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InfoQ Homepage News SAP and Microsoft Extend Partnership, Introducing New HANA VMs, Identity and Blockchain Integration

SAP and Microsoft Extend Partnership, Introducing New HANA VMs, Identity and Blockchain Integration

In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced its expanded partnership with SAP, following up on the announcements made at the SAP SAPPHIRE NOW event.

This partnership includes new investments in larger Mv2 Series SAP Virtual Machines that include up to 12 TB of memory for SAP HANA. It also includes improved SAP HANA infrastructure monitoring using Azure Monitor and co-innovation in the area of data governance with a product called SAP Data Custodian.

To address emerging blockchain needs, both companies are working on integration between Azure Blockchain Services and SAP’s blockchain integrated application portfolio.

Azure Cognitive Services Containers will now serve as underlying platform components in SAP’s Data Intelligence solution and investments are also being made to integrate Azure Active Directory with SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication Service (SAP IAS). 

In addition, SAP has identified Microsoft Azure as the preferred public cloud provider for SAP workloads. This go-to-market partnership will help organizations transition from on-premises data centers to the public cloud. Jennifer Morgan, co-chief executive officer at SAP, explains why this partnership is so important:

This partnership is all about reducing complexity and minimizing costs for customers as they move to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. Bringing together the power of SAP and Microsoft provides customers with the assurance of working with two industry leaders so they can confidently and efficiently transition into intelligent enterprises.

SAP workloads typically demand significant system resources to run the SAP HANA platform. As a result, infrastructure deployments on-premises tend to be expensive. As more organizations are looking to transition workloads to the cloud, challenges arise when it comes to sizing and pricing SAP workloads. With the introduction of new Mv2 Series SAP Virtual Machines, customers will soon be able to leverage up to 12 TB of memory that support 416 virtual CPUs.

Unlike traditional physical infrastructure that supports on-premises deployments of SAP HANA, customers can leverage Azure VM re-sizing capabilities to adjust performance as required. When Azure Availability Zones are configured, customers can expect a 99.99% SLA. For a list of SAP Certified configurations, running in Microsoft Azure, please see SAP’s certification website.

As more SAP workloads are migrated to Microsoft Azure, the ability to holistically manage the performance of SAP instances with other computing services is important. Microsoft and SAP have come up with an Azure Marketplace offering that addresses monitoring needs. Girish Bablani, corporate vice president at Microsoft, explains:

Running mission critical SAP applications require continuous monitoring to ensure system performance and availability. We are launching a private preview of Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions, an Azure Marketplace offering that monitors SAP HANA infrastructure through the Azure Portal. Customers can combine monitoring data from the Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions with existing Azure Monitor data and create a unified dashboard for all their Azure infrastructure telemetry.

At SAP SAPPHIRE NOW, Microsoft announced another co-innovation with SAP that includes the general availability of SAP Data Custodian which provides customers with a governance, risk and compliance offering that leverages Microsoft’s deep investments in Customer Lockbox.

Blockchain is another area that both SAP and Microsoft are heavily investing in. The integration of Azure Blockchain Services with SAP’s blockchain-integrated application portfolio will accelerate customer journeys in this emerging space, Bablani explains:

I am excited to deepen our partnership in blockchain. SAP has long been an industry leader in solutions for supply chain, logistics, and life sciences. These industries are digitally transforming with the help of blockchain, which adds trust and transparency to these applications, and enables large consortiums to transact in a trusted manner. This will enable our joint customers to bring the trust and transparency of blockchain to important business processes like material traceability, fraud prevention, and collaboration in life sciences.

Identity federation is critical for SAP and Microsoft services to work together. To enable this interoperability, Microsoft and SAP have integrated Azure Active Directory with SAP IAS for seamless Single Sign On (SSO) experiences including Azure AD integration with SAP SuccessFactors which will also include simplified user provisioning.

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