Why SAP Cloud Adoption Needs a Supported and Secure Enterprise Kubernetes Infrastructure On-Premises to Run Integration Processes
When you run your SAP on-premises, nobody doubts you need a dedicated, certified Linux environment with enterprise support to run this business-critical application. But what happens when you need to run the new containerized SAP Integration Suite component on-premises? Why an enterprise-supported Kubernetes like SUSE’s Rancher Prime is needed and why you should consider a standalone Kubernetes environment is what we are going to explain in this blog.
In the ever-evolving landscape of SAP Cloud adoption, two fundamental considerations emerge: the role of a secure Kubernetes infrastructure and the necessity of running on-premises integration components. SUSE’s Rancher Kubernetes, included in Rancher Prime, has been selected by SAP as one of the first on-premises supported enterprise Kubernetes platforms for running integration components. As previously done by SAP with SAP Data Intelligence, SUSE is chosen by default again as a trusted Kubernetes provider to run SAP containerized software. This choice prompts us to delve deeper into the criticality of integration layers and the platforms that support them.
The SAP Edge Integration Cell: Keeping Your Data and Applications Secure
At the heart of this discussion is the “SAP Integration Suite,” with a pivotal on-premises component known as the “SAP Edge Integration Cell.” This integration software serves as the linchpin that seamlessly connects your on-premises applications and data with the evolving SAP Cloud, all within the secure confines of your data center. By avoiding direct connections between the Cloud and on-premises applications, it safeguards data confidentiality and ensures the security of your on-premises operations, as explained in the blog “Keeping sensitive data on-premise with Edge Integration Cell”. This synergy aligns perfectly with SAP’s strategic shift towards cloud-based solutions, empowering your business to embrace the future of SAP while maintaining the integrity of your on-premises operations.
The Key Question: How Critical is SAP Integration for Your Business?
As you contemplate the significance of SAP Cloud integration for your business, consider this: What happens if the connection between SAP Cloud and your billing system or factory is disrupted? The answer is clear: if your SAP integration layer is down, your business is stopped, making downtime not an option. And there is the derivative question: what happens if your Kubernetes environment is compromised and a hacker can breach it? It means security is not optional. These questions underscore the importance of choosing an enterprise-supported software platform, just as with any other critical SAP software. Such a platform is essential for quickly resolving incidents and ensuring uninterrupted business operations. When you are talking about on-premises environments, only SUSE’s RKE2 (Rancher Kubernetes Environment) supported in Rancher Prime will offer today the enterprise-grade support needed. An enterprise-supported and secure platform to run this integration layer becomes paramount to ensure the reliability of your system. SUSE, with its extensive experience, is well-equipped to support this critical SAP environment. Rancher Prime, in turn, provides the necessary infrastructure, much like SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications supported SAP HANA for years.
Why use my own Kubernetes environment in my SAP project
As you contemplate the multifaceted world of SAP Cloud integration, another pivotal consideration emerges: the significance of deploying your own Rancher Kubernetes environment within your SAP department.
SAP Integration in a Containerized World
Like many other modern applications, the new Edge Integration Cell for SAP’s Integration Suite is designed for and operates on a Kubernetes based container management environment. Nevertheless, relying on your existing corporate Kubernetes environment for the SAP Integration may not always be the best solution because existing general-purpose Kubernetes environments may not have a specific SAP architecture in terms of availability, life cycle and security. Moreover, not all Kubernetes platforms are certified to host the SAP integration components, so you need a solution tested and trusted for business-critical SAP solutions like the new Edge Integration Cell.
Therefore, there will be challenges that need to be addressed before adopting a Kubernetes environment for your SAP integration layer, some of the most relevant will be:
Avoid Delays in the SAP Project and Control the SAP Environment.
A Company’s corporate Kubernetes environment typically falls under the purview of a separate IT department, distinct from the SAP department and partners in charge of the SAP projects. This department separation can lead to delays in project execution due to the need for interaction and coordination between these departments. A dedicated Kubernetes environment may help you avoid delays and enhance control over the SAP Integration project.
The Criticality of the Integration Layer
The SAP Integration Suite plays a central role in connecting critical SAP and enterprise non-SAP applications that handle confidential data. Many corporate Kubernetes environments within organizations are multitenant setups, overseeing thousands of containers, each subject to its security measures and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Unfortunately, this complex setup often falls short of meeting the criticality and security requirements of the SAP integration layer. And changes in a corporate environment are not easy to manage.
Near to Your Applications Environments, Anywhere Including Edge
Another compelling reason to consider the “SAP Edge Integration Cell” and its supporting infrastructure is its proximity to your connected applications. This proximity might entail various locations, including edge environments, such as factories. These will require a Kubernetes environment flexible enough to fit in any environment where Kubernetes is required. Rancher is an ideal choice for this approach, as its architecture is more compact compared to most other enterprise Kubernetes solutions, allowing for a wider set of scenarios and topologies covered, from the edge to enterprise-grade datacenters.
In multi-site scenarios like edge environments, the addition of Rancher Management Server becomes invaluable for seamlessly managing multiple locations in a centralized way. Additionally, SUSE’s Harvester virtualization solution empowers your SAP project by enabling the deployment of virtualization environment appliances in edge locations to run Rancher Kubernetes clusters. Harvester backed virtualization appliances can efficiently convert any virtualization needs and allocate the required virtualized resources with the flexibility needed for your SAP projects
SUSE’s Rancher Prime: Streamlining Management
To overcome these challenges, deploying your own dedicated, simple Kubernetes environment within your SAP department for SAP projects becomes an appealing solution. This dedicated environment operates like a specialized appliance designed to efficiently run the necessary SAP components.
In this complex landscape, SUSE’s Rancher solutions provide the necessary tools and support to expedite and simplify SAP environment deployment, management, and security. This approach ensures that you can keep pace with your SAP projects, meet the critical SLAs required for SAP operations, ensure business continuity, and most importantly, operate within an SAP-certified platform. This alignment with industry standards and best practices secures the efficiency and security of your SAP environment.
As we navigate the intricate world of SAP Cloud integration, one truth becomes evident: the integration of your on-premises processes with the cloud is not a matter of choice but a necessity for uninterrupted business operations. The secure and reliable platform you choose to run these integration layers serves as the foundation for your success.
With SUSE’s Rancher Prime offering, you have the experience, infrastructure, and tools you need to safeguard your critical SAP environment and confidently embrace the future of SAP. Your strategic decisions in this ever-evolving landscape pave the way for efficient SAP management practices, unwavering security, and compliance with industry standards, positioning your organization for a successful journey into the SAP Cloud era.