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1 Develop a Secure, Stable Cloud Environment 5 Steps to Framing Your SAP Cloud Infrastructure

2 Architect a Plan to Leverage Your SAP -Centric Cloud Contents Architect a Plan to Leverage Your SAP-Centric Cloud Step 1 Survey Your Business Landscape Step 2 Create a Hybrid Cloud Blueprint Step 3 Vendor Assessment Step 4 Obtain Proof of Concept Environment Step 5 Blueprint Execution and Continuation In recent years, IT departments have seen a shift in focus. Limited resources have left staff spending more time and effort maintaining old systems, while project work remains on-hold, often to the detriment of the entire business. IT Directors are faced with the challenge of transforming their department from a perceived cost center back to a value add an innovation powerhouse that contributes to the organization s success. Three key criteria underpinning the delivery of value through IT are innovation, agility and cost efficiency. When IT experts innovate technologies that support business unit objectives, the result is a cascade effect that drives incremental improvements in cost reduction and process efficiencies across the entire organization. Agility is critical if organizations are to maintain pace with the mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and constantly changing markets, regulations and technologies that shape today s dynamic business world. IT s ability to support rapid innovation in response to these changes can make the difference between capitalizing on an opportunity and leading the market, or falling behind competitors. However, without a stable, high performing infrastructure IT s efficiency is eroded as resources are committed to maintaining and supporting sub-par systems. A cost effective infrastructure is the backbone that supports the organization and makes innovation and agility possible. Make the Move Frame Your Own Cloud Plan Fortunately, there is a technology solution that delivers on innovation, agility and cost effective infrastructure. Cloud computing is rapidly transforming the IT world. With new private hosted and public Cloud solutions available specifically designed for SAP applications, Cloud computing is set to transform the way organizations running SAP do business. The benefits of Cloud computing are clear improved business agility, scalable resources, no capital expenditure and huge reductions in total cost of operations. The question is no longer What s in it for me? but, How do I get there? This paper will outline a clear five-stage roadmap to driving greater IT value through the Cloud. 2

3 Step 1 Survey Your Business Landscape There are a number of critical factors to be considered to help establish organizational readiness for a move to the Cloud. These include technical infrastructure, business requirements and even the emotional readiness of the organization. Fully assessing each of these elements will allow you to prepare for any challenges that might lie ahead. IT Infrastructure A thorough infrastructure review will enable you to define requirements for a Cloud environment and providing insight into improvements your organization needs to be Cloud ready. Additionally, the review will provide a baseline for performance against which to measure the success of your Cloud project. Performance Requirements Business acceptance of Cloud technology and the overall success of the move depends greatly on maintaining, if not improving, system performance for the enduser. A noticeable drop in application performance spells failure for any Cloud project. Sizing Correctly sizing your system architecture is one half of achieving optimal performance. Cloud environments utilizing newer, higher performing hardware are likely to have very different system sizing requirements to traditional environments and these will need to be established in conjunction with your Cloud vendor s solution architects. The first step is to establish a baseline from current sizing as well as workload and performance levels. An assessment of current applications should ask the following questions: What is your existing hardware capacity? Is performance currently acceptable? What are the growth trends for CPU, disk and RAM within those systems? What is the I/O performance and utilization? Does your business have known periods of heavy system utilization? Networking Map out the networking infrastructure that will connect your users to your systems in the Cloud. Include a complete overview of plant and office locations, remote sites, web traffic, home-based or remote users and connections for disaster recovery (DR) systems. Key areas to consider in order to avoid a potential drop in performance include What is your current WAN architecture? Can it easily accommodate Cloud operations (you may need to involve your 3

