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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
updated date: 06.Mar.2023

DNS plays the ‘phone book’ role in the internet world. As multi-cloud setup has become more and more prevalent for enterprise customers. The Integration of customer-owned on-premise networks with cloud-based infrastructures to provide a seamless domain name resolution experience is vital to customers’ enterprise landscapes.

This blog targets on guide for Azure

Link to guide for AWS: here

Link to guide for GCP: here

Problem Description

In this article, we are addressing such scenarios, where SAP RISE PCE customers have their SAP workloads hosted on SAP managed cloud environment (on Azure, AWS, GCP, or SAP Data Center), while might also have one or both of: their own on-premise data centers, and their own hyperscalers (Azure, AWS, or GCP) subscription. And each network environment has its own DNS setup. Chaos might occur if domain names or IP ranges were not properly routed.

Thereby, we are proposing a reference architecture for such scenarios to resolve DNS requests coming from all sources (SAP RISE PCE managed environments, on-premise data center DNS servers, and customer’s own hyperscalers DNS services), with disaster recovery being considered.

Terminologies and Abbraviations

DNS: short for Domain Name System. It translates between domain names (like *.ecs.sap.com) and IP addresses (like in IPv4, 2400:cb00:2048:1::c629:d7a2 in IPv6) in both ways.

DNS Zone Transfer: [SAP RISE PCE preferred] one of the mechanisms to replicate DNS databases across a set of DNS servers. SAP RISE PCE recommends this because of: its high availability; it provides redundancy and higher SLA, especially for DR scenarios; it can establish reliable status monitoring. The disadvantage is: DNS Notifiers should be in place to ensure the full DNS TTL Delay.

DNS Conditional Forward (or so-called ‘IP Forward’): DNS servers that only forward queries for specific domain names. The advantage is, if no outbound traffic from SAP RISE PCE is necessary, customers do not have to configure their own DNS for their inbound traffic. The disadvantages are: customer OP DNS may suffer delay due to forward cache (but configurable); also due to forward cache, failover could take more time; limited status monitoring.

Zone Delegation: a process of assigning authority over a domain or subdomain to different DNS servers to keep records updated. The advantage is: customers can manage OP DNS through SAP RISE PCE as a single point. The disadvantages are: configuration is onerous.

Consensus / Prerequisites

  • Only server-side DNS servers are been considered in this reference architecture, client-side DNS (if any) are not been addressed here

  • Disaster recovery on customer’s data center is not been considered

  • Network connections for pairing virtual networks or connecting on-premise networks with the cloud (like VPC peering, VNet peering, VPN, .etc), and other network components (like load balancer, .etc.) are not been addressed in this reference architecture. Separate reference architectures will be created in later blog series.

  • SAP RISE PCE DNS servers are seen as resources.

  • DNS services on customer’s own hyperscalers are seen as services, and customers should ensure HA/DR been enabled on service level

  • In DR cases, we call it by zone, instead of region, since RISE customers can may deploy SDDR (different zones within the same region), or LDDR (in different regions)

  • In SDDR, a virtualized DNS server deployed within each zone. In LDDR, a virtualized DNS server cluster (contains 2 DNS servers for HA) deployed within each zone. There are SAP tools doing syncronization in between DNS servers (clusters).

  • The offerings by hyperscalers (Azure, AWS, and GCP) are based on the services’ general availability of hyperscalers providers’ (Microsoft, Amazon, and Google) official documentation online, as of this blog’s publishing date of time The offerings by SAP RISE PCE are based on SAP ECS service guidance as of this blog’s publishing date of time

Architecture Design

customer’s Azure subscription

DNS zone transfer

(RISE PCE preferred)

  • Hub-spoke topology is been applied, that DNS server/service is within hub VNet, and non-SAP VMs are within spoke VNet

  • Azure DNS is a server (cluster) deployed on Azure VM (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2)

  • DNS integration with RISE DNS (Microsoft official guide)

DNS conditional forward

SAP RISE PCE subscription

  • RISE DNS (cluster) is been deployed within the same virtual private cloud as SAP-managed VMs

  • RISE DNS shares information with OP DNS through DNS zone transfer

  • In DR case, a DNS (cluster) is deployed in each zone, the 2 DNS (clusters) share the same information with SAP tool in sync

customer’s data center

  • OP DNS can optionally share some information with RISE DNS through DNS conditional forward

Fig. 1: Reference architecture for DNS integration when customer's Azure DNS is server on Azure

Fig. 2: Reference architecture for DNS integration with DR considered when customer's Azure DNS is server on Azure

Fig. 3: Reference architecture for DNS integration when customer's Azure DNS is Azure service

Fig. 4 Reference architecture for DNS integration with DR considered when customer's Azure DNS is Azure service


  • SAP takes no responsibility for managing and operating customers’ own data center, nor for customers’ own hyperscaler subscription

  • RISE customers should provide corresponding DNS information, with regard to SAP ECS guidance

  • RISE customers should be aware of the pros and cons of the selected DNS integration approach

Acknowledgment to contributors/reviewers/advisors:

Konstantin Popov, Microsoft Azure

Ke Ma (a.k.a. Mark), Senior Consultant, SAP IES AI CoE / RISE Cloud Advisory RA group

Frank Gong, Digital Customer Engagement Manager, SAP ECS

Jyothi Prakash Lakshmi, Network Engineer, SAP ECS

Richard Traut, Cloud Architect & Advisor, RISE Cloud Advisory

Kevin Flanagan, Head of SAP RISE CAA EMEA North

Luc DUCOIN, Cloud Architect & Advisor, RISE Cloud Advisory

Jose Salguero, Cloud Architect & Advisor, RISE Cloud Advisory

Sven Bedorf, Head of Cloud Architecture & Advisory, RISE Cloud Advisory, MEE

Marcelo Morais, Cloud Architect & Advisor, RISE Cloud Advisory
Extended Reading:
SAP on Azure DNS Integration white paper, by Microsoft colleague, Konstantin Popov
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