I’ve been lucky to have been working, for the last 1,5 year, with an ‘on premise’ HANA server which was purchased by my employer.
For those of you who aren’t that lucky, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a very good ‘cloud’ alternative. AWS is using a ‘pay per use’ model which indicates that ‘the more you use it, the more you have to pay’…so be aware to stop your AWS instance when you’re not using it, otherwise your monthly bill might contain an unpleasant surprise.

Besides Amazon, also other HANA cloud alternatives became available and not all of them are using the ‘pay per use’ model.
So if you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised, you can also choose for a ‘flat rate’ model at

More info is to be found at the following blog entry by Juergen Schmerder.