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hybrid cloud computingHybrid cloud computing can leverage the best of all worlds based on where you work (role), what you’re working on (products in SAP), and how you’d like to see your resources utilized for optimum business benefit.

Those working “on the stacks” in any role will benefit from increased capacity at lower cost and greater support for all of their activity, supporting both business users and the ERP infrastructure. SAP product management and optimization get a boost, as well, with enhanced capabilities for Finance, CRM and more.

Role-Based Optimization in the Hybrid Cloud

When you think SAP, a hybrid cloud option may be a good option for you. Production applications and dynamic landscapes may benefit from the kinds of automation available in Public Cloud and may therefore be well served when hosted in Public Cloud. This is particularly true when  agility and elasticity are key: Some vendors claim 80-percent effective utilization of assets, a consistent increase in business velocity and zero business impact from IT infrastructure failures. Landscapes that are more static, or those that thrive with dedicated resources may be a good fit for bare metal in either a Public or a Private Cloud.

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Solutions that have 3rd party interfaces that are not supported in Public Cloud may be a good fit when hosted in Private Cloud. Leveraging Public Cloud in Hybrid solutions may significantly reduce infrastructure footprint while improving network manageability, disaster recovery, and other functionality.

But Role-based hybrid cloud is not always black and white. For instance, landscapes like DevOps and Quality are no longer automatic candidates to turn down off hours as they tend to be accessed more and more around the clock. Similarly, Production environments are not always best suited in Private Cloud. This emphasizes the need to develop a Hybrid Cloud strategy,

Product-Based Opportunities in Hybrid Cloud Computing

Deploying ERP in private cloud is a conventional use case and can provide a host of added efficiencies. But through multi-tenancy and resource pooling, hybrid cloud can support more effective utilization of resources. With most reporting an “average utilization rate of 8 percent” increasing to 40 percent with cloud computing, ERP capabilities expand to include any foreseeable business need you may have. While ERP is the “heart and lungs” of an organization, and while ERP systems often house sensitive data, that doesn’t suggest that ERP shouldn’t be deployed in public cloud.

Forbes reported that by 2018, 62% of CRM will be cloud-based: we think the percentage will probably be higher for a number of reasons:

  • Competitive Advantage Many marketing organizations are identifying CRM as the highest performing asset they own. As such, it becomes a data source that can be highly utilized in the race to remain competitive, while vying for an excellent customer experience. This can be translated in the digital marketplace to revenue-generation power. IT organizations that fail to recognize the growing importance of CRM to the bottom line will disappoint forward-thinking leaders and those working to gain innovative opportunity using customer data.
  • Security Using CRM in the public cloud requires high security measures. Many will employ hybrid or private cloud options for this reason. Compliance issues in retail, healthcare, and financial industries are also of paramount importance. Symmetry’s ability to run interference for our clients in these industries is unparalleled and extends to SAP-CRM solutions consulting.
  • Scalability and self-service Scalability and integration of CRM in SAP will become easier, especially for those using the recent introduction of SAP CRM at Sapphire 2018. On-demand self-service for this product should be excellent based on the front-end options for mobile and other functional reporting and analytics. Scaling for opportunity and integrating with third-party applications might be more of a challenge in this version, but going forward, we expect to see that change for the better. Systems need to “talk” to each other for CRM to have the most effect: Public cloud allows for this outcome.

Static vs. Dynamic Resource Allocation

Business in the cloud can involve trade-offs between speed, security, availability, functionality, latency, and cost that most organizations struggle to fully embrace. When deciding on resource allocation, whether that’s by the hour or millisecond, you treat “static” or “dynamic” resource needs very differently and allocate according to a cost-risk profile that protects your investment.

Organizations are increasingly turning to hybrid cloud solutions to solve resource challenges head-on. Resource allocation decisions are an ongoing debate One of our clients underwent an acquisition that changed their resource needs almost overnight—but we were able to allocate their resources appropriately before, during, and after based on our experience managing suddenly “chatty” systems. Understanding where and how resources can be managed within your SAP landscape can be easier with our specialized support.

Static Resource Allocation in the Private Cloud

When people think of Public Cloud, virtualization is usually top of mind. But Public Cloud providers are starting to embrace bare metal. Given that many SAP and other legacy applications are still hosted on physical servers, the entire definition of Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud needs to and continues to evolve. For instance, is a solution hosted in Public Cloud on physical and virtual instances Public, Private or Hybrid? At Symmetry, we treat it all as Private Cloud and simply call it Cloud.

Then introduce classic Private Cloud to the mix and the options to architect for Hybrid Cloud are virtually unlimited. For instance, Symmetry’s private cloud offerings allow us to introduce bespoke solutions with custom networking, connectivity and WAN accelerators to the design. This allows us to design ‘outside the box’. Our clients view us as an extension of their IT teams, providing the SAP and SAP Cloud IQ. We also handle all the security and maintenance – ensuring your private cloud solution is exactly what you need for static resource allocation among your ERP applications.

Dynamic Resource Allocation in the Public Cloud

SAP in Public cloud requires a different approach to architecture. And even with the extreme levels of automation available requires 24/7 operations support for dynamic resource allocation. This is after all, SAP, and with SAP it’s always a balance between keeping critical SAP applications running verses scaling or replacing them.  The truth is, it frequently requires all of the above.

You must be elastic and flexible but also contain the cost. The reality is that if the budget is unlimited, architecting for peak demands is easy. But I almost never hear IT saying that cost is not a consideration, so dynamic resource allocation (including storage) is a necessary requirement. But cost is not the only consideration. The other two drivers are reliability and performance. And when an online healthcare education company, LearnPRN, moved its LMS to the cloud, its managing director, Robin Tchernomoroff, was just hoping for better reliability and lower costs. She had concerns about security and service outages during cloud migration, but the transition went quickly and smoothly. That wasn’t her biggest surprise, however. “The unexpected benefit has been the speed. We were expecting our LMS to be more reliable on the cloud, but the added speed was a very welcome surprise.”

A managed hosting partner can make all the difference when deciding on your hybrid cloud strategy. Symmetry offers cloud hosting solutions that give you the benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing performance. Our hybrid cloud hosting allows SAP customers to maintain low latency or high demand applications, such as PRD, while moving DEV and QA to the public 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.