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AWS Self-Assessment: How You Can Use Public Cloud for SAP More Flexibly
The Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud is not only a practical solution for testing and developing SAP applications. The platform is also suitable for production deployment. NTT DATA Business Solutions provides managed services for this – and serves as a central partner and contact. But how do you know which operating model is the best for you? These questions can help you make a self-assessment.
There are many reasons to consider using public cloud for individual SAP solutions or an entire IT landscape. However, depending on your own objectives, requirements, and available resources, a different model could be better suited. AWS, for example, provides an easy-to-consume infrastructure that enables you to obtain large server capacities quickly. But if you only opt for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), then you need to have the necessary SAP expertise and deal with migration and software operation yourself. Alternatively, you could simply outsource tasks such as monitoring, backup, and system management.
Public Cloud: The Questions You Need to Consider
With the public cloud, there are several paths you can take. On the one hand, you can use AWS infrastructure with NTT DATA Business Solutions services. On the other hand, you could opt for just the technical foundations or even operate your whole SAP landscape on premises. While there is no universal answer, the following questions can give you useful ideas to point you in the right direction.
- How much does your demand for processing power and storage capacity fluctuate?
Is it regularly taking too long to acquire the additional processing capacity to fulfill your departments’ needs on time? Is your IT system affected by frequent or unpredictable spikes in load? A prime example of this is an online shop that experiences sharp peaks in traffic at certain times of year. Alleviating peak demands and rapidly provisioning capacity are two ideal reasons to use cloud infrastructure. However, full flexibility is not necessarily cost-efficient. Capacities rented over a longer period can provide an affordable foundation for the base load. Sudden fluctuations and short-term expansions can be covered using on-demand models. It can be worthwhile to seek advice on finding the right mix and effectively managing capacity before making a decision.
- What proportion of your system landscape consists of SAP solutions?
SAP solutions set specific requirements for your IT infrastructure. Public cloud offerings come with a wide range of services to address various IT needs and SAP applications. But you need specialist knowledge to properly reflect the complexity of SAP systems in the cloud. The collaboration between NTT DATA Business Solutions and AWS guarantees seamless provisioning of SAP-based services.
- What scope of service do you need?
Most companies promise that the public cloud will relieve pressure on your IT department. But a simple IaaS offering from AWS only makes a very limited impact to this end. It reduces load your data center, but not your teams. So, the question is: What scope of service do you actually need? Do you just require support in designing the platform? Do you want to outsource the operation of your SAP landscape? Perhaps you even want to task external companies with extending your applications? How important is disaster recovery for your business? Are you satisfied with constant availability for your servers, or should that also extend to your applications?
- How global is your company – and what is the quality of your IT sites?
If your business comprises many subsidiaries, it can often be difficult or expensive to achieve an adequate standard of quality in your local data centers. With the public cloud, you can use high-quality data centers immediately and utilize the same technologies wherever you are. NTT DATA Business Solutions experts can support you practically anywhere in the world.
- What approach should you take to budgets?
Public cloud instantly ties you to on-demand payment models. But here you also have a choice. You can either pay based on usage and any associated fluctuations or you can opt for a fixed monthly price to simplify your planning. Do you want the flexibility to be able to make adjustments at any time? Or would you prefer to commit to a fixed time frame which could potentially prove to be more cost-effective?
- Where must your data be stored?
Technical cybersecurity in the public cloud is very advanced and most likely better than at your own data centers. As public cloud providers are located in a wide variety of locations around the world, you have many possibilities for local and regional data storage. It is not always the best option to store all your data on European or German servers. Depending on legal jurisdiction, that might even be prohibited. The possibility that national governments are authorized to access data stored on the servers remains a challenge. In this case, it pays to have a provider that works with you to design the best combination of on-premise operation and private and public cloud.
An important consideration concerning data storage is the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Practically every company is facing this challenge, and it is still raising many questions. Many are still unsure whether they fulfill the more stringent requirements and whether public cloud solutions present a viable option. We provide the answers in this article.
In addition, we have released a new expert paper on the topic of Amazon Web Services. NTT DATA Business Solutions expert Ulrich Meine explains the background and benefits of NTT DATA Business Solutions managed service for SAP environments on AWS.