In December 2020 Salesforce announced Salesforce Hyperforce. But what exactly is Hyperforce? According to Salesforce
Hyperforce is a quantum leap forward in how Salesforce can accelerate our global customers’ digital transformations and empower them to grow, fast and at scale, on our trusted platform.Bret Taylor, President and COO of Salesforce
The best way to explain it is to explain how Salesforce is architected at the moment. Now you may have seen how Salesforce describes multi-tenancy which is the cornerstone of their current architecture.
They describe this in terms of their platform being a tower block, and a customer being a room in that tower block. The customer can utilise all the capabilities available to them in the room, so the power, water supply and building maintenance etc. All these resources are shared across the tower block. So when one customer may be using a lot of water others are not so we basically get the benefits of economies of scale.
This was revolutionary when Saleforce first launched. But as with everything, technology has moved on. From what I can see on the outside, Salesforce found that they were getting constrained by the tower block because there were becoming so successful. In fact, Salesforce has many of these tower blocks called pods or instances, looking at trust.salesforce.com you can see they currently have 315 and these that hold production orgs as well as sandboxes and trailhead playgrounds with more being added every week.
Generally, Salesforce puts fewer orgs on a production pod or instance than one just dedicated for sandboxes. This is because they need to make sure there is excess capacity on production instances to maintain a good level of service. But there is a problem with this. As customers start to want more and more resources even the capacity of the tower blocks becomes a problem, although this is hidden from us. So if you have ever been notified that your org is going through an org split this is Salesforce taking orgs off one instance and putting them on a brand new one to balance the resources out.
Ok so where does Hyperforce fit into this… now Salesforce has been a bit woolly with the details but this is what we know. The aim of Hyperforce is to unify the foundations of the various Salesforce clouds and allows Salesforce to scale rapidly using public cloud partners. This is essentially saying that rather than Salesforce running the tower block they will be utilising other public cloud partners so Amazon AWS, Google’s Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure for all the plumbing. This makes a huge amount of sense because rather than utilising the economies of scale of all Salesforce customers, Salesforce is now utilising the economies of scale of everyone using AWS, GCP or Azure and the benefits that that brings, which is massive.
Salesforce Data Residency
It also means that Salesforce doesn’t need to manage the physical servers in its datacentre, it allows them to deploy and innovate even quicker and it also allows Salesforce to meet local data storage needs. So if you want your Salesforce environment running in Germany then you can, or just India or in theory anywhere the public cloud services have a location. But at the moment Hyperforce data residency is only available in India and Australia and currently only for the core Salesforce platform and US and Germany for Customer 360 Audiences. But of course, this is going to expand.
Does Hyperforce impact your Salesforce org?
So how does hyperforce impact your Salesforce services? Salesforce explicitly says
The use of Hyperforce will not have a negative impact on any of your use cases or integrations and will function as any other Salesforce instance.
So we won’t notice any difference except for maybe better performance and future functionality. This is an underlying architectural change that we don’t see and won’t notice. But for example, some things they may have changed is the way our data is stored in Salesforce. So traditionally Salesforce runs on an oracle database so maybe they have changed part of this to a modern scalable nosql database on the public cloud or maybe just changed to an open-source database. Back in 2012 Salesforce came into the news for looking to hire 40 to 50 Postgres developers, for a huge project to quote “Design and implement major pieces of the salesforce.com core database infrastructure”, so maybe this is the result of that effort? or maybe it was just all a smokescreen to save money on an Oracle license renewal? Who knows?
But then they have also contributed to Hbase, a NoSQL database based on Google’s BigTable and used by Facebook among others so this could also form part of a change on the underlying platform. But whatever they have done if they are following serverless and public cloud architecture you can be sure that we will eventually reap the rewards further down the track on a much more scalable and maybe less governor limited environment which has got to be good!
How much does Hyperforce cost?
So how much does Hyperforce it cost? Nothing, we pay for this in our license fee already so nothing to pay.
How do you get Salesforce Hyperforce?
Salesforce is migrating orgs into this new architecture. If your org has been scheduled to move over to the new infrastructure it’s essentially the same steps you would need to go through for if our org has being split onto a new instance or pod. So things like updating any hardcoded references and whitelisting the new IP ranges (if that’s something you do) but for the majority of orgs this involves very little work. One thing Salesforce does say is that you can pick the location where you want your Hyperforce environment located but you can’t pick the public cloud so if you pick London you could end up on Google GCP or Amazon AWS but you have no control over that. Other than that it takes about 3 hours to complete the migration so you have a bit of downtime but this can be coordinated with your Salesforce Account Executive if you want a different time.
I leave you with a quote from Bret Taylor who is President and COO of Salesforce that says
Every company right now is facing an imperative — to go digital, fast. Salesforce Hyperforce is a quantum leap forward in how Salesforce can accelerate our global customers’ digital transformations and empower them to grow, fast and at scale, on our trusted platform.Bret Taylor, President and COO of Salesforce