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Why a "flexible plumbing system"​ is key to bringing your applications successfully to the cloud

06/03/2021 by Arjen Hoekstra

Somebody working with a pipe wrench on the siphon of a washbasin.

When talking recently with Marc de Nies, SAP Alliance manager, on the new SAP initiative RISE with SAP and the importance of connectivity to accelerating your SAP cloud journey, he made a nice comparison. Connectivity is like the plumbing system in your house. You do not pay attention to the plumbing and take it for granted that it works, until problems like a leakage or blockage arise. This reminded me of my plan to move my home’s bathroom. Although the new bathroom location would be on the same floor, the contractor told me he would have to overhaul half of the house to rework the plumbing. Because it would require a lot of time and effort to change the plumbing, I chose not to move the bathroom. While it emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the plumbing, my bathroom relocation is not a perfect analogy for moving your applications to the cloud. Why? Because keeping your application landscape as it is and not moving to the cloud is not an option. You have to utilize the cloud to succeed in the modern workplace. Still, it is imperative that you consider the impact of the plumbing – your connectivity – on your cloud journey and adapt your network accordingly. In my previous blog I discussed the impact of moving applications to the cloud, the globalization of business and the fact that users nowadays require access to applications from anywhere. And it’s not just users – more and more Internet of Things (IoT) devices require connectivity. This forces customers to rethink and redesign their network infrastructure.

The main considerations regarding connectivity are:

  • Application performance
  • Visibility on the network
  • Issues related to globalization of the business
  • Impact on security
  • Business flexibility

Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions, in combination with the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) concept, provide a way to overcome these challenges. A modern SD-WAN solution creates a “flexible plumbing system” to support your cloud journey. When moving your application landscape to the cloud in various IaaS and SaaS platforms, strong application performance is guaranteed by SD-WAN. It will provide the right network performance to each application, taking the business criticality of your applications into account. The centralized orchestration tools enable fast implementation of new users and locations and provides visibility on application performance across the network. SASE capabilities will ensure the security of the ever- increasing number of endpoints, users, devices and applications hosted in hybrid cloud environments. The challenges related to the globalization of companies with regards to a globalized user and application landscape can be solved by application optimization features of SD-WAN solutions. When users in Europe are accessing applications running in a European cloud, there are likely no specific measures required to guarantee good performance. However, users working from another global region (Asia, for example) would highly benefit from acceleration and optimization that mitigates the impact of latency caused by the long distance. Many users are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Application performance and security needs to be ensured for these users, because working from home is here to stay. SD-WAN can optimize connectivity, accelerate traffic as necessary and guarantee security with the help of SASE. All of these features are crucial for remote work. Are you interested in learning more about the challenges of moving your applications to the cloud and the capabilities of SD-WAN to provide solutions, taking RISE with SAP as an example? Do you want to make sure that your “plumbing system” is well accounted for in your transition to the cloud? In our recorded webinar, we discuss these issues with SAP and Aryaka, one of our SD-WAN technology partners. We go over sample cases and solutions to show how SD-WAN guarantees smooth performance when cloudifying your SAP application landscape.

Do you want more insights from smart connectivity and network professionals?

Arjen Hoekstra

CTO Connectivity Services and Senior Sales Consultant at Deutsche Telekom Global Business Solutions Netherlands