Posts Tagged ‘Cloud computing costs’

SunGard Availability Services Brings Enterprise-class Availability for SAP to the Cloud

Today we are announcing the availability of cloud-based SAP ERP Services.   You will probably see the formal announcement in the blogs, trade pubs and various news services, but we thought we would be remiss if we did not give you a heads-up here.  Don’t hesitate to contact me for more info.  Thanks,           -CM

For the last 10 years, SunGard has provided SAP production support services (SAP-hosting certified since 2009), so it is only logical that we extend those services to our Enterprise Cloud.  With our Enterprise Cloud as its foundation, our SAP ERP production-ready cloud services leverage the best-in-class Vblock™ platform with the multiple layers of availability, scalable and elastic resources, and cost advantages that make cloud computing attractive.

We have been certified as a cloud service provider by SAP, and we have optimized our infrastructure for SAP ERP production.  Our services include advanced SAP monitoring and range from configuration support to application administration, patches and updates.  Because the SAP ERP services interconnect with our hosted physical environment, we can provide flexible, hybrid solutions as well.

We meet the needs of SAP ERP environments ranging from  new development environments to full multi-landscape deployments, including:

Available
Availability features range from automated fail-over of virtualized systems to managed multi-site availability with secure data replication and managed SAP recovery options.  Our Service Level Agreement (SLA) covers 99.95% VM uptime in combination with a 99.9% SAP production uptime SLA.

Compliance
As a SAP-certified cloud services provider, we provides ITILv3 framework production application services in hardened data centers audited under SSAE 16 Type II criteria and certified to the ISO 20000-1 standard.

Security
We provides a range of secure network access, performance and security options, from Internet-based virtual private networks and private carrier circuits to geographic load balancing and intrusion detection systems (IDS).

Now, new SAP ERP installations can deploy with no upfront costs, low minimums for cloud resources and predictable, predetermined costs—making this an attractive, cost-effective alternative to in-house deployment.  Likewise, existing installations can leverage the on-demand resources and predictable costs of the cloud to reduce in-house data center costs when equipment upgrades approach.

Moving to the SAP ERP production-ready cloud services lets your in-house IT experts manage their production work, rather than being consumed with the day-to-day execution details.  In short, it frees them to focus more on the company’s IT priorities and initiatives.  We can help you get there.

How much time could your IT department save with an enterprise-class SAP ERP cloud?

See a demo of the SunGard Enterprise Cloud Services here.

Will Cloud Computing Replace the In-house Data Center?

David Ayers, Senior Product Manager for SunGard Availability Services, provides insights today on the evolving role of the data center and cloud computing.   –CM

Corporate data centers are definitely changing how they are used, but co-location and managed hosting have done that for some time.  Now, cloud computing will be one more tool a company has at its disposal to manage their technology.  So, will cloud computing replace in-house data centers?  Not for the foreseeable future.

Currently, corporations are shifting to the cloud the applications that make sense, while retaining the applications that manage sensitive data, that operate smoothly with little oversight or that make financial sense for one reason or another.  Applications that require a more scalable, more elastic environment will move to the cloud, along with those that run infrequently but require capital expenditures to support.

Over time, corporations may move more applications to the cloud as their comfort level increases and as usage patterns change.  In addition, they are more likely to build new applications for the cloud to reduce capital expenditures from the beginning.

The role of the in-house data center will not diminish in importance.  Instead, it will focus more on evaluating the optimal environment for the company.  With someone else worrying about capacity planning, bandwidth, firewalls, licenses and managing a cadre of vendors, the in-house data center can focus more on the next generation of business applications.

In the end, a cloud operates at a fraction of the cost of an in-house data center and it draws in applications that can benefit from those savings.  In-house data centers will use them as tools, where they can  oversee the work rather than actually do the work.

What advantages could your company reap with enterprise cloud computing services?

Download SunGard’s white paper, The Real Value of Cloud Computing.

Five Considerations When Evaluating Cloud Computing Architectures

An excellent starting point for an organization looking at cloud computing platforms is to examine its IT architecture.  Only by aligning the architecture – compute, network, data center, power and storage resources – with applications can a company be on the path to achieve the reliability and performance it requires within a cloud environment.

In cloud computing, true protection is an outcome of the right architecture for the right application.  Organizations need to fully understand their individual application requirements and, if using a cloud platform, the corresponding cloud architecture.  With that knowledge, they can make informed decisions about what cloud platform best meets the reliability and performance requirements of their specific applications.”

Here are five considerations for companies looking at cloud computing architectures.  

Availability.  Not all applications are created equal, nor are all cloud platforms the same.  Organizations need to tier their applications, identifying which applications need to be highly available, which can accept downtime and how much downtime is acceptable.  They need to understand the business risk associated with a lack of availability of their data.  For those applications that need to be highly available, businesses should consider enterprise-class technologies that have been rigorously tested versus looking at building something internally. It’s also important to look at multi-site solutions and disaster recovery/business continuity planning.  For most businesses, this means working with a service provider or consultant because they usually have access to greater levels of expertise and provide these services as their core business.

