NTT DATA Business Solutions

SAP Hosting – Insights into Deployment Options and Cloud Computing Service Models

Every IT solution environment needs a solid foundation, so it can carry out mission-critical tasks and drive businesses forward. SAP hosting encompasses various options for your ERP deployment as well as efficient cloud computing service models.

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How to Build a Stable Foundation for Your SAP Solution Landscape

Like never before, businesses across all industries and branches are depending on their IT solutions which need to be integrated in reliable digital infrastructures. These solutions are essential building blocks for a company’s success and vital for the productivity of businesses.

Consequently, building your IT environment with cutting-edge technology has to be a top priority in order to ensure the functionality and efficiency of business-critical systems – in the present, but especially for years and years to come.

How can companies achieve this in the best possible way?

We can answer this question with a short and clear statement – simply rely on SAP hosting as a foundation. Today’s SAP hosting offers much more than just a ‘host-and-run’ systems approach. Customers can combine a vast variety of services and add new ones in order to receive a tailor-made IT environment that they can rely on. From ERP deployment over cloud computing services to managed cloud services – the repertoire is broad and gets continuously expanded.

 

Business man discovers ERP deployment

What Is SAP Hosting?

Classic SAP hosting, which is also referred to as SAP deployment, can be defined as the technical operation of an SAP landscape, for instance an ERP, or parts of the IT system in a particular location. Overall, you can distinguish between two different options where the system is localized:

  1. A company decides to run its SAP environment internally in an on-premise data center.
  2. A company chooses to locate its SAP infrastructure in a cloud environment – may it be a private, a public or a hybrid cloud.

In case of the latter, companies can either choose to host a cloud on their own or let a specialized IT service provider take care of all the administrative tasks. Since these cloud hosting providers manage the system in an external data center, this approach is sometimes labeled with the term SAP outsourcing. In comparison to the classic understanding of SAP hosting, SAP outsourcing also includes related services from external provides, which are often referred to as managed cloud services. Hence, SAP outsourcing can be regarded as an expanded form of the classic SAP hosting concept.

No matter which of the two general options is selected by a company, however, both SAP hosting scenarios always include the implementation of an SAP base layer as well as taking care of system maintenance.

What Are SAP Deployment Options?
Learn more about ERP deployment

What Is SAP On-Premise Hosting?

Although we see that cloud-based computing concepts constantly increase in recent years, the ‘classic’ on-premise model still is a choice for businesses to run SAP. In fact, not all companies are ready yet to move their system to the cloud and stick to an on-premise hosting.

This deployment approach shares the advantage that companies have complete control over their entire data and all business processes. Especially companies in industries with high privacy and compliance regulations, like life sciences, insurance or defense, usually operate with a more closed IT architecture.

However, an on-premise SAP deployment always entails an additional workload for an IT department since the teams have to run the whole system landscape and take care of the maintenance. As a business, you not only have to provide the necessary capacities but also the practical expertise to manage all admin tasks of your SAP solutions. Since we are a specialized provider, NTT DATA Business Solutions can take over all these requirements.

Learn more about cloud deployment

What Is SAP Cloud Hosting?

Running your SAP systems on a cloud platform, for instance an SAP S/4HANA ERP, can bring some competitive advantages for companies. First and foremost, it provides more flexibility and agility to businesses.

If you run your SAP landscape with a cloud service provider like NTT DATA Business Solutions that operates own data centers in multiple countries, you can rely on decades of experience in terms of system operations and maintenance. You don’t have to be concerned about hardware issues or any kind of other impairments regarding your systems or data. Your IT is relieved from all the time-consuming maintenance and service tasks, at the same time your company shares global access to all your SAP systems.

If you decide for an SAP cloud hosting, a couple of key questions need to be discussed and answered:

  • Which cloud operating concept do you choose – a private, public or hybrid cloud type?
  • If you consider a private cloud, do you host it on your own or assign a cloud hosting provider? Which services do you want to utilize from your provider in order to deliver the right cloud computing service model for your business?

Let us take a closer look at the different options in the following paragraph.

