Exploring the Benefits of the SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of SAP BTP, Kyma runtime compared to a plain Kubernetes cluster.
  • Provide at least three arguments of why companies should use SAP BTP, Kyma runtime.
  • Explain how SAP provides a managed Kubernetes cluster with additional features.

Vanilla Kubernetes Cluster Versus SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime

Installing, updating, and maintaining a Kubernetes cluster is a complex task. If your company is not a cloud provider, you need to hire a team of experts to manage your Kubernetes cluster. This is not only expensive but also time-consuming. You also have to invest a lot of time and money to keep your Kubernetes cluster up to date. This is especially true if you want to use the latest features of Kubernetes and its ecosystem.

To outsource these tasks, a managed Kubernetes service (Kubernetes as a Service) should be considered. With a managed Kubernetes offering, you can fully focus on your business and applications by abstracting away the complexity of managing your Kubernetes cluster and its underlying cloud infrastructure.

The SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) offers a managed Kubernetes service called SAP BTP, Kyma runtime. Unlike a vanilla Kubernetes cluster, SAP BTP, Kyma runtime comes with additional features through Kyma, which we have already covered in the previous lessons.

Use of SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime in Companies

Typically, Kubernetes users would have to decide between different solutions (for example, Istio or Linkerd for Service Meshes) for their environment. The decision itself and also the integration, maintenance, and updates of these solutions are time-consuming and complex as well. Through the Kyma project, all of the most important tools are already integrated out-of-the-box. This saves you a lot of time and money.

However, using Kyma as a managed service will even go one step further and take care of the maintenance and updates of the Kyma components as well.

SAP Provision and Management of SAP BTP, Kyma runtime

When you create a SAP BTP, Kyma runtime in your SAP BTP subaccount, the underlying Kubernetes cluster will be automatically provisioned to you. In fact, SAP is not hosting the Kubernetes cluster itself. SAP is relying on hyperscalers (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services) to host the Kubernetes cluster. SAP provisions the Kubernetes cluster through another SAP-initiated open-source project called Gardener.

Gardener is Kubernetes cluster manager that delivers fully-managed clusters at scale and everywhere you want. All major cloud providers are supported (for example: AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, and so on). Gardener itself is an officially certified solution by Kubernetes.

Technically speaking, Gardener is an extension API server that comes along with a bundle of custom controllers. It comes along with new custom resources such as garden cluster, seed cluster, shoot cluster, and so on.

The garden cluster is the central cluster that manages all the other clusters. The seed cluster* is the cluster that is used to provision the actual shoot clusters. Furthermore, the seed cluster is also reconciling the state of your shoot cluster, performs updates and ensures that it is always in a healthy and running state. The shoot cluster is the actual Kubernetes cluster that is provisioned to you.

If you want to learn more about SAP Gardener, you can find more information in the Gardener documentation.

Key Benefits of SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime

So, in other words, SAP is offering the following advantages through SAP BTP, Kyma runtime:

  • A fully managed Kubernetes cluster on a hyperscaler of your choice.
  • The latest features of Kubernetes and its ecosystem.
  • Additional features through Kyma (Serverless, Eventing, Observability, Security, Service Mesh, Application Connectivity, and more).
  • Integration with other SAP services and products (for example: SAP BTP (Services), SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and so on).
  • Elimination of operations' overhead (zero infrastructure management and maintenance effort).
  • Allowing your developers to focus on development.


In this lesson you have discovered the benefits of SAP BTP, Kyma runtime compared to a vanilla Kubernetes cluster. Now you can make a strong case for the value proposition of SAP BTP, Kyma runtime compared to an unmanaged Kubernetes cluster. Also you can describe how SAP is provisioning and operating the managed Runtime.

Further Reading about the Benefits of the SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime

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