When it comes to running business-critical SAP workloads in the cloud, most IT decision-makers have the flexibility to run either on physical bare-metal servers or virtual servers.
The right bare-metal servers, available as infrastructure as a service, will deliver the power, control, reliability, security and price/performance you need for workloads that are deployed over a sustained period, which characterizes many SAP apps.
However, there are times when using virtual server instances will be suitable for your workload requirements. These could include setting up cloud space for test and development teams, working on DevOps projects or just taking advantage of timely business opportunities that demand quick deployments and elastic scalability. Virtual server instances are also the common way to acquire server capacity in the cloud and are suitable for running SAP workloads.
Of course, you want to choose a cloud service provider that offers both capabilities. That’s a given. In this article, we focus on bare-metal servers because of their importance and value in powering successful SAP migration and modernization initiatives.
Bare Metal Servers with No Compromises
When it comes to bare-metal servers, make sure you are not compromising on performance, control, reliability or security, given the importance of SAP applications in your day-to-day business activities and long-term digital transformation initiatives. Here are the top eight things to look for:
- Dedicated: You want to own the entire stack so only your workloads are taking resources from the server and you never have to worry about noisy neighbors sharing resources, slowing down performance or compromising security.
- Customizable: Your bare-metal servers should be based on your unique needs so that you can troubleshoot applications without worrying about the effects on neighboring virtual machines.
- Multiple configuration options: You should not be limited in choice. For SAP, you want servers that can handle processor-intensive and high I/O workloads. Configuration choices should give you full control over RAM, solid-state storage, core, processor and billing options.
- On-demand: Each workload is different. Some require custom configurations, while others can run easily on fixed-configuration bare-metal servers. Make sure your cloud provider offers “provision-on-demand” capabilities.
- Flexible pricing: Because each workload is different, you want flexibility in pricing, with monthly and hourly options to help your organization save money and maximize performance.
- Highly secure: Look for integrated protection for sensitive data; continuous protection for cloud-native apps; capabilities such as Intel TXT for hardware monitoring and security controls; built-in encryption; and easy add-ons such as HyTrust Security Software for security and compliance automation.
- SAP deployment simplicity: You want to be able to run SAP workloads when and where you need them on bare-metal servers without refactoring or retooling existing SAP applications.
- Accelerated performance: SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver demand the ability to achieve on-premises performance in the cloud. Make sure your cloud bare-metal servers are certified to run SAP HANA and NetWeaver applications so you can run and manage your SAP workloads in the cloud with the power, control and flexibility you’re accustomed to achieving in your on-premises data center.
Today’s SAP workloads are dynamic and power hungry. They provide the underlying data that can transform your business through analytics and insight. As you look to the cloud to modernize these business-critical applications, you can’t afford compromises and you can’t afford to work with cloud providers that don’t understand the intense pressures that are unique to enterprise IT decision-makers.
If the proper infrastructure is there, you can drive digital transformation, big data analytics, SAP HANA, artificial intelligence and other innovations in any number of ways—to leverage unstructured data, accelerate data transfers or gain quick insights from machine learning, to name a few. If the proper foundation is not there, your teams will struggle to modernize and risk falling behind the competition.
Bare-metal servers in the cloud can offer a secure path to SAP modernization, delivering the performance, control and flexibility you need while leveraging cloud economics, agility and elasticity. But not all bare metal solutions are created equal. Make sure your cloud provider understands the unique needs of enterprise IT and can deliver bare-metal servers that meet the eight key criteria discussed in this paper.