Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Amazon to Run SAP Applications in the Cloud

It’s been only a few weeks since Amazon conducted its lengthy post mortem of the cloud services outage that brought it and so many of its customers to a screeching halt. Those troubles behind it, Amazon Web Services is now getting back to normal activities, like adding suites of applications to its cloud.

Today Amazon announced that it is working with SAP, the business software company, to not only run several of its key applications in the cloud, but that the Amazon Web Services environment has been certified by SAP. The applications include SAP Rapid Deployment, and SAP Business Objects. These applications account for about half of SAP’s business.

Typically, SAP applications are deployed on the customer’s own in-house infrastructure, and though it’s not uncommon for AWS customers to run SAP, it’s usually for test and development purposes, though some do so in a full production environment, Adam Selipsky, vice president of Product Management for Amazon Web Services told me yesterday. SAP customers, whether new or existing, can use their SAP software licenses and move their applications to AWS and cut down on their operating costs. Selipsky said that SAP has done a lot of work testing and optimizing its software to run in the AWS environment, and that the benchmarking shows that it runs as well on AWS as it does on traditional infrastructure.

One application that isn’t certified–at least not yet–is SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning software. Selipsky says Amazon and SAP are working to certify that application now. “There’s so much demand for this from our customers we didn’t want to hold anything up,” he said. He expects ERP certification to “happen shortly.”

Since it was the first time I’ve spoken to Selipsky since he was the subject of a Seven Questions interview in March, and since memories of the AWS outage are still fresh, I asked if he had anything new to say about the outage and its implications, especially in the context of adding a new service like SAP, which companies actually use to run their businesses.

“I think we were as thorough as we knew how to be in our 10-page post mortem. We tried to say everything we knew,” he said. “All I can say is we’ve got many large corporations around the world who are eager to run SAP on AWS. So our business continues to go strong and grow quickly.” I asked him if AWS has lost any customers because of the outage. He said “none that I’m aware of.” At least one survey showing Amazon cloud customers were more or less unfazed by the outage suggests he’s right.

Meanwhile Amazon shares are up by more than 12 percent since the end of April. As a percentage of Amazon’s business, AWS is still pretty small, but as everyone knows it punches above its weight in terms of influence, given the number of small and medium Web companies that rely upon it. Much of that surge in Amazon’s value has come on speculation that it is about to get into the tablet business.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik