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Hybrid Cloud ManagementMore deployment choices will potentially improve your enterprise SAP experience. There is no “one size fits all” set of SAP requirements and luckily, we’re no longer stuck with just on-premises hosting. Now, with Hybrid, you can leverage the best of Public and Private Cloud to maximize your value, your SAP, your way. However, attaining these benefits takes well-executed Hybrid Cloud management for SAP. To help you get the most from the Hybrid Cloud with SAP, this article explores five proven best practices for SAP Hybrid Cloud management.

Why Hybrid Cloud for SAP?

Hybrid Cloud management for SAP involves running some of your SAP assets in an on-premises data center and some in Cloud environments like Symmetry Cloud and multi-public Clouds. In some cases, there may be a Private Cloud as part of the Hybrid mix as well. Why do companies take this Hybrid approach when appears to be adding complexity to managing SAP? In our experience working with SAP-run enterprises, IT knows they need to be in the public Cloud. The team is trying to figure out the best way to leverage the Public Cloud for legacy systems. The drivers of this shift include:

  • Mixed workload requirements – They like the performance and security of on-premises SAP instances, but they want the flexibility and financial benefits of the Cloud for selected workloads. The Cloud is appealing because it allows for capacity expansion without a capital expense (CapEx) outlay. SAP in the Cloud can scale up and down, handling bursts in system volume that might arise with busy seasons (e.g. Christmas for retailers).
  • Security and compliance – They want to be in the Cloud completely, but security and compliance requires some on-premises instances. In some cases, it’s simply the law. You have to keep certain kinds of data inside your own firewall. Other times, it’s a security manager’s preference. He or she just feels more confident in the security of a private data center.
  • The time to get to the Cloud – Migrating SAP to the Cloud (and doing it right) can take some time. Most enterprises move SAP assets to the Cloud in increments. This approach allows them to gain knowledge and skills about the Cloud, test deployment configurations and make adjustments where necessary. In the meantime, they’ll run on a SAP Hybrid Cloud basis.

The Importance of Hybrid Cloud Management in SAP-Driven Enterprises

Effective Hybrid Cloud management is essential for gaining the business and IT benefits of this approach to enterprise architecture. The Cloud can be cumbersome to administer without the right tools and processes in place. Hybrid Cloud, by definition, also involves interoperation between at least two distinct sets of SAP instances. It takes an added level of focus to keep it running right—though ideally without adding to administrative overhead. Symmetry, for example, leverages the same monitoring in your datacenter, the Public Cloud or our own. This approach and toolset allow for a consistent experience in a single Cloud or Hybrid Cloud deployment.

SAP Hybrid Cloud Management Best Practices

Here are five best practices for management of SAP Hybrid Cloud environments. They’re based on our experience advising enterprises migrating their on-premises SAP instances to the Cloud and then running them on a Hybrid basis.

1:  Governance

We recommend creating clear guidelines and policies for your SAP Hybrid Cloud because Hybrid Cloud can add complexity.  Undoubtedly, you will be faced with decisions affecting which applications and data can be migrated to the Cloud, whether it’s public or private. There may be security and compliance factors to be aware of before making such a move. And, you may have new team members coming in to handle the Cloud It’s wise to formulate a strategy with all such governance factors considered upfront. This will make for a smoother implementation. After all, the move to Hybrid Cloud deals with more than just about merging infrastructure. It’s about architecting for SAP in a Hybrid environment.

2:  Automating workloads and processes

The automation capabilities of the Cloud-based SAP platform make it advisable to automate workloads and processes. Examples include automated load balancing and preset SAP HANA database templates that your team can quickly spin up without too many manual steps. Through automation, we help you take some of the complexity out of managing Hybrid Cloud—providing the best of Public and Private Clouds for SAP.

3:  Managing for appropriate performance

We encourage SAP teams to manage Hybrid Cloud environments for performance. This takes place on several different levels all at once. You have to configure your Cloud-based SAP instances with enough compute and memory power to perform in accordance with your internal Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The network has to be able to handle the load without slowing down application or database response times. Most importantly, there has to be a highly-tuned system for performance monitoring and alerting in place. That way, you’ll know quickly if performance is lagging so you can remediate the problem right away.

4:  Architect for SAP security in the Cloud

The best practice for SAP Cloud security is to architect for security.  Our SAP Cloud security policies include limiting public IPs, deploying bastion hosts. Our Security Groups limit how traffic can traverse your VLANs. This our foundation. We then layer on user access controls.

5:  Analyzing and optimizing costs

Moving part of your SAP infrastructure to the Cloud will change your operating costs (OpEx). For instance, most of our customers opt to reserve resources for most landscapes. This approach typically saves them 60-70% over consumption-based spending. We can help you analyze and optimize your costs to help you figure out the best financial outcomes from your SAP Cloud, e.g., determining when architecting in clusters makes sense, but also when it does not.

Following these practices can put you on the right track to having a successful experience with SAP in a Hybrid Cloud deployment. We can help, too. To learn more about our Hybrid Cloud Solution for SAP, visit https://symmetrycorp.com/it-solutions/Cloud-and-hosting/Hybrid-Cloud/

Jay Graboff, Cloud Product Manager

Jay Graboff is a Senior Cloud Product Manager that has been evangelizing innovation and digital transformation before there was either. With over 8 years delivering Public, Private and Proprietary Cloud, his passion and love affair with technology is rooted in what the Cloud can enable.