Cloud solutions are increasingly often the obvious default model for maintaining business systems, including SAP. It seems that concerns about the security and availability of systems and data located somewhere in an unknown data center, in the cloud – raised a few years ago – have been dispelled. Cloud services have proven their efficiency and cost effectiveness. The companies have also realized that their own data center gives only an illusory sense of security while generating real problems and unforeseen costs.
So the cloud is a good choice. The only question is what kind of cloud. From which provider, how big, with what parameters, how managed?
In order to be able to precisely answer these questions and choose the service parameters that best suit your organization and at the same time fall within its budget, you are recommended to first get to know what the SAP system maintenance really means, what service models are available and what scope of responsibility may be covered by cloud solutions.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – this model of system maintenance covers only the technological layer: a data center, technical infrastructure (networks, disk resources, servers).
Platform as a Service (PaaS) – is a wider cloud model in which the service provider manages software (virtualization, operating system, database) in addition to the technological layer.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – the most advanced model of SAP system management, in which the provider is responsible for most of the system maintenance layers – all of them mentioned above as well as SAP Basis technology and sometimes also SAP applications (SAP application management). In this model, the solution provider delivers a practically ready-made system management environment and is responsible for ensuring communication between intermediate layers.
Regardless of the chosen range of cloud services, additional aspects that need to be taken into account are various types of interfaces, as well as increasingly important security issues that affect both each layer and the maintenance of systems as a whole.
From a data center and servers, networks and disk resources through virtualization, operating systems and databases, to SAP Basis and SAP applications, there are grey areas of undefined competencies and responsibilities at the meeting points of these layers. The more parties involved in the system maintenance, the greater the communication problems and the risk of passing the buck. Searching for a solution to the problem is prolonged and the risk of unplanned system downtime increases.
A wide range of cloud solutions for business systems is available on the market. There are thousands of public cloud service providers, including such giants of this market as Azure, AWS, Alibaba Google. The public cloud offer is very wide and often includes solutions dedicated to SAP systems.
Specialized clouds are offered by such companies as SAP (they include SaaS (Cloud Analytics), PaaS (SAP Cloud Platform) and SAP Private Manage Cloud (SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud), as well as SNP Poland (see below).
There are many solutions and variants available. The real challenge is to match the SAP maintenance service well with the company’s expectations. To achieve this goal, you need to do your “homework” well and to get to know the details of the offer in depth and not just compare the final price.
|Cloud||SNP Managed Cloud|
|The sum of the cost components of own Data Center infrastructure:
The need to ensure SAP system administration services
The monthly fee is based on the monthly consumption of IaaS:
The need to ensure SAP system administration services
A fixed, flat-rate fee:
Integrated SAP administration services
The most important aspects to consider before deciding on a cloud and its provider in order to be fully aware of what you have bought and paid for are:
- communication and work standards (established communication channels, clear conditions defining the path of escalation of the problem, reaction time, etc., the possibility of contacting a competent consultant, not just a bot);
- clearly defined contract terms, established SLA, specified responsibility of the provider;
- termination conditions, whether a period of notice is specified, whether a trial period is possible (e.g. the first contract for several months before deciding on a long-term contract); payment terms (prepayment, payment during the service), other conditions affecting the final price of the service;
- a guarantee of availability. In their marketing materials, providers boast about high availability, at the level of 99.999%. The problem is that it is often difficult to figure out the availability of what they guarantee us. Usually it turns out that it is the availability of the service provider’s data center. Unfortunately, this does not translate directly into the same parameters of availability of customer systems. In the situation of system unavailability, the provider often does not want to accept responsibility, claiming that their infrastructure works and the problem lies with the customer.
SNP Managed Cloud is a professional service to ensure the availability and security of IT systems using cloud technology, delivered according to SLA parameters dictated by business requirements. The cloud for the customer can be based on the infrastructure of the Data Center owned by SAP or external providers (e.g. SAP, Azure, AWS…). In the SNP Managed Cloud for SAP service, we do not focus on infrastructure. In the case of many of our customers, we can even say that SNP Managed Cloud starts at the point where the IaaS offered by the giants of cloud services ends. The essence is a whole range of complementary services that are responsible for smooth operation at the meeting points of the system management layers we mentioned earlier.
SNP provides comprehensive IT administrative care (hardware, networks, operating systems, databases, backups) and SAP support (SAP Basis administration, SAP maintenance, SAP application management), proactive optimization activities, modern data security solutions, as well as individual consulting, among other services. In addition to the technical layer necessary to maintain the systems, the SNP Managed Cloud service means a team of experienced consultants and administrators, as well as a mature and certified SNP service organization.
The most important benefits for the customer include:
- efficiency, availability and security of SAP systems in isolation from hardware and software platform management,
- precisely defined responsibilities and response times (SLA),
- a fee depending on the number of SAP system users and disk space,
- a single point of contact for all types of requests (the customer does not have to know intermediate layers and the source of the problem, he/she just makes a request, and it is the responsibility of SNP to find a solution),
- a service coordinator – a specific person who can always be contacted (phone, e-mail) in order to escalate the problem, obtain explanations, change the scope of services, billings, etc.,
- a team of experienced administrators with industry certificates, available 24/7/365,
- cooperation with SAP, AWS, Azure and other clouds,
- a backup system with full integration at the SAP system database level,
- full integration with SAP administration services.
The customers who use SNP Data Centers are guaranteed unlimited access to RAM and CPU resources. The price list depends on the number of system users and amount of data. Technical aspects (such as the number and type of servers) are the responsibility of the service provider; the customer does not have to deal with them.
The SNP Managed Cloud service model is always adapted to the customer’s needs based on business aspects and not IT parameters. We prepare a customized offer on the basis of specified expectations, we define in detail the scope of work and division of responsibilities.
At SNP, we assume that the most important issues for the customer are the availability and performance of the system as well as its security.