Discovering Cloud Terminology


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Discover the basics of cloud computing
  • Discover hyperscalers
  • Discover the service and deployment models

Cloud Computing

If you are familiar with the following terms, you can skip this lesson:
  • cloud computing
  • public, private, hybrid cloud
  • software as a service
  • platform as a service
  • infrastructure as a service
  • hyperscaler
  • multi-cloud

Cloud Computing Overview

Cloud computing can lower your costs by allowing you to use only the resources you need on demand. You don't need to build a big data center in your office for scalability and high availability. You don't need to reserve an amount of computing resources in case you need it for a prototyping project, or for a temporary higher load on your system. Cloud computing offerings are available in different deployment models and service models. In addition to that, cloud landscapes are clustered over several regions to ensure higher availability and lower latency. With the increasing amount of cloud capabilities, the importance of virtualization and container technologies is becoming even more relevant than ever before. Out in the market, there are a lot of providers, also called vendors, for several cloud offerings. SAP is focusing on the transformation to the cloud.

Cloud Terminology: Multi-Cloud

In the intelligent, sustainable enterprise, the system landscapes are more diverse than ever before. You can combine multiple products from several vendors from private cloud, public cloud, or even on premise. It doesn't matter whether it's infrastructure, a platform, or software-as-a-service, they are all on demand. You can combine and integrate them to each other through the concept of multi-cloud. SAP is also supporting the approach of multi-cloud. That means you can combine software from different regions, deployment models, and you can combine SAP software with software from a third party.


Cloud Terminology: Hyperscaler

The well-known hyperscalers are AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Alibaba Cloud. Of course, next to them, there are even more cloud providers that might have hyperscaler approached architectures. SAP partners with the four previously mentioned big hyperscalers to achieve the best offering for the customers and the highest availability. This collaboration is across several products, but SAP BTP is the most interesting one in the scope of hyperscalers.

SAP BTP is available in several regions with these providers. SAP supports multi-cloud landscapes through this. The providers themselves may differ in up-time availability, service offerings, or latency from data centers. SAP, in collaboration with the hyperscalers, offers data centers in the following regions: Europe, U.S. East, U.S. West, Singapore, and many more.

SAP, of course, also operates software in its own data centers without using hyperscaler capabilities. These data centers are built with a hyperscaler-like architecture to be more resilient and flexible for scaling and high availability.

Whether an SAP solution is running on SAP data centers or hyperscaler resources depends on the product and its architecture.

Service and Deployment Models

Cloud Terminology: Deployment Models

Cloud services differ in different types of deployment. Depending on who offers the services, and to which target group, it is referred to as:

  • Public Clouds
  • Private Clouds
  • Hybrid Clouds
Public Cloud

The public cloud is an offer of a freely accessible provider, which makes its services openly accessible to everyone via the Internet. Webmailer services, or Google Docs, are examples of public cloud offerings, as well as the paid services of Microsoft Office 365 or SAP Business ByDesign.

Private Cloud

For privacy and IT security reasons, organizations often prefer to continue to run their IT services themselves, and make them accessible only to their own employees. If these are offered in such a way that the end user in the enterprise can take advantage of cloud-typical added value, such as a scalable IT infrastructure or installation, and maintenance-free IT applications that can be used via the web browser, then it is called a private cloud. Often, however, these additional values are not achieved, or only partially achieved, in so-called IT infrastructures.

Hybrid Clouds

Hybrid clouds are called hybrid forms of these two approaches. For example, certain services at public providers run over the Internet, while data-critical applications and data are operated and processed in the enterprise. The challenge here lies in the separation of business processes into data protection critical and non-critical workflows. The prerequisite is a clean and consistent classification of the data available and processed in the company.

Cloud Terminology: Service Models

Because we are now familiar with the cloud deployment models, we need to clarify the type of software, or we could also say the service models, of cloud products:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Subscribing to hardware resources based on your needs on demand. This includes networking, storage, server, and virtualization. Hiring infrastructure, rather than owning it, allows you to maximize the creativity of each team instead of limiting it to the capabilities of a central architecture team. Whenever you need more or less resources, you can adapt your subscription which results in working more flexibly and being more cost effective.

IaaS providers include the hyperscalers like Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and many more.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Subscribing middleware functionalities on top of your virtual infrastructure. You can adapt and extend the platform with your custom logic and often with predefined services which you can activate and use. Cloud platform services often offer security functionalities for authorization and authentication, clustering, load balancing, routing, or database services. A cloud platform can be used to manage and maintain all operative processes for your infrastructure. You can easily start building your own applications or using predefined services.

SAP offers a product in the PaaS market sector: the SAP Business Technology Platform. The SAP Business Technology Platform offers a lot of services and middleware functionality. The SAP Business Technology Platform is built using a lot of SAP and open source technology.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Subscribing to applications based on your needs on demand means that it doesn't matter whether its traditional business software or entertainment media - almost everything today is a SaaS solution. You can choose component applications, everything from traditional business software to virtual infrastructure management tools, all delivered and operated over the web. The provider ensures security, availability, and performance. Often, you don't have much ability to customize the SaaS services. You can only consume them and sometimes make some small configurations, or manage the users with access to your subscription. SAP also offers several products in the SaaS market sector - just to list a few:

  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • SAP Customer Experience
  • SAP SuccessFactors

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes