Attention Service Providers: Looking to Quickly Deploy a SAP HANA as a Service Offering?

Cisco and NetApp recently celebrated five years of FlexPod customer successes. Among the new FlexPod solutions announced in the press release is a solution from SAP, Cisco, NetApp and Vnomic that enables service providers to dramatically accelerate and simplify the deployment and operation of SAP HANA as a Service. By using Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) including Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), ACI family of programmable switches and the Vnomic Declarative Deployment and Governance Platform on FlexPod, you get an industry-leading solution required for SAP Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA.

Traditional approaches to application deployment and management no longer meet business needs
Enterprise customers are struggling with how to respond to increased demand for SAP applications. IT organizations must deploy services quickly, then rapidly add or remove resources from already-running applications to meet user demand. In addition, while adhering to the security and governance requirements, they must meet time, costs and service level requirements.

SAP BW on HANA deployments have all the attributes of complex, dynamic applications that can benefit from Cisco ACI and FlexPod. These include highly variable performance and scale demands, distributed users, virtual and physical resource requirements, different storage types, data protection, and 24/7 global availability. Configuring and deploying these landscapes can take months and involves manual layout of new infrastructure and connectivity. These long lead times limit the agility customers have to respond to variable business needs.

Traditional infrastructure, even in managed private hosting environments, doesn’t provide the speed and agility that a cloud hosted solution provides. Plus, it’s very expensive to operate an SAP environment.

The ability to scale the infrastructure is only half of it. Customers need the ability to spin up new SAP landscapes, clone their systems/apps, perform refreshes, and instantiate development environments identical to production. A cloud hosted SAP HANA service offering enables you to meet those demands.

SAP BW on HANA on FlexPod with Cisco ACI and Vnomic as a Service Solution Overview
This solution focuses on rapid deployment of SAP instances, enabling you, the service provider to begin revenue accrual much earlier in the process after signing on new tenants. Hosted cloud also shines with the ability to leverage shared operations resources. Compared to other storage vendors, only NetApp provides application-consistent HANA storage backups. This white paper will give you an introduction to the FlexPod Datacenter for SAP applications with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) using Vnomic policy-based infrastructure solution.


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SAP BW provides a business intelligence platform, data warehousing functionality, and a suite of business intelligence. It allows customers to consolidate data to make better decisions and accelerate operations. SAP HANA combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory with unparalleled performance. BW on SAP HANA landscapes have multiple application components across a multi-tier topology, with detailed requirements for how those tiers communicate.

Vnomic Automation
SAP, NetApp, and Vnomic used the Vnomic Modeling Framework to describe all of the components, services, and their inter-relationships that comprise SAP BW/HANA landscapes. Vnomic ties the power of application modeling to the flexibility of programmable infrastructure to create an infrastructure-independent Application Service Model representing deployment topologies and required in the SAP BW on HANA environments. Policies are used to expose and configure customization points. You can fully automate a SaaS deployment of new instances of SAP HANA and SAP BW on HANA landscapes. This automation eliminates complex error-prone manual processes and reduces deployment times from 6 months to 60 minutes.

FlexPod Datacenter
Delivered as a FlexPod Cisco Validated Design (CVD), the FlexPod Datacenter comprised of Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp FAS provides massively scalable shared data center infrastructure and enables the application deployment by providing a pre-validated converged infrastructure. Software-defined innovations like Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) use intelligent software to automate hardware resources across next-generation data centers.

With FlexPod Datacenter you get:

  • End-to-End provisioning and service orchestration for compute, network, and storage
  • End-to-End carrier-grade multi-tenancy for safe concurrent hosting of mixed workloads across multiple organizations, providing customer and vertical specific features and compliance
  • Support for a variety of SAP BW and HANA topologies with HA, or any other application with additional models
  • Support for physical and virtual HANA nodes to optimize performance, maximize infrastructure utilization, and minimize cost
  • Flexible scale-out architecture and non-disruptive operations allowing compute, network, and storage capacity to be added as needed
  • Standardized configurations for compute and storage capacity minimize day 0 costs and lead time

Only NetApp provides application-consistent HANA storage backups
NetApp is the only storage vendor that provides application-integrated hardware snapshots with NetApp SnapCreator and SnapMirror. This frees up HANA CPU cycles to get improved performance. Because HANA is an in memory database, at any given time, the data on the disk isn’t necessarily the data in process. Application-consistent HANA storage backups assure that the data on the disk is the same as the data in process. There are no additional recovery steps necessary if there is a failure and back up and restores can be completed in seconds instead of hours. To learn more, read the Technical Report TR-4313, SAP HANA Backup and Recovery Using Snap Creator.

SAP, Cisco, NetApp, and Vnomic deliver advanced as a Service solution
FlexPod with Vnomic has been TDI validated, meeting and passing SAP’s key performance indicators. If you’re a service provider, this solution provides you the following benefits:

  • Accelerate time to market and ROI
  • Leverage space efficiencies and cost savings Ensure reliable performance and 100% uptime
  • Reduce costs by significantly reducing deployment time and infrastructure costs

For all the details, read the CVD or ask for a demonstration from your NetApp representative.