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Cloud Hosting, Managed Services, SAP HANA and Big Data

SAP HANA Managed Services: Choosing the Best Cloud Provider

June 6, 2019

SAP HANA Managed ServicesThere’s a persistent myth in enterprise IT that moving an application out of the data center and into the cloud makes it “someone else’s problem.” There is a shred of truth to this. You won’t have to service the hardware it’s running on or worry about the network. However, when you put your app in the cloud, it is still very much your responsibility. If you don’t have the time or resources to handle the responsibility, you can assist yourself by utilizing a managed services provider. Today, you can get managed services for almost any solution, including SAP products like SAP HANA. To understand how SAP HANA managed services work, it’s first necessary to be familiar with the various SAP HANA cloud solutions that are available today.

SAP HANA Cloud Solutions

SAP HANA can run either on-premises or in a cloud environment. Cloud deployments of SAP HANA can fall anywhere along a spectrum of management complexity. At one end, you can run SAP HANA on public cloud infrastructure like Amazon Web Services (AWS). This option is very economical, but you are 100% responsible for your cloud-based instance of SAP HANA. Public cloud providers only supply the infrastructure.

There are companies, like Symmetry, who offer cloud hosting services for SAP HANA that are purpose-built for the application. In our case, we provision and tune hardware that suits the unique characteristics of the SAP HANA in-memory database. We can also run SAP HANA in our private cloud, while working in tandem with your on-premises or public cloud applications.

SAP HANA Managed Services

SAP HANA managed services vary in scope. Some service providers will simply run, manage and monitor your SAP HANA cloud instance. Going up the scale of service depth, you can get managed service plans for SAP HANA that include security monitoring and performance Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as well as advisory and professional services. Indeed, most companies are putting SAP HANA in the cloud as part of a much broader portfolio of SAP system needs. Many times we find these companies are in need of guidance on how to do so and then help in actually implementing the cloud deployment.

The rationale for SAP managed services is striking. Industry research reveals 60% of end users prefer the cloud over on-premise. When you factor in the need for SAP support, security, compliance, cloud integration, DR and other services, it’s not hard to see why customers end up with multiple vendors to run SAP in the cloud. However, this is far from optimal. This type of set up increases overhead and complexity, threatening SAP system reliability and opening you up to security risks.

Simplified managed services support

Symmetry addressed the need for SAP HANA managed services by building a next-generation cloud platform. We support on-premise and public cloud platforms while integrating onsite and offsite servers in a purpose-built hybrid cloud solution. Along with our SAP certified hosting platform we supply the right sizing, performance and throughput needed for your big data applications backed by expert support 24x7x365, if that is required. Our approach is security-conscious, with a focus on reliability and great customer support.

In addition to having your systems backed by expert SAP resources, most likely you’ll know each of them by name as they’re dedicated to your landscape. This helps to minimize “learning lag” if an issue comes up. Additionally, our SAP Basis consultants not only run all installation, upgrade and support stacks of SAP software, but they have thousands of hours of experience in doing so. They’ve “seen it all” or can easily turn to a Symmetry colleague who has experienced the good, bad and even not-so-narrowly averted destruction at some of the most well-respected IT outfits in the world. In our view, these are the hallmarks of a great SAP HANA managed service provider.

The need for high-touch SAP HANA managed services

SAP HANA requires constant upkeep. For instance, if a task fails to run properly or if your performance slows down, your managed service provider should deal with the issue before it affects other areas of your SAP landscape. This is where you begin to see that not all SAP HANA managed services providers operate in the same way. Some rely on helplines and escalation-based service. With this approach, you might be waiting a while before anyone can figure out your problem, let alone solve it in practical terms.

We take a different approach. Our SAP HANA managed service gives you direct access to support personnel who are familiar with your specific landscape. You get assigned to a dedicated team of SAP support staff and a client manager. With this, you can have access 24/7. We provide you with a team of HANA Certified SAP Basis Consultants. They deliver constant care and support for your SAP HANA instance. You will be able to get issues resolved quickly at any time of day or night.

Security and compliance concerns

Security and compliance are mandatory today. We take these enterprise needs into account with our SAP HANA managed services offerings. We have some of the most comprehensive security and compliance offerings in the industry. They encompass the full range of managed cyber security and regulatory compliance services.

Our security and compliance services complement our other enterprise cloud offerings (e.g. SAP Basis Support, Cloud Hosting and Disaster Recovery) providing a comprehensive solution.  We perform tasks such as compliance monitoring and risk remediation. We also offer change control and penetration testing along with physical security of the data center.

SAP S/4HANA Service Management

Many of our customers are placing SAP HANA in the cloud as a first step in migrating to SAP S/4HANA. Our SAP HANA managed services are a large part of this migration process. Moving S/4HANA to the cloud can be challenging. Our advisory and implementation services establish a smooth foundation for the transition, and then can keep your new S/4HANA instance running smoothly post go-live.

Finding the Right SAP HANA Managed Cloud Provider

What should you look for in an SAP HANA managed service provider? Experience is a big differentiator among service providers. We have a proven track record of making the implementation of an SAP HANA cloud solution affordable and stress free. In addition, our “pay as you grow” model lets you take advantage of HANA’s speed, agility and real-time processing without having to invest in physical hardware or people to support an on-premises SAP HANA instance.

To learn more about Symmetry’s SAP HANA managed services offerings, contact us today.