The SAP on Azure group is excited announce the preview for SAP on Azure Deployment Automation Framework. This introduces an extensible framework that will modularly address the complexities of running SAP on Azure.
Some of the largest enterprises in the world currently run their SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure. Since these SAP applications are mission critical, even a brief delay or disruption of service can have a significant business impact on an organization.
Today the journey to deploying an SAP system is a manual process. This can quickly become costly due to divergence in resources and configuration, or discrepancies introduced through human error. To reduce this impact, improve consistency, and reduce lead times, we are approaching the SAP deployment as an opportunity to define the SAP Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and capture the configuration activities as Configuration as Code (CaC).
To help our customers effectively deploy their infrastructure for SAP on Azure repeatably and consistently, we are providing the IaC (Infrastructure as Code) and CaC (Configuration as Code) code repository that will utilize the industry leading offerings such as, Terraform and Ansible respectively.
Key Capabilities of SAP on Azure Deployment Automation Framework
Deploy multiple SAP SIDs consistently
Securely managed keys with Key Vault
Deploy and configure for High Availability (HA)
IaaS – Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Logically partitionable by environment, region, and virtual network
Availability Zone support where appropriate
SAP HANA and AnyDB configuration support
Distributed application tier deployment
Configuration – Configuration as Code (CaC)
SAP HANA database install
Pacemaker configuration for SAP HANA with HSR
Benefits of SAP on Azure Deployment Automation Framework
Reviewable code: delivering the tools as IaC and CaC via open source, allows organizations and teams to preview the definition of what Azure resources will be created and how the VM OS will be configured. In the world of DevOps, this allows the code to be approved prior to execution.
Deployment Consistency: IaC and CaC allow, not only the IaaS to be deployed consistently and repeatably, but also define the post deployment system administration activities to follow a procedural set of steps that will be consistent and repeatable. Both tools function idempotently, which becomes part of drift detection and correction.
Configurable: The IaC and CaC modules provide standard functionality. However, the functionality can easily be configured through inputted parameters. Changes delivered over time will enhance and extend functionality. Some examples of supported configurations include: Number of application servers, high-availability in the database and/or application tier, enabling/disabling of either database or application tier, overriding default naming standard, and the ability to bring some of your own resources in certain instances.
Drift detection and correction; With tools that apply the IaC and CaC idempotently, we can detect when the deployed resources have drifted from their state as defined by the tools. When detected, a choice may be made to apply the desired state to resolve any drift.
We have chosen to take an open source approach to establish a framework of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Configuration as Code (CaC). This framework provides the structure that allows an E2E workflow to be executed on by industry leading automation tools and is easily extendable.
Terraform – is the swiss army knife of IaC tools. It is not only idempotent, Terraform is completely cloud-agnostic and helps you tackle large infrastructure for complex distributed applications. Terraform automation is orchestrated in varying degrees with the focus on the core plan/apply cycle.
Ansible – Provides a “radically simple” IT automation engine. It is designed for multi-tier deployments and uses no agents. Ansible is a strong fit for configuration management, application deployment, and intra-service orchestration by describing how all the systems inter-relate. Ansible is one of the more flexible CaC tools on the market right now.
At this stage of the release, the IaC and CaC are offered as BYOO (Bring Your Own Orchestration). This means that you will provide the governance around the execution of the automation. We provide a framework workflow that can function out of the box, with a defined set of manual executions. It can also fit in to a more mature, customer provided, Orchestration environment.
The SAP on Azure Automation Framework over time will automate many more tasks than just deployment. We plan to continuously improve this framework to meet all your deployment automation needs and expand support for more infrastructure and post-deployment configurations. Stay tuned for updates.
Pricing and Availability
The tools being developed are meant to accelerate the customers adoption of Azure for SAP deployments. As such, these tools are offered free of charge.