Building solutions with IBM Cloud Managed Services for SAP Applications

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IBM and SAP have a long history. IBM Cloud Managed Services (CMS) for SAP Applications is a cloud offering that is part of the IBM platform as a service (PaaS) portfolio, and it was recently announced that these longtime partners would expand their relationship: the SAP Enterprise HANA Cloud is now available on the IBM cloud. With the announcement of this new partnership, you might be wondering how you can use CMS for SAP to build solutions for your enterprise.

Cloud platform as a serviceIf you’re familiar with Cloud Managed Services, you know that IBM added the SAP Basis layer to this offering to provide for the complete support and administration of SAP applications. In fact, IBM has even released a PaaS offering for Oracle applications: IBM Cloud Managed Services for Oracle Applications.

To build a CMS for SAP solution, it is important to know the SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) that each SAP instance requires in order to define the computing resources needed. For those not familiar with this term, SAPS is a unit of measurement that defines the performance of a SAP system.

CMS for SAP has defined seven ranges, called t-shirt sizes, for acquiring the right computing resources:

  • XXS for up to 1,100 SAPS
  • XS for up to 2,200 SAPS
  • S for up to 3,300 SAPS
  • M for up to 6,000 SAPS
  • L for up to 12,000 SAPS
  • XL for up to 20,000 SAPS

For example, if our SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) needs 4,000 SAPS then the right t-shirt size would be medium (M) according to these ranges. After you’ve selected the right t-shirt size, CMS will allocate the corresponding CPU, memory and storage.

Now that the infrastructure has been sized, let’s talk about the support and administration. Since CMS for SAP is based on CMS, all the managed services are the same as CMS plus the SAP Basis support. This support includes the following activities:

  • SAP system configuration and installation
  • User administration
  • Process monitoring
  • Implementation of EarlyWatch recommendations
  • Administration of Java components
  • Updates and maintenance (with kernel and support packages)
  • Automated SAP transport management
  • Troubleshooting SAPGUI or other SAP user interface applications
  • Reviewing SAP Security Notes
  • Root cause analysis

CMS for SAP also has other features, such as the site-to-site recovery option that uses technologies such as IBM Global Mirror and log shipping to offer a four-hour recovery time objective and a one-hour recovery point objective.

Now that I have described some of the features of CMS for SAP, it is important to take into account the following points:

  • The satellite systems around SAP: If your client has several on-premises systems that feed off of SAP, you should consider moving them to CMS as well in order to avoid networking issues.
  • Licensing: All the licensing in relation to SAP, the operating system and database, must be acquired by the client as the offering does not include licensing.
  • Regulations: In some countries, the government and other industries don’t allow the transfer or allocation of certain types of information outside the country. (This issue does not apply to countries with CMS for SAP data centers such as the US, Australia, France and Japan.)

CMS for SAP is a really good option for getting SAP as a service because it groups all the infrastructure services you need in a single package: operating system, databases, backup, networking, storage and more.

If you want to learn more about this offering, take a look at the IBM Cloud Managed Services for SAP Applications website.

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