Microsoft and SAP Partner for HANA on Azure

The software giants pledge to support bigger deployments of SAP's in-memory processing platform on Microsoft's cloud.


Microsoft Azure has supported SAP HANA applications for nearly two years. HANA is an in-memory database that speeds up business application workloads, keeping data readily available to server processors using system memory rather than comparatively slower storage subsystems and arrays.

On May 17, during SAP's SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Fla., the companies announced a new cloud-centric expansion of their existing partnership.

Microsoft and SAP said they both plan to broadly support SAP HANA on Azure and work on new integrations between SAP's cloud solutions suite and Microsoft's Office 365 productivity software ecosystem. The software makers are also collaborating on management and security solutions that incorporate the mobile-friendly SAP Fiori application interface framework.

"At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering organizations to advance their digital transformations,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a May 17 statement. "Together with SAP, we are bringing new levels of integrations between our products that provide businesses with enhanced collaboration tools, new insights from data and a hyper-scale cloud to grow and seize new opportunities ahead."

SAP CEO Bill McDermott remarked that the IT heavyweights "are working together to create an end-user experience built on unprecedented insight, convenience and agility," in a statement.

Specifically, Microsoft is bulking up Azure's capabilities in a bid to support larger and a greater variety of SAP HANA production workloads, according to a blog post from Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure. For instance, Azure will soon support multinode deployments with up to 32 terabytes of memory for resource-intensive SAP HANA Enterprise OLAP applications, including SAP Business Warehouse.

A new single-node SP HANA on Azure option with up to 3TB of memory is also in the works, as is the availability of SAP HANA Enterprise on Azure GS5, a high-performance virtual machine option with 32 cores, 448GB of memory and over 6.5TB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage.

"As part of this announcement we are also thrilled to extend the certification and support of SAP Business Suite, NetWeaver and SAP HANA Developer Edition on Azure Linux Virtual Machines," announced Zander. "Customers can choose to deploy a 2-tier or a 3-tier SAP configuration with various Azure VM sizes available to support SAP workloads ranging from 200 SAPS to 20,000 SAPS capacity."

May is turning into a busy, alliance-building month for SAP.

Earlier this month, the German business software provider announced a new partnership with Apple that will connect Apple to millions of SAP developers. Together the companies plan to deliver a new software development kit (SDK) for SAP applications that run natively on Apple's popular iPhone and iPad.

Last week, SAP announced that it had partnered with a handful of major technology companies to boost the capabilities and reach of its HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). The list of big-name backers includes Dell, Siemens and Hitachi. The IoT offering will also support OpenStack's and Cloud Foundry's respective cloud platforms.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...