Wanted: The Best Cloud for SAP HANA

Given the enormous presence of SAP systems in key markets, the security and performance of such systems are crucial. But which cloud is best suited for SAP HANA, and what are the differences between the various providers?

  #SAP HANA Data Base   #SAP Cloud   #IBM  
Mathias Lang
+41 58 510 14 42

Many businesses are facing the challenge of replacing the SAP ERP suite with the new S/4 HANA software generation. SAP plans to migrate its ERP users to SAP S/4 HANA, SAP HANA and SAP BW/4HANA by 2027. This offers an opportunity to more closely evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of possible SAP infrastructures. 


The cloud is fast, flexible and cost-efficient

The cloud version of SAP HANA offers numerous clear advantages. It can be implemented quickly because it does not require extensive IT infrastructure or maintenance and is ready to use immediately. Functions can be easily added or removed. It is also very cost-efficient: there are no costs for purchasing and maintaining hardware and software, as the software is hosted in the cloud. A major advantage of the SAP HANA Cloud is that no additional work is required for the internal IT department - even if new services are introduced in the company.
However, if you want to keep all your data within your own company, the on-premises version of SAP HANA is the best option[i]. In particular, this is suitable for large companies with very well-established business processes that want to retain absolute control over the data and all aspects of processing - including the HANA database, applications, servers, networks and associated systems. SAP upgrades are released annually for this version, but must be implemented and tested by your own IT team.


Which cloud is the best for SAP HANA?

Which cloud is best suited for SAP HANA depends, among other things, on the specific use case, the IT budget and the technical requirements. SAP itself offers various cloud services to meet the different requirements. These are used by millions of users worldwide. The most frequently used public clouds for SAP applications are also the largest public clouds of all. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is at the top, ahead of Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform[ii]. All of these services are characterized by the fact that they are cost-efficient and highly scalable and enable rapid value creation thanks to their on-demand infrastructure. Microsoft Azure offers two services for operating the HANA database: Azure Virtual Machines and HANA Large Instances. The offering is hybrid-capable and can use bare metal for HANA. In other words: The combination of these two functions makes it possible to manage SAP HANA workloads, regardless of whether they are running in the cloud or on-premises. A selling point for the Google Cloud is the infrastructure: Google's private fiber optic network provides a global, secure and scalable foundation for SAP deployments.


Powerful and reliable: IBM Power Cloud for SAP HANA

Almost a third of SAP S/4HANA users run their applications on IBM Power systems[iii]. The IBM Power Systems platform has been used for SAP HANA solutions for around ten years and demand is constantly increasing. Today, Power10 support for SAP HANA is based on 7nm processor technology with significant improvements over its predecessor Power9 and offers numerous advantages for SAP HANA[iv]. This technology offers twice the performance per core compared to other servers, which means that fewer processors are required for comparable SAP workloads. IBM Power Servers are specifically designed for data-intensive applications such as SAP HANA that require large amounts of in-memory computing. They enable dynamic changes to the resources of an SAP HANA platform, depending on changing business requirements. Processor utilization and data processing are optimized with shared pool support. IBM Power Cloud also enables the consolidation of multiple workloads on a single server, resulting in cost savings and simplified management. It ensures reliable processing and analysis of data-intensive workloads with minimal delays and offers faster data load times. This improves application performance. Specifically, Power10 offers two and a half times more performance per core than comparable x86 servers when it comes to data analysis.


Secure, highly available - and hybrid-capable

IBM Power Cloud offers a secure and highly available environment for data and applications. IBM advertises 99.999 percent proven reliability in vendor-independent tests and a four times higher reliability of Power systems compared to other SAP HANA infrastructures.

When an IBM Power10-based server, such as the E1080, is used with the cloud-based IBM Power Virtual Server in a hybrid cloud format, the architectural consistency across all resources means that the often bespoke business-critical applications normally installed on-premises can be moved to the cloud as workloads and requirements dictate[v]. This enables seamless management and automation of the hybrid cloud. The IBM Power virtualization and automation stack has been optimized to support the next generation of IBM Power10 Enterprise Servers. This stack is the foundation for leading Power-based public clouds as well as thousands of mission-critical enterprise deployments in customer data centers worldwide.


A top solution from Switzerland: UMB SAP HANA IBM Power Cloud

IBM Power is rightly regarded as one of the strongest, most reliable and most secure platforms available. The technology is therefore perfectly suited for SAP HANA. This is why the UMB Cloud uses the IBM Power10 platform for SAP Basis operations[vi]. UMB customers benefit from this straightforward cloud solution: our experienced experts take over the entire SAP Basis operation - with precisely calculable costs for our customers and clearly defined responsibilities. The UMB cloud offers perfect scalability, so that resources can be expanded or reduced as required at any time[vii]. The servers grow with the company's workload.

IBM Power is extremely secure[viii]: The platform experiences many times fewer unplanned outages due to security incidents than comparable systems. Last but not least: The UMB SAP HANA IBM Power Cloud is a solution that is operated from Switzerland under Swiss law. Switzerland has strict data protection laws that guarantee the protection of personal data. This is important for companies that attach particular importance to the protection of their data. Companies can also rely on a very stable Swiss legal environment.

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[i]SAP S/4HANA On-premise vs Cloud | SAP Blogs

[ii]Top 10 biggest cloud providers in the world in 2023 | Technology Magazine

[iii]IBM - SAP S4HANA - Customer Adoption

[iv]IBM-Server Power E1080 | Rechenzentrum / Server

[v]Die IBM Power10 Server-Familie

[vi]UMB | IBM

[vii]Tailor-Made: The UMB Cloud

[viii]ITIC 2021 Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability Survey Results