Microsoft is a Platinum sponsor of SAP Sapphire 2022. As the event approaches, we are delighted to provide a comprehensive update on all the great enhancements we have been doing for our Products, Frameworks, and Tools to give you the best experience to run your SAP workloads on Azure. We are pleased to share that Microsoft’s deep partnership with SAP continues to get stronger with Microsoft becoming the first public cloud provider to adopt the RISE with SAP solution internally. This move allows Microsoft to accelerate our own S/4HANA modernization and enables Microsoft to develop greater expertise and best practices to better serve our customers.
Our customers have a choice of how to deploy and operate their SAP assets on Azure, these options include RISE with SAP or directly on our SAP certified IaaS platform with support from our extensive partner ecosystem or by managing the SAP migration and SAP operations with in-house IT personnel. The National Basketball Association (NBA) selected RISE with SAP on Azure due to Microsoft’s deep expertise running SAP applications, in addition to their strong partnership with SAP. The NBA will be at Sapphire 2022 sharing their story.
“With the best cloud platform in Azure and the best technology partners in Microsoft and SAP, we’re well positioned to do what we do best: enhance the game of basketball for our league, employees, teams, and fans. [With Azure] we can spin up machines and processes easily and prototype new solutions quickly …. The cloud model is also more cost-effective and provides easier upgrades, simpler architecture, and more robust disaster recovery options” - Sahil Gupta: Senior Vice President and Head of Application Development, NBA
At Microsoft, we are committed to continuously innovate to improve customer experience across both these options for SAP deployment. Microsoft continues to work with SAP to provide the best customer experience for RISE with SAP. We will also continue to innovate with native services and tools to help customers along each step of their cloud journey, from migration to management, and modernization. The announcements we are sharing today are built upon our SAP Migration Framework.
Converting from SAP ERP on Premise to SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure
Reducing business downtime for journey to cloud and SAP S/4HANA conversion
SAP and Microsoft are committed to making our customers transition to SAP S/4HANA and Microsoft Azure as easily as possible. Customers can accelerate their journey by using DMO to Microsoft Azure to migrate an existing on-premises SAP ERP system to Microsoft Azure and perform the system conversion to SAP S/4HANA during the migration in a single step. The database migration is performed over the network (avoiding data exports to a file system) and the SAP S/4HANA conversion can be manifested on a highly performant virtual machines resulting in a reduced business downtime. Refer to our joint-paper with SAP to learn about the DMO to Microsoft Azure.
Scalable Compute for all SAP workloads and sizes
Customers running SAP on Microsoft Azure benefit from scalable compute to satisfy the most demanding workloads. We offer SAP HANA certified virtual machines from 160 GB to 12 TB memory with 24 TB memory virtual machines in controlled availability. We are pleased to announce that we have certified our E(d)sv5 virtual machines for smaller SAP HANA workloads with memory footprints of 160 GB to 672 GB. Within the SAP Certified and Supported SAP HANA® Hardware Directory Microsoft Azure has 128 published certifications for SAP HANA.
The E(d)sv5 and recently certified D(d)sv5 series are also supported for SAP NetWeaver offering 1700 SAPS (SAP Application Performance Standard) per vCPU, this improved performance is benefitting heavy ABAP and Java workloads by accelerating program execution.
SAP on Azure Products and Services
In addition to SAP certified core infrastructure of compute and storage, our SAP on Azure offerings span a range of Products and Services, Frameworks and Tools. We are excited to share this new framework that summarizes all our current offerings. Stay tuned for more updates on some exciting new offerings in this space.
SAP Deployment Automation Framework
Enabling a rapid deployment of SAP S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver in 2 hours
The SAP Deployment Automation Framework helps our customers rapidly deploy SAP S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver at scale. To enable a deployment lifecycle framework for SAP on Azure, we have introduced Azure DevOps Pipelines for managing SAP deployments.
We have also introduced Azure Files NFS v4.1 and Azure NetApp Files support for the SAP Application layer including high-availability scenarios. SAP on Oracle deployments are also now supported including high availability.
Productive SAP Cloud Appliance Library Deployment
Consume SAP solutions such as SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure with a few clicks
In the past, customers have leveraged the SAP Cloud Appliance Library to deploy sandbox and test environments with low friction on Microsoft . Customers can select from a range of available templates to install for example a highly available SAP S/4HANA system that complies with SAP and Microsoft best practices. This capability, that is currently available on Microsoft Azure only, enables customers to get started quickly by delivering the foundation for their SAP on Azure transformation.
Head over to Solutions - SAP Cloud Appliance Library and search for the available “Production Solution” types.
Image source SAP, SAP Cloud Appliance Library
Microsoft Azure Monitor for SAP solutions
Simplified telemetry collection and visualization for end-to-end SAP technical monitoring
Microsoft Azure Monitor for SAP solutions is a native technical monitoring product for customers running SAP applications. With Azure Monitor for SAP solutions, you can collect end-to-end telemetry data from SAP NetWeaver, Databases, High-Availability Linux Pacemaker clusters and the Linux Operating Systems in a central location to visually correlate data for speedy troubleshooting.
An enhanced version of Azure Monitor for SAP solutions is moving to preview with the following new capabilities:
Microsoft Sentinel for SAP
Protect your SAP application security posture with threat monitoring
As one of the leading solution providers for applications that manage business processes, SAP is the custodian for massive amounts of sensitive data in many of the largest organizations in the world. Since these applications are business-critical, an SAP security breach can be catastrophic. Yet, protecting SAP applications is uniquely challenging. These systems are growing in complexity as organizations expand them beyond base capabilities. They are vulnerable not only to outside attacks, but also insider threats. What’s more, their complex nature means that threats can emerge across multiple modules, making cross-correlation especially important.
