Red Hat, IBM, SAP Deepen Their Cloud Collaboration

The three companies are working together to adapt SAP’s Cloud Platform so it can run from a customer’s location.

Todd R. Weiss

June 30, 2020

3 Min Read
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In a cloud collaboration, Red Hat, IBM and SAP are helping customers who want to run SAP Cloud Platform on-premises. The joint initiative means customers will be able to run the platform in their location using their data center resources.

The project, which is still in development, aims to help enterprises find opportunities beyond traditional public cloud offerings. To do that, the partners are working to validate private deployments of SAP Cloud Platform on Red Hat OpenShift.


Red Hat’s Chris Wright

The project is underway because some public cloud offerings can’t meet all customer needs, said Chris Wright, Red Hat’s CTO. That’s been resulting in increased interest by customers in private and open hybrid cloud offerings, he said.

The latest efforts are an extension of an existing collaboration with SAP and its open source project, Gardener. Gardener works with Red Hat OpenShift’s new virtualization capabilities, providing smooth and scalable on-premises deployments. Using OpenShift virtualization, customers can host SAP’s managed services on a more secure, dedicated virtual infrastructure, according to Red Hat. SAP’s Gardener is still in the early adopter phase and is not yet generally available.

The goal is to provide deeper insights into customer operations and to help them maintain operations in dynamic conditions.

That’s why SAP is working to adapt its Cloud Platform so it can run from a customer’s location, said Wright.

“By combining SAP Cloud Platform capabilities with IBM’s private datacenter infrastructure, and Red Hat OpenShift virtualization, our collaboration aims to help customers innovate and to become digitally enabled, while still running securely behind a firewall,” said Wright. “The integration of Gardener with Red Hat OpenShift will enable customers to tap into OpenShift’s virtualization capabilities for on-premises deployments.”

The SAP Cloud Platform is being extended in this cloud collaboration so it can run behind client firewalls. This allows clients in regulated industries to do what they need to do within their own infrastructures, said Wright. They can benefit from using S/4 HANA and SAP Cloud Platform, while also addressing security, control and other needs.

“Based on lessons learned along with the early adopter deployments, we may explore options on how the model for hyperscale Kubernetes cluster management in Red Hat OpenShift and SAP’s project Gardener could be further improved,” he said. “As part of this IBM, Red Hat, and SAP will jointly drive a community-oriented collaboration around hyperscale Kubernetes multi-cluster management.”

SAP Cloud Platform on Red Hat OpenShift is expected to be available in Q4 of 2020 for early adopter clients. It is expected to be generally available in the first half of 2021.



IDC’s Peter Rutten

Peter Rutten, an analyst with IDC, said the expanded cloud collaboration between the three companies alleviates several problems for customers. First, customers will be able to securely run high-value data in the cloud without becoming non-compliant or vulnerable, he said. It also reduces concerns about data locality and potential latency issues depending on where it is running. Also removed are concerns about communication infrastructure, where cloud latency is dependent on unknown internet providers, said Rutten. Lastly, it resolves issues where one set of data is on-premises and dependent on another data set in the cloud.

“For the channel, this means that they can sell a complete on-premises SAP solution including SAP Cloud Platform,” said Rutten. “That’s preferred over an on-premises solution with a cloud version of SAP Cloud Platform. There’s increasing interest in on-premises environments that act like clouds in every respect, but still sit behind the firewall. That’s especially so for mission-critical database-driven workloads.”

About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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