What Cloud to Offer Which Customer?
Posted 04 February 2020 by Patrick Volny
As SAP Business One Partner, when considering bringing your customers to the Cloud, it is important to know what kind of ‘Cloud’ you will be offering. Not all Clouds are created equally!
There is confusion around what different Cloud offerings entail. Different terms are used, and not always in a consistent way.
There are two fundamental categories:
- Multi-Tenant or Single Tenant offerings;
- Public or Private Cloud offerings.
And within those categories, there are a number of key considerations around Security.
In a Cloud deployment, security is of paramount importance. This should be a critical selection point for you and your customers.
Security in our view is of critical importance, and we deploy class-leading security from Sophos as a mandatory item on all our deployments. However, providing a secure solution comes with a cost.
There are still many organisations, including large multinationals and Cloud service providers, who have not taken security seriously. They gamble on not being impacted and this gamble may pay off.
In particular, Private Cloud deployments in a Multi-Tenant setup can be more susceptive to Security breaches and impacts on your and your customers business.
Ransomware attacks continue to be successful and are forcing companies out of business: is that a risk you are willing to take?
Multi-Tenant vs. Single-Tenant Offerings
Multi-Tenant offerings work best for smaller, stable and less resource-hungry deployments, where no add-ons are required. For other customers, Single Tenancy should be considered.
When the setup is Multi-Tenanted, your customers will share resources with others, their so-called neighbours, on the same platform. These can be your customers sharing your resources, or customers from other partners.
In a Single Tenant setup, your customer has a fully dedicated environment.
The big benefit of Multi-Tenant offerings, for instance by using SAP’s Cloud Control Centre, is that through sharing resources the cost per seat is lower.
Potential downsides of Multi-Tenancy are:
- Risk of “Noisy Neighbours” – Multi-tenant solutions make assumptions about resource loads, and optimise cost by pushing the boundaries; if other customers use a lot of resources for their system or that usage is highly dynamic, then this may impact performance on your customer systems;
- Loss of Flexibility – Some platforms will allow for the running of some add-on’s, but you will never have the freedom to run any add-on, bespoke development and integrations;
- Defined Patches and Upgrades – The platform owner will decide on when to apply patches and upgrades; this may not be in line with your customers B1 business requirements. There is a cost-benefit and as long as this does not limit your customers’ requirements, it is a good solution;
Public or Private Cloud
Private Cloud offerings work best for smaller, stable deployments with no need to grow or change over time. For other customers, Public Cloud should be considered.
A Private Cloud setup, and something not that long ago we called a data centre, is either provided by you as a partner, provided by a 3rd party or managed by your customer in-house.
A Public Cloud such as provided by AWS provides:
- The ability to deploy virtually anywhere in the world;
- Unparalleled security and quality of service;
- Unlimited saleability both in time and over time;
- The ability to respond to (changes in) requirements in minutes;
- The ability to engineer for disaster recovery at low cost;
- The ability to respond to any change in underlying technology.
Another key aspect of Public Cloud deployment is the ability to fully automate both the initial deployment and ongoing running of the environments. This results in a more predictable, higher quality of service at a relatively lower cost.
And finally, in a Public Cloud, you can switch everything off and not incur any further cost if required.
There is great financial flexibility.
All of these benefits, however, come at a slightly higher cost if compared with running a static server in a low-cost data centre.
Deployments on a Private Cloud carry the following potential risks and drawbacks:
- Ability to Respond to Technology Change – Traditional data centres tend to be good in what they are good at; this can be a challenge when technology changes: the switch from SQL to HANA is a good example of that;
- Cost of Security – Keeping up with the expertise and technology to keep the system safe can be a challenge due to the lack of scale that Public Cloud providers benefit from;
- Ability to Deploy Anywhere – In today’s world where more and more customers operate across borders or even globally, being able to provide a service that spans across all continents and time zones can be a major differentiator;
- Risk of Oversizing – To be on the safe side, and because change post initial build is harder, systems can be oversized for build in flexibility; this results in higher cost;
- Risk of a Terminal Disaster – What happens if the datacentre that the system is in goes down? Is there a fail-over, how quickly will you get your system back? How will a potential terminal failure impact you, your business and your customers?
MiCloud for SAP B1 – Private Cloud on AWS
Lemongrass’ MiCloud for SAP B1 and powered by AWS is a high-end solution for the B1 market. It caters best for partners and their customers with the following characteristics:
- Security Conscious – we provide amongst the highest level of protection in the industry;
- Need for (Very) High Resilience – we provide an Enterprise Grade backup and recovery capability, ensuring very high levels of resilience;
- Complex and Bespoke – we provide a fully dedicated environment per customer, ensuring the highest level of flexibility and performance;
- Requiring High Flexible – we can provide environments within hours, and change within minutes;
- Being Responsive to Technology – we change the underlying platforms to cater for the SAP B1 technology you and each individual customer require;
- Deployment Anywhere – we utilise the AWS cloud environments that are available throughout the world, enabling you to respond to any customer requirement;
- High Quality of Service – we provide you and your customers with the same rigour and quality of service as we provide to SAP large enterprise customers.
With MiCloud for SAP B1 we are not, and do not profess or claim to be the lowest-cost provider. This is a platinum solution for your customers with platinum requirements.
For partners and customers for which cost is more important, we provide alternative models through our Partner Optimised as well as Customer Optimised deployments in a Multi-Tenant model.
So in summary, with MiCloud for SAP B1 you are able to provide your customers with a solution which is:
- Price competitive;
- Highly Secure;
- Truly global with 24×7 support;
- Highly performing;
- Highly Flexible;
- With High Quality of Service;
- Highly Scalable.
Would you like to know more? Find Us at SMB Innovation Summit 2020.