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During Google Cloud Next ´17, Diane Greene, SVP Google Cloud, and Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board SAP SE, announced a strategic co-innovation partnership between Google and SAP. In Bernd's keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW 2017, Bernd Leukert and Diane Green explained the many ways in which our two organizations are extending and expanding this strategic partnership.

As a follow-up to these announcements, Tanja Rückert, President LoB IoT & Digital Supply Chain, announced at SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 that SAP also intends to provide the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), highlighting the potential of combining Google’s Cloud Platform capabilities with SAP’s IoT-focused business solutions and data management technology. An early showcase is currently being shown at the SAP Leonardo IoT demo station at SAPPHIRE.

What is SAP Leonardo IoT?

SAP Leonardo IoT offers a range of packaged enterprise end-to-end solutions for connecting things with people and process with real-time intelligence - across line-of-business and industry use cases.

SAP Leonardo IoT Bridge combines real-time information from connected things (products, assets, fleet, infrastructure, markets, and people) with business processes to turn extended supply chains into live supply chain environments.

These end-to-end solutions are built on a technology foundation that enables SAP, our customers and partners to build IoT solutions leveraging a consistent framework.

  • SAP Cloud Platform is the key strategic platform-as-a-service infrastructure that provides the framework for the SAP Leonardo innovation portfolio and SAP IoT foundation. Additionally, SAP Cloud Platform provides end-to-end micro services for machine learning, analytics, Big Data connector, security, user experience, user management, and backend integration APIs.

  • SAP Leonardo IoT Foundation includes both best of breed business services that enable users to rapidly build IoT applications based on the digital twin, reusable application services, and applying predictive algorithms; and core technical services to process a high velocity of data with the ability to stream analytics and run predictive scenarios. This data coming from millions of devices is delivered on a new generation SAP Cloud Platform.

  • SAP Leonardo IoT for Edge computing ingests data irrespective of connectivity, latency, device protocols concerns, and (at the same time) delivers intelligent edge applications.

Details on the GCP integration

GCP as one of the key global public cloud providers supplies a sound, technically very advanced foundation for various cloud-based scenarios and work-loads. Core capabilities around network technology (connectivity, throughput, flexibility), managing massive amounts of data and deep integration with Machine Learning (TensorFlow and APIs) reflect the needs of IoT driven scenarios. IoT scenarios require effectively connecting many devices via the cloud, managing and distributing the incoming data, providing advanced data processing and close integration into the application stack.

Therefore, the combination of Google’s technological edge and SAP’s focus on end-to-end IoT, data management technologies and business solutions result in massive value for partners and customers.

To get the most out of the combined Google / SAP offering, the intention is to integrate at a very deep technical level. Especially around networking, data distribution and processing SAP aims to utilize the many strengths of the GCP platform. As an example, SAP Leonardo IoT will utilize GCP’s Cloud Pub/Sub technology to ensure massive throughput and world-wide distribution of IoT data. Combined with SAP’s data management solutions around SAP HANA and SAP Vora this will result in a highly effective offering for partners and customers.

SAP is following a multi-cloud strategy allowing partners and customers to run their scenarios on GCP (Google), AWS (Amazon), Azure (Microsoft), or SAP’s own data centers, and in selected private cloud scenarios. Also, SAP Leonardo IoT fully supports this approach and will be available in all environments. This includes a very rich and effective integration in GCP and enable the usage of Google capabilities like e.g. GSuite and Google Maps.

Showcases at SAPPHIRE NOW 2017

To showcase the current integration efforts, two scenarios were shown at SAPPHIRE NOW.

SAP Leonardo IoT Foundation Cooler Demo

A cooler was connected to the SAP Cloud Platform leveraging the embedded device management capabilities. The sensor data was ingested into GCP Cloud Pub/Sub and from there written into SAP’s big data storage for time series data. Finally, the device was shown on Google Maps and the data was visualized using the SAP Leonardo IoT Foundation reuse services and reuse controls.

IoT Time Series Processing with SAP Vora

SAP Vora is SAP’s in-memory, distributed computing solution for big data. It is planned that SAP Vora will be deployed into GCP’s Google Container Engine by leveraging Kubernetes. In addition, there will be full governance and lifecycle management for end to end scenarios.

For the demo, we stored a huge amount of IoT time series data in GCP that was processed by SAP Vora.

Outlook on data ingestion pipeline

As outlined before, SAP is intending to integrate more deeply with GCP components. Let me explain that in the context of our data ingestion pipeline.

This is our current ingestion pipeline. All the components are embedded into the SAP Cloud Platform that runs on our own SAP data centers, but also IaaS cloud providers. Devices are connected to our platform through SAP Cloud Platform Internet of Things. The raw data is written to Kafka. From there we put the raw data into the IaaS specific object storage component (e.g. S3 on AWS). The time series data is transformed by Spark Streaming Jobs. It is then stored in SAP Vora and aggregates these time series data in SAP HANA. Applications can access this data in a homogenous approach via SAP HANA – shielding whether the data is served directly by SAP HANA or the attached SAP Vora solution.

For the GCP optimized data ingestion pipeline we intend to optimize several components. As an additional device connectivity channel, we evaluate to use the Google IoT component. Instead of Kafka, we write the data into Google Cloud Pub/Sub and the raw data is stored in GCP’s cloud storage. All remaining SAP components will run in the SAP Cloud Platform that is also provisioned on GCP. With that, we will utilize the technical scale of the GCP platform and still ensure movability of the application code as defined by our multi-cloud strategy.

Further information can be found at:

Reference Architecture for SAP IoT Solutions
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