X1 instances: AWS' game changer for SAP workloads in the cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the availability of X1 instances, a new Memory Optimized instance for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). X1 instances have 2 TB of memory, the maximum that any SAP-certified cloud instance has. Powered by four 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E7 8880 v3 (Haswell) processors delivering 128 vCPUs, X1 instances also offer up to 10 Gb per second of dedicated bandwidth to Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), making them ideal for running in-memory databases like SAP HANA, big data processing engines like Apache Spark or Presto, and high performance computing workloads. X1 instances are certified and available for SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA as well as SAP Business Warehouse on HANA.

Matt Garman, Vice President, Amazon EC2, says:

“Amazon EC2 provides the most comprehensive selection of instances, offering customers, by far, the deepest compute functionality to support virtually any workload. We’ve had a Memory Optimized instance family for a while that is quite popular for high performance databases, in-memory analytics, and enterprise applications; however, customers have increasingly asked for even more memory to help run analytics on larger data sets with in-memory databases, generate analytics in real time, and create very large caches.”

Garman furhter adds that with 2 TB of memory – 8 times the memory of any other available Amazon EC2 instance, and more memory than any SAP-certified cloud instance available today – X1 instances change the game for SAP workloads in the cloud. 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 colocation or on-premises solutions.

X1 Features

High Performance: In addition to offering 1,952 GiB of DDR4 based memory per instance, X1 instances feature 128 vCPUs and are powered by Intel Xeon E7 8880 v3 processors that feature high memory bandwidth and larger L3 caches to boost the performance of in-memory applications. X1 instances also enable increased cryptographic performance via the latest Intel AES-NI feature, support Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions to boost the performance of in-memory transactional data processing, and support Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel AVX2) processor instructions to expand most integer commands to 256 bits.

High Storage Throughput: X1 instances offer 10 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to Amazon Elastic Block Store and are EBS-optimized by default with no additional cost since SAP HANA production environments are certified for use with Amazon EBS General Purpose SSD or Provisioned IOPS SSD volumes.

High Availability and Reliability: X1 instances support Single Device Data Correction, which detects and corrects multi-bit errors. SDDC +1 uses error checking and correction code to identify and disable a failed single DRAM device. It can implement High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions to meet Recovery Point Objective, Recovery Time Objective, and cost requirements by leveraging Amazon CloudFormation and Amazon EC2 Auto Recovery.

Cost Reduction and Decrease in Management Overhead: X1 instances extend the elasticity, simplicity, and cost savings of the AWS cloud to enterprise-grade applications with large dataset requirements. One can launch X1 instances as On-Demand or Reserved Instances, which can help run workloads at a lower cost. It can also leverage AWS Quick Start, Amazon CloudFormation, and other AWS management services to easily and quickly provision X1 instances.

Brooks Brothers, a retailer of fashion wear and accessories that has been using AWS in US states that the company has been using AWS for key business critical SAP applications powered by HANA on AWS.

Sahal Laher, Executive Vice President and CIO, Brooks Brothers, says “With the addition of X1 instances with 2 TB of memory, we’ll be able to rapidly deploy new SAP solutions like S/4HANA, Supply Chain Management (SCM/APO), as well as Fashion Management (FMS) powered by HANA in production on AWS. We’re looking forward to realizing the same benefits with X1 that we’ve experienced thus far with the AWS Cloud, which has allowed us to put greater focus on areas of our business that drive revenue.”

X1 instances are available by customer request in North Virginia and Oregon in the US, Ireland and Germany in Europe, Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore in the Asia Pacific Region, and will expand to additional regions in the coming months.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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