The use of SAP solutions has turned into a strategic necessity for businesses looking to optimize operations, improve customer experiences, and spur innovation in today's changing business environment. No wonder, hence, the demand for adaptable and scalable cloud infrastructure has increased as SAP applications become more crucial to corporate performance.
Hybrid cloud has emerged as an attractive and suitable option for SAP environments, allowing businesses to harness the power of both public and private cloud resources in a seamless and cost-effective manner. This innovative strategy enables businesses to maximize their SAP workloads and data management strategies by providing a rare combination of on-premises control with cloud agility.
But why are companies embracing hybrid landscapes?
On one end of the spectrum, we have a fully on-premise approach with the servers hidden behind corporate firewalls, and on the other, we have a fully on-demand (or hosted) solution on a public cloud model. Between these two extremes, emerges the Hybrid Cloud model. In this blog, we will delve into crucial elements that make hybrid cloud an ideal choice for your SAP environment and go through the crucial steps of picking and moving to the hybrid cloud model that best suits your company's requirements. If you're considering migrating your SAP systems to the cloud, enhancing your present infrastructure, or embarking on a new SAP journey, keeping up with the hybrid journey may be helpful. So let's get going!
Public, Private, or Hybrid: The Right Cloud Model for Your SAP Environment
Businesses want as much flexibility as possible when deciding which SAP workloads should be executed, where and when. Enterprises can choose between public, private, or hybrid clouds as their primary cloud models when deploying SAP on cloud. Organizations must think and study the benefits and drawbacks of each cloud model, then choose the one that best suits the needs and goals. Here’s a summary on each of the 3 cloud models:
Why Private Cloud?
Private clouds are administered by a partner or vendor and are hosted systems. Control, or the requirement to precisely match a solution to how a business process is done, is a critical driver for private cloud environments since it helps you stand apart. Businesses should think about private cloud options for SAP hosting, such as SAP Private Cloud, which is effectively an SAP-owned and-managed SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC). Organizations with custom demands and requirements for adaptation, such as the demand for certain security levels or application management services, which the host works around, may find private cloud to be a good fit. SAP also provides a managed cloud environment with in-memory technology as part of its private cloud offering, which includes the following service components:
- Evaluation advice
- Migration and onboarding
- Cloud services and hosting for infrastructure
- Management of applications and customized services
Numerous SAP clients are already using HANA to power mission-critical applications, demonstrating security, end-to-end control and visibility, dedicated services, and low latency operations of the private cloud.
Public Cloud: Is this a better choice?
Public cloud is a preferred option for organizations of all sizes because of its effectiveness and affordability. In situations when you must adjust or adapt, a public cloud service is the ideal option. As part of SAP's public cloud portfolio, RISE with SAP combines SAP's industry-leading software with the expertise of SAP's partners to provide a comprehensive set of services that allow one to customize cloud strategy to meet specific needs and goals.
SAP is continually adding new hyperscale public cloud compatible services to its already vast portfolio, with an emphasis on the user experience. So, an entire enterprise or a dedicated business area – doesn’t matter – it is important that businesses leverage the public clouds’ full potential.
Hybrid Cloud: Because you CAN have it all!
The "best of both worlds" approach of a hybrid cloud allows one to extend to the cloud while safeguarding current on-premise investments. A hybrid cloud is an IT architecture that includes workload portability, orchestration, and management across two or more environments. In the context of SAP, hybrid cloud can combine on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and public cloud services. SAP cloud is specifically protected by SAP's strategic "hybrid" solution RISE with SAP, which is deployable in a customer data center. With this solution, businesses can use SAP BTP, SAP Signavio, and all the other cutting-edge RISE components from the public cloud while still running SAP S/4HANA as a cloud service from their data center.
SAP's hybrid cloud solution has a number of advantages. For instance, it can assist businesses with cost-cutting, efficiency improvement, and increased agility. Utilizing the scalability and flexibility of public clouds, businesses may quickly and inexpensively adapt their operations to suit shifting business needs. With such a hybrid environment, you can work on new projects concurrently while also accelerating old tasks by bringing innovation and responsiveness to the business.
Let us further delve into the hybrid cloud model for your SAP environment.
