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Understanding Cloud, SAP Cloud Models and Offerings

In this blog, I would explain the following concepts:

  • Concept of Cloud in general
  • Cloud in SAP
  • Comparison between SAP On Premise and SAP on Cloud
  • SAP cloud Offerings

The document has been compiled after spending lot of effort by reading blogs, watching videos, SAP documentation. And finally summarizing the information from all sources. Hope the document is helpful.

Understanding Cloud

Let us understand Cloud with a simple layman example.

I want to run MS Office on my laptop. Below listed components would be required to run, MS Office on my laptop.

  1. Infrastructure: Hardware requirements, which includes HDD, RAM, Processor.
  2. Platform: Operating System (like windows)
  3. Software: MS Office as software

So we can illustrate these 3 requirements in a pyramid, starting from bottom most.

Also in the above diagram, I have shown the relative disadvantages in terms of various costs involved in each of 3 layers.

With these 3 layers of components, I can run MS office in my laptop.

Here all 3 components are owned by me, maintained by me and if any breakdown occurs, will be fixed by me.

This example could be related to an On-Premise Model on an individual level.

Now let us look what would be the possible solution for the same example in a Cloud Computing Model. We are exploring the example at an individual level and not at an enterprise level.

Meaning of Cloud: Offloading/Outsourcing of some or all of these component on INTERNET.

We can see an alternate approach for using MS Office is to use Google documents. And in this Cloud Option (or outsourcing option), all 3 layers have been outsourced to Google.

To conclude the meaning of CLOUD:

  • Cloud Refers to Offloading/Outsourcing of some or all of the 3 layers to INTERNET.
  • For accessing the application, we need the Browser and Internet.

Benefits of Cloud:

SAP Cloud Models and Offerings

Now that we understand what Cloud means in general, let us now extend the Cloud understanding to SAP.

We can run SAP in cloud, depending upon extent of offloading  from On Premise to Cloud.

Starting from bottom most layer of Infrastructure, as we move upwards, we can consolidate more and more on cloud.

Depending upon how much we want to offload, we have below different models available:

  1. On Premise Model
  2. IaaS Cloud Model
  3. PaaS Cloud Model
  4. SaaS Cloud Model
  5. Hybrid Model

To understand all 5 models, we will refer below common table and see how much offloading is done in various models. While understanding the table, we need to start from below and read upwards from Infra, to platform, to software.

On Premise Model:

Points to be noted:

  1. We can have ECC 6.0 on any database. It could be SAP Hana db or also on traditional db like IBM DB2, Oracle. Whereas S/4 HANA could be hosted only on SAP HANA database.
  1. The frontend for both ECC 6.0 or S/4 HANA could be on GUI or SAP Fiori

* ECC 6.0: SAP aims to stop supporting ECC 6.0 by 2025. No confirmation though.

** SAP FIORI only: SAP Aims to Completely Replace GUI with Fiori. Slowly expanding its FIORI Portfolio, but no timeline of phasing out SAP GUI.

IaaS Cloud Model:

Points to be noted:

  1. We can have ECC 6.0 on any database. It could be SAP Hana db or also on traditional db like IBM DB2, Oracle. Whereas S/4 HANA could be hosted only on SAP HANA database.
  1. The frontend for both ECC 6.0 or S/4 HANA could be on GUI or SAP Fiori.
  1. SAP Offering in IaaS Cloud Model: SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud (HEC).

PaaS Cloud Model:

Points to be noted:

  1. The frontend of S/4 HANA could be on GUI or SAP Fiori.
  1. This model can host only SAP S/4 HANA. We cannot have ECC version in PaaS model.
  1. SAP Offering in PaaS Cloud Model is known as SAP Cloud Platform (Formerly known as HANA Cloud Platform)
  1. This model is most futuristic among all 5 models, because of following reasons:
  • SAP Leonardo, which offers newer technologies like IoT, machine learning, can be hosted only on SAP Cloud Platform model. So when we mention about SAP Leonardo, it is by default on SAP Cloud Platform.
  • HCP offers platform to developers, to develop new MOBILE apps on SAP Fiori.
  • Apart from Standard SAP Fiori app, new custom apps can be developed on HCP. This is not possible in any other model

SaaS Cloud Model:

Points to be noted:

  1. The frontend of SaaS model is completely the portal-based solution.
    1. An easy example of non-SAP SaaS model is the HPALM, Remedy tool frontend. Both of these are portal-based solution.
    2. Another example could be of ZOHO, which offers SaaS model of solutions for business operations.
    3. Such solutions (if we talk about non-SAP SaaS) are quite useful for small businesses or startups. As here the businesses can easily deploy the solution and scale up IT side of business very easily.
  1. SAP Offerings in SaaS Cloud Model:
  • SAP ARIBA: It’s a Procurement system, for integration of supplier buyer networks
  • SAP Field Glass: It’s a Vendor management system for vendors, contractors and service providers
  • SAP Success Factors: SaaS based HR solutions from Payroll to employee engagement
  • SAP Concur: SaaS based Business Travel, Expense and Invoice Management solution offered by SAP
  • SAP Hybris: SaaS based CRM solution and E commerce solution, with B2B and B2C capabilities.
  1. This model offers no ability to customize the solution
  1. Quarterly upgrades by SAP are mandatory for clients.

Hybrid Model:

Hybrid model is Combination of:

  • On Premise +
  • Cloud SaaS model

e.g. SAP S/4 HANA on premise    +    SAP ARIBA / SAP SUCCESSFACTORS

Relative Suitability:

Hope this document is useful and offers some insights into various aspects of On-Premise v/s cloud solution in SAP. Would be glad to receive your feedback, inputs or comments.

Thanks and regards,

Piyush Gupta



This post first appeared on Web Service Testing A Blackjack GUI And API, please read the originial post: here

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Understanding Cloud, SAP Cloud Models and Offerings

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