The WHY, the WHAT, & the HOW of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP, launched at VMworld 2014 in San Francisco


I recently attended VMworld 2014 in San Francisco where the theme was “No Limits” and where 22,000 visitors from 80+ countries congregated to hear VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger discuss everything from the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) to the Hybrid Cloud, with the announcement that vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Service) has been given a more elegant & marketable name, vCloud Air.

VMworld 2014.png

There were of course announcements upon announcements, but what stood out for me as a SAP guy at a Virtualization conference were the announcements of VMware EVO:RAIL, VMware NSX 6.1, vSphere 6 Enhancements now in public Beta, and the tight coupling of the Blue Medora vCenter Operations Management Pack for both SAP CCMS and SAP HANA and vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS).


Underscoring the great progress that converged infrastructure like VCE’s Vblock has made in deploying mission-critical applications like SAP, VMware launched EVO:RAIL, a software product and reference architecture (they called it ‘Build Recipe’) which allows VMware partners to easily build hyper-converged infrastructure appliance 100% powered by VMware software - check out VMware Chief Technologist Duncan Epping's blog on this cool new offering.  The list of partners planning to offer EVO:RAIL hardware is long (Dell, Fujitsu, SuperMicro), and EMC of course is very prominent on that list.


In fact, Chad Sakac (EMC Senior Vice President of Global Systems Engineering) devoted significant time during his standing room only session to explain EMC’s approach to our EVO:RAIL appliance which will take full advantage of EMC’s richest portfolio of storage products in the market today and which will push the boundaries of the SDDC with our innovative technologies such as EMC ViPR and EMC ScaleIO.  I will discuss what EVO:RAIL may mean to the SAP customer at a later time, but you can read Chad’s passionate blog on EVO:RAIL here.


I was super busy the entire week due to:

  1. The launch of Project RUBICON video demo – many of you will remember my blog posts on this fantastic collaboration between Deloitte, EMC, VMware, and Cisco to showcase how long distance BC/DR for virtualized SAP HANA can be done. Project RUBICON just entered Phase 2 and I will have a lot more exciting things to share in future blog posts
  2. The launch of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP (EHC for SAP) white paper, which leverages all key VMware and EMC technologies including the vCloud Suite, EMC ViPR SRM (Storage Resource Manager), EMC storage platforms, and the aforementioned VMware NSX and the Blue Medora plug-in for SAP CCMS and SAP HANA


For the rest of this blog spot, I will discuss the WHY, WHAT, and HOW of the EHC for SAP, and you can also get more details by reading the white paper as well as visit the EHC for SAP Resources Page for the PDF version of the presentation and the Solutions Guide.


The WHY of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP

Let me cut to the chase: as an IT leader, how would you like to regain complete control of your business user’s cloud computing environment and have full control of the future direction of your company’s cloud strategy?  I actually “borrowed” that sentence verbatim from the Executive Summary of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP white paper, since it so succinctly explains the WHY of EHC for SAP.


You know all about it, because your business users have wanted to be more agile in order to address their most urgent business requirements, and they cannot wait the typical 6 to 8 weeks for IT to procure the hardware, rack & stack it, install the OS, the applications, and so on, before they can begin doing anything with their new SAP environment.  Your business users want a new Sandbox or DEV environment to be provisioned in minutes instead of days, and they want to be able to do it with the pleasant user experience of buying Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with a public cloud supplier like Amazon and its vaunted AWS for SAP (Amazon Web Services for SAP).


If you are or have been in the unfortunate position of having your business users already bypassing you by using Amazon and similar public cloud providers for their SAP environments, then you need to find a way to quickly regain that control.  I would suggest to you that the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP could serve as the foundation for your evolving cloud strategy, by starting with a Private Cloud but being able to very quickly incorporate the Public cloud into your SAP environment for a Hybrid Cloud implementation.


Now, if you will be deploying a Private Cloud to satisfy your business users’ requirement for more agility, why would you need a Hybrid Cloud?  Answer: for the same reason as before, e.g. more agility and flexibility to add capacity on demand, to move workload from on premise to off-premise and back, and so on, because your Private Cloud may not have sufficient capacity to support a sudden increase in workload demand.



The WHAT of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP

I would like to invite you to download and read the white paper for more details on the features, capabilities, and benefits of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP, but here are some key points:

  1. Self-service provisioning, with the same ease and pleasant user experience of provisioning a SAP environment on the public cloud.  However, instead of pulling out your credit card, the vCAC (vCloud Automation Center) based portal will check for your cost center and entitlement guidelines instead in order to provision a SAP logon-ready environment in your Private Cloud in minutes
  2. Self-service provisioning of SAP end points in the public cloud as an extension to the SAP Private Cloud.  Again, using that familiar vCAC-based portal, you should be able to quickly provision a SAP logon-ready environment at a public cloud service provider of your choice and have that environment be linked to the on premise SAP landscape
  3. Self-service provisioning of critical SAP services beyond just a virtual machine with the OS, the database, and the SAP application loaded and up and running. We’re talking about such important matters such as backup as a service, DR as a service, and so on…
  4. Ease of onboarding and migration of existing SAP virtual machines already running in your data center.  If you have your SAP already running on VMware, let’s make sure that these VMs (many of them may already be in Production) can take advantage of the full capabilities of the EHC for SAP, such as end-to-end monitoring, multi-tenancy, chargeback, not to mention the aforementioned backup as a service and so on…
  5. Capability to monitor the SAP applications on an end-to-end basis, not only at the VM & network level with VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS) and the storage level with EMC ViPR SRM (Storage Resource Management) tools, but also down to the commonly used SAP Basis transactions like ST03N, ST02, DB02, and so on, thanks to the Blue Medora plug-in to vCOPS.  And of course, you will want to monitor both your Private Cloud and Public Cloud environments from a single pane of glass
  6. Capability to easily scale resources by moving virtualized SAP work load from the Private Cloud to the Public Cloud over a VPN, like has been clearly demonstrated with Project RUBICON.  I invite those of you not familiar with Project RUBICON to read my many blog posts, watch the demo video, and read the white paper to see how efficient EMC and VMware technologies can make this task simple
  7. Chargeback and multi-tenancy: while chapters can be written on this topic, let’s just simply say that EHC for SAP allows for easy charge back to various cost centers and it offers full multi-tenancy support with full security and privacy safeguards



The HOW of the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP

So we have created the EHC for SAP reference architecture, tested it in our labs, validated it with EMC IT in our SAP Production environment and with numerous other SAP customers, but a Cloud project is not about just the technology and installing software from a bunch of DVDs!  A Cloud project starts with a full understanding of the business requirements, with a full catalog of your current and future workloads, and with making the right decisions on everything from the architecture (e.g. simple things Linux vs. Windows or Oracle vs. Sybase) to selecting the right Public Cloud Services Provider.


To embark on your Cloud Journey, you will need the assistance as well as the skills and expertise of the EMC Federation of partners, and the full and ever expanding list of these partners can found in the white paper.  Perhaps a simple next step would be to contact EMC Global Services or one of EMC’s Cloud partners to schedule a Technical Cloud Workshop or a Cloud Readiness Assessment.  EHC for SAP is not rocket-science and it CAN be deployed very quickly, especially when you have the right people assisting you.



Tim K. Nguyen

SAP Global Technical Evangelist & EMC Cloud Architect

EMC Global Solutions Marketing - SAP