In a year of major SAP SAPPHIRE NOW partnership announcements, the announcement that Microsoft Azure on HANA will now support production workloads may seem like a footnote, but it has the potential to disrupt the market.
Microsoft and AWS have been competing fiercely to outdo each other in both price and performance. Yet, low cost hosting is the easy part. In terms of stability, performance, flexibility and TCO, most organizations are still better off opting for a Managed Cloud. Here’s some “buyer beware” advice on running production SAP HANA on Azure.
Beware of Over-Allocation – Failure to Right Size for SAP HANA Could Cost You
Although Microsoft gives customers the ability to self-provision, it’s very difficult to allocate the correct resource pool for your HANA environment. Memory, storage and compute are only available in big blocks, which prevent most enterprise customers from right-sizing their environments. This often leads to sluggish systems that don’t hit KPIs, decreasing productivity and ultimately, stability.
Because HANA and other SAP workloads are performance-sensitive you need to be able to collect data from the resources that they rely on to run smoothly: compute, networking and storage. Because of the use of commoditized hardware and limited monitoring tools, it is very hard to get sufficient insight into underlying infrastructure issues that may be affecting performance. As a result, customers are often left wondering if a slowdown is in the application or because of the cloud service.
Lack of Flexibility with SAP HANA on Azure Could Limit Your Ability to Deliver
The configuration of your SAP HANA cloud can have as much to do with history as planning. The databases and operating systems you’ve used, the mergers and acquisitions you’ve been through and the 3rd party software you’ve grown to rely on can shape your technology stack for decades. You need an SAP HANA cloud solution which can accommodate your current stack, as well as your future upgrade strategy.
For many existing SAP Business Suite and S/4HANA users (as well as SAP ECC users contemplating an upgrade) SAP HANA on Azure just doesn’t have the required flexibility outside the Microsoft stack. For example, Azure only supports BusinessObjects BI on Windows, S/4HANA is only certified for SUSE Linux, and Azure only added basic support for Red Hat in 2016 — and many Linux 3rd party tools aren’t supported. This makes it difficult, expensive and time consuming to get your whole technology stack to work together on Microsoft Azure.
The Managed Cloud Beats SAP HANA on Azure
Cloud computing platforms like Azure and AWS may save you money in non-mission critical applications, but for core functions like SAP hosting, the benefits of low cost hosting disappear quickly if you can’t get the performance and optics you need to run a successful deployment of SAP.
SAP HANA on Azure requires you to consider a plethora of risks: potential downtime; complex configuration and setup; the cost of SAP Basis support, and security and compliance tasks. On the other hand, Symmetry’s managed SAP HANA cloud and expert services capabilities can take care of configuration, hosting, security and administration for far less than you’d pay to DIY in Azure, while ensuring ultra-high stability and peace of mind.
Contact us to learn more about Symmetry’s SAP HANA cloud.