# 1 Azure has more global regions than any other cloud provider
In more than 54 regions and 140 countries, the Microsoft Azure Cloud is always close to the user and delivers data center services across the globe. A region is a set of data centers that are deployed within a latency-defined perimeter and connected by a dedicated, low-latency regional network.
# 2 Azure is hybrid
Microsoft Azure offers hybrid consistency everywhere: in application development, management, security, identity management, and across the entire data platform. Microsoft Azure’s true hybrid capabilities give you the flexibility to go to the cloud on your terms. True Hybrid is not just about infrastructure and connectivity, it’s about consistency in identity, management, data, and development, whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud. In addition, Microsoft has developed a wide range of cloud and local technologies that work together in different environments.
Examples of consistency enhancements to help you manage this hybrid environment more easily:
- Active Directory extends to single sign-on for users, protecting access to data that passes through the cloud and local applications.
- Azure management and security services provide visibility and control over your cloud and local infrastructure with simplified operations and security. Both SQL Server and Azure SQL Database now use a common T-SQL query language. That means you can seamlessly distribute data between local sites and the cloud.
- Azure Stack services are offered in local data centers. That means you can use a single set of APIs and tools to deploy applications everywhere. This gives your developers a common approach to creating applications and the flexibility to choose where they run.
# 3 SAP certified with Industry Compliance
In addition to pure functionality, scalability and readyness for SAP applications, the Microsoft Azure platform with its trust center provides compliance through a wealth of certificates and audits. The products are ready for almost any industry requirement and extensive reports and certificates can be made available.
Microsoft offers approved solutions by BAFIN especially for the financial and insurance industry. Thus, for example, data according to § 201 StGB or financial data may also be stored on Azure. Microsoft has extensive data protection and privacy experience and is committed to complying with the EU-US Privacy Shield and EU standard contractual clauses.
# 4 Azure can also be bare metal for HANA
In addition to VMs for deploying and running SAP HANA, Azure offers you the ability to run and deploy SAP HANA on your bare metal servers. The “SAP HANA in Azure (large instances)” solution relies on unreleased host or bare-metal hardware assigned to you. The server hardware is embedded in larger stacks that contain infrastructure for networks, computers / servers, and storage. As a combination, this solution is certified for HANA Tailored Data Center Integration. For SAP HANA in Azure, various server SKUs or sizes are available.
# 5 Easy integration of SAP and Microsoft products
At least since SAP developed the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) on Azure Cloudfoundry, the integration strategy of SAP and Microsoft is clear. Microsoft Azure offers a wealth of solutions – from the Office365 area to PowerBI supporting SAP HANA as a database. SAP and Microsoft products are interacting better and better and both manufacturers use open interfaces and standards for data exchange, eg OData. This results in significant advantages in the use of both worlds and a best-of strategy. For example, by integrating Office365, innovative solutions for AI and Industry 4.0, Microsoft offers an advantage in planning security and minimizing risk, while minimizing compatibility issues.
# 6 Microsoft Azure Can Open Source!
Since Microsoft bought the leading developer platform GitHub in 2018, it’s clear that Microsoft also wants and can open source. The Azure Cloud catalog includes a variety of open source services that are actively supported and offered by Microsoft. Azure is not a closed-shop but very interested in supporting and expanding the open source community. For customers, this results in significant advantages in the necessary investments in the Azure platform. Developers can use their familiar development environment in Azure such as Node.js, PHP, Phyton and Java. Container technologies like Docker or Kubernetes support DevOps.
# 7 SAP Cloud products are running on Azure
Even the SAP cloud products run on Azure and provide an existing use case, showing that even critical data such as personnel information is on Azure.
# 8 Almost 100% availability
By combining multiple availability zones, you can ensure nearly 100% availability in Azure. SAP HANA Replication achieves data and service availability of 99.99%. By offloading backups to other regions, even geo-redundant disaster scenarios with hot / cold standby can be realized.
# 9 Azure can also be private!
By establishing confidential connections between Azure data centers and the infrastructures at your site or other combined environments, Azure ExpressRoute helps ensure that it does not connect over the public Internet, making it more reliable and faster. In addition, using ExpressRoute connections to transfer data between Azure and local systems can deliver tremendous cost savings. Connections with Azure can be made through ExpressRoute either at an ExpressRoute (Exchange) provider location or directly through your network-provider-provided WAN (for example, an MPLS VPN).
# 10 Pay as you Go
The unique benefit of the cloud is paying only what is consumed. Therefore, it makes sense to apply the pay-as-you-go concept also to SAP systems. For example, you can automatically turn off sandbox or development and test systems outside of office hours and then pay no compute power. The sizing of HANA systems can be adapted exactly to the current needs by this concept and you do not have to make empty investments in the future, but can scale as needed. With the new Microsoft partner model CSP (Cloud Solution Provider), this concept also applies to Microsoft licenses such as Office 365. Thus, seasonal peak loads in the workforce (freelancers and contract workers) allow you to log in and out of flexible licenses depending on usage.
# 11 ROI after 9 months?
Reaching a ROI after 9 months? We kindly invite you to explain how to realize this with SAP on Azure.