Security.  Security is still the primary concern for businesses regarding the cloud.  Concerns include the loss of control of their sensitive data, the risks associated with a multi-tenant environment, and how to address standards and compliance.  Organizations need to know how a shared, multi-tenant environment is segmented to prevent customer overlap.  How is the solution architected and is the service provider’s cloud infrastructure – network, virtualization and storage platforms – secure?  

Manageability.  Businesses need to understand what they are accountable for versus what they expect from a service provider.  Most public cloud vendors do not provide administrative support.  Organizations need to either have the technical expertise in-house to design the right solution or seek the services of an outside provider.  There should be an understanding of what level of management their applications require and have an identified change management process.  

Performance.  As with a more traditional hosting model, it’s important to understand workload demands on the infrastructure.  Companies also need to understand what the bottlenecks are and how the cloud architecture they have or are evaluating can meet those needs. Organizations should perform their own testing to understand how a cloud environment affects compute, storage and network resources.

Compliance. Organizations need to understand where their data will reside as well as who will interact with it and how.  They need to understand which areas of compliance the service provider controls and how to audit against the standards and regulations to which they need to adhere.

PaaS: The cost saving “middleware” for cloud infrastructures

Today we hear from  Sarabjeet Chugh on  – PaaS: The cost saving “middleware” for cloud infrastructures

Not long ago, a survey of Fortune 100 companies showed that 77% of IT budgets go to maintaining the status quo.  Only 23% of the budget actually drives new revenue.  In recent years, a few dents have been made in IT costs by better development tools and clouds.   Development frameworks like Spring, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, Django framework, etc., let programmers code websites, web applications and web services more quickly, and clouds spread the cost of infrastructure components across multiple companies.

Nevertheless, infrastructure maintenance—at 42% of the budget—remains the single biggest component of the maintenance burden.  One thing that could make another dent in maintenance costs is an easy way to on-ramp an application into production in a cloud.  Getting applications to the cloud more quickly and deploying them with less programming to link the application to the infrastructure resources would decrease both development and maintenance costs.

New Middleware for New Architectures 

To do that, new middleware that works with the new hardware architecture of the cloud is needed. Existing middleware is antiquated.  Programmers spend nearly 50% of their time coding non-application functions, such as database caching, billing, metering, messaging and authorization. Different framework and database combinations need different versions of the middleware, and every version has to be maintained as databases and servers move within  enterprise data centers, public clouds or both.   

The new middleware should be a PaaS element that is open and supports multiple programming frameworks, from Java-based spring to PHP-based micro frameworks and Microsoft .Net, among others.  It also needs to be independent of the infrastructure, so it can support environments from public clouds built using different hypervisor technology to local laptops.  Similarly, it should be independent of the application business logic, so the application is not muddies with the logic for addressing databases and constructing messages and, thus, is more portable.  Finally, it needs to include a reusable library of services that can be easily assimilated into new and existing application code to simplify the programming of 3-tier applications. 

Accelerate Time-to-Market

The major benefit of PaaS is improved developer productivity and, therefore, an accelerated time-to-market. Organizations using PaaS techniques typically report operational savings of 30% or higher. 2011 is being termed as the year of the PaaS and for good reasons. Enterprise-grade IaaS has gained mindshare and acceptance in small-medium enterprises.  By leveraging PaaS, developers avoid the many hassles of updating machines and configuring middleware and can focus their attention on delivering applications. Reducing these obstacles means faster delivery of applications and making cloud portability a reality for enterprise applications.

 How much time does your staff spend maintaining applications for infrastructure changes?

Building Cloud-friendly Applications

Today we hear from  Sarabjeet Chugh, Director of Technology Business Development (Cloud Services and Infrastructure)

Cloud adoption is progressing rapidly.  Many companies are in the process of determining their migration strategy, and most vendors are refining their processes to provide a smoother on-ramp to the cloud. 

Now that cloud is a reality, we need to think about how application development has to evolve to fit the cloud.  The application life cycle is broken.  Programmers write code, run tests and “throw it over the wall” to Operations, where technicians then struggle to accommodate the resource requirements of the application.

Old Code is Often Slow Code

Applications heavy from poorly structured code that requires multi-gigabytes of memory and have a huge storage footprint can run in the cloud, but the expense will become obvious.  Further, such applications offer few options and little flexibility to mitigate expenses. 

New Technologies Improve

A cloud-friendly application is one that can be deployed on any platform, locally or in the cloud.  To achieve such an application, new application development frameworks, such as SpringSource from VMware, have emerged that help to tease out the application’s business logic from underlying resource requirements. They also improve developer productivity by providing supplementary web services, message routing, authentication and application-level services, such as memory caching and contingency handling.

