The digitization of business is in full swing, and the cloud plays a key role in enabling this transformation. While many organizations are already moving their ancillary IT workloads to the cloud, some are more hesitant to move their mission-critical workloads, like those found in SAP systems or on SAP HANA, which involve a more complex set of business and technical challenges. To address these challenges, and successfully digitize their business operations, organizations need conscientious hosting providers that will diligently oversee the performance of their mission-critical applications as they migrate to the cloud. Here are some of the essential criteria today’s CTO should consider when selecting a hosting provider to help with this crucial task.
Think Beyond Infrastructure
It is vital that you select a cloud infrastructure certified by SAP so you can be certain that the hosting provider is following SAP best practices and will be able to support your systems properly. You must consider more than just the infrastructure itself, however. Hosting providers should also offer robust security practices that will protect your SAP systems against external threats, such as cyberattacks. In addition, it is important that the experts working for your provider have the necessary skills to support your systems. The hosting provider’s cloud engineers and Basis administrators should have the relevant SAP technical certifications so they can not only keep your infrastructure up and running, but also tune your applications and databases for better performance and overall operations. Additionally, you should require that your hosting provider offers advanced visibility and optics into the real-time performance and health of your environment.
Protect Your Future with Strong SLAs
Once you have selected a hosting provider to bring your SAP applications into the cloud, strong service level agreements (SLAs) are necessary to protect your investment and hold the provider accountable if an issue arises. First and foremost, do not settle for less than 99.999% infrastructure and networking availability for your SAP environment. Hosting providers should also be able to extend this availability to your development, testing, and quality systems since those systems are just as important from an upstream development and testing perspective.
Performance guarantees are also critical. Application response times are contingent on a range of cloud infrastructure factors, such as storage, performance, network throughput, and server-specific tuning. Your hosting provider should have performance SLAs in place that align with your business demands. A proactive provider will outline incident response times in conjunction with severity classifications and also define severity-level qualifiers in detail.
Don’t Let Disaster Recovery Be an Afterthought
Preparing for a disaster can be as stressful as dealing with an actual disaster and its impact on your business. One of the biggest benefits of moving to the cloud with a hosting provider is the ability to take advantage of the provider’s disaster recovery (DR) practices. The best hosting providers have pre-built DR runbooks and encourage customers to fail over to their DR site depending on their business continuity needs. Developing secondary and tertiary sites is typically less expensive with a hosting provider because the provider already has the infrastructure in place. These sites can be used to host the minimum systems necessary to maintain your business during a one- or two-day outage.
A best-in-class cloud hosting provider gives you access to your systems with the security and performance of private clouds, wrapped within the services you are accustomed to seeing from hybrid cloud providers. To learn more about how Symmetry can deliver a cost-effective enterprise cloud environment with end-to-end services, visit www.symmetrycorp.com.