Customers deploying and managing SAP solutions in the cloud can move faster and more confidently with Microsoft Azure Center for SAP solutions, now available in public preview. Along with my partner, Matt Ordish I am very excited to launch this end-to-end solution enabling customers and partners to create and run SAP systems as a unified workload on Azure and provides a more seamless foundation for innovation on the Microsoft Cloud.
Guidance and automation built upon SAP on Azure best practices
Over the years, we’ve worked to address the challenges customers encounter when setting up infrastructure for SAP landscapes, installing software and configuring and maintaining their SAP systems. It typically requires multiple levels of expertise that today is spread across SAP Basis admins, network administrators, as well as other infrastructure teams. Microsoft – and other clouds – have offered frameworks and assessments to support the process but we knew customers needed something more robust that goes beyond simple automation. With Azure Center for SAP solutions, Microsoft continues to ensure Azure is the best hyperscaler for SAP workloads.
We designed Azure Center for SAP solutions to incorporate our best practices, tools, and services as a complete experience for deploying, managing, and optimizing your SAP environment. Azure Center for SAP solutions brings SAP awareness to Azure, serving as a foundation for innovation. Customers and partners can extend the capabilities of their SAP systems by building unique IP and solutions that best suit their needs.
Azure Center for SAP solutions brings together a set of Azure services to power a single unified experience to deploy and manage SAP workloads end to end by bringing new services, tools and frameworks together at one place. Customers can use this to run their SAP workloads directly or they can rely on a Microsoft Azure partner.
"With Azure Center for SAP Solutions, we will be able to streamline, automate, and accelerate the deployment of enterprise SAP workloads in Azure, with orchestration consistency across landscapes,"says Patrick Osterhaus, President, Protera.
The foundation of Azure Center for SAP solutions is Microsoft Azure Virtual Instance for SAP solutions. The Virtual Instance for SAP solutions allows customers to create and manage their SAP systems in a way that makes sense to them, at the SID level or the individual components as they do today.
When customers choose to run their SAP workloads directly on Azure, they can choose how they want to create their SAP system.
The new Azure Virtual Instance for SAP solutions deployment option provides a guided portal-based experience in addition to other tools such as Azure CLI.
Bring their own or partner’s SAP deployment solution.
No matter which option our customers choose, by creating new systems or registering existing systems on Azure, customers can attain new management capabilities and integration into existing Azure services, such as Azure Resource Graph, in ways not previously possible. This now enables the ability to answer questions such as, “show me all my production SAP systems that aren’t currently running”, at scale.
“With Microsoft Azure Center for SAP solutions, we see SAP systems treated as top-level workload in Azure. Azure Graph with ACSS helps us connect SAP systems to component instances and underlying infrastructure, which will be valuable for more advanced use cases. More and more customers rely on Azure Graph as the source of truth for their infrastructure, and I have no doubt that this will unlock many interesting use cases for customers and partners to better manage SAP workloads in Azure.” –Sascha Wenninger, Director, SAP Centre of Excellence, SoftwareONE
In addition to the seamless deployment and management capabilities, the Azure Center for SAP solutions is a one-stop shop for any products, services, tools, and frameworks needed to run and optimize your SAP systems. Examples of commonly used services and functionalities connected to the SAP systems are the Azure Monitor for SAP solutions, Azure Backup, Azure Cost Management, and Microsoft Sentinel for Threat Protection. We’re combining services and experiences that were previously disconnected to increase operational efficiency and system security. We will continue to broaden the set of services and further drive the integration of Microsoft and SAP services into the Azure Center for SAP solutions. Our goal is to ensure the solution is extensible by customers and partners through APIs to enable the partner ecosystem to bring innovative solutions onto Azure.
Features and Benefits
In support of our long-term vision, today Microsoft is announcing the following capabilities as part of the public preview for Azure Center for SAP solutions.
Guided SAP Deployment
Deploying SAP S/4HANA systems on Azure is easier than ever with the Virtual Instance for SAP solutions. With minimum input, customers and partners can choose the right type of deployment based on the latest best practices and reference architectures. Not sure exactly how large of a system is required? Use the optional sizing recommendations to deploy the SAP system based on the SAPS and Database memory requirements. Moreover, you can be sure that the compute and storage sizing will be optimized for cost, availability, and performance.
Registering an Existing SAP System
If you’re already running SAP systems on Azure or in the process of a migration, you can seamlessly integrate the existing systems with the Azure Center for SAP solutions through a simple registration experience. The registration capability is enabled today for SAP S/4 HANA and NetWeaver ABAP systems.
Intelligent, Seamless SAP Management
The Azure Center for SAP solutions is an intelligent control tower that helps you seamlessly manage your SAP estate in one place. Whether you’re creating a new SAP system or registering an existing system, the following benefits are available right away with this public preview:
Quality Check integrated with Azure Advisor to know when infrastructure configurations deviate from documented best practices and standards, saving time when troubleshooting and increasing system quality by acting before the deviations become a problem. An example of a configuration drift would be to detect Accelerated Networking is disabled on the SAP virtual machine, compromising performance or to detect that OS layer settings that are suboptimal per best practices
Ability to view the SAP system status and health across multiple SAP systems in a single pane of glass. This increases the visibility and the ability to quickly identify problems impacting the SAP systems and its components.
Ability to stop and start the SAP system directly from within Azure.
Integration with Microsoft Azure Monitor for SAP solutions for technical monitoring and to correlate telemetry of the SAP system with the telemtry of the OS, DBMS and underlying Azure infrastructure.
Ability to search across your SAP systems thanks to the integration with Azure Resource Graph based on the SID. This makes it easier to discover which Azure resources are part of the SAP landscape. Azure Resource Graph is an Azure service that provides efficient and performant resource exploration with the ability to query at scale across subscriptions driving deeper insights into Azure resources.
Foundation for Innovation
Azure Center for SAP solutions gives customers and partners a foundation to build on top of the center using APIs to create custom solutions, adopt new capabilities on your terms while retaining control of the underlying SAP system, and incorporating new modules into their existing solutions to run SAP on Azure and free up resources used to build and maintain these solutions
Pricing and Availability
Azure Virtual Instance for SAP solutions is available in West Europe, North Europe, East US, East US 2, West US 2, West US 3, Central US, South Central US, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia East and Australia Central.
There is no licensing fee for the product. Customers only pay for the underlying infrastructure which is deployed as part of the product or services they enable.
To learn more about the preview of Azure Center for SAP solutions or Azure Virtual Instance for SAP solutions, please check out the following resources or head over to the Azure Portal to get started.