Equinix Speeds SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure

Fast on-ramp to the cloud via Equinix Fabric and Azure ExpressRoute accelerates ERP deployment

Brian Petit
Christof Juette

It has been over a year since SAP CEO Christian Klein announced his plans for customers’ to migrate their on-premises SAP applications to the cloud, just prior to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the economic fallout of the pandemic, 39% of companies in the SAP User Group (DSAG) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are increasing their IT budgets in 2021 according to the recent DSAG Investment Report.[i]

The DSAG survey report also showed that SAP customer migrations to SAP S/4HANA® are making slow but steady progress, with close to 40% of customers planning to switch in the next three years.

Enterprise Network Optimization: Equinix Speeds SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure

At Equinix, we believe digital infrastructure is your greatest source of competitive advantage. Digital leaders need one place to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure to recognize true network optimization.

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Many of the challenges SAP customers face when migrating their applications to the cloud are not solely pandemic related. An SAP cloud migration can be a huge, complex undertaking with legacy networks slowing migrations down. There are also few access points for all the availability zones for SAP, making it harder to give users application access at the edge. For these reasons, Microsoft and SAP have forged a unique collaboration to accelerate SAP cloud adoption.

SAP partners with Microsoft for first-in-market cloud migration solutions

Customers’ migration of on-premises SAP applications and ERP solutions to the cloud is now much easier with Microsoft and SAP working together. Through “Embrace,” the joint program designed to accelerate customer adoption of SAP HANA applications and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure, the two companies are simplifying and modernizing customers’ journeys to the cloud.

According to Jennifer Morgan, co-chief executive officer of SAP in a Microsoft press release, “This partnership is all about reducing complexity and minimizing costs for customers as they move to SAP HANA applications in the cloud. Bringing together the power of SAP and Microsoft provides customers with the assurance of working with two industry leaders so they can confidently and efficiently transition into intelligent enterprises.”[ii]

However, SAP customers are challenged by limited network resources and legacy enterprise network architectures. Network latency can impact the customer’s SAP application performance, thus achieving the lowest possible network latency is a priority. As customers embark on their SAP to Azure journey, they need to deploy highly performant and scalable hybrid multicloud architectures built on a secure, and reliable digital infrastructure. Platform Equinix® with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute and Equinix Fabric™ deliver the private interconnection and foundational infrastructure building blocks SAP customers require to migrate to an SAP HANA environment.

Equinix, the third partner in SAP cloud migration on Microsoft Azure

As a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform and Azure Networking MSP Program member, Equinix hosts public Azure ExpressRoute nodes in 32 metros globally, as well as seven Azure Government Cloud node locations in the U.S. for a total of 39 deployments worldwide. This outstanding number of Azure on-ramps via Equinix Fabric™ enables direct and secure connectivity to SAP HANA applications and the SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure.

Equinix Fabric and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute to SAP HANA and SAP Cloud Platform

These proven deployments can remove the obstacles slowing down customers’ SAP migration to Azure by delivering fast, low-latency private interconnection between SAP customers and SAP HANA on Azure with greater security and resiliency. The end result is accelerated deployments of hybrid multicloud architectures that reduce the complexity of migrating on-premises SAP applications to SAP HANA on Azure, as well as to other clouds.

Customers can also speed their digital transformation initiatives leveraging a cloud adjacent architecture for applications. For example, legacy on-premises systems like production databases can be interconnected to Azure, along with backup/disaster recovery/business continuity solutions between on-premises and cloud environments. This allows businesses to extend the use of legacy systems, while starting to transform to cloud-based services with lower costs. It also allows them to improve productivity and increase scalability for SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA ERP.

Cloud use cases interconnecting SAP and Azure on Platform Equinix

Platform Equinix provides private access between all SAP and Microsoft Azure cloud deployment models shown in the diagram below:

Customers who run SAP in cloud can leverage Azure ExpressRoute and Equinix Fabric to leverage hybrid multicloud architectures for SAP ERP and other applications. Accessing SAP on Azure with ExpressRoute and Equinix Fabric removes network latency and bandwidth challenges from hybrid deployments and workload migration scenarios. Other benefits include:

  • Scaling secure interconnection to Azure deployments during cloud migration for business process transformation.
  • Facilitating hybrid cloud deployments, where legacy on-premises and target cloud applications must operate in parallel
  • Accelerating digital transformation to a cloud adjacent architecture, where customers are
    re-strategizing their WAN architecture toward SD-WAN, while modernizing their SAP landscapes.
  • Increasing cloud services consumption via Azure ExpressRoute enabling faster SAP migrations on Platform Equinix at distributed edge locations.

Equinix is well situated to drive SAP on Azure adoption due to our extensive Azure ExpressRoute global presence, network optimization expertise and deep enterprise customer base. SAP on Azure across our global platform delivers the speed, scale and simplicity businesses look for from Azure and the consistency and continuity they expect from their existing SAP environments.

You can learn more about accelerating your SAP on-premises migration to SAP HANA and SAP Cloud Platform by attending our webinar, “Enterprise Network Optimization: Equinix Speeds SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure” on May 26th at 2:00 PM EST.

You can also contact us directly to request a Digital Edge Strategy briefing (DESB) tailored to your business needs. DESBs are customer-centric technical strategy sessions designed to accelerate your digital transformation. With our Azure and SAP business acumen and technical expertise, we can help you identify key challenges and show you how next-generation architectures drive competitive advantage at the digital edge.

[i] “DSAG Investment Report 2021: Defying the crisis with increasing IT budgets,” January 21, 2021.

[ii] Microsoft, “SAP partners with Microsoft for first-in-market cloud migration offerings,” October 20, 2019.

Brian Petit Senior Principal Solution Architect
Christof Juette Principal Solution Architect
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