Accessing SAP® Cloud Services Across a Global Interconnection Fabric

How to create hybrid/multicloud enterprise application services

Business application giant SAP® has transformed more than 345,000 companies throughout the world in how they perform enterprise resource planning, customer relationship, product lifecycle, supply chain and database management. SAP is continuing its evolution by transforming itself into a world-class enterprise application cloud platform company with its SAP Cloud portfolio.

At the end of last year, we announced the direct and private access to the SAP Cloud portfolio and other SAP enterprise application services via our Equinix Cloud Exchange™ (ECX) now known as the ECX Fabric  in multiple markets across the globe. Here’s an update on what our customers have been able to do by integrating the SAP Cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) portfolio solutions into our ECX Fabric within our global Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center footprint.

Enterprise hybrid cloud adoption

SAP Cloud adoption is on the rise. According to a 451 Research note, SAP’s cloud FY 2016 worldwide subscription and support revenue grew by 31% and currently has over 111 million subscribers. Access to these cloud services can now be enabled privately via SAP Cloud Peering and the ECX Fabric in Equinix IBX data centers across the globe. This collaborative solution drives a customer’s hybrid and multicloud reach with the implementation of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform, which serve as SAP’s IaaS and PaaS solutions respectively.

So what types of customers would be interested in leveraging these new cloud-enabled SAP capabilities and why? For years, enterprises have used different SAP applications in their environments, which grew more and more customized to meet the ever-changing demands of their internal users and external customers. Maintaining these legacy software deployments and integrating them with new cloud services is critical to the success of the business. To help these enterprise customers adopt cloud and integrate these legacy applications, not only with the SAP Cloud services but with other clouds as well, SAP launched the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, its managed, private cloud service that provides the benefits of cloud while still maintaining a highly customized IT infrastructure. In addition, companies have the flexibility to interoperate with third-party applications and different data sources within the SAP Cloud environment.

As customers continue their journey, they may also consider the SAP Cloud Platform, which unifies an organization’s internal applications together into a single-user interface, regardless of the number or types of SAP applications (on-premises and cloud) or third-party applications. For example, it can enable an organization to integrate all their assets, sensors, emitters, etc. into their enterprise environment – which can then be tracked, analyzed and updated more efficiently.

The integration of these and other SAP SaaS services is currently enabling our customers in multiple verticals, such as manufacturing, financial services, communications and healthcare, to migrate legacy, on-premises business applications and big data services to the SAP Cloud over direct and secure connections thereby establishing more productive and resilient enterprise hybrid/multicloud environments (see diagram below).

SAP Cloud Peering in an ECX Fabric

Private connections to SAP services allow our customers to bypass the public internet, providing the benefits of consistent throughput with low-latency, traffic segregation and avoiding potential reliability and congestion issues. Virtualized connections (up to 10G) via the ECX Fabric allows for API or portal-based automation with near real-time provisioning of multiple cloud providers/services via the same physical port.

Said Christoph Boehm, senior vice president and head of Cloud Delivery Services at SAP, “SAP joined the Equinix Cloud Exchange platform to address customer requirements for an enterprise hybrid architecture in an environment that lends itself to the very highest levels of performance and reliability.”

Enabling mission-critical enterprise business application services

SAP HANA® Enterprise Cloud is designed and built for mission-critical operations. It delivers the integration, security, failover and disaster recovery of an on-premises implementation, but with the elasticity and ease of use you’d expect from a cloud solution. With it, you can run applications that unify analytics and transactions into a single in-memory platform. Use cases include:

  • Real-time operational intelligence and optimization via reports, dashboards and analytics
  • Big data, data warehouses and data marts
  • Decision support, simulation and automation

Many of the SAP SaaS services will also be accessible to our customers via SAP Cloud Peering and the ECX Fabric such as SAP SuccessFactors®, SAP Hybris®, SAP Ariba® and SAP Mobile solutions, as well as others in the future. Integrating SAP IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions into a single service can significantly simplify the way companies run their businesses.

And accessing those services on an integrated, global interconnection platform, such as Platform Equinix, with a proven uptime average of 99.9999%, makes running complex, global enterprise applications even easier, with greater performance, scalability and reliability. High availability, back-up and recovery, and disaster recovery environments can also be created across distributed regions using the ECX Fabric for greater business continuity worldwide.

Global access to SAP Cloud and ECX Fabric services

The SAP Cloud Peering solution via the ECX Fabric is now available in 10 metro locations within seven countries across AMER, APAC and EMEA, with additional markets planned for the coming year. In addition, ECX Fabric customers who are not present in the same IBX data center as the combined SAP Cloud portfolio and ECX Fabric solution, can still remotely gain access to the services, as if they were locally available.

Learn more by reading the following papers:
The Platform Equinix Vision
Fly Across Clouds Using Interconnection Ecosystems
Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric Resource Center

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