Here are some of the key criteria SAP customers need to include in their evaluation of hosting options.
Of course, cost comes first in almost all scenarios and at first glance, negotiated costs can be deceiving. Enterprise agreements, short-term discounts, migration funding and more can all muddy the waters when it comes to getting a clear perspective of the pricing you are signing up for. In order to best predict what future costs will look like, it’s important to understand the hyperscaler’s attitude towards cost, and then extrapolate their pricing history.
When selecting a provider, you need to understand which hyperscaler/partner can best help you see and control ongoing metered costs.
Nowadays, we expect public cloud to be more resilient than on-premise. And, this is generally true, not all clouds are equal – especially for applications such as SAP. We need to evaluate the amount of downtime.
Publicly published statistics on hyperscaler downtime show that AWS fares far better than Azure. Choosing the most stable platform is an important part of the selection criteria for all the systems but particularly for SAP given its criticality to the business.
Speed of innovation
Right now, AWS is the leader in getting new innovations and new ideas to the market quickly. Azure categorizes itself as “fast followers,” which is an important but safer position in the market. Google, while very good at what they do around data items and other categories, does not display the same customer obsession and innovation focus in its cloud capacities as its competitors.
AWS has always led the way on the most performant technology, both on storage and compute. What AWS has done recently is launch all of their instances based on their nitro hypervisor which takes all the hypervisor load off the VM and allows the workloads to get access to all of the resource on compute. Nitro was, in effect, an add-on component to every VM. This allows for unparalleled performance.
Ultimately, automation is the most important secret ingredient of them all. Automation not only allows us to do things automatically, remotely and quickly, but also with more quality. Quality builds for installed software systems, like SAP, are essential.
Classically run on-premise, most people spend their time trying to “keep the lights on” for SAP and maintaining and fixing things manually. The downside of that is people make mistakes and you could end up with situations where Dev might have a different kernel patch version than COS, which might have a different version than Production. Suddenly, you get unexpected defects when you run workloads on production. Automation will remove the manual errors and ensure that there is a repeatable and reliable process for both the build and maintenance of the SAP landscape.
Another plus of automation is the agility it enables. Suddenly, you can do things faster. So, when users want a system refresh, or a restore from a backup, or to patch a system, these things can now be done much more quickly.This agility delivers satisfaction to the project team as they can try out new ideas quickly. This is, of course, the fundamental premise of innovation – the ability to try something quickly, fail at it fast or, if it does work, promote it quickly into production. If you want to innovate, you need to be agile, and if you want to be agile you must automate.