Challenge: Offer cost-effective SAP HANA cloud services on a pay-as-you-grow consumption model without upfront commitment to the unknown future.
Solution: itelligence deployed Hitachi Unified Compute Platform for the SAP HANA Platform, which scales easily from small to massive solutions.
As a cloud service provider, itelligence Nordic offers comprehensive, fully managed cloud-based SAP application hosting services to a wide range of clients. Part of a global company, itelligence Nordic provides SAP support, management and consultancy to some of the largest businesses in the Nordics, helping them to gain maximum business value from their SAP investments.
IT Services, Cloud Service Provider
Dannie Havgaard, Sales Manager for Managed Services at itelligence Nordic, describes how the SAP market is changing: “In recent years,” he explains, “demand for cloud-based managed SAP services has grown dramatically, particularly with the arrival of SAP HANA. In fact, 50% of our cloud pipeline is based on clients choosing to migrate to SAP HANA. We fully expect that to increase as AP reduces support for SAP applications running on other platforms.”
He continues, “Originally, SAP HANA was only available as preconfigured set-sized appliances, and it was not possible to grow the small appliance into the large solution: You had to ‘rip and replace.’ This meant that clients needed to purchase the appliance that they thought they might need in three years’ time, even if right now it was oversized. They were paying for capacity they did not need. On the other hand, if they bought the right-size appliance today, then tomorrow they might be faced with costly replacement.”
Torben Prang, Director of IT Infrastructure at itelligence Nordic, highlights the commercial situation. “Many companies are under pressure to reduce operating costs for business-critical SAP applications.
Fewer and fewer companies wanted to put up with the cost and hassle of managing the underlying IT infrastructure themselves, and this was preventing them from making a positive decision to switch to HANA and gaining the undoubted benefits it offers,” he says.
itelligence realized that solving the scalability puzzle could open up SAP HANA to many more of its clients. How could it offer start-small-grow-fast solutions without the rip-and-replace costs and without requiring clients to make commitments to the unknown, unpredictable future?
Running Hitachi Unified Compute Platform for the SAP HANA Platform (UCP for SAP HANA) eliminates these challenges. Within UCP for SAP HANA, itelligence provides SAP HANA instances with exactly the right memory and compute resources as required by the client. If the workload rises and scale-up is required, there is no need to rip and replace and no need to migrate data, which might take six weeks to complete. Instead, itelligence uses the UCP environment to simply assign additional memory and compute resources to the client’s SAP HANA service as a larger, more powerful instance.
“It’s like playing with Lego! We can add blocks to clients’ systems in as little as 10 to 15 minutes and just keep adding blocks until the environment reaches the maximum memory limit as imposed by SAP,” Prang explains. “Above that limit, and without the introduction of proprietary multisocket extensions, SAP requires the environment to be a scale-out solution, as opposed to a scale-up solution. The beauty of UCP is that we can use the same building blocks to support both scale-up and scale-out SAP HANA environments, enabling us to support clients as they grow.”
Havgaard adds, “Crucially, clients no longer have to try to predict the future or guess the size of the SAP HANA landscape they will need in three or five years. They simply sign up for the resources they need now, confident in the knowledge that we can scale on demand as their business grows.”
The flexibility offered by SAP HANA on UCP enables itelligence to create a simple service offering for clients, based on the size of the proposed database, with known fees as the instance grows. Clients no longer need to buy appliances based on predictions of future use, avoiding overinvestment and removing a key cost barrier for entry to the SAP HANA world.
“Running SAP HANA on Hitachi UCP enables itelligence to offer truly pay-as-you-grow cloud services, which is a real deal-winner for clients,” says Prang. “The ability to add memory and compute resources practically on the fly puts us head and shoulders above our competitors, a lot of whom still offer SAP HANA hosting services based on the appliance model. Our service offering is therefore much more flexible, much more cost-effective and much more appealing to clients.”
He adds, “Having worked with Hitachi Vantara before, we also knew from experience that the quality of service is outstanding. We have a good relationship with the local Hitachi team members, who worked closely with us to implement the solution.”
Havgaard also offered a favorable assessment. “We are very impressed by just how much Hitachi Vantara invests in optimizing its technology for SAP HANA. As an SAP services provider, it was absolutely critical for us to select a infrastructure partner with these kinds of credentials, and Hitachi certainly ticked all the boxes,” he reports.
“By partnering with itelligence, our clients no longer have to invest in their own hardware or take out unsuitable, expensive contracts based on shaky estimations of future requirements. Thanks to the flexibility of the UCP solution, we can deliver exactly what our clients want, increase satisfaction and keep ahead of the competition,” Havgaard concludes.