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SAP TechEd always brings the best and most exciting news to our SAP community. This year in particular, my teammates Matt Ordish, Will Bratton and I are thrilled to share our latest product updates for SAP on the Microsoft Cloud. If you have a chance to attend SAP TechEd 2022, please check out the sessions featuring Microsoft in the course catalogue. We continue our joint innovation with SAP to deliver a series of industry defining offerings. Most recently, Microsoft and SAP jointly announced the collaborative SAP ERP experiences, which increase personal productivity and enable better decision making. Microsoft and SAP deliver a unique, intuitive experience which combines mission-critical data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, with industry-standard collaboration software Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office.
We also announced a deeper SAP Integration with the Power Platform where 25 of the most common SAP business processes such as Order-to-Cash bring quick value to our customers. These integrations demand an event-driven architecture to react to in the SAP system. Combining SAP Event Mesh and Azure Event Grid empowers our customers to easily implement and forward events from SAP S/4HANA to Azure such as the case with event driven Teams notifications.
We continue to see strong momentum from customers choosing Microsoft for SAP, both direct and through RISE with SAP. Footwear and apparel company Wolverine Worldwide chose RISE with SAP on Azure. The move enables Wolverine Worldwide to exit the datacenter business, and with system maintenance being managed by SAP, they can focus on their data strategy and innovation that will enhance the customer's experience. Wolverine Worldwide have also benefitted from
“Bringing SAP and Microsoft together as we do this cloud journey and future upgrades creates what I would call a unified platform of best-in-class partners….”
– Dee Slater: CIO and SVP of Supply Chain and Shared Services, Wolverine Worldwide
Chevron has taken a different path. Running SAP systems directly on Azure has enhanced agility, flexibility, and scalability while reducing costs. Azure automation, deployment, and recovery capabilities are helping Chevron to do more in a fast but simpler fashion. Chevron can create and deploy new applications more quickly and more effectively monitor and manage its systems. Furthermore, Chevron has opened the door to more opportunities for business intelligence, collaboration, and innovation by seamlessly connecting their SAP systems on Azure with the broader services across the Microsoft Cloud portfolio.
“Between cyberthreats, divestitures, and acquisitions, SAP on Azure and the Microsoft Cloud gives us the reliability, agility, and scalability to stay responsive to business needs”
- Paul Brody: Digital Core Technical Platform Product Manager, Chevron
We are excited to share with you a roundup of our latest product updates:
- SAP Certified Core Infrastructure innovation with the launch of our very high memory virtual machine offering nearly 24 Terabytes of memory and the launchPremium SSD v2 providing sub-millisecond latencies and increased operational efficiencies
- Azure Center for SAP solutions (preview) bringing SAP workload awareness to Azure for deploying and managing SAP systems at scale and ensuring system quality and cost optimization
- SAP Deployment Automation Framework capabilities extended to include SAP on IBM Db2, SAP on Microsoft SQL Server (preview) and the Control Plane Web Application to drive deployment efficiencies
- New investments in Azure Backup for SAP solutions for security, data resiliency, performance, and cost optimization
- Azure Monitor for SAP solutions (preview) for turn-key and feature-rich technical monitoring
- Change Data Capture capabilities for Azure Data Factory and Synapse Analytics to boost data extraction efficiency in high data volume scenarios
- Microsoft Sentinel solution for SAP is generally available and provides continuous threat detection and analytics for SAP applications hosted on Azure, other clouds, or on-premises
“Microsoft’s latest release of automated build, backup, monitoring and security threat handling solutions for SAP applications, is increasing an already strong value proposition as the preferred platform for SAP workloads
- Mary Hunter, Global Collaborative Apps Lead, Accenture Microsoft Business Group
New SAP Certified Compute and Storage
Very High Memory Virtual Machine and Persistent Storage Innovation
We are excited to be the first hyperscaler to launch a very high memory virtual machine which offers 832 vCPU (~795,000 SAPS) and close to 24 Terabytes of memory. This virtual machine is the new flagship offering within the Mv2-series virtual machine family. It is also the largest SAP HANA certified virtual machine on the market that follows standard sizing methods which adhere to the prescribed socket-to-memory ratio. The very high memory virtual machine is both SAP HANA and NetWeaver certified in combination with Premium SSD, Ultra Disk and Azure NetApp Files persistent storage. With this offering we are happy to support our customers as the sizes of their SAP HANA databases continue to grow along with their business.
We have introduced Premium SSD v2 SAP certified storage which offers consistent sub-millisecond latencies and throughput to meet SAP HANA requirements. Importantly, Premium SSD v2 enables our customers to improve operational efficiencies by avoiding the maintenance overhead of striping disks to drive performance while enabling cost-effective disk performance. We have published best practices for our customers looking to deploy SAP HANA virtual machines with Premium SSD v2. Premium SSD v2 is also supported for running SAP on AnyDB such as Microsoft SQL Server, SAP ASE, IBM Db2 and Oracle.
On file-based persistent storage, Azure NetApp Files Application Volume Group (AVG) for SAP HANA are now generally available which enable customers to deploy all volumes required to install and operate an SAP HANA database according to best practices in a single step and enabling low latency through co-location of compute and storage. Another feature in preview is Azure NetApp Files Availability Zone volume placement which enables customers running SAP on AnyDB to deploy volumes within the logical Azure Availability Zones of their choice to enable high availability scenarios.
SAP on Azure Software Products and Services
Azure Center for SAP solutions
Unified, smart control tower for SAP deployment, management, and more
Azure Center for SAP solutions (preview) is an end-to-end solution enabling the deployment and management of SAP systems. It integrates with first party services such as Azure Monitor for SAP solutions and Azure Cost Management and Billing with further integrations landing soon. At Microsoft Ignite 2022 we announced an update which includes new features of Azure Center for SAP solutions.
