Path to a Hyperscale Environment: Where to Start

The explosion of interest and investment in hyperscale computing is not just changing how data is managed. This mission-critical engine of intelligence is shifting how companies view the potential of their business models and customer experiences. Human imagination is their only limitation.

The secret is out: Some of the world’s fastest-growing companies are relying on hyperscalers to deliver highly addictive experiences. From spin cycling at home and booking the trip of a lifetime online to binge watching our favorite shows on demand, consumers can live their best lives affordably and conveniently. For those wondering what a hyperscale environment is, see “What Is a Hyperscale Environment? Should You Jump in?,” which covers  the basics — definitions, terminology, architecture principles, and benefits.

The growing power of hyperscale providers is surprising. The promises of starting up quickly, running continuously, and scaling up and down as needed are setting the stage for innovation that is worth watching. But first, businesses need to know how to get there.

Set the Foundation for Long-Term, Hyperscale-Driven Growth

Jumping into a hyperscale environment may not mean a business will become a brand like Peloton, Expedia, or Netflix overnight. Nevertheless, by starting with a core use case, long-term success is achievable with a hyperscale-driven model.

Establishing a cloud appliance library in a hyperscale setting offers a quick and easy way to consume the latest solutions in the cloud. At SAP, this technology is allowing customers to take advantage of next-generation software and services such as SAP S/4HANA, the express edition of SAP HANA, SAP Model Company services, and a portfolio of industry and line-of-business applications.

This library is unique because it provides the latest, preconfigured, ready-to-use solutions and supports instant deployment into a public cloud account with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Why is this so important? It allows businesses to kick-start their digital projects within a matter of hours rather than months.

One of the most transformational business milestones is diving into new ideas, experimenting with them, and bringing them to life in order to enhance people’s product, service, brand, or work experience. By using the library resources in a traditional environment for ABAP programming language and development tools, innovators from all areas of a company can use their existing development expertise with cloud innovation.

A sandbox setup in the hyperscale environment can support short-term project needs such as:

  • Fast and thorough validation of new features and capabilities
  • Developmental activities based on live, configured business systems
  • Dedicated testing, which calls for a flexible setup and deployment
  • Prominent showcasing of proof of concepts, demos, and boardroom-worthy presentation of innovation

The best part is that a degree in software development or data science is not a prerequisite for employees to embrace their inner innovators. For example, SAP Cloud Platform, ABAP environment, provides the architectural blueprint and ABAP development expertise companies need to smooth their transitions from concept to productive solutions in the cloud.

Why a Cloud Application Library is a Critical Hyperscale Experience

The beauty of using a cloud application library is its operational simplicity. Minimal effort is required from the business to deploy and run the IT system. Extensive maintenance activities are replaced by a regular schedule of updates to cloud application library templates. Furthermore, database backups can be reused in other deployment options – whether a business switches to a different cloud-hosting partner or an on-premise system landscape.

Other benefits of the cloud application library include:

  • User management and authorization: Since there is no dedicated authorization process, organizations can upload and download user profiles and roles based on existing systems. However, depending on business requirements and available application data, this advantage can become an operational cost-driver.
  • Software change management: For projects that require a software logistics process, businesses can extend existing application integrations to a full-fledged integration with solution manager software.
  • Lower total cost of ownership: The average cost of a hyperscaler-supported IT system runs under €1,000 each month, excluding the setup of a baseline, software licensing fees, and cloud subscription. This reduced price tag is enabled by fully configured intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) that operates in a runtime environment supported by a hyperscaler provider.
  • Network infrastructure integration: Businesses can connect their end-user applications with a fast and intuitive setup in a hyperscaler’s data center – without the need for a VPN or additional software.
  • Trusted governance: Control over the system landscape is similar to any other IT landscape. The only difference is the need for designating clear ownership of the process and creating transparent rules of engagement for all involved stakeholders.
  • Licensing: Software licenses still apply, including those for the cloud application library, live applications, licensing in a portal, and test solution. Additionally, a business can extend its traditional licenses through existing standard process.

Next in the Path to Hyperscale

While technology and industry analysts forecast continued growth in cloud adoption and investment, companies of all sizes have distinct opportunities to reimagine experiences for their customers as well as employees, suppliers, and partners.

Staying ahead of this revolution requires businesses to scale their digital capabilities in order to take on new opportunities and address risks in real time. With the right hyperscale partners and introductory foundations, businesses will be up for the challenge.

Read the entire Enterprise Architecture and Landscape Strategy series here, which covers what to know to future-proof an enterprise architecture and landscape strategy. Stay in the conversation by following SAP Digital Business Services on YouTubeTwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thomas Hauschildt is chief enterprise business architect at SAP.