By insulating the infrastructure-dependent components and permitting them to be resolved in the production environment, the application can be more portable, reusable and maintainable.   For example, a cloud-friendly application could run in your data center but failover to SunGard if an incident occurs.  Similarly, server images could be transmitted to SunGard and brought up with full affinity and metadata information.

Does your company have standards for writing portable code?

 Download SunGard’s white paper,All clouds are not created equal.”

New Measurements for Cloud ROI

Even though Cloud may be a relatively new phenomenon for your company, you can still begin to measure your return on investment (ROI) if not in real numbe, at least in the ways it is changing your organization.  Here are a few examples.

New Opportunities

More new opportunities become viable.  First and foremost, the IT investment to support a new product is greatly reduced.  IT resources can flex with a project—robust during development, then reduced, then scaled up as a product takes off.  From a business plan perspective, this means the  Number-of-Sales-to-Breakeven  is lower, and the  Time-To-Breakeven is sooner. 

Better Planning

Likewise, lower IT costs mean your Pricing Structure can have more flexibility and/or better margins.  Because the IT resources to support each new sale is a known cost—rather than a “best we can tell” allocation of blanket IT costs—Profitability-Projections are more reliable.  Finally, no Point-of-Diminishing-Returns exists where IT  hardware and staff are max-ed out and a CapEx infusion is needed for future sales. 

Faster Start-up

The time between approval of a project and the start of work is shorter.  Provisioning the resources takes less time.  No more waiting for a purchase order to go through before the servers can be delivered, installed, configured and integrated.  As sales escalate, the elastic and flexible cloud environment provides the needed support in perfect step with your product’s success.

A Cost Transformation 

Long after you have garnered cost reduction from the move to the cloud, you will benefit from the way cloud computing aligns IT costs with revenues.  Consequently, more business plans can meet your criteria as viable product opportunities.

What previous business ideas would pass profitability requirement in your company if you used cloud computing?

 Download SunGard’s white paper, All clouds are not created equal.”

What’s in a Private Cloud?

Today we hear from Gregory Smith, Senior Product Architect, Cloud Computing

Many companies have a virtualized infrastructure, but in reality, a virtualized data center is not the same as a private cloud. Most virtualized data centers lack the automation and processes to manage them as private clouds.

In the ‘90s when Fortune 500 companies implemented VMware’s virtual infrastructures, their equipment became more efficient and cost-effective, but because most companies kept the same practices, policies, procedures and methods in place, IT’s ability to respond to user needs did not change much. 

For example, provisioning did not get simplified or faster. For most it still involves a string of people to purchase the hardware, deliver the hardware, lay down the company image, create the user account, update the asset management system, obtain the login information and load the appropriate software (a list of applications that may or may not exist on paper).

Even when they added VCloud Director or VCenter Orchestrator, IT added them on top of the environment to track the current policies more exactly. Nothing streamlined or improved the procedures and processes. 

A private cloud offered by a trusted vendor is designed from the ground up to support the most efficient processes for the user in addition to the most efficient use of resources. A private cloud contains intelligent software for requesting resources and having those resources allocated rapidly. It also should come with a service level agreement (SLA) that specifies a certain level of availability and/or performance, with penalties for default. Few companies have this type of guarantee or recourse.

A private cloud also comes with actual prices (i.e., chargebacks) for services. This enables a company to see the exact cost of resources used by a particular business unit, not just estimated costs based on a formula or a cost model that must be revamped every year as hardware depreciates and is refreshed and expanded.

Could a Fortune 500 company bring in the expertise to build request, allocation, and chargeback software; revamp its procedures, and run as efficiently as a private cloud? Yes, but virtually no CFO would foot the bill for that upgrade. Especially when he or she could leverage the investment a cloud provider has already made—and save costs while he does it.

SunGard Launches Enterprise Cloud Services

Today SunGardAS announced the general availability of our Enterprise Cloud Services.  SunGard’s cloud platform leverages best-in-class VBlock technology from EMC®, VMware® and Cisco® to deliver high availability and security.  SunGard fully manages the multiple components of the IaaS platform, including all necessary compute, network, storage and security resources.    

We have leveraged our expertise as a managed service provider to offer a fully-managed cloud environment. Our customers do not want to trade managed services for the financial flexibility and speed of provisioning that a cloud offered.  They want both.  Now they can have it. 

Who should consider SunGard’s Enterprise Cloud?  Any business that has critical applications where 24/7/365 availability and service levels are key.  A general, public cloud works best when you need straight computing power for a particular task.  But when you have business-critical applications (if they go down, you lose money) you need a trusted partner whose expertise you can leverage, and whose core enterprise-grade cloud offering includes managed services backed by SLAs covering both the VMs and the hardware.

 Questions about SunGard’s fully managed Enterprise Cloud Services?  Click here to learn more…