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Do the terms HANA Enterprise Cloud, HANA Cloud Platform confuse you?

If you're not sure about the differences between the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the SAP HANA Cloud platform, you're not alone.

What's the difference between the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the SAP HANA Cloud platform?

If you're confused, you're not alone.

Many analysts and other SAP watchers have openly questioned the wisdom behind using such similar names for two pretty different products -- and SAP execs have admitted the two terms are confusing to many customers.  

Both the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform use the same basic infrastructure, but for different purposes and different types of users, according to Amit Sinha, senior vice president for platform and applications at SAP.

In short, the HANA Enterprise Cloud is a managed, private cloud hosting service where SAP provides the infrastructure and the services needed to host a Business Suite deployment. This can include HANA custom and out-of-the box applications and SAP NetWeaver Business Information Warehouse software, all on a single instance of the HANA in-memory database platform.

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The service is intended to provide organizations an easier, more comprehensive way to deploy HANA compared with on-premises HANA deployment. 

"What we're doing for them is offering them an infrastructure, offering our software, offering our services to help implement them and then keeping that updated as an application stack," Sinha said.

Typically, projects are pretty large, according to Sinha. "The idea is that you're doing everything for the customer, end-to-end."

Whereas the HANA Enterprise Cloud is Infrastructure as a Service geared toward large corporate ERP deployments, the HANA Cloud Platform is intended to help users such as independent software vendors, startups and developers to create and test cloud applications on the HANA Cloud Platform (i.e. HANA itself), using a range of available application, database and infrastructure services. 

They can also use the HANA Cloud Platform to extend an on-premises software deployment to the cloud.

"[In both scenarios, the customer is] in charge. They decide what to do. They decide how much to use, and when to patch, or upgrade. That's a very crucial difference," Sinha said of the HANA Cloud Platform.

This was first published in April 2014

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