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AWS Azure or Google- Analysis I have worked on SAP engagement for enterprise customers for almost 30 years. While SAP continued to develop application features and content during these years, generally the hosting of SAP fell into the same classic selection process as any application: what is the service level, what is the cost, who has the happiest customers?
However, with the advent of public cloud (IaaS), those tried and tested criteria no longer give customers an accurate evaluation of each option. As such, here are some of the key criteria SAP customers need to include in their evaluation of hosting options.
Of course, cost comes first in most scenarios. Nothing happens in an enterprise without a good business case. However, at first glance, negotiated costs can be deceiving. Enterprise agreements, short-term discounts, migration funding and more can all muddy the waters when it comes to getting a clear perspective of the pricing you are signing up for. In order to best predict what future costs will look like, it’s important to understand the hyperscaler’s attitude towards cost, and then extrapolate their pricing history.
Additionally, with hyperscaler infrastructure comes the great benefit of metered charging, where you only pay for what you use resulting in variable costs. While this is actually a very good thing in general, it can cause headaches for procurement and necessitate new processes for IT to properly manage these variable costs. When selecting a provider, you need to understand which hyperscaler/partner can best help you see and control ongoing metered costs.
Nowadays, we expect public cloud to be more resilient than on-premise. And, while this is generally true, not all clouds are equal – especially for applications such as SAP. You will need to evaluate the amount of downtime each hyperscaler has experienced over the last 12-18 months to get a sense of how they compare. SLAs are one thing – historic performance is a much better guide.
Publicly published statistics on hyperscaler downtime show that AWS fares far better than Azure and better or similar to Google Cloud Platform. SAP, as we know, is very sensitive to downtime – especially unplanned downtime. Choosing the most stable platform is an important part of the selection criteria for all your systems but particularly for SAP given its criticality to the business.
Speed of innovation
The best innovation is happening in the cloud these days and, as everything is or will be in the cloud eventually, innovation and speed to innovation needs to be an integral part of your IT road map for the next 10 years at least. Right now, AWS is the leader in getting new innovations and new ideas to the market quickly. Azure categorizes itself as “fast followers,” which is an important but safer position in the market. Google, while very good at what they do around data items and other categories, does not display the same customer obsession and innovation focus in its cloud capacities as its competitors.