Regards,

          Manju