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The POWER behind SAP S/4HANA…

Time to read: 5 minutes

Many enterprises have adopted SAP as their trusted core enterprise resource planning (ERP) system running on a variety of platforms, including the enterprise-grade IBM Power Systems platform – often combined with the AIX operating system and an enterprise-class backend database, such as Oracle or IBM DB2.

SAP is putting a great deal of focus on encouraging organisations to migrate onto SAP S/4HANA ERP running on the in-memory SAP HANA database with new customers being encouraged to implement SAP S/4HANA.

The SAP end of support date for ECC (Enterprise Core Components) is a little way off yet but should give businesses time to make informed decisions, properly plan migrations and of course plan new deployments.

SAP has said it will commit to supporting ECC until 2027 under a standard support contract, but customers will be able to extend this up to 2030.

What are the main advantages of SAP S/4HANA?

There are many advantages in running SAP S/4HANA including:

  • new functionalities
  • high-performance in-memory database
  • embedded AI and analytics

All of these advantages mean the statement ‘Infrastructure Matters’ has never been more true! So with that in mind, this blog focuses on IBM Power Systems infrastructure solutions for SAP S/4HANA including the why, the where, and how CSI can help you with your digital transformation…

Why IBM for SAP

10 Reasons to run SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems

SAP S/4HANA and its in-memory database present a series of technical and commercial challenges concerning the infrastructure it runs on.

IBM Power Systems is positioned to meet these challenges for the following reasons (in my opinion!):

  1.  IBM Power Systems can concurrently run multiple operating system types in separate VMs on the same physical server platform – this includes IBM i, AIX, SUSE Linux (SLES) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  2. IBM Power Systems have real enterprise-class RAS features (Reliability, Availability, & Serviceability) that provide a stable, reliable, performant, and secure platform to run workloads on.
  3. IBM Power Systems has industry-leading performance capabilities with exceptionally high-speed memory to CPU bandwidth which is essential for in-memory databases such as HANA.
  4. The ability to run a mix of operating system types, as well as the Red Hat Openshift Container Platform (OCP) on the same server platform, enables a smoother path to application modernisation using containerised micro-service based systems of engagement applications alongside trusted systems of record.
  5. Highly cost-effective compute resource usage is available using IBM’s Dynamic Capacity for Private Cloud (Enterprise Pools 2.0) – this blends CAPEX with OPEX and provides a very commercially attractive HA and DR model, as well as the ability to cope with organic growth.
  6. There is a wide choice of locations and cost models to run SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems. CSI can provide 24×7 support, monitoring, and management in these options – (A) On-Premises i.e. Private Cloud, (B) CSI PowerCloud, and (C) IBM Power Virtual Server Cloud.
  7. SAP themselves use IBM Power Systems (E980) in their own Enterprise Cloud (SAP HEC)!
  8. IBM’s PowerVM provides a very advanced and secure virtualisation technology layer enabling far greater flexibility in supported Tailored DataCenter Infrastructure (TDI) choices than other platforms can provide.
  9. IBM’s POWER9 processor technology provides far greater performance than other processor technologies and even allows up to 8 threads to run simultaneously (SMT8) on the same physical CPU core.
  10. The approaching launch of IBM’s new range of POWER10 based servers will further enhance the compelling reasons for running SAP S/4HANA on Power – including even faster cores, faster memory bandwidth, and on-chip Matrix Math Assist engine (MMA) to boost AI-infused applications. It is expected SAP HANA certification will closely follow the POWER10 launch.

So after all that, maybe the question should be… why on earth wouldn’t you run SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems?

How can I run SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems?

As a Platinum IBM Business Partner and a Gold SAP Partner, CSI has a great deal of experience running SAP workloads on IBM Power Systems and currently host fully managed SAP environments for several customers on our own CSI PowerCloud.

We can provide consultancy and assistance in running SAP and SAP S/4HANA on private or public clouds with options for a fully managed and monitored service.

We also advise on and implement high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) solutions, as well as backup solutions for SAP S/4HANA.

SAP has worked closely with IBM to publish a list of SAP HANA Certified and Supported Power Systems – the current list can be found at Certified and Supported SAP HANA® Hardware Directory.

Explore Application Modernisation and IBM Power Systems

So whether you are an existing customer of SAP and wish to discuss SAP S/4HANA migration roadmaps, or whether you are considering deploying SAP S/4HANA as a greenfield installation – CSI can help you make the right choices.

I hope you’ve found this blog insightful and welcome you to get in touch to find out more about the ways we can help you explore the possibilities of application modernisation and IBM Power Systems.

About the author

Mike Leigh

Systems Architect

Mike joined Imtech in 2000, which was acquired by the CSI Group in 2013.

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