In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business landscape, enterprises rely heavily on seamless and uninterrupted operations to maintain their competitive edge. To that end, most companies actively try to limit planned downtime for their SAP systems. But by having too few downtime windows, companies are often left to bundle too many changes into a small time period—a practice that can potentially cause unforeseen outages or system failures.
SAP Planned downtime is required for patching, upgrades, and other maintenance activities needed for SAP systems to function optimally and securely. Despite the controlled nature of planned downtime, it can still be quite costly.
According to a study done by Forrester, IT directors at large US institutions estimate that planned downtime costs their organizations on average $1.5 million per quarter and $5.6 million per year. Some IT leaders accept this as the cost of doing business while others try to limit the impact of planned downtime by performing maintenance activities less frequently. Neither response produces an ideal outcome. A passive response to planned downtime only leads to more costs, and limiting the maintenance activities that require planned downtime leaves SAP systems more susceptible to vulnerabilities and security threats.
Addressing the SAP Planned Downtime Dilemma
So, how can organizations effectively address planned downtime? The answer lies in deploying a solution that enables IT administrators to perform the maintenance activities needed for SAP systems while drastically reducing the downtime window it previously took to execute those tasks. Lemongrass’s Minimized Downtime Operations (MDO™) for SAP is one such solution.
Minimized Downtime Operations, MDO is a patent-pending managed services orchestration solution that significantly reduces the planned downtime associated with managing SAP systems on the Cloud. MDO leverages our cutting-edge proprietary tool, Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP), and enables organizations to implement important operational tasks for SAP Systems with minimal complexity, effort, and downtime. The solution includes the following capabilities:
- Minimal downtime for OS, DB, and SAP kernel patching
- SAP system refreshing / cloning
- Vertical scaling of SAP instances and underlying infrastructure
- On-demand horizontal app server scaling
- Compliance builds for ransomware prevention
Offered as an add-on to Lemongrass’s managed services, SAP customers can leverage MDO to:
Reduce Planned Downtime
MDO never takes down your primary site for planned maintenance. Downtime is reduced to the cutover time and associated post-cutover testing.
Reduce Infrastructure Costs and Improve Performance
MDO simplifies scaling, enabling you to reduce infrastructure costs and continuously run infrastructure at an optimum level of efficiency and performance.
Establishes Immutable Infrastructure for SAP
Immutable infrastructure refers to servers that are never changed after deployment. If servers need to be fixed or updated, new servers are built and deployed as opposed to updating the current ones in use. MDO implements immutable infrastructure for SAP ensuring reliability, efficiency, and effortless scalability.
MDO is secure by design. Since servers are not supposed to be updated or modified, thanks to immutable infrastructure, any changes that are identified mean that those servers have been compromised and must be isolated and destroyed. In a mutable system, on the other hand, it’s difficult to ensure whether a change to the server is legitimate or not. With MDO, patching can also be done more often and thus, reduces the attack surface of your SAP systems. And ultimately, if there is a breach, we have automated procedures in place for detection, correction, and replacement of your SAP systems.
More Upside with Uptime
There is much to gain from getting SAP planned downtime under control, and even more to gain when you do so with MDO. By implementing MDO in your SAP on Cloud operations, you can significantly reduce planned downtime while increasing your SAP workloads’ security, performance, and agility. Simply stated, MDO gives you more uptime and the capacity to generate more revenue while satisfying your customers.
For more information on our Minimized Downtime Operations (MDO™) solution for SAP, please contact us.
Connect with the authors: Frank Stienhans and Jean Dobrek-Cho