Confusion about your future SAP HANA Landscape ends here: HPE at SAP TechEd

By Manoj Suvarna

• Where can I get the best platform to support our 2-year transition?
• Does any vendor offer the ability to scale and support our unpredictable growth?
• Do all hardware platforms deliver the same price/performance
• How can I securely backup my HANA environment?
• Do I even need a DR strategy?
• Can I consume HANA in the cloud?

If you have been asking yourselves these questions about your SAP HANA journey, you are not alone. These are some of the questions that are top of mind as I meet with customers across the country. And I will be at Booth #300 at SAP TechEd with a number of other HPE SAP experts to help you find the answers. In the meantime, here are a few considerations to keep in mind, regardless of where you are on your journey.F3_700x100_TE17LV_HPE_cityscape.jpg

 What to look for. How to decide.
It has been almost seven years since SAP HANA was first launched. However, we are only halfway into the journey to transform the future of data management. SAP has set a deadline for all its ERP customers to be running on SAP HANA exclusively by 2025. So making the move is not a matter of “IF” but “WHEN”.

The good news is that, unlike previous SAP landscape transformations, the move towards HANA or even S/4 HANA doesn’t have to be that complex. With several thousands of installations now functioning globally, there are some best practices that you could consider as a checklist to prepare your organization for this journey.

1. Clear line of sight on the Business Use Case 
Traditional IT purchases are typically driven by infrastructure upgrade cycles, procurement budgets, enterprise application enhancements, datacenter expansion or consolidation etc. SAP HANA is a different type of purchase in the sense that customers typically venture into it based on business ,financial or a strategic need. In a majority of the cases, the Line of Business (LoB) or the C-Suite ends up as the primary catalyst for the move towards real-time data transformation. The best practice to follow would be to ensure that you have a sponsor within the Line of Business or the C-Suite to champion the transformation effort. This sets the stage for enabling both business and IT teams to collaborate and plan ahead on the transformation, as well as identify pragmatic milestones along the way to measure success.

2. Considering all Cloud options before checking the CLOUD Ready Box
Most C-Suite’s today are mandating their organizations to adopt a “Cloud First” strategy, leading many companies to considering running SAP HANA in the cloud. Question is which Cloud and what is your RIGHT MIX? Is private (on premise) better for you or would you benefit more from a public cloud? I strongly recommend checking out an alternative path that the benefits of both Cloud Economics AND an on-premise deployment: Hybrid Cloud or HANA-as-a-Service option. In fact, based on some of the TCO comparisons, we have noticed a 3 - 6x multiple on pure Public Cloud based solutions vis-à-vis an equivalent solution in an on-premise private cloud. Mileage varies by every use case, so please do the analysis before you check that box and get your RIGHT MIX!

3. Focusing on the HANA platform alone vs. SAP ecosystem
Customers often forget that while SAP HANA is an in-memory data platform, there is need for a separate storage subsystem to support data/log files. According to the Taneja Group – “RAM loses its mind when the power goes off”. This is one of the reasons why a majority of the customers are deploying integrated platforms that include compute and storage. In the case of TDI (Tailored DataCenter Infrastructure), customers opt for industry-leading storage and backup infrastructure that offers the resiliency not only for SAP HANA but its ecosystem of SAP and non-SAP applications. Do not make decisions on SAP HANA infrastructure in isolation but instead look at the entire ecosystem of your SAP landscape and build an end-to-end strategy for backup and recovery.

4. Disaster Recovery – is it really necessary?
Speaking of data recovery, we often get customers asking about the need for a separate Disaster Recovery (DR) or High Availability (HA) environment for SAP HANA. It is important to note that while it may not be intuitive, SAP HANA data platform when deployed in Production is the nerve of your core business. This is type of environment where 5-nines of high availability is not only a must but an absolute necessity. That’s why customers may need another layer added to their standard DR configuration. This would include a third copy of the data off-site and a hardware-assisted DR replication. In general, automated failover technologies today are capable of delivering the DR business requirements that enterprises are looking for. However, it’s up to the vendor you chose and the portfolio of proven solutions they offer that can make the difference.

5. We have the SAP expertise internally - Can we not do it alone?
There is a perception that money can be saved (at least on the bare metal infrastructure) by procuring the compute, storage and networking components yourself vs. buying it all from a single vendor. You could then:
• Work with up to 9 vendors globally that have been certified to run the in-memory database.
• Consider a TDI approach to deployment that might provide you with additional flexibility.

Either approach is fine as long as you understand what’s involved in the process – it’s not just the initial deployment but the entire lifecycle of your mission critical environment. Leverage the ecosystem to meet your business requirements and don’t do it all alone. Lean on your infra or consulting vendor and leverage the expertise they can bring in with best practices that can help you accelerate your SAP HANA journey and deliver results faster back to your organization.

Find us, talk with us at SAP TechEd
For an in-depth discussion of these and other best practices for your SAP HANA journey, stop by HPE Booth# 300 at SAP TechEd. It is staffed by HPE SAP experts whose primary goal is to answer your questions, eliminate the confusion, and make that journey smooth and successful. You’ll find a list of all HPE activities at the event on the HPE SAP TechEd site.

About Manoj Suvarna

medium_am_msuvarna_5326.jpgManoj has 20+ years of hi-tech industry experience and has successfully launched over 15 products and solutions ranging from $50-300M+. His specializations emerging markets and fast-growing technologies such as Big Data & Cloud (IaaS/PaaS). Manoj is also known for people and P&L management skills in a global matrix structure, plus his with a track record of championing and managing change.

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HPE Alliance Partners