It has been traditionally very difficult for security operations (SecOps) teams to effectively monitor SAP due to the unique nature of the SAP ecosystems and the expertise they require. We set out as the first hyperscale cloud provider to meet this challenge with the new threat monitoring solution in Microsoft Sentinel. Available in preview for SAP NetWeaver, the solution provides continuous threat detection and analytics for SAP systems deployed on Microsoft Azure, in other clouds, or on-premises. Now, SecOps & SAP Security teams can use Azure Sentinel’s visibility, threat detection, investigation, and automated response tools to protect their SAP systems and cross-correlate across their entire organization.
We are now releasing over 100 new detections for SAP application layers based on the SAP security audit log which leverages the recently announced capability to synchronize SAP users master data tables and RSPARAMs. Also, a new and easy to use UI based agent health monitoring capability is available under the Sentinel SAP connector page to ensure robust security operations over time.
This covers some of the great improvements we have done to help our customers deploy and manage SAP workloads on Azure. We are excited work with partners like Lemongrass to help them accelerate migration of customers to Azure leveraging some of these improvements.
“As an SAP-Centric Cloud organization with over a decade of experience, we are delighted to now be working hand in hand with Microsoft Azure’s SAP Product Engineering and have some fantastic new in co-development. We are heavily invested in the opensource (Terraform and Ansible), Azure Monitor for SAP solutions (preview), Microsoft Sentinel for SAP and business continuity tooling. This new approach to automation orchestration has already yielded significant benefits across people, process, and technology for our SAP on Azure customers and with more automation about to be released, there’s a lot more for customers to leverage in the months ahead!”
- Ben Lingwood, Lemongrass Chief Innovation Officer
Azure Blob Storage Connector for SAP Information Lifecycle Management
Total-cost of ownership reduction for SAP infrastructure
To reduce costs for infrastructure it is sensible to archive data from the SAP system. In the case of SAP HANA scenarios, archiving data reduces the memory footprint of the database which enables the workload to run on less expensive virtual machines with a reduced memory profile. Although the data is archived to a secondary, less expensive storage, the archived business documents need to remain accessible for audit and reporting purposes. To meet the needs of our customers, SAP and Microsoft have co-engineered the Microsoft Azure Blob Storage Connector for SAP Information Lifecycle Management which enables customers to directly store and archive documents from their SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA system to low-cost Azure Blob Storage. In addition to a reduction in costs, our customers benefit from Blob storage capabilities including extreme scale and redundancy within a Microsoft Azure region and replication between different regions.
SAP Private Link for Azure
Secure endpoints between SAP S/4HANA and Business Technology Platform on Microsoft Azure
Private Link enables a simplified and secured network connection across the Microsoft Azure backbone between endpoints. Private Link eliminates exposing services to the public internet and is now available in beta for SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). BTP provides a side-car extension pattern to execute on SAP’s direction to keep a clean ERP core and BTP services can now utilize Private Link to access virtual machine-based workloads such as SAP S/4HANA in a customer virtual network as well as platform-as-a-service offerings such as MySQL, MariaDB and Blob storage. Refer to our blog series for more on BTP Private Link service for Microsoft Azure.
Azure Purview for SAP HANA and SAP Business Warehouse
Unified data governance to help customers manage their data map
Microsoft Purview is a unified data governance service that helps customers manage and govern their data on Microsoft Cloud, other clouds, and on-premises. Microsoft Purview facilitates the creation of a holistic, up-to-date map of your data landscape with automated data discovery, sensitive data classification, and end-to-end data lineage; these capabilities enable data curators to manage and secure their data estate and empower data consumers to find valuable, trustworthy data. We are pleased to announce that Microsoft Purview now supports SAP HANA and SAP Business Warehouse data management for governance and enrichment of your data map.
Frameworks and Tools
Helping customers assess and evaluate key design considerations to drive quality
In addition to our Products and Services, we offer a range of Frameworks and Tools to support our customer's SAP journey to Microsoft Azure. Our SAP on Azure Frameworks connect customers and partners with a broad set of best practices for managing and optimizing SAP workloads. Our Frameworks include SAP on Azure Landing Zone Accelerator which is a set of guiding tenets to drive target architecture and innovation. The Well-Architected Framework (WAF) for SAP on Azure is also available on the Microsoft Assessment Platform and is valuable for reviewing SAP deployments across the operational lifecycle pillars of cost, reliability, security, operations, and performance.
In addition to our Frameworks, we have developed a set of tools to validate that deployment configuration is matching best practices and avoiding drift. These tools can be executed pre-go-live or for ongoing run operations (e.g., troubleshooting). Our tools include Inventory Checks for SAP which are based on Azure Workbooks and provides visibility of resource and configuration at the Azure platform level (e.g., identifying orphaned resources such as provisioned disks which are not connected to a virtual machine and driving unnecessary costs).
Microsoft encourages our customers to leverage our Framework and Tools to remain connected with the latest innovations and best practices while maintaining the quality of SAP deployments on Microsoft Azure. You can find Frameworks on the Microsoft Assessment Platform, Inventory Checks for SAP integrated within the Azure Portal and tools such as the opensource QualityCheck on our GitHub repository.
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