Here Are More Details About SAP's Surprising New Partnership With VMware

During a press conference on Tuesday to launch VMware’s new cloud, Bill Fathers, VMware’s top cloud exec, dropped a bombshell: VMware would be “the first and only cloud provider” to offer SAP’s popular and pricey software on a monthly subscription plan, including SAP’s Oracle-killer HANA database.

Monthly subscription pricing of its software is something that SAP doesn’t even offer its customers of its own brand-new cloud.

Fathers offered no other details and neither company released a formal press announcement. 

We just heard from SAP that the partnership, while good, may not be as epic as all that. Here’s the plan so far:

  • The version of HANA is the same scaled-down one that’s been on Amazon since October. It’s called SAP HANA One and it tops out at 60 GB of RAM, or random-access memory, per instance. In comparison, a typical on-premises version of HANA begins with 64 GB of RAM and goes up from there—to terabytes. The amount of memory is important since this is an in-memory database, meaning it does all of its work on data stored in memory rather than on disk. The bigger the RAM, the more data it can process.
  • SAP customers who already have traditional software licenses won’t owe SAP more money to use VMware’s cloud. They will need to pay VMware monthly cloud usage fees. That’s the same deal for running SAP software on Amazon’s cloud, too.
  • Besides HANA, other popular SAP apps will be available for rent on VMware’s cloud, though we don’t know yet which ones. These will be “core” apps, SAP says, so presumably it will be the company’s bread-and-butter financial/enterprise resource planning software.
  • There’s no word on pricing yet, or availability.

VMware says it will roll its cloud out to U.S. customers in Q3 this year, and to Europe and Asia in 2014. So perhaps the SAP apps will be available around then. 

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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