Red Hat Enterprise Linux certified for SAP Hana is now available on Amazon Web Services, Red Hat announced this week.
While SAP provides its own SAP Hana cloud on IBM SoftLayer and a development environment on AWS, an ecosystem of cloud service providers is starting to emerge around the core Hana platform.
Jane Circle, manager for certified cloud provider and cloud access programs at Red Hat, said in the case of RHEL the idea is to make it simpler for AWS customers to spin up Hana in a production environment.
“We’re starting to see customers move SAP Hana in production,” she said. “We want to make sure customers have options should they decide to deploy those workloads in the cloud.”
Given the Big Data workloads that generally get deployed on Hana, most customers are expected to run the in-memory database management system on the newest M4 instances of virtual servers that AWS created using the latest generation of Intel Xeon processors, Circle said.
Ultimately, Red Hat expects to see customers deploy federated instances of Hana spanning both on-premise and cloud infrastructure. As SAP begins to certify other service providers to run SAP Hana cloud, Red Hat plans to provide similar support for additional third-party service providers.
The degree to which customers will customize SAP applications in those cloud environments is a subject of some debate.
While the German enterprise software giant is encouraging organizations to create custom applications that run on top of Hana, when it comes to SAP applications themselves the company contends most customers will be better off using the cloud service managed by SAP. At the core of that argument is a contention that IT organizations do not need to customize SAP applications that already address 95 percent or more their business process requirements.
Conversely, cloud service providers note that IT organizations have a long history of customizing SAP applications, a requirement that they contend is not going to go away simply because SAP is now making available instances of its applications on a cloud it manages.
While that battle remains to be fought in the proverbial IT trenches, cloud service providers of all types are clearly anxious to gain support for an emerging class of Big Data workloads that serve to make their overall IT environment more cost-efficient, which invariably leads to additional price cuts being passed along to their customers.