SAP is not “just another workload” when building a cloud solution. Hybrid within SAP and other legacy workloads is different from other traditional and born-in-the-cloud workloads. Applying public cloud norms and conventional hybrid models does not always map to applications that were written with a single server host in mind. Most legacy applications were not architected to scale horizontally which influences how SAP is best architected in a hybrid world.
Private and public cloud vendors have different ways of providing support for new Cloud architecture. Partnering with a private cloud vendor like Symmetry gives you the option of working with our in-house Solution Architects and SAP teams to design, build and run your landscapes or provide lighter support to complement your own in-house team. We can also help you plan a hybrid cloud architecture that will ensure your business is protected and your landscape is optimized to perform better for your business partners.
Public cloud vendors don’t have dedicated SAP support, but they do offer vendor ecosystems, where you can choose from a range of third-party partners. Before you choose your Cloud migration path, here’s what you need to know when architecting the hybrid cloud for SAP.
Four Things to Think About When Architecting for the Cloud
There are four considerations when architecting for SAP Hybrid Cloud:
Availability – One of the main deliverables of cloud architecture is its ability to provide high availability and business continuity, even among multiple locations. In Public Cloud, it is key to architect across multiple availability zones to ensure high availability as hosts are serviced. Hybrid deployments give architects more options and flexibility to design for scale, meeting peak demands for SAP workloads.
Distributed workloads — For both computing and storage, and for centralized or distributed databases, Cloud architects must ensure the capability to “burst” –when workloads suddenly surge from one area to the other, to gain and retain elasticity. When supporting distributing workloads, architects must pay special attention to the storage deployed so data can be shared and distributed as architected.
- Connectivity – You must ensure latency for the Cloud by choosing the right kind of connectivity. Your workload may travel across several different platforms in three different ways:
- Through Internet browser
- Using a secure tunnel within an instance in the Cloud: a VPN through a firewall
- MPLS, an on premise and expensive solution that is used for larger amounts of data
Walking the line between cost, performance and latency is a balance as all three connection methodologies may be deployed.
- Network – Network options depend on what’s being run on premises and if cloud migration will be staged or happen all at once. Architecting for hybrid solutions requires rethinking how we define the network and the network edge. This includes but is not limited to how we architect VLANs, Security Groups and how we load balance. In that SAP is not cloud native, SAP applications and their supporting databases add to the complexity, which further highlights the need to find a partner that is expert in SAP Cloud deployments. Every journey to the cloud is personal, so at Symmetry, we’re truly Cloud agnostic – we can work with you regardless of your architecture or migration challenges.
Our clients tell us that we “make Public Cloud more Private-like” since our experience working on so many Cloud migrations has enabled us to know the limitations for each public offering and exactly where providers have stepped over or stepped up to become more inclusive to more industries’ SAP needs.
Cost Containment for Hybrid Cloud
One of the first questions we receive from clients who are planning hybrid cloud architecture: How can we use the hybrid cloud to pay for only the resources we consume and not have idle infrastructure that’s costing us money? It’s a good question.
For example, SAP runs production floors, HR, and Finance to name just a few functional areas. All of these experience peaks and valleys, whether it’s biweekly payroll transactions or gearing up for the Christmas manufacturing rush. Once you’ve settled on a way to distribute these fluctuating workloads correctly and aligned your connectivity for both critical and non-critical systems, you can pinpoint where costs and risks are justified—where you want to spend money ensuring elasticity. We’ve worked with clients to architect for peak load and also given many the ability to spin up resources from elsewhere in the Cloud to handle surges in workload.
SAP Hybrid Cloud Architecture: A Different Animal
Hybrid Cloud architecture starts with best practices in SAP. These can be extrapolated in your Hybrid Cloud architecture choices. Sometimes, clients must recalibrate more than once from what they originally thought they needed to realize a better risk- vs.-cost profile.
We have had hundreds of practical conversations about this issue based on years of collective experience. Symmetry aligns Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with only what clients need to manage risk but make sure they possess what they need in order to gain all of the benefits of SAP in the Cloud.
We can architect for burst, so that a VM is available if something gets bounced. Distributed databases like MSSQL can scale to the cloud. And Public Cloud connectivity via express route or direct connect ensures customized Cloud architecture can handle all your SAP landscape needs.
If you are working with an on-premise to private cloud architecture, chances are a one-size fits all connectivity, network or availability solution will leave you scrambling the first few weeks after migration. With more options for hosting and configuring SAP than ever before, having the right hybrid cloud partner has never been more important. The success of SAP HANA on Azure, AWS or in the private cloud hinges on your team from the planning stage, through migration and post go-live tuning, to steady-state operation. Your partner should possess deep hosting and SAP expertise, along with business know-how and long-term IT strategy.
For more about Cloud migrations, contact us to learn how we can help.