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SAP on premise for decades and have been reluctant to harness the benefits of the public cloud. But as the public cloud has transformed IT and businesses, on premise hosting has become harder to justify.
While the traditional benefits of the cloud — superior scalability and lower costs — have only become more apparent as the technology has matured, SAP on public cloud has also overtaken on premise hosting in areas like security, historically used to justify staying on site.
The time is right for your SAP on premise to cloud migration for the following benefits
Resource pooling has drastically cut the costs of public cloud operation. By operating at hyperscale, public cloud providers can keep the cost of compute low, passing the savings on to tenants.
SAP on premise to cloud migration also moves you from large CapEx on hardware updates to stable OpEx, where you only have to pay for the compute you actually use.
Cloud computing makes SAP more agile and flexible. With on premise servers, you’re limited to the resources you’ve installed, and unforeseen growth in resource demand can impact system performance.
In the cloud, there’s no need to plan hardware upgrades to meet growing demand — you can provision resources instantly. The cloud also incorporates built-in lifecycle activities like system copy and snapshot.
The cloud allows you to meter and automate resource usage to maximize efficiency. Resources can be spun up during times of high demand, then turned off again to control spend and reduce waste.
Moving SAP to cloud gives you access to virtually unlimited resources, with multiple data centers available in each region. This allows you to size the systems for their current workloads and add to scale the capacity as it is needed for new demands such as IoT projects, or business needs like mergers or moving into new markets.
Abstraction converts the physical assets your landscape relies on to digital processes. In the cloud, your SAP landscape is no longer dependent on one particular set of hardware systems, which have to be carefully monitored and tuned to ensure proper system functioning.
Additionally, running SAP on public cloud enables your business to benefit from a Software Defined Everything (SDE) environment. This provides a foundation for orchestration and automation of all cloud services, makes your landscape more robust and significantly reduces the cost of maintenance.
The cloud greatly improves disaster recovery, availability and business continuity. With replicated storage, and the ability to harness multiple network providers, you can avoid the risks that come with running your landscape out of a single private data center. High availability is built-in, and users can meet arbitrary resiliency requirements at a much lower cost.
SAP on-premise hosting can be very secure if done properly, but very few companies have the resources. The modern public cloud is designed around security, with extensive network hardening and testing, standard encryption and built-in access control. Third-party security certification and support for a wide range of compliance regimes greatly reduces the risks of breaches and data theft.
Different cloud-based platforms support different versions of SAP applications. You need to check beforehand whether your solution is compatible with the proposed cloud regarding the SAP system, operating system, and database software.
Choosing the Right Size
Cloud platforms offer various storage space sizes. To get the exact size for your migrated system, you should know the number of SAPS necessary for each SAP system, or you can just apply the average utilization (this gives you the size you need at the moment and the ability to grow in future).
Choosing the Location
Cloud servers can be located in any part of the world (Europe, North America, Asia, etc.). Choose the closest and most appropriate location for your system, taking into account the wide area network costs.
It is also necessary to choose the appropriate support for your SAP product. There are three service classes:
- Entry service — a minimal set, recommended for isolated projects
- Development service — supports the application from the beginning of its development to the moment it goes live
- Full service — a full set of support required for best system management
Planning and Budgeting
The next step is to determine what to move first and what strategy to follow to make the migration as smooth as possible. Assess the whole SAP landscape, and based on the obtained data, draw up your budget.
If your solutions are running on OSs or databases that are unavailable on clouds, they must be changed and tested again. This point is significant, as it can contribute to the migration timeline and final costs.
Before migration, the system should be cleaned of inconsistent and corrupted data, unreadable files and other data that is seldom used. It can be archived and purged. This will simplify the migration to a great extent.