4 Defining the Cloud Private Cloud Your applications run on servers you own, in your own data center. Hosted Private Cloud A third party vendor hosts and manages servers that you own. Public Cloud Your applications run on hardware owned and managed by a third party vendor in their data center. Your applications are made available to your users via an internet connection. The hardware may be shared between customers. Hybrid Cloud Your applications are hosted on a combination of public Cloud infrastructure and private hosted Cloud or private dedicated non- Cloud infrastructure. Software as a Service (SaaS) An application that has been web-enabled and made available through a public Cloud environment. Users may share access to the same software or access separate virtualized environments. Cloud vendor)? Is your current WAN and internet performance acceptable? What changes to the network pipe will you need for the Cloud? Platform Requirements There is a common misconception that it does not matter what the Cloud runs on, as long as it runs. For applications running on Windows and UNIX this is largely true, however for organizations running IBM i (AS/400) specific applications the vendor s choice of Cloud platform can make or break the project. Maintaining the same platform and performing a homogeneous migration will result in a smoother transition to the Cloud and lower the initial investment. However, if re-platforming is a requirement of the vendor, and supported by the application, there are a number of potential changes that must be managed. These include: Database changes Operating System changes IP addresses changes Impacts to licensing Support costs IT Policy Requirements Compliance Being clear on your compliance requirements can determine which Cloud model public, private, or private hosted is best suited to your organization. Compliance issues at the application level, like the segregation of duties issues dealt with in Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) remain largely unaffected by a move to a hosted Cloud. In a public Cloud hosting model (unlike the software as a service model) the software applications you use are not shared between customers. Separate virtual environments, Ethernet networks, and WAN infrastructure all work to isolate customer data. For organizations with HIPAA and PCI requirements maintaining compliance in the Cloud is a grey area that largely depends on the vendor s approach to disaster recovery, backups and physical security. In these instances private hosted or hybrid model Clouds offer the added security of a dedicated environment. In all other cases careful scrutiny of a SAS 70 or SSAE 16 report from your chosen Cloud vendor will enable you to ensure that their compliance processes meet your standards. Physical Security Cloud vendors are able to take advantage of the economy of scale to provide high standards for firewalls, intrusion detection, physical controls and appropriate segmentation of staff duties. As a result, many midsize businesses find that Cloud hosting vendors are able to provide better physical security than is available in their own in-house data centers. A checklist of your organization s specific business or audit requirements will help in choosing an appropriate Cloud vendor. 4

5 Secure Access Users will require the same levels of secure access as they have today and most likely they will be able to access the Cloud using the same methods. This could be via 5250, HTTP browser based connections, VPN, SSH terminal sessions or remote desktop sessions. Backup and Recovery Issues around backup and disaster recovery (DR) in the Cloud have made headlines in recent months. Unfortunately, not all Cloud vendors, or even traditional hosting vendors, are able to provide backup and recovery services with a methodology that will meet your business requirements. A review of your internal policies around backups and DR should include the following questions: Frequency and timing how long does the backup take and does it impact production availability? Does your organization have a preference for tape based backups versus vaulting or SAN snapshots? Is journaling active or managed? Does your organization have a DR strategy? If so, what are your recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives? Emotional Readiness Organizational change management is often an overlooked component in the move to the Cloud. Don t underestimate the importance of soliciting, recognizing and managing people s expectations of the Cloud, and even more importantly, their objections to the Cloud. Despite the clear financial benefits of moving to the Cloud there is also a strong, and sometimes conflicting, emotional component involved as well. Objections can come from all levels within the organization. The combined organizational memory of most C-suite executives can be likened to that of an elephant, especially if your organization has been burnt by outsourcing vendors in the past. Many IT Directors will not be surprised to find that their own personnel have misgivings about moving operations to the Cloud. Job security concerns may lead staff to view Cloud hosting with suspicion, instead of as a tool enabling them to bring greater value to the organization. The final hurdle, and often the hardest to overcome, is the argument for the peace of mind (imagined or not) that comes from being able to see, hear, and touch servers in an in-house data center. One of the best approaches to addressing concerns with Cloud hosting is to take a phased approach utilizing a hybrid model. In this way executives and IT personnel can gain a measure of comfort with the technology and the vendor without exposing the organization to undue risk. 5

6 Step 2 Create a Hybrid Cloud Blueprint The multiphase approach enabled by a hybrid Cloud hosting model enables organizations to see immediate value from Cloud related activities. Importantly, this approach reduces the risk and resource stress that would result from a full scale migration of the entire IT infrastructure. In a hybrid model organizations typically take one of two approaches. In the first, non-critical applications are moved to the Cloud while core applications which may have stricter compliance requirements or require a different platform remain in-house. The second approach to establishing a hybrid Cloud model involves migrating non-production systems to the Cloud environment while production systems remain on-site. Sandboxes, test/quality assurance systems and Disaster Recovery (DR) systems are perfectly suited to a Cloud environment and are excellent candidates for the first phase of a move to the hybrid Cloud. In a traditional DR environment a secondary production server, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars must be maintained. However, in a Cloud environment you can maintain a DR environment affordably with very low resources and dynamically allocate extra resources only when they are needed. This represents an enormous costs savings and presents organizations with an opportunity to re-allocate DR servers to other applications. Similarly, sandboxes and test systems are also subject to intermittent use between major projects. A Cloud environment provides the flexibility to maintain constant system availability and add extra resources as needed, or to simply stand up and tear down temporary systems as projects dictate. The key to maximizing the value of the hybrid approach is to strategically leverage opportunities for change as they occur with your organization s normal schedule of projects and maintenance. Consider the following areas to start building a timeline of trigger events that will set the schedule for your Cloud roadmap. Data Center Considerations The prospect of a major data center infrastructure upgrade in the next 2-3 years or a major contract up for renewal can bolster the business case for moving to the Cloud and provide an end-date to drive strategic planning. Hardware Considerations Ongoing budget stress means many organizations are choosing to extend their hardware refresh cycles by continuing to run applications on hardware that is out of maintenance. However, with a hybrid Cloud model organizations no longer have to balance these risks against the capital expenditure requirements of the latest servers. As each piece of equipment is due for a refresh, consider retiring the oldest servers first and then re-distributing applications between the Cloud and remaining in-house 6

