Microsoft and Amazon look to scoop up SAP workloads headed to the cloud

And it raises questions about SAP's cloud plans

20160224 stock mwc sap booth sign

A booth sign at Mobile World Congress 2016 shows the logo of enterprise software vendor SAP in a file image captured on Feb. 25, 2016.

Credit: Stephen Lawson

As SAP holds its annual Sapphire Now user conference in Orlando this week, two of the leading IaaS providers are making the case for running SAP apps on their public clouds.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined SAP CEO Bill McDermott during the Sapphire keynotes on Tuesday to announce a broad partnership between the two companies that will optimize the Azure public cloud to run SAP workloads.

Not to be outdone, early this morning before the keynote even kicked off Amazon Web Services issued a press release announcing a handful of customers – including General Electric, Brooks Brothers and Lionsgate are running SAP apps on its public cloud.

Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller says the moves raise another question: “Has SAP given up on SAP Cloud?”

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Microsoft is priming Azure to be a platform for hosting SAP apps. The company announced new 32 TB multi-node memory virtual machine instances designed to run the company’s in-memory databases. Another 3 TB single node instance is also in the works and the company says SAP HANA One VM images are available on the Azure Marketplace of third-party software.

AWS noted that various SAP apps are certified to run on AWS including S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, Business Warehouse on HANA, SAP HANA, SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Business One, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Database and Mobile Solutions. “Enterprise usage of SAP on AWS is growing incredibly fast across all verticals and geographies as enterprises get more comfortable running their most important applications on AWS and the cloud,” said Terry Wise, Vice President, Worldwide Partner Ecosystem, AWS.

Mueller says it’s a good thing for customers to have options of where to run their SAP workloads. Last year SAP made an announcement with IBM regarding Big Blue’s readiness to run SAP workloads. Mueller says it will be interesting to see how SAP pitches its own cloud as it partners with big IaaS providers. SAP offers its software as a service from its own cloud, while at the same time enabling its apps to run on other IaaS platforms. “SAP is now 'leaking' cloud dollars to IaaS vendors,” Mueller notes. “SAP is already non-exclusive. If it looks like they are not pushing their own cloud anymore then we’ll have to find out why.”

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