This is part 2 of our 3 part Google Cloud and SAP blog series. This entry focuses on creating an SAP on Google Cloud Migration Plan.
Now whether this is your first-time using SAP or you are migrating your existing ERP infrastructure from on-premises to Google Cloud (GCP), you will want to take the time to create a comprehensive migration plan. The biggest key to your success is to be adequately prepared for implementation and to have contingency plans in place for any problems that may arise. By consulting every resource at your disposal, you can prepare a successful deployment plan for migration.
So You’re Migrating to the Cloud (Architecture Review)
When creating your SAP on Google Cloud migration plan, the first step is to review the IT infrastructure that is currently in place. In part 1 of our SAP blog series, we discuss reviewing your existing IT environment to give you a baseline for what you need from a cloud solution. But for your migration plan, we are looking at a more in-depth review to help you determine what parts of your architecture that you can continue to operate, and what will need to be added or replaced. A thorough review of your network, databases, VMs, CPU and all of your other systems may uncover variables that will affect your transition to the cloud and influence whether or not a hybrid-cloud environment is the right move for you. These could be bottlenecks that will require you to scale your bandwidth, upgrade your physical machines, or increase the amount of storage and or memory that you currently have in place.
Determining this will help you avoid complications in your environment during, and after migration, which will be harder to resolve once everything is in place. A common mistake that occurs when the review is rushed or skipped is unknowingly altering or removing a piece of your infrastructure that had multiple key processes relying on it. Some best practices you should focus on when migrating to GCP are to optimize persistent disks to help performance and ensure your firewall rules allow GCP to run securely and at full capacity, ensuring a continuous delivery of data with little to no packet loss.
The Dream Team
Reviewing and re-learning the intricacies of your environment is step one of preparing for your migration. Step two is to have a good team of subject matter experts (SME) and decision-makers in place for implementation. This is crucial for success. It is highly recommended to have representation from each aspect of the business that these decisions will impact to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and that you can cover every potential problem. Only having your executive decision-makers and the “IT guy” in the room is a recipe for disaster when choosing how to implement SAP on GCP.
Your executives might be experts in the industry, and very involved in many day-to-day processes, but most of the time they can not be engrossed in every facet of the business that will be affected by this transition. This can cause some important information to be overlooked in one place or another. Executives should be focused on the big picture of this migration and how it will affect overall operations and business functions. Getting bogged down with every little detail will slow everything down to a standstill, that is why you should turn to your team and trust in their expertise and divide and conquer.
Creating your team will obviously depend on the size of your organization. If you are a small start-up you might only have your executives and a couple of employees to handle everything, and that’s not a problem. In a larger organization, this just won’t cut it. Your CIO or CTO may have helped build everything from the ground up, or they were just hired, either way, when was the last time they were involved in day-to-day security or networking operations? Your COO will be focused on how migration will affect overall operations and production, or how SKUs will be processed. They might look at how the migration will change how teams interact with each other but overlook how it affects the workflows of individual team members and how the new system could speed up or slow down their individual productivity. We could keep and cover the smaller, but important benefits and drawbacks that your CFO, CMO, or VP of sales might overlook that their subordinates would notice, but we think you get it.
Even if you completely ignore how your business processes are affected, migrating SAP itself will take team members that are familiar with the underlying aspects of SAP. Google Cloud offers tools that make migrating as easy as possible, but that doesn’t mean you can relax. Migrating SAP will require input from experts including ABAP and Java coders, database managers, network, and security admins. You need to consider the differences in experiences and needs between the GUI and Web App users.
Use All Available Resources
Once you know everything there is to know about your architecture and have your migration team in place, you can sit down and begin to create your full plan. Since it’s probably your first time migrating an environment to the cloud, you should start by looking around for examples of migration plans from organizations similar to yours. Blogs like these are a great kick-off point, but will only get you so far. There are plenty of free, in-depth resources out there on the internet. You can find comprehensive migration and implementation guides from Google’s SAP page. Here, you will also find other technical resources that can assist you with building your migration plans including reference architecture, best practices videos, and other support sources. However, you should not rely solely on these documents for implementation. You will also want to consult your SMEs and even bring in outside consultants to help with your plan and implementation. While you might be hesitant to allocate the funds for expert help with all of the other costs related to your migration, but unless you have an in-house expert, these outside SMEs will help minimize mistakes and save you valuable time in the long run. Look at it this way, if you don’t hire them in the beginning, you will end up hiring them later to fix the mistakes.
Well, this is as far as we can take you without turning this blog into a solution-brief. The rest will be up to you and your team. Continue to use the resources you have at hand and take it slow. It may seem like a long and tedious process, but rushing will only make things worse, costing you more resources in the long run. Once you have Implemented Google Cloud and migrated SAP, come back for part 3 of our SAP blog series where we will discuss monitoring the health and performance of SAP and your cloud environment, minimizing errors, and bottlenecks that could arise.