Choosing Hybrid Cloud for Your SAP Environment
This necessitates giving many variables considerable thought. When selecting an SAP hybrid cloud model, consider the following important factors:
Requirements for Security and Compliance:
When selecting an SAP hybrid cloud architecture, security and compliance are crucial considerations. Implementing encryption, access control, and other security measures falls under this category. Businesses must make sure that both private and public cloud arrangements comply with the organization's security and compliance standards.
Scalability and Availability Needs:
Choose an SAP hybrid cloud architecture that can scale up or down depending on your business demands if you need scalability and flexibility. By doing this, you may modify your resource allocation as necessary and stop overpaying for resources that won't be utilized. For example: A hybrid cloud model offers flexibility with on-demand access to data that isn’t tied to one central location. And for this, pick a hybrid cloud solution that satisfies your performance and availability needs. The systems will be constantly available and operating at their best thanks to this. Also maintain security and compliance, as the majority, if not all firms, have regulatory requirements for data and infrastructure for essential systems.
Analyze the hybrid cloud model's cost, taking into account migration, upkeep, and support expenses. Verify that the cost of the hybrid cloud model fits within your spending plan and organizational objectives. Businesses may find hybrid cloud to be a cost-effective solution because it gives them the flexibility to select the best cloud model for their needs and financial constraints.
Integration With Existing Systems:
By doing this, companies may avoid compatibility issues and ensure that the systems communicate well. A hybrid cloud model is a specific configuration of parameters, such as the ownership and accessibility of the deployment infrastructure and storage capacity. Without making a complete commitment to a single vendor, a hybrid cloud solution combines conventional systems with cutting-edge cloud technology. When necessary, businesses can move workloads between their on-premises infrastructure and a vendor's public cloud. For workloads that are dynamic or extremely variable, the hybrid cloud model is very beneficial.
Backup and Disaster Recovery:
Businesses should evaluate their Recovery time objective (RTO), for the data and applications to be recovered swiftly in the case of a disaster, businesses must have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is another metric that is connected to RTO, it addresses the most amount of data loss that a business can tolerate in the case of an unplanned disaster. Most businesses that utilize SAP systems are required to adhere to compliance rules that call for long-term backup storage. To guarantee that they can fulfill these compliance obligations, businesses must put in place a backup and disaster recovery plan.
It is important to have an open mind when it comes to hybrid cloud, and businesses must choose a provider who understands the ecosystem.
Different Hybrid Cloud Models for SAP To Choose From
|Point of Difference||Hybrid Solution Landscape||Hybrid Deployment||Hybrid Cloud ERP|
|Definition||Combines on-premise and cloud solutions into a single landscape, often used for data integration and seamless operations.||Combines on-premise and cloud deployments to meet specific application needs or data requirements.||Integrates on-premise ERP systems with cloud-based ERP solutions for comprehensive business operations.|
|Scope||Focuses on integrating various software solutions, including non-ERP applications, for holistic business processes.||Typically concentrates on specific applications or data that are deployed in a hybrid fashion.||Centers around ERP systems, encompassing core business functions like finance, HR, and supply chain.|
|Use case||Suitable for organizations looking to maintain a mix of on-premise and cloud applications to optimize their software landscape.||Ideal for scenarios where specific applications or data need to reside on-premise or in the cloud due to compliance, security, or operational reasons.||Beneficial for companies seeking a phased approach to transitioning their ERP systems to the cloud while retaining certain on-premise components.|
|Integration Complexity||Can be complex due to the need to integrate diverse software solutions and ensure seamless data flow between on-premise and cloud environments.||Typically involves less complex integration, focusing on specific applications or data transfers between on-premise and cloud.||Integration complexity varies depending on the extent of ERP modules being moved to the cloud and the need for data synchronization.|
|Maintenance & Scalability||Offers flexibility in managing and scaling various software components individually, which can be complex to maintain.||Easier to manage and scale specific applications or data sources, providing greater control and customization.||Balances the scalability and maintenance benefits of the cloud with the stability of on-premise ERP components.|
|Data Security||Requires careful attention to data security to ensure seamless and secure data transfer.||Provides more control over data security for specific applications or data residing in different deployment models.||Demands a robust security strategy to protect sensitive data as it moves between on-premise and cloud ERP systems.|
10 Steps for Transitioning to a Hybrid Cloud SAP Infrastructure
Transitioning to an SAP hybrid cloud architecture requires careful planning and execution. Here are the top 10 steps to consider when transitioning to a hybrid cloud SAP infrastructure:
- Assess your Current SAP Environment: Evaluate your current SAP environment to determine the scope of the migration. This includes identifying the applications, processes, and data your business relies on.
