SAP adds subscription pricing for Hana cloud services

The new options give customers more flexible ways to use the in-memory computing platform, SAP says

SAP is introducing a set of new subscription pricing options for its Hana in-memory cloud computing platform, in a move that falls in step with the pay-as-you-go model common in the cloud computing industry.

Customers were already able to bring their existing on-premises Hana in-memory database licenses to SAP's infrastructure service. Now it's possible to buy Hana software via subscription there as well, SAP said Wednesday. A third cloud subscription option adds a series of development tools and services to the infrastructure and Hana software components.

Cloud computing has dramatically changed the way enterprise software can be obtained, SAP executive board member and technology chief Vishal Sikka said Wednesday during a press conference, which was webcast.

"We've gone from a high-touch sales process where a bus full of people shows up and sells you something, to where you buy things everywhere," he said.

He demonstrated how a prospective customer can easily click through SAP's cloud marketplace to price and size a Hana instance.

The site also features a breakdown of hardware pricing to the component level, which is meant to give customers better "transparency" at a time when hardware costs are falling fast, Sikka said.

To that end, the notion that in-memory computing systems are expensive since they involve lots of RAM is wrongheaded, according to Sikka.

Customers who bring their Hana licenses to the cloud service will pay US$6,495 per month for a 40-CPU infrastructure instance with 1TB of RAM.

However, SAP clearly intends to make the bulk of its money on Hana software, not infrastructure fees. A subscription that includes a similar infrastructure footprint plus Hana platform edition software and support costs $83,295 per month, according to the marketplace site.

While offering few details, Sikka revealed that not every aspect of the Hana cloud service is yet available around the world. However, over time "it's going to be ubiquitous," he said.

SAP is also hoping startup companies building products on Hana will help boost the platform's profile and revenue.

Some 1,237 startups in 57 countries are using Hana to create applications, with 60 of them live now, Sikka said.

SAP has also created a marketplace where customers can buy products built on Hana by SAP and its partners.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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