Note: Please keep in mind that there is no general ‘one size fits all’ answer whether an SAP on-premise or cloud hosting is the best setup for your company. Which concept you opt for depends on multiple factors and your company’s business requirements. Contact our experts to find your individual setup and an appropriate SAP deployment strategy.

What Are the 3 Types of Cloud Computing for Your SAP Deployment?

In this section, we want to elaborate on different types of cloud computing – namely private, public and the hybrid cloud model – and briefly explain the characteristics of each model.

Private Cloud

A private cloud, which is also referred to as an internal or corporate cloud, is a cloud computing setup where hardware and software resources are accessible by one customer only. Managed service providers also offer private cloud solutions similar to a corporate cloud but here the infrastructure is shared to different customers.

The benefits of a private cloud in short:

  • Cloud self-service: private clouds offer companies the option of self-service, which means that employees can directly access corporate systems and data without communicating with the IT department as a go-between.
  • High efficiency: possibility of adding new systems and tailor-made services based on individual needs and requirements already compatible with existing systems.
  • Cloud flexibility: although the term “private” implies that companies take care of the entire cloud management all by themselves, there is of course still the option to involve a third-party cloud service provider for the technical SAP basis and application management.

Public Cloud

A public cloud encompasses on-demand computing services and infrastructures that are managed by a third-party provider and shared over the Internet with multiple organizations. Public cloud service providers offer cloud-based services such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS) to users and businesses via different using models. The leading public cloud service providers for businesses with an SAP system are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The advantages of a public cloud deployment:

  • Pay-per-use and investment savings: a major benefit of public cloud computing is that customers do not have to purchase, set up, run and refresh an on-premise hardware infrastructure. Instead, you only pay for what you actually use in terms of servers, storage space, services or bandwidth, which has a direct impact on your operational expenses.
  • Infrastructure maintenance cost savings: since a third-party cloud service provider offers and runs the platform, customers do not have to take care of infrastructure maintenance procedures.
  • Agility and scalability: most IT departments surely know the challenges of estimating future needs in terms of hardware and software which leads to upfront spending especially for hardware and storage capacity that may never be used. With the smart utilization of a public cloud, you can scale your individual requirements up or down automatically and dynamically in order to meet business needs or peaks.
  • Fast deployment: Experiences from recent years have shown that the public cloud deployment is faster since providers offer the necessary systems and services out of the shelf. Therefore, an SAP deployment process can start immediately.
  • Global: Public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google make powerful public cloud infrastructures available 24/7 and with a global reach thanks to their global data centers, massive network bandwidth and substantial IT resources.

Hybrid Cloud

Broadly speaking, a hybrid cloud can be described as a mixture of the previously described types of cloud computing. A hybrid cloud architecture may consist of a private cloud layer, which is hosted on-premise or with a managed cloud services provider, and a public cloud layer. There’s also the possibility for a combination of an on-premise setup within a customer’s data center with workloads (e.g. SAP) running on a managed service provider’s cloud or on a public cloud platform.

The benefits of a hybrid cloud setup briefly explained:

  • Cloud structure: hybrid clouds provide customers with options to pick the best of all the different cloud models – on the one hand, running operations with high data privacy standards on an on-premise private cloud, on the other hand, carry out workloads that demand highly flexible and scalable setups with global reach on a public cloud
  • Faster innovation: combining multiple “as a Service”-elements like IaaS, PaaS or SaaS within a hybrid concept can make it easier for businesses to integrate innovations that are provided for instance by a public cloud provider.
  • Computing power utilization& data governance: splitting up the infrastructure and platform setup across the cloud types allows you to flexibly utilize computing power for your IT operations in the best possible way. Combined with data storage and access concept (governance), this gives your business the best possible setup for scaling without compromising on data governance.

In our blog article, we provide more information on the hybrid cloud but also on further benefits and potential downsides of the three cloud types.

Read now

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What are the Cloud Computing and Service Models?

