SAP solutions can provide many benefits to a variety of company sizes across industries. However, there are many options for hosting SAP, with multiple cloud choices available to accommodate a wide range of customers. Organizations considering what to use for hosting SAP should understand what makes each option a potential best fit.
Cloud Deployment Options
Public Cloud Provider
One option for SAP deployment is through a multi-tenant public cloud run via a software provider . This option provides the deployment infrastructure and infrastructure level SLAs, making a public cloud more manageable for companies that have SAP-experienced teams available to be dedicated to the application. Hosting in the public cloud means that multiple tenants will be sharing resources, and many public cloud providers are not very customizable, which may not be optimal for high performance or high levels of control. However, some flexibility has been developed specifically for SAP by public cloud hosts through evolved partnerships. A public cloud option will take some work by the organization and could cause difficulties for certain businesses with the possibility of service outages and security or compliance concerns, but it is one of the most affordable options for hosting SAP.
Private Cloud Vendor
Another option for SAP deployment is through a private cloud. This can best fit an organization’s unique requirements and adaptability needs, such as the need for certain security levels or application management services, which the host works around. This means that the private cloud can be transparent while reducing the need for constant management on the organization’s end. A private cloud can also be especially helpful when moving forward with an upgrade or S/4HANA migration as well as in times of acquisition or divestiture when cloud movement would also occur. Private cloud options can be on the pricier side, making them best suited for large companies, though options and cost may range depending on vendors. Still, with high performance, more space for control and personalization, and improved security, a private cloud can help with landscapes that need consistency, leading many organizations to migrate to a private cloud.
Other SAP Hosting Options
Other methods for SAP deployment can be SAP-managed. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, known as HEC, is an SAP-managed private cloud that better enables economies of scale. It provides two strong options for S/4HANA service – its Custom HANA Enterprise Cloud option (which is more costly and therefore more suited for bigger businesses) and the S/4HANA Cloud Private option. The Custom HEC option allows migration from existing landscapes and permits modification, while the other Private HEC option requires starting from scratch in building a landscape and does not allow modifications. Additionally, the tenant and vendor share governance in the Private HEC option. SAP HEC provides useful technical application management services and helps ensure that SAP solutions function in a way that meets needs the best, which is particularly helpful for organizations with smaller SAP teams. One downside of this deployment option is that it is limited only to SAP, with add-ons or other software requiring approval and migrations with third party systems generally not allowed. Public cloud options are cheaper than SAP HEC, but HEC may cost less overall when considering all service needs. Lastly, it is important to note that a non-SAP managed hybrid cloud can be effective for controlling a split with some data remaining onsite in a private cloud, and some going to a public cloud, making it another option to improve flexibility and cost optimization.
There are multiple considerations for options to host SAP, and it is important to prioritize business needs, SLAs, and how important customization may be. Whether a public cloud, private cloud, hybrid, or SAP-managed cloud option seems to be the best fit, Clarkston can help guide you with confidence through decision making and migration processes.
Contributions by Courtney Loughran