- Define your Hybrid Cloud Strategy: Define your hybrid cloud strategy based on your business requirements and goals. This includes documenting the business outcomes that you want to achieve and your motivations. Based on your company's needs and objectives, select the appropriate cloud architecture. This involves assessing the cloud model's infrastructure layer. There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid cloud model for SAP; each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before settling on a particular hybrid cloud strategy, businesses must undergo a thorough and in-depth research process.
- Choose the Right Cloud Provider: Choose a cloud provider that supports your performance, compliance, and security requirements, and your transformation goals. This involves evaluating the cloud service's affordability, scalability, and dependability. To make the switch to a hybrid cloud, one can use a hyperscale infrastructure.
- Plan your Migration Approach: When it comes to a difficult process like moving SAP to a hybrid cloud, planning your migration strategy is essential to ensure a smooth transfer to a new system or environment. This includes preparing your SAP environment for migration by cleaning up data. A multi-year data center migration plan can be used to transition to the cloud.
- Prepare SAP Environment for Migration: Preparing your SAP environment includes assessing your cloud readiness and evaluating your dependencies using automated cloud migration tools. A step-by-step guide can be used to transition to SAP Cloud ALM for implementation.
- Test and Validate SAP Systems: Test and validate your SAP systems to ensure that they are working as expected. This includes ensuring that your SAP systems meet your performance and availability requirements. Petabyte-scale storage with cloud volumes ONTAP can be used to optimize your SAP systems for the cloud.
- Optimize SAP Systems for the Cloud: To enhance performance and cut expenses, optimize your SAP Systems for the cloud environment. This includes ensuring that your SAP systems are integrated seamlessly with your existing systems. SAP Integration Suite is an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) that helps companies quickly integrate on-premise and cloud-based processes, services, and data.
- Monitor and Manage SAP Systems in the Cloud: Consider the performance of your SAP systems in the cloud to find bottlenecks, latency problems, or resource limitations in order to monitor and manage these systems efficiently. To protect sensitive SAP data in hybrid cloud environments, stringent security measures must be followed. Periodic review and evaluation of the SAP cloud-based systems, resource usage monitoring, being up-to-date with software updates and fixes, effective backup and recovery plans as well as employing third-party monitoring and management solutions designed for SAP systems in the cloud are all part of this step.
- Pre-projects and Use of Cloud Migration Tools: Consider pre-projects such as customer/vendor integration (CVI) implementation, which is a prerequisite for converting an SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA hybrid cloud system. This includes archiving customer/vendor data, activating business functions, and integrating customs. It is beneficial to use cloud migration tools to assess cloud readiness and evaluate dependencies. This includes getting insights into dependencies using various automated cloud migration tools.
- Consider Natural Changes: The natural changes that occur over the course of software development must be taken into account. This includes a variety of updates and enhancements, including testing and validation, support and enhancement packages, change management, etc.
Make the SAP to Hybrid Cloud Journey with Cloud4C
The path each firm takes to the cloud is unique. The hybrid cloud emerges as a game-changer in an era where business agility, scalability, and data-driven decision-making are crucial. It provides the agility required to succeed in today's fast-paced digital landscape by striking the ideal mix between on-premises management and cloud innovation. Making choosing the right hybrid cloud model for your SAP environment absolutely critical.
Cloud4C has consistently demonstrated how a well-crafted hybrid cloud strategy can enhance SAP performance, reduce costs, and drive competitive advantage.
We know that workflow application management is at the core of business operations. Cloud4C being the world’s leading premium provider of SAP S/4HANA, RISE with SAP, and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud solutions, comes with a team of dedicated experts on SAP on Hybrid Cloud, managing 10,000+ SAP instances and 2300+ TB of HANA Database. With Cloud4C, businesses can automate, modernize workflows and workloads for enterprise-wide agility and collaborative performance. Considering moving your SAP infrastructure to a hybrid cloud? Contact us today to get started on your hybrid cloud adventure with a dependable partner at your side.