AWS Launches New EC2 Instance for SAP Workloads

Five months after launching its smallest EC2 instance type, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) on Wednesday unveiled its largest -- the X1.

This first X1 instance, x1.32xlarge, is a "memory-optimized instance" designed to support heavy workloads, Big Data engines, high-performance computing and in-memory databases. It is particularly optimized for SAP HANA workloads and supports SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA.

At 2TB of memory, the x1.32xlarge has eight times the capacity of AWS' other EC2 instances, and more memory than other cloud vendors' SAP-optimized instances, according to AWS. The new instance runs on four Intel Xeon E7 8880 v3 Haswell processors, supports up to 128 virtual CPUs, and offers 10Gbps of dedicated bandwidth for Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS).

Underscoring its compatibility with SAP, AWS timed the X1 announcement to coincide with this year's SAP Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Fla.

"X1 instances change the game for SAP workloads in the cloud," said Matt Garman, vice president of Amazon EC2, in a prepared statement. "Now, for the first time, customers can run their most memory-intensive applications at scale with the elasticity, flexibility, and reliability of the AWS Cloud, rather than having to battle the complexity, cost, and lack of agility of colo or on-premises solutions."

AWS evangelist Jeff Barr briefly illustrates an example of SAP HANA workloads running on an X1 instance in this blog post. AWS also offers a SAP HANA deployment guide here.

Currently, the x1.32xlarge is available out of AWS datacenters in Northern Virginia, Oregon, Ireland, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney, though other regions are in the pipeline. Pricing begins at $3.97 per hour under AWS' three-year Partial Upfront Reserved Instance plan.

AWS' launch of the SAP-optimized X1 comes as its cloud rival Microsoft announced its own partnership with SAP. Microsoft, whose Azure public cloud is increasingly challenging AWS, on Tuesday announced that it is working with SAP to support running SAP HANA workloads on Azure.

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