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FlexPod for SAP Applications

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Sriram Sagi
Sriram Sagi

In today's digital economy, enterprises are challenged with the constant need for consistent performance of disparate applications while keeping up with demand. Many business customers want to run their mission-critical SAP applications on a data center that is dependent, future-proof, validated, and proven for enterprise workloads. FlexPod® from Cisco and NetApp is an established data center solution that checks all the boxes. FlexPod customers get cost-effective, faster SAP deployments, right sized and ready to scale.

A single point of management through Cisco Intersight makes FlexPod a preferred infrastructure for SAP that can add valuable insights into your infrastructure and data. FlexPod is hybrid-cloud ready, so customers can work with all major hyperscalers Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud. FlexPod for SAP applications like HANA and S/4 HANA support traditional on-premises deployment, SAP HANA as a service, or SAP with a hybrid-cloud use case. This flexibility makes FlexPod an ideal platform for customers to operate business functions and tackle digital transformation simultaneously.

Flexpod Diagram

Flexibility and faster ROI

Customers require maximum flexibility and scalability while reducing the deployment time and cost for SAP. They also need to reduce data center space requirements and integrate with existing infrastructure. FlexPod is built with a prevalidated infrastructure, including compute and networking technology from Cisco, data storage and services from NetApp, and virtualization technology from VMware. As a result, it's ready to deploy immediately in preconfigured options; or it can be customized to meet customers' needs.

One of the most important things that FlexPod does is to help customers deploy their applications fast. Customers can define what they want or need to do and then deploy immediately. Therefore the deployment is significantly faster, nearly instant for preprovisioned and up to 50% faster for custom configurations. In addition, with the proven flexibility of the FlexPod architecture, customers can scale up or down with minimal business disruptions as their needs change, so they're not locked in to a given infrastructure.

Cisco and NetApp commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) that enterprises may realize by deploying FlexPod. This study noted that SAP HANA implementations became more efficient with FlexPod. Customers gained 20% time savings in server room management, up to $3 million savings in infrastructure costs, and ROI of 125% with a payback period of 13 months.

Hybrid cloud for SAP with hyperscalers

Every IT situation is unique, and so are their hybrid cloud challenges, like improving infrastructure, optimizing cost, and improving data accessibility. NetApp is the leader for data in the hybrid cloud. More than 77% of NetApp customers plan to operate in a hybrid cloud. FlexPod offers fast, flexible paths between on-premises and cloud with hybrid cloud use cases like data backup, disaster recovery, and application development and testing.

NetApp® Cloud Volumes ONTAP® customers can get disaster recovery and backup in the cloud while protecting their data against site failure and freeing up valuable data center resources. In addition, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is now a production-certified, fully managed file service for SAP HANA. With FlexPod hybrid cloud integration, customers can automate tasks, simplify deployments, and run SAP HANA in-memory databases with the flexibility of AWS-certified cloud infrastructure.

SAP as a service with FPaaS model

Gartner predicts that 70% of digital-first enterprises will shift all tech and services spending to an "as-a-service" model to avoid expensive financing, upfront capital costs, and limitations on cloud-native infrastructure. With the FlexPod-as-a-service (FPaaS) consumption model, customers can enjoy the benefits of an on-premises infrastructure with the simplicity and flexibility of a cloud consumption model. FPaaS is offered as Cisco+ for compute and network and NetApp Keystone® for storage. FPaaS helps IT organizations take back control of applications like SAP to reduce costs and reallocate resources. Customers can deploy SAP workloads based on business and architecture requirements without concerns about being locked in.

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Sriram Sagi

Sriram Sagi is a principal product manager for FlexPod. He joined NetApp in 2022 with 15+ years of experience in enterprise products. Before NetApp, Sriram led product and technology teams and shipped multiple products. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and an MBA from Duke University.

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