7 systems. For example, many organizations choose to retire their oldest hardware and move test and development or DR systems to the Cloud, while maintaining production systems inhouse on the remaining newer hardware. Project Considerations A hybrid Cloud model allows the IT department to bring immediate value to new business initiatives, whether planned or in the planning stages. In a dynamically changing business environment, the ability to stand up (and tear down) proof of concept and test/development systems as required by business units rather than waiting to provision new resources helps to foster greater business agility. In the case of a completely new implementation, hosting the entire environment in the Cloud can dramatically cut the costs of infrastructure, hardware maintenance and the burden of support for staff. The end result is that innovation becomes a more realistic option at a business level when IT can drive a faster time to value and significantly reduce implementation costs. Step 3 Vendor Assessment Cloud technology is not fail proof and does not automatically result in well managed, highly available applications. There is a concerning trend amongst vendors to commoditize the Cloud. However, at the enterprise level Cloud solutions need to be about more than just renting disk and CPU. Vendor differentiation becomes apparent in the breadth of the Cloud solution and their competency to manage the entire application stacked end to end. There is a large gap between vendors offering Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.) style Cloud offerings and those providing a true enterprise-level solution complete with support for sizing, architecture development, migrations and ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Cloud technology is new enough that few industry standards have arisen in terms of contacts, pricing or service structures. Assumptions about services and responsibilities can lead to unpleasant and costly surprises so it is well worth assessing every detail against your requirements and carefully scrutinizing contracts. The following checklist provides good general criteria against which to compare Cloud vendors. 7

8 Cloud Vendor Checklist Vendor History How long has the vendor been offering hosting services? Does the vendor hold any other third party certifications related to their Cloud hosting infrastructure and services? Examples include SAP Cloud Services Provider Certification or IBM Cloud Specialty Certification Is the vendor SAS 70 Type II or SSAE16 certified? Is the vendor familiar with the specific requirements of your applications? Can the vendor provide references for customers running the same software applications as your organization? Services and Support Sizing and Architecture Who is responsible for providing the sizing requirements for your new environment? Does the vendor provide a qualified solutions architect to help design your new environment or does this technical competency need to be supplied in-house? Is the vendor s system designed to support the software application you wish to host? Migration What level of support does the vendor provide for the migration project? For example, SAP migration projects require an SAP Certified Migration Specialist. What tools does the vendor use to manage the migration? How are risks mitigated? How will downtime be minimized during migration of a production environment? Scaling What is the vendor s process for scaling your Cloud environment? How long will it take for changes to take affect? Maintenance and Monitoring What level of ongoing support is provided for your environment? Is monitoring the responsibility of the vendor or the customer? If managed by the vendor does it involve a human assessment of your environment or is it only managed through an automated system? Can the vendor provide expert administrative support for your hosted application? Backup and Recovery Is the vendor responsible for data back up? Is their approach consistent with your business/ application requirements? Does the vendor provide disaster recovery options? What technology do they utilize for data replication? Where are their primary and secondary facilities located? Contracts Service Level Agreements Quality of service Uptime Security Help desk Disaster recovery (include recovery point and recovery time objectives) Pricing Structure Per user or by resource usage? Which activities are considered time and materials e.g. sizing, the migration project? Exit Strategy Does the contract include an exit strategy? 8

