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SAP Cloud Managed ServicesTo cloud or not to cloud? That has been the big question for SAP managers over the last few years. Indeed, a more common inquiry might be “how much to cloud, or not cloud?” Most SAP landscapes are now either partly in the cloud or about to be. The issue, then, is how to best manage SAP in the cloud. SAP cloud managed services offer an effective solution in many cases.

Understanding the Hierarchy of Managed Services

Having worked with many companies on cloud hosting and related services, we’ve noticed some confusion about what the term “managed services” actually means. There is no one single definition. Rather, the industry offers managed services at different levels of scope.

At the bottom of the scale is do-it-yourself SAP cloud hosting, where you set up SAP on a public cloud like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and run it 100% on your own. If that’s too much for you (as it is for most companies), you can go up a level and opt for an SAP cloud hosting provider like Symmetry to host your SAP landscape on its private cloud infrastructure.

From there, you can go up the hierarchy of managed services. Managed services involve a Managed Services Provider (MSP) taking care of some or all of the work required to keep SAP running in the cloud. Responsibilities may include monitoring performance, managing updates, enforcing security policies and so forth.

SAP Cloud Hosting Services

An SAP cloud hosting provider invariably does more than just host SAP in the cloud. Usually, the provider also handles the complex work of moving SAP into the cloud from wherever it’s currently deployed. For some organization, this could mean leaving part of the SAP landscape in the on-premise infrastructure. Hybrid clouds are very common for SAP instances.

As an SAP cloud hosting provider, Symmetry brings the tools, experience and capabilities to migrate you to the cloud. Once there, we work with you to optimize your SAP cloud landscape. The specifics of the migration process will differ with each customer, but in general, they encompass the following:

  • Planning, including assessment, strategy and roadmap – We base your recommended cloud journey on your business requirements and future growth plans.
  • Migrating – Our unique processes help you move to the cloud as efficiently as possible. Migration may involve building new, cloud-based infrastructure and transforming your overall architecture to suit the nuances of a cloud deployment.
  • Monitoring and managing – Hosting means monitoring and managing your SAP cloud environment to maximize performance using our dedicated management platform.

Do you need cloud hosting for SAP? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but at the minimum you might want to if you consider the economics. With the rapid pace of technology advancements, on-premise hardware ages quickly. As we mentioned, you can certainly sign into AWS or Azure and quickly spin up any number of preset SAP applications on your own for minimal cost. Just remember that you are on the hook for everything, and we mean everything: managing, updating, ensuring performance levels, security and on and on. You’ll need people on staff who know how to do all of these tasks.

You may have such people already on staff, but most likely you don’t have the deep expertise SAP requires. If you have to go out and hire people to manage your do-it-yourself SAP cloud instance, you’ve defeated the purpose of the whole exercise. An experienced hosting provider can pick up many of these responsibilities, especially if they offer more advanced SAP cloud managed services as an option.

SAP Managed Cloud as a Service

Are SAP cloud managed services right for your business? That will depend on how you envision SAP functioning in your business going into the future. If your business is not growing and your SAP needs are relatively static, then cloud migration may not be worth the effort for quite some time. However, if you’re like most companies we encounter, you are growing and changing all the time. In this case, you will probably want your SAP landscape to scale, evolve and adapt as your company does. This is where SAP managed cloud as a service can be quite appealing.

SAP cloud managed services relies on the MSP doing everything you need to keep SAP running in the cloud. This includes all the planning and migration work, but also a continuous focus on keeping your SAP cloud instance up to date and operating at peak performance.

Symmetry has a history in SAP cloud managed services. We offer ongoing architecture, security and operations support (24x7x365) for your cloud-based SAP landscape. Our approach blends technology and automation with certified engineering and architectural experts. We also offer security managed services and software to help with compliance and audit.

SAP HANA Cloud Solutions

Managed services for a specific SAP product platform represents another level up on the hierarchy of SAP managed services. We offer, for instance, SAP HANA in the cloud on a managed services basis. We start by migrating your SAP HANA-based application(s) to the cloud (brownfield migration) or implementing them from scratch (greenfield migration). Through our “pay as you grow” model, you can take advantage of HANA’s in-memory database performance without having to invest in expensive hardware or hiring certified technicians.

Our SAP HANA managed cloud infrastructure is built on HPE hardware and infrastructure. As a SAP HANA certified vendor, we offer flexible solutions from 64 gigabytes to 12+ terabytes depending on your needs.

Finding SAP Cloud Managed Services Provider

If you determine that SAP cloud managed services are right for your business, then it pays to work with proven experts. We are one of the largest and most experienced SAP application management and cloud hosting providers. Since our founding in 1996, we have delivered thousands of migrations, upgrades and implementation projects—optimizing over 2,500 SAP environments on platforms ranging from AIX to Linux and beyond.

We offer SAP hosting, SAP basis support, SAP managed security and hosted SAP HANA. On our private cloud platform we deliver 99.999% uptime, an industry-best in terms of operational performance. Symmetry is SAP certified in HANA Operations, Cloud Operations, and SAP Hosting Services. To maintain this status, we are regularly audited by SAP.

For more information on Symmetry SAP cloud hosting and managed service offerings, contact us today.

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

A Leader and SAP technical veteran, Matt Lonstine oversees the SAP Technologists that make up Symmetry’s Delivery team, while providing strategic guidance to customers. Matt has managed and executed some of Symmetry’s most complex projects with a current focus on HANA, virtualization, disaster recovery, system hardening, and migrations to Symmetry’s SAP Cloud environment.