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Leveraging The Cloud is Key To Strengthening SAP Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Enterprise IT teams must do everything in their power to minimize downtime of business-critical SAP applications and ensure they can recover quickly, reliably and securely in the event of a disaster or other emergency. With enterprises fully embracing digital transformation, big data analytics, the Internet of Things and other innovations, they are more dependent than ever on the availability of their SAP environments.

Every minute of SAP downtime is extremely costly, resulting in lost sales, reduced profits, dissatisfied customers and damage to brand reputation. According to a 2017 Enterprise Strategy Group report titled “Why Organizations Still Struggle to Digitally Transform and Innovate,” prepared for Veeam, gaps in availability cost enterprises nearly $22 million a year in direct financial costs, while negatively impacting broader digital transformation initiatives.1

In terms of disaster recovery and business continuity, cloud computing presents SAP decision-makers with significant business benefits. With the right hybrid cloud solution, IT would dramatically improve key metrics such as recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs)—without having to go through the enormous expense of building, managing and maintaining a secondary off-premises site for disaster recovery.

Why the Cloud for SAP Business Continuity
Today’s reality is that the legacy model of building a separate data center for disaster recovery is becoming less attractive in the cloud era. By leveraging a public cloud service as part of a hybrid solution, enterprises gain the benefits of a secondary site without the upfront capital outlays and ongoing management costs.

With a hybrid cloud model for disaster recovery and business continuity of SAP environments, enterprises can achieve key business goals, including:

  • Reduce TCO: You don’t have to buy the equipment needed for a secondary site or pay for upgrades, expansion and replacement. You reduce the pressure on IT resources and make it much simpler and less expensive for your teams to manage DR and business continuity.
  • Move to an OpEx Model: Business leaders and IT decision-makers are looking to shift away from a Capex model to an Opex model to save money, have predictable expenses and leverage elastic scalability so they don’t have to overprovision resources and pay for infrastructure they don’t need. Cloud enables them to accomplish these goals.
  • Easily Embrace Best Practices: In disaster recovery, it is a widely accepted best practice to replicate business-critical applications and data in an off-site location that is secure and enables rapid recovery. With the right cloud solution, you can achieve that at a fraction of the cost of on-premises models, while significantly improving RTOs and RPOs for your SAP apps.
  • Reduce Risk: You can leverage automation and cloud technologies to shorten backup and recovery times, while minimizing the risk of failure to recover on unlike hardware.

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What to Look for in a Cloud Provider
When it comes to disaster recovery and business continuity for SAP applications, there is no room for compromise. It is critical to work with a public cloud provider that understands the availability demands of enterprise environments and delivers an architecture that mitigates downtime risk to near zero, while rapidly accelerating recovery. Critical capabilities to look for include:

  • Support for mixed workloads leveraging bare-metal servers and virtualized environments.
  • Fast network connections with a global network backbone and multiple data center locations in large metropolitan areas to enable faster backups and restores.
  • Flexibility to move traffic on private and public networks to strengthen security and give enterprise IT greater control.
  • Provisioning around the world to meet the needs of location-specific business requirements.
  • An experienced provider with complementary solutions for data protection, security and business continuity for SAP apps and data.

Benefits of IBM Cloud
No other cloud provider has the experience of IBM in addressing the unique needs of enterprise customers. This experience has helped to shape the offerings of IBM Cloud.

For instance, IBM Cloud now offers a solution called Mission Critical VMware on IBM Cloud, leveraging an architectural model to prevent downtime for SAP applications and automate failovers from one cloud region to another. This solution delivers a targeted aggregate availability of 99.99%, which is a higher availability and failover success rate than most organizations can achieve with on-premises environments or competing cloud platforms.

In addition, IBM Cloud offers a new solution for disaster recovery based on Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) and its intracloud architecture. Zerto on IBM Cloud is designed to provide a security-rich, flexible and scalable disaster recovery solution. It is a single-tenant architecture that is integrated with IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions on bare metal. This approach grants organizations full access and control of their VMware vCenter deployments and associated disaster recovery solutions.

Mission Critical VMware on IBM Cloud and Zerto on IBM Cloud are just two of the many innovations available to enterprise customers to help ensure the availability and recovery of their SAP applications. Please visit IBM for more information on how your organization can leverage IBM Cloud to improve business continuity and disaster recovery for your business-critical SAP applications.

1Why Organizations Still Struggle to Digitally Transform and Innovate: 2017 Veeam Availability Report,” Veeam and Enterprise Strategy Group, 2017