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The SAP migration connectivity checklist

The increasing trend of businesses moving workloads to the cloud is nothing new – but for SAP customers there’s an upcoming deadline that could accelerate their decision to migrate their on-premise ERP systems to the cloud.

According to Cisco, by 2021 94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centres. For SAP customers, where there is a ‘hard stop’ of 2025 for the support of their current onpremise database environment, this means they will either need to replace it with the on-premise version of S/4HANA, or adopt the cloud version.

A customer survey of 300 SAP clients found that 54% of SAP customers are planning on deploying SAP S/4HANA within 3 years. It also found that SAP customer deployment models have shifted from on-premise to cloud as 72% of respondents are moving to the cloud.

By migrating to the cloud, SAP customers can take advantage of the flexibility and advanced features available in the cloud, while reducing the need for expensive on-premise equipment. But the migration should not be taken lightly, and businesses are understandably wary of moving such an important function to the cloud.

Rather than overbuying capacity or trying to make the migration fit within existing network parameters, secure, low-latency on demand connectivity can smooth the migration process and should be a crucial component of any SAP migration. With so many things to consider it’s easy to put connectivity to the back of the list or assume that it’ll be easy to sort at the end, but this approach can put the whole migration at risk.

That’s why we’ve put together this SAP migration connectivity checklist, to help the journey to the cloud go as smoothly as possible.

What is it?
Your network needs to connect key buildings with the data centres where SAP resides – for something so critical it’s no use relying on third parties or a mishmash of connectivity options to get from A to B. It’s not just the obvious connection, what about branch offices or remote workers, how will they connect to SAP in the cloud and how can you guarantee the connection for business-critical applications. Or what about new offices in the future, or new countries?

What are the risks?
Keeping traffic over a single network means you can guarantee reliability, performance and up-time, as well as keeping data much more secure.

What do you need and why?
Find a network supplier that can guarantee dense urban connectivity to all key locations, and any countries or cities that might be marked for future expansion.

What is it?
It’s not just buildings that need to be connected. Migrating to the cloud means finding a connectivity partner with fibre into the key data centres around the world where SAP resides, along with any other cloud service providers that you might be using. The network should also link up all the technology providers, platform as a service and technology vendors that your business relies on.

What are the risks?
Moving to the cloud gives you access to a massive digital ecosystem, but poorly architectured connectivity can slow progress or result in applications that don’t meet performance requirements. Many applications, particularly for SAP, rely on very specific latency requirements and these need to be guaranteed by your network provider.

What do you need and why?
A network that has connects all the key players and locations in the digital ecosystem, one that meets your needs today and into the future, and one that guarantees performance for your newly cloud-hosted app and services.

What is it?
Moving to the cloud brings with it the ability to react quickly and add new services, bring new locations online or expand services without requiring expensive on-premise upgrades. You no longer need to plan onpremises servers and storage infrastructure for the next three to five years, based on the expected maximum use and workload, overpaying for the times when utilisation is low.

The problem is that connectivity is traditionally purchased and provisioned based on static, outdated models where bandwidth climbs gradually each year in slow, predictable steps. Whether it’s taking advantage of new technologies, adding new locations or enabling business functions to quickly roll out new initiatives or programmes, all require the ability to flex connectivity. When it comes to the migration of your on-premise SAP instance, the average bandwidth needs are not going to be sufficient, but at the same time you don’t want to overpay for a year of massive capacity that you only need in the migration.

What are the risks?
Inflexible connectivity means either overpaying for bandwidth, or underpaying and then slowing up the migration and restricting the future potential of SAP in the cloud. Migrating the massive volume of data to the cloud needs to be done as quickly as possible, giving time back to test and ensure the migration was a success – but relying on business as usual levels of bandwidth will dramatically slow the process. The alternative is paying for bandwidth that you might only need for a few days in the migration process, then being stuck at that level for much longer.

What do you need and why?
Find a network supplier that can guarantee dense urban connectivity to all key locations, and any countries or cities that might be marked for future expansion.

What is it?
Moving to the cloud brings with it the ability to react quickly and add new services, bring new locations online or expand services without requiring expensive on-premise upgrades. You no longer need to plan onpremises servers and storage infrastructure for the next three to five years, based on the expected maximum use and workload, overpaying for the times when utilisation is low.

The problem is that connectivity is traditionally purchased and provisioned based on static, outdated models where bandwidth climbs gradually each year in slow, predictable steps. Whether it’s taking advantage of new technologies, adding new locations or enabling business functions to quickly roll out new initiatives or programmes, all require the ability to flex connectivity. When it comes to the migration of your on-premise SAP instance, the average bandwidth needs are not going to be sufficient, but at the same time you don’t want to overpay for a year of massive capacity that you only need in the migration.

What are the risks?
Inflexible connectivity means either overpaying for bandwidth, or underpaying and then slowing up the migration and restricting the future potential of SAP in the cloud. Migrating the massive volume of data to the cloud needs to be done as quickly as possible, giving time back to test and ensure the migration was a success – but relying on business as usual levels of bandwidth will dramatically slow the process. The alternative is paying for bandwidth that you might only need for a few days in the migration process, then being stuck at that level for much longer.

What do you need and why?
Find a network supplier that can guarantee dense urban connectivity to all key locations, and any countries or cities that might be marked for future expansion.