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On-Premise and Cloud United With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

May 5, 2019

Ulrich Christ Ulrich Christ
Ulrich is a Development Manager for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

In implementing a cloud-based data warehousing solution, how can on-premise and cloud work together seamlessly? What do you do if you have an on-premise database already? Do you have to move all your data to the cloud? You have questions, and we have answers.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud addresses some of the core challenges that businesses face when it comes to managing reporting and analysis in modern data environments. It provides pre-built templates, integration to SAP and other data sources, and the power and flexibility of SAP HANA in-memory processing to ensure agility, speed, and simplicity.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is enterprise functionality made simple. Data marts and other data warehousing solutions are easy to build, allowing for faster implementation. Plus, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud removes barriers for departments, regions, divisions, or individual business users‒allowing them to set up data marts for projects and proactive research as needed.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud's simplified user interface makes it accessible to business users in a way that data warehousing solutions typically are not, giving a new level of access and control to the people who are closest to the data.  It makes it easy to deliver a completed analytics solution that is flexible both in scope and access. And, critically, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud addresses the challenges associated with implementing a full cloud-based analytics solution whether data is located exclusively (or predominantly) on-premise, in the cloud, or in multiple clouds.


Introducing a cloud-based data warehousing solution in an environment where some or all your data is currently on-premise raises questions about how the two environments can be made to work together successfully. What happens to the on-premise databases? Do you have to move them to the cloud or maintain copies of the data in two places?

The short answer is no—you don't have to move it. That data can stay where it is, on-premise. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can not only be used as a standalone cloud tool; it can integrate seamlessly with all your on-premise systems (whether they be SAP or non-SAP systems). You can either move the data to the cloud or access it remotely.

But "remotely" means something different where SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is concerned. The system provides simplified administration with centralized visibility and governance. This means that although the data may be located in two (or two dozen) different locations, it is being governed from one central point. The SAP Data Warehouse Cloud workflow concept treats the entire distributed data architecture as a single entity. It is your data repository. From an analytics perspective, it is the single source of truth.

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All the capabilities offered by SAP Data Warehouse Cloud allows organizations to find their individual balance between on-premise and in the cloud. Organizations with large on-premise databases don't have to move to the cloud in a "big bang," but can use SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to allow business users to extend the data provided by IT on-premise with their own data to conduct specialized reporting or analysis.

Companies like VELUX, the Danish manufacturer of roof windows, skylights, and other products, succeed in finding this balance between the cloud and on-prem. Before SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, VELUX saw that too many solutions on the market require on-premise data to be moved into the cloud to consolidate these sources. However, they don’t need to do this after deploying SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. The solution both connects and integrates different systems without replication thanks to virtualization.


Such a deployment gives business users a cheap and flexible environment to conduct their individual analyses based on high quality, governed data from IT without interfering with the more stable IT backend systems. (Alternatively, an IT department can use SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to build new scenarios in the cloud—based on or combined with data they keep on-premise, allowing for an evolution into a full-fledged cloud data warehouse over time.)

Enabling business users to set up their own environments may be reminiscent of the classic "shadow IT" dilemma. But this is far from shadow IT. As my colleague Stefan Hoffmann outlines here, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud eliminates the painful security, trust, data quality, and other issues that come with shadow IT. It provides a new model of collaboration between IT and the business, in which the business has the flexibility and independence it needs while IT maintains the centralized governance that prevents chaos.

Connecting to SAP BW4/HANA

One of the most common uses cases we’re asked about is how SAP Data Warehouse Cloud would leverage their SAP BW4/HANA  on-premise investments. I’m happy to say these two solutions complement each other perfectly. All the models already built for SAP BW/4 HANA work in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, so you can reuse these models without any obstacles. From the first time you log into SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, connecting to SAP BW/4 HANA is easy through Smart Data Integration (SDI).

Whether you’re using SAP BW/4HANA or any other on-premise solutions, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud makes the cloud evolution a smooth transition. For organizations looking to ultimately migrate to the cloud, SAP gives the option of defining as many steps along the way as needed for that enterprise. There are many possible hybrid configurations between a pure on-premise environment and a pure cloud environment, and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud supports all of them. The move to the cloud can be as agile, as gradual, and as incremental—or as accelerated—as makes sense for your business.