Customers and partners can create a new SAP system or register an existing system within Azure Centre for SAP solutions. In both scenarios, a Virtual Instance for SAP solutions is created. Users can see the status and health of the SAP system and perform operations such as start/stop of the SAP system directly from within Azure. Additional capabilities include Quality checks and insights, which indicate if the SAP deployment is aligned to documented best practices, and cost analysis, which helps you manage and optimize the running cost at the system level
“ACSS is very helpful in deploying systems at a faster pace and registering existing SAP systems to enable Azure awareness, even for people that are not Basis experts. Our team needs a single place for the management and monitoring of our SAP systems on Azure. This is the value of ACSS – one place to monitor the infrastructure and SAP applications, check configurations for quality, and more,
as Microsoft continues to add capabilities.”
- Srinivas Kunta, Solution Architect, Toyota Material Handline
SAP Deployment Automation Framework
Enabling a rapid deployment of SAP S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver
With the SAP Deployment Automation Framework our customers can programmatically deploy SAP workloads on Azure attuned to reference architectures. The SAP Deployment Automation Framework enables accelerated SAP deployments while lowering project spend by reducing human effort. In addition to the already supported scenarios of SAP S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver on SAP HANA, we are announcing support for SAP on IBM Db2 and SAP on Microsoft SQL Server (preview). Additionally, we have introduced the which simplifies the configuration to enable an even faster SAP deployment. Finally, our customers can register the deployment as a Virtual Instance for SAP (preview) to benefit from the management plane capabilities of Azure Centre for SAP solutions.
“CONA Services is leveraging the SAP Deployment Automation Framework for programmatic, consistent, and accelerated builds for our SAP deployments on Azure. Through our strong partnership with Microsoft Azure SAP Engineering, we have used the framework to deploy SAP S/4HANA on the very high memory virtual machine of 24TB Memory”
Uday Reddy, Director of Cloud Engineering, CONA Services
Azure Backup for SAP solutions
Efficient, secure, and cost optimized data protection
Since introducing Azure Backup for SAP HANA, we have extended the range of capabilities to meet SAP application data availability and resiliency requirements. We recently announced major updates with instant snapshot and restore support for SAP HANA databases now in preview. With SAP HANA snapshot support, customers can backup larger databases at faster rate which significantly improves the recovery time objective (RTO). Additionally, this also provides a point-in-time log restore and minimizes cost by taking incremental storage snapshots.
In addition, we have improved the backup recovery experience for SAP systems with the public preview of automatic backup support for HANA System Replication after failover, eliminating the manual and time-consuming task of restarting the backup. We now provide continuous protection and faster recovery during a failover event while maintaining a single backup chain for an easier restore.
As ransomware attacks increase globally affecting enterprise workloads such SAP, providing a more secure backup protection has become a significant area of investment for Microsoft. We have introduced capabilities such as Multi-User Authentication to control access to backup data and soft delete to retain a backup which is deleted accidentally or due to malicious attack. We have further
Optimizing for cost is an area of interest for customers especially as the backup data footprint increases. Customers can optimize backup costs with the general availability of reserved capacity pricing for Azure backup storage, this allows customers to reserve capacity by pre-committing to one year or three years with discounts. Also, smart tiering to vault-archive tier for long-term SAP HANA backups is now generally available which provides a dynamic mechanism to archive recovery points without any manual intervention.
Azure Monitor for SAP solutions
Turn-key and feature-rich technical monitoring
SAP applications are mission critical and a reliable and feature rich technical monitoring solution is essential to support operations. Azure Monitor for SAP solutions (preview) facilitates end-to-end SAP technical monitoring within the Microsoft Azure Portal for accelerated troubleshooting. Customers can benefit from a broad set of telemetry spanning SAP Application, Databases, and Infrastructure. This includes the SAP NetWeaver application layer, SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM Db2 databases. The Linux operation system is also supported including Pacemaker Clusters for high-availability scenarios. Customers also have access to a wide range of pre-defined alert templates and can customize alert thresholds to fit specific scenarios. Azure Monitor for SAP solutions is easy to deploy and within minutes SAP telemetry can be collected and visualized.
Microsoft Sentinel Solution for SAP
Protecting Business-critical data in SAP systems
The Microsoft Sentinel Solution for SAP is generally available with a free promotion running until February 2023. The solution provides cyber-threat detection for SAP workloads running on Azure, in other clouds and on-premises. We have recently introduced a new anomaly detection analytic rules to detect suspicious events in the SAP security audit log, this capability augments the existing detection patterns included with the solution.
Learn more about Microsoft Sentinel Solution for SAP from our product team and how Microsoft is using it to protect our own SAP estate in this webinar.
Azure Data Factory and Synapse Analytics - SAP Change Data Capture (CDC)
Boost efficiencies and gain deep insights from both SAP and non-SAP data
Azure Data Factory can extract data from various SAP data sources such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP ECC and SAP BW to bring it into your Azure datastore. The updated Azure Data Factory SAP connector also now leverages change data capture functionality, adding delta extract to the previous full load capabilities. With this update you can lower the analytics and data extraction load on your SAP system. You can also now easily combine SAP data with other enterprise information stored in Cosmos DB or AzureSQL DB. This enables our customers to gain deep insights across their IT estate. Customers using Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse Analytics to map data flows can leverage the new SAP CDC connector to transform data at scale and ingest the data into Azure Data Lake or Azure Data Warehouse for analytics. The ability to work with change data significantly reduces resource consumption and provides a tremendous efficiency boost in high data volume scenarios.
Thank you for reading our SAP on the Microsoft Cloud Product Announcements from TechEd 2022. To learn more, you can head over to our SAP on Azure learning page.