Are you a Basis Engineer or a Head of SAP that’s wondering if alternatives to SAP Solution Manager exist? If so, and you’ve landed on this article during your search for SolMan alternatives, then you’ve come to the right place.
The three key areas covered in this article are:
- What is SolMan?
- How long does it take to set up?
- Which companies use a Solution Manager alternative?
What is SolMan?
Before we get into software alternatives for monitoring and managing SAP systems, let’s clarify what Solution Manager (or SolMan) actually is. SAP's SolMan is a great product. It has many advantages that are critical for maintaining SAP systems whether you’re an in-house operations team or a service provider. It comes as part of your SAP system license. And therefore includes specific technical support that’s essential for running any SAP shop - especially complex ones.
At Avantra, we do not recommend searching for an alternative that will replace SolMan. Instead, we urge you to consider SAP automation and monitoring tools that complement what Solution Manager offers. Many of our customers tell us that Solution Manager is still a fundamental part of their tech stack for SAP operations:
“We use SAP Solution Manager for EarlyWatch alerts and for other purposes such as central customizing, MOPZ, BPCA, CUA and more, but not for monitoring."
Alon Senderovitz, Chief Information Security Officer at Strauss Group
So, if you’re looking for more granular monitoring of your SAP landscape(s), SolMan might not be the best in breed. Yet, it does offer benefits in many other areas of SAP operations, including:
- Business process management
- Management of system data
- System and infrastructure development (releases, versioning, and license management)
- Change control management
- IT service management (ITSM)
- System testing and qualification
How long does it take to set up SolMan?
Out-of-the-box, Solution Manager requires a fair amount of configuration, including custom scripts. The time and effort spent installing, managing, and maintaining SolMan does not come free. Even if the product itself is included within your SAP system license.
Some people argue this time is much better spent buying an SAP automation solution like Avantra.
That’s because it provides complete SAP health and monitoring coverage.
However, most of our customers still use SolMan for the traditional tasks listed in the section above. With this in mind, it’s not usually an option to look for SolMan alternatives.
What’s the project length of a SolMan build?
The answer to this question is entirely dependent on the SAP system size and level of complexity. But, to give you an idea of what’s involved in building a two-tier Solution Manager from scratch, here’s a first-hand account from one of our enterprise customers.
Length of project:
40-50 weeks (including decommissioning)
One person working on the project full time (FTE).
Some time can be cut by using more people, but many of those tasks need to be done sequentially.
Read the full interview detailing this customer’s experience of installing Solution Manager.
What’s the cost?
Again, this varies on system size and complexity. Consider what people, processes, and technology you’ll require, such as:
- Server builds
- FTEs to install and configure Solution Manager
- FTEs to run the solution after implementation
When looking for alternatives or complementary tools, factor in the effort involved in deploying and maintaining yet more software. You can minimize the overhead by looking for platforms that are:
- Easy to deploy as ‘business as usual’
- Deployed once, and easily upgraded to new releases
- Technology agnostic so that your future stack is protected
- Able to support REST API to make cloud migrations secure and seamless
Preconfigured with out of the box checks
- Flexible to custom configurations for multi-tenant and complex environments
How long does it take to deploy Avantra?
In comparison to a lengthy SolMan build project, Avantra’s base install takes just one or two days. One of the key differences here is that it’s a procedural deployment. That means it’s not project-based and can be carried out as business as usual - with almost immediate results.
In general, a complete Avantra implementation (including design, install, and agent deployment) can be done in one to two weeks. And, once this is done, you simply add the systems within your landscape.
It’s completely non-intrusive, and the SAP landscape size determines how long the full implementation will actually take. For more details of the implementation process read the blog, How long does it take to deploy Avantra?
Companies using SolMan alternatives
In our 20 years of experience, enterprises and service providers alike use the Avantra platform as a complementary solution. There are obvious pains and challenges that are more directly addressed where there are multiple SAP instances. But regardless of industry, database size, number of Basis Engineers, virtual machines, SIDs, or level of availability, monitoring complete SAP health is becoming mission-critical. Even more so with the pressure to move to the cloud, innovate, and align with DevOps or IT Ops strategies. We have customers in the following industry sectors using our alternative monitoring solution:
- Food & Beverage
- Energy & Utilities
- Oil & Gas
- Managed Service Providers
… among others. View our customer stories to see companies that use Avantra’s SolMan alternative.
Just try it alongside your existing build of solution manager to see enhanced monitoring and automation - including SAP Kernel upgrades.
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