Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cloud Computing : SAP on the Cloud

SAP on the Cloud

Author: wftcloud

Previously we talked about the IT services model. We then talked about cloud computing and more importantly we talked about various cloud computing models.  As a key player in the organization that I represent currently, our key goal is to provide SAP on the cloud to customers.  You guessed it right, this blog is going to introduce our business, and less of technical detail compared to the previous blogs.
One of the first questions that hit us every time is, why SAP? Why you guys choose the complex one? Simple, SAP is another software in the large realm of things and secondly, yes we do love challenges.  Looking at this through a lens, SAP on the cloud is not so different from email on the cloud or a document on the cloud. Yes there are some different challenges, but at the end of the day this fits the perfect model of SaaS.

 Cloud Computing Basics : Cloud Computing - SAP on the Cloud

Perhaps the credit to setting this model goes to who have aptly demonstrated how SaaS can be used for excellent service to end customers.  Before I start delving into the topic of discussion, the reader should bear in his/her mind that SaaS need not be cloud computing as cloud computing has to satisfy key criteria as mentioned in blog(2)

So what are we trying to convey?

we integrate a complete SAP system on a cloud  immaterial of the type of the cloud.
What is required for this?
  • a cloud platform
  • SAP system
  • and tons of patience
So how do we set up a cloud platform?  Well the answer depends on where you want to locate your cloud. If you are choosing a public cloud platform, then Amazon is a best bet. Incidentally SAP itself uses Amazon for its test and development environments.  If you require a private cloud, VMWare has a suite of products that can help you get set up a private cloud.

SAP system, well if you have read this so far, I assume this is not missing anywhere.
What should one be concerned about?

Personally I am always spooked about production being on the cloud. But after the various performance tests and ease of usage, if someone told me that the production is on a cloud, I will definitely not lose sleep on this.

The next step is to make sure that the platform is all set right. There are a host of tools to connect and check and perform analysis and this should be a fairly straight forward task.

The final step is to set up the application and once this is done, tuning needs to be done. This is the most critical aspect of the cloud operation, and there are an immense number of checks to be done. I know most of you are looking for it here, but  due to intellectual property issues,  I can advise you to contact our sales team

Once you have completed this step, you are ready to spin off SAP images as required. Images are stored as templates in a repository and the host tools allow you to customize the basics and spin it.

We choose Amazon, and we created the base images directly on their servers. There is another way to do it, by creating your image and uploading / shipping to Amazon, however we avoided this route as we wanted our base templates to have the base Amazon image to conform to Amazon\'s requirements.  As our business is to provide these templates to the users, we do this on a daily basis and currently we have 100 and counting templates out there.

Before choosing your vendor, I strongly urge you to compute the costs of network bandwidth and storage as these costs can spiral very fast upwards.

Lastly, make sure that licensing is understood clearly. Enterprise licenses work best, however there are always different ways to get the logical optimal model.

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About the Author
WFTCloud is an initiative from Wharfedale Technologies, Inc to provide SAP access to its customers on a pay per use model. WFTCloud provides SAP systems on the cloud to end users using state of the art solutions. The company is located at New Jersey USA, providing SAP services to North America.

The company began its operations in year 2000 with a seed capital of 2 MM dollars.