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Flexibility in the Cloud

Access Key SAP Data at Nearly Limitless Capacity

by Jason Zander | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2

April 1, 2015

The idea of moving applications to the cloud can be intimidating. With so many deployment options available, many companies hesitate to make a decision and stick with what they know to be safe. Read this article to discover the value of a reliable, secure operating system and virtualized technology that can drive private, public, and hybrid clouds.


As more and more companies move enterprise operations to the cloud, they are confronted with countless choices. In some cases, they only want to run certain point solutions in the cloud; in others, they push their entire suite of applications into the cloud. Then there is the host of options available to customize the cloud experience to an organization’s needs, whether in terms of user experience, security, or functionality.

One constant that we hear is that customers want a trusted partner with a proven cloud approach. For more than 20 years, Microsoft and SAP have partnered to extend the range of offerings available to our joint customers.1 In 2014, this partnership expanded with the announcement of the SAP certification of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud platform, for several key SAP business applications. Since this announcement, that certification has grown to include SAP Business Suite, SAP Business All-in-One, SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP, and SAP HANA, developer edition.

With the announcement, customers are able to enjoy the benefits of SAP software on Microsoft’s enterprise-grade public cloud. As a result, joint enterprise customers are able to move existing applications and services or deploy new applications to Microsoft Azure using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library tool to benefit from nearly unlimited computing capacity.

With Microsoft Azure, we just add capacity when we need it. Such flexibility and easy scalability are great for us, especially because we have a very short window of time for upgrading our SAP systems.

— Gavin Martin, Application Development Manager, Kordia

A New Cloud Deployment Option for SAP Solutions

With Azure, Microsoft has developed a reliable, secure solution that offers a unified operating system and virtualization technology that drives private, public, and hybrid clouds.

Azure offers hybrid cloud and virtual machine portability with virtual hard disk virtual machines that can be moved back and forth between Azure and on-premise servers, affording the ability to run SAP application development and testing on Azure while production runs on premise (see Figure 1). Azure offers access to scale, enabling companies to reach their customers around the globe, and is available in 19 regions. 

Additionally, Azure provides reliable and durable storage for data disks right out of the box — eliminating time-consuming steps to manually achieve geo-redundancy. For more than 37,000 customers running SAP systems on SQL Server, Azure uses common engineering criteria that enable SQL Server disaster recovery and backup to the platform to work seamlessly after installation. Microsoft has established deep enterprise account and support relationships to serve customers around the world affordably.

Cloud Special Report - Microsoft

Figure 1 — Enterprise IT environments today require solutions that can be delivered faster, more cost effectively, and with greater flexibility at global scale; with Azure, you can use the cloud alongside your existing infrastructure and apps, leveraging common tools, technologies, and skills

A Cost-Effective Solution for Enhanced Efficiency

By moving qualified SAP workloads to Azure, customers can reduce costs by 40%-75% and eliminate the need to refresh hardware for those workloads. Furthermore, moving SAP developmental and test qualified production applications, archival data, and training systems to Azure can help free up on-premise data center capacity and allow business users to instantly self-provision development and test system capacity on Azure, reducing cycle times by a factor of over 200. With Azure, customers can instantly provision any amount of storage or computing capacity to meet growing or shrinking application needs, eliminating the challenges of capacity planning and scaling quickly to meet demand. 

Microsoft Azure possesses the power and flexibility to accommodate our needs for SAP performance. We are confident that our SAP landscapes will run efficiently on the Azure platform, perform appropriately, and continue to deliver value to our business.

— Andrew Goodin, Global Manager Information Systems, Zespri International

Learn More

With Azure, joint customers benefit from a reliable and secure cloud infrastructure platform that enables them to quickly deploy SAP solutions in the cloud. Customers have realized simplified infrastructure management, improved time to market, lower costs, and the opportunity to have the best of both worlds by integrating on-premise assets with Azure.

With the support of license mobility for SAP software on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft provides a fully supported and properly licensed public cloud environment in which to deploy SAP workloads. For additional information, visit or, or contact your Microsoft account specialist.


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Jason Zander
Jason Zander

CVP, Microsoft Azure
Cloud Engineering

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