9 Leveraging the Data Center Lifecycle Leverage key events in the data center/software lifecycle to drive your Cloud migration blueprint: Hardware refresh cycle Hardware lease ending Data center upgrades - infrastructure, networking, cooling, or security Application upgrades New application implementations Short term sandbox Expanded test and development requirements Disaster recovery requirements Step 4 Obtain Proof of Concept Environment As with any major project, a proof of concept environment is one of the best ways to assess the validity of the project blueprint. A proof of concept system can be built from a backup of an existing system or built from scratch, for example by a copying a production system. Test or Quality Assurance systems, and disaster recovery systems are all excellent candidates for proof of concept systems that provide the necessary level of complexity to thoroughly test the new Cloud environment. Leveraging a sandbox that is part of an active project or another non-productive system as your Cloud proof of concept has a number of advantages. In general, the more realistic your test system the more opportunities your team will have to thoroughly test their new Cloud environment. This enables you to fill in knowledge gaps and clarify any assumptions that remain from the initial assessments of your IT environment and the Cloud solution. The insights gained can reveal issues that might otherwise result in expensive and time consuming scope creep or incompatibilities. Taking a phased approach to the Cloud also helps to reduce some of the fear factor often related with new technology and perceived organizational changes. The proof of concept system must allow IT staff and users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with accessing and using Cloud-based systems in the same manner as they would during normal operations. Utilizing a non-production system as proof of concept environment reduces risk by giving your organization the ability to road test the Cloud before committing a Production environment. IT teams can familiarize themselves with the vendor s migration tools and strategy by simulating the timing and procedure of future migrations of production environments. Areas to test include: Performance Connectivity Scaling Vendor processes for managing requests Vendor SLAs Pricing 9

10 Step 5 Blueprint Execution and Continuation Once comfortable with the proof of concept, system organizations can begin moving production systems or other applications to the Cloud. This final phase consists of a series of staggered migration projects that follow the unique timeline established during the blueprinting phase. The decision on whether to retain a hybrid model, with non productive systems in the Cloud and productive systems in an in-house data center versus making a full move to the Cloud will differ for each organization depending on their business requirements. The phased hybrid model allows your IT staff to gain an added level of comfort with the migration process and continue to assess the new environment for performance and stability as each new system is added. Throughout the execution phase it is important to continue to monitor system and application performance against the base lines established during the initial assessment in Phase 1. Ongoing assessment is especially important as production environments are migrated. There are a number of key areas that should receive additional attention: Continue to monitor end-user traffic and evaluate WAN configuration to ensure performance remains stable. Monitor bandwidth requirements between the Cloud and applications that remain hosted on-site. Ensure that SLAs continue to be met and that effective backup and recovery processes are in place once production environments are migrated. In a phased move to the Cloud active migration projects overlap with post migration monitoring and maintenance of the growing Cloud environment. In a traditional hosted environment this double workload poses a potential drain on resources.

11 However, in a new Cloud environment monitoring and maintenance relating to the infrastructure, operating system and database is now the responsibility of the vendor. Some vendors with specific application expertise can also relieve administrative workloads by providing additional support and monitoring services for the applications hosted in the Cloud. With ongoing infrastructure maintenance, upgrades and even daily monitoring, the responsibility becomes the vendor s, so IT departments can turn their focus towards delivering real value. IT teams can now implement new products without having to schedule a major overhaul of systems. Easy scalability in a system that is always updated and ready for the latest applications brings a level of agility simply not possible with a traditional infrastructure. Having this stable, affordable infrastructure allows IT teams to innovate with ease. Make the Move Frame Your Own Cloud Plan Now that you have explored the key components involved in a phased migration to the Cloud your next steps should be to consider creating a roadmap to drive further value from your own IT organization. An experienced, trusted technology partner can provide the strategic insight necessary to help you navigate the rapidly evolving Cloud landscape and establish the right strategy for your organization. Symmetry Corporation understands that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate at an enterprise level and, as a result, has developed a range of full-service Cloud solutions that feature expert services, support and world-class infrastructure. Symmetry s Cloud expertise is backed by SAP Cloud Services Certification and membership in the IBM Cloud Specialty. Solution architects with expertise in SAP infrastructure design are available to support your organization through strategy discussions and assessments of infrastructure and business requirements as you develop your roadmap to the Cloud. About Symmetry Symmetry Corporation provides technical managed services, security administration and project support for SAP customers in the U.S. and around the world. Founded in 1996, Symmetry has been a pioneer in defining best practices for SAP technical administration. Symmetry s unique, team-based approach to managed services and consulting consistently achieves the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry by providing affordable, fixed-price, high quality services delivered by teams of US-based experts. Symmetry is an SAP partner, certified in hosting and Cloud services and an IBM Advanced Business partner and member of the IBM Cloud Computing Specialty. For more information please contact: Michael Haase Vice President Sales and Marketing Phone: SAP is the trademark of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. IBM is the trademark of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. All other products mentioned in this document are registered trademarks of their respective companies. 11

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