Live from SAP Labs

Feature Article | April 18, 2012 by Jennifer Lankheim

SAP customers, partners, and industry experts attend SAP Virtualization and Cloud week in Palo Alto (Photo: Brian Bernard)

The sixth annual SAP Virtualization and Cloud Week kicked off April 17 at SAP Labs in Silicon Valley. The three-day event brings together SAP customers, partners, and industry experts to explore trends in virtualization and cloud computing, exchange ideas, and network.

“VWeek is an amazing deep-dive of technical expertise and sharing between customers, consultants, SAP partners, and SAP developers dedicated to migrating to the cloud, running their business in the cloud, and innovating in the cloud,” says attendee Greg Chase, SAP senior director for cloud solutions, an SAP mentor, and author of an SAP Community Network Blog on enterprise cloud computing topics.

The event features a keynote by SAP’s Dr. Juergen Kreuziger, senior vice president, TIP Core Lifecycle Management; three educational tracks comprising dozens of sessions; a showcase of virtualization and cloud technologies; and a panel discussion on the future of cloud computing.

Sponsors at SAP VWeek (Photo: Brian Bernard)

SAP presented its cloud strategy. (Photo: Brian Bernard)

Dr. Kreuziger opened SAP Virtualization and Cloud Week with a keynote in which he laid out SAP’s roadmap and vision for cloud computing and offered a sneak preview of what’s in store for SAP’s on-demand and on-premise customers.

SAP’s cloud strategy is, in the simplest terms, a hybrid model, bringing together on-premise and on-demand for companies of all sizes in order to “offer real choice in the cloud,” explained Kreuziger.

SAP is currently engaged in three cloud computing focus areas – software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) – and two areas that enable on premise for the cloud: virtualization and hosted on premise.

In SaaS, Kreuziger said, SAP offers a comprehensive on-demand portfolio addressing targeted business needs, including application, collaboration, information, and mobile services. On PaaS, Kreuziger introduced SAP NetWeaver Neo, a platform developed securely in the SAP cloud (and leveraging the speed of SAP HANA) for building, deploying and managing enterprise applications in the cloud. Neo is Java-based, relies on open standards and leverages industry leading tools to accelerate ramp-up and maximize developer productivity. It will be used by partners to build, deploy, and sell SaaS offerings and by customers to build custom applications that extend the value of the SAP Business Suite. The platform is not yet officially launched (and the name may change with the official release) but a beta program is underway and accepting applications to participate.

Kreuziger also spoke to how SAP is enabling customers to move their on-premise solutions for the cloud. “Virtualizing on premise is the first step towards migrating to private or public cloud,” he said.

Attendee Greg Chase was impressed by how Kreuziger addressed the logic behind the strategy. “He did an excellent job of laying out the breadth of how SAP can help its customers develop a comprehensive cloud strategy. And he explained why this is important, because business users are hungrier than ever before for a modern consumer experience, mobile access, and a social enterprise – and migrating to the cloud is the only way IT is able to step up to meet these new business requirements.”

(Readers interested in learning more about the topic of building a comprehensive cloud strategy for their SAP program:  check out this ASUG pre-conference session at SAPPHIRE NOW.)

SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS - the strategy in three parts. (Photo: Brian Bernard)

A captive audience (Photo: Brian Bernard)

SAP Virtualization and Cloud Week offered educational session in three tracks:  “Current Technology Adoption and Usage,” “Future Trends and Directions,” and “Operational and Organizational Challenges with Cloud Adoption.”  (The links that follow list all sessions in each track. Though live streaming is not available this year, replays will be available soon at http://sapteched.com/sapvweek/agenda/.)

The Current Technology Adoption and Usage Track features customer case studies and best practices in virtualization and cloud computing and explores challenges in establishing an in-memory cloud.

The Future Trends and Directions Track explores using cloud solutions with SAP HANA, delivering SAP content and landscapes in the cloud, brokering cloud resources, disaggregation of resources, the “app store” model of buying and selling enterprise software, and cloud standards like OASIS and TOSCA.

The Operational and Organizational Challenges with Cloud Adoption Track covers security and compliance issues in the cloud, audit and change management in the cloud, adopting cloud at your own pace, and supportability for mission critical applications in the cloud.

Day one of SAP Virtualization and Cloud Week also included an exhibition of the latest offerings in Virtualization and Cloud from event co-sponsors Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, EMC2 , Hitachi, IBM, NetApp, Red Hat, SUSE, Texperts, and Wharfedale Technologies.

The opening day of the event concluded with a panel discussion: “Cloud Computing – 2015 and Beyond.” Expert panelists shared their perspectives on the dramatic business impact using of cloud computing. The consensus on the panel was a future where the cloud is ubiquitous, with pervasive use of storage and a majority of computing done via cloud computing resources. Future cloud computing will be a combination of public and private clouds, they said, but it will also extend to include large datacenters that allow cloud computing to support billions of clients. From notebook computers to tablets, smart phones, and other devices, these clients will not only use remote cloud resources, but contribute to them.

A replay of the panel discussion, and all other event general and educational sessions, will be available in the coming weeks at: http://sapteched.com/sapvweek/agenda/.


Behind the scenes at VWeek (Photo: Brian Bernard)

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