There are three overall cloud computing service models for your cloud hosting, no matter if you choose to implement a private, public, or hybrid cloud:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

These cloud hosting models differentiate in the number of elements of your cloud infrastructure that you want to administer yourself or outsource to a third-party cloud service provider. The following components can either be managed by yourself or be laid in the hands of a hosting provider: hardware (servers, storage, networking), technologies for virtualization, operating systems, middleware, databases, applications.

What Is the Difference between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?

The difference between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS is the extent of maintenance work that you choose to do by yourself in regard of SAP hosting. Of course, you can manage your cloud landscape completely on your own, but you should definitely consider one of the three options as they give you the opportunity to save valuable capacities in your IT department.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Cloud computing with IaaS entails that a cloud service provider offers customers the physical architecture needed to run the cloud environment, so you do not have buy these components. Hardware such as servers, storage and network technologies are provided on pay-per-use basis over the internet. Furthermore, providers supply all the tools for virtualizing these resources.

In consequence, infrastructure-as-a-service allows you to flexibly scale your corporate resources depending on whether your demands increase or decrease at certain points of time.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

In addition to IaaS, SAP hosting with platform-as-a-service does not only provide customers with the hardware infrastructure for the cloud, but also takes over the application management of software such as the operating system as well as middleware. Similar to IaaS, companies can pay for the model on pay-per-usage basis, but also a fixed fee payment can be arranged with the hosting provider.

Thus, cloud hosting with platform-as-a-service gives clients even more control and flexibility in terms of upscaling or downscaling resources when needed.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

In comparison to IaaS or PaaS, SAP deployment with the software-as-a-service model delivers the all-in-one cloud solution to customers. SaaS does not only cover all the requisite hardware components and software such as the OS or middleware, but also the complete stack of applications that customers want to use. This application management includes aspects like user navigation and guidance, product lifecycles or services for a variety of SAP solutions.

As a result, the software-as-a-service model liberates clients from the entire SAP hosting and maintenance process as the cloud hosting service providers take care of everything.

 

 

What Are Common Cloud Hosting Providers?

AWS logo

AWS

With the rapid expansion of cloud services and complex IT infrastructures, it is essential to have the right managed services partner on your side. For this reason, we are adding Amazon Web Services (AWS) to our partner network. AWS will help broaden the wide range of services we offer to you – from consulting and strategy services, to implementation and support of SAP solutions. We will continue to deliver you comprehensive global IT and business services, with the flexibility and cost-efficiency of SAP-related hybrid cloud technology.

Microsoft logo

Microsoft

The international partnership between NTT DATA Business Solutions and Microsoft aims at leveraging cloud infrastructures of Microsoft Azure to support businesses with more flexibility. From planning, setting up, connecting and securing, to operating, we are combining the business-critical SAP applications with flexibly scalable and secure modern cloud infrastructures that offer high availability and in conformity to the latest data protection requirements. The demand-oriented usage of computing power will help SAP users reduce their IT infrastructure costs.

Managed Cloud Services by NTT DATA Business Solutions

Managed Cloud Services is an offering from NTT DATA Business Solutions as a part of our portfolio of SAP hosting and cloud environment solutions. Our spectrum reaches from taking care of partial cloud-based services to taking over the full cloud management for our customers in form of a software-as-a-service offer.

The following services are delivered by us:

  • Cloud operation and monitoring anywhere (on-premise, public and hybrid cloud)
  • SAP Managed Cloud including optimization of SAP applications
  • Cloud infrastructure enhancement as well as maintenance and release management
  • Cloud transformation, automation and safeguarding with additional integration services
  • Digital transformation advisory regarding your cloud journey
  • SAP Application Management (AMS)

As customer-oriented Managed Cloud Services provider with more than 30 years of experience in the SAP business, we target long-term partnerships with our clients by delivering the best possible services regarding operation and management of SAP landscapes.

Visit our Managed Cloud webpage and get more insights about our broad portfolio.

Managed Cloud Services

Do You Want to Know More about Cloud Hosting?

In case that you need more specific information related to SAP hosting and cloud computing service models, you can directly contact our experts. Our specialists will gladly answer all your questions or concerns and provide you with a free consultation based on the individual requirements of your business.

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