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In the new economy that’s constantly on a roller-coaster ride, businesses that need to streamline their operations and reduce uncertainties must build robust and scalable systems and solutions. SAP - a market leader in enterprise resource planning software products for decades - has constantly innovated to revolutionize business processes and help its clients extract greater value from their ERP systems.
In the last few years, a growing number of companies have been experimenting with the idea of combining the two great forces in the realms of ERPs and cloud computing. We are talking about the new opportunities that some of the leaders across industries have been able to generate by taking their SAP systems on top of AWS cloud infrastructure.
This blog post serves as a guide to help you consider AWS as a platform to run your SAP applications and extract even more value from your SAP deployments on AWS, enabling your business to thrive in today’s ever-evolving digital world.
SAP on hyperscalers
To unlock new possibilities from SAP investments, many businesses now turn to hyperscalers. These hyperscalers are essentially large-scale cloud service providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
There is a multitude of benefits that can be realized by deploying SAP workloads to hyperscalers. The most notable advantage is the scalability and cost-effectiveness as hyperscalers are built of extensive cloud infrastructures and run on pay-as-you-go models and consumption-based pricing models, which can scale with your business; this set-up allows companies to pay for only resources that they consume. By taking their SAP workloads onto these cloud platforms, businesses can eliminate the need to make substantial amounts of up-front investments in the infrastructure as well as reduce overall IT costs.
5 reasons you should run SAP on AWS
AWS provides a diverse range of cloud-based services on a global scale, encompassing computing, storage, networking, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. These services facilitate enhanced speed, reduced IT expenses, and scalable solutions for organizations. Renowned by major corporations and thriving startups alike, AWS serves as the backbone for various workloads, including ERP, web and mobile applications, game development, data processing, warehousing, storage, and archiving.
According to the Amazon Web Services website, more than 5000 SAP customers are already using AWS cloud infrastructure. However, just because a large number of companies trust AWS for their cloud infrastructure needs does not mean you should also follow them and migrate your workloads to AWS. Let us share with you 5 compelling reasons why you should consider moving to AWS, whether you are migrating to SAP S/4 HANA or contemplating a re-platform to lower costs, or adopting the RISE with SAP offerings.
- Reliable and scalable cloud infrastructure: AWS global infrastructure is highly reliable and scalable. The global infrastructure footprint is constantly growing at a significant pace. The reliability and scalability of the platform enable businesses not to overprovision resources as the cloud resources can be easily scaled up or scaled down as per the business needs. Also, the global footprint of the technical infrastructure allows businesses to deploy their workloads and applications closer to their target group of users/customers, which reduces latency and drives performance.
- Customer choice and flexibility: AWS cloud platform offers the most customer choice and flexibility. With over 200 fully-featured AWS services and a highly secure and monitored infrastructure, customers can leverage the conceptually infinite capabilities of the cloud to achieve increased flexibility and resilience.
- Proven cost savings: As per a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of AWS, businesses that bring ECC to AWS experience a 103% ROI after 3 years.
- Comprehensive, industry-leading security and compliance: Running SAP workloads on the cloud can pose serious threats to the integrity and confidentiality of the data that resides in the SAP landscape. However, with AWS, businesses can rest assured about the security and compliance of their data and systems as the platform embeds industry-leading security measures. The infrastructure is monitored 24x7, and the data running on the platform is encrypted at the physical layer. Companies can automatically secure their data at rest and in transit as well.
- Innovation and agility: Migrating to the AWS platform also allows companies of all sizes to innovate at scale and become agile in the face of constant disruptions by combining their SAP investments with 200+ AWS services, including analytics & data lakes, machine learning, serverless computing, and more.
Best practices & rapid deployment solutions for SAP on AWS
Deploying SAP applications and workloads on AWS can be a complex and frustrating experience. Also, each SAP migration to AWS is unique, so it's vital for companies to consult with SAP and AWS experts and follow the official AWS and SAP guidelines for a successful deployment. Here are some of the best practices to help you get started:
- Make high availability a top priority: SAP applications can be mission-critical to run your business operations. Therefore, you must design your SAP architecture on AWS with high availability and reliability in mind. For this, you can leverage its extensive global infrastructure that consists of 99 Availability Zones within 31 geographic regions around the world. You can also use other services and offerings like AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and auto-scaling features to achieve better elasticity and resilience.
- Right size your AWS resources: To capture value from your SAP investments, it is crucial to right-size your AWS resources, whether it’s computing, storage, or networking. Partnering with a reliable SAP on AWS deployment partner can successfully abstract most of the complexities involved in the entire deployment process. However, if your team is doing it on its own, it’s vital for them to gauge the resource requirements that your SAP workloads would demand in the new environment. Conducting performance testing and analysis can help select the most appropriate resources and keep the cost under control.
- Ensure security compliance: Securing your SAP applications and workloads in the AWS platform is of crucial importance. Adhere to AWS security best practices and establish proper configurations for security groups, network ACLs, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies to manage access to your SAP systems effectively. Safeguard sensitive data by employing encryption techniques, leveraging AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for data at rest and SSL/TLS certificates for data in transit. Additionally, prioritize the regular patching and updating of your SAP systems to address any potential security vulnerabilities promptly.
- SAP /4HANA Quick Start for rapid deployment on AWS: AWS Quick Start for SAP S/4HANA is a deployment automation tool that simplifies and fast-tracks SAP software deployments to the cloud. You can leverage Quick Start to deploy SAP S/4 HANA workloads on AWS in just a few hours, compared with a manual deployment that can take days or even weeks to complete. In addition to AWS Quick Start for SAP S/4 HANA, there are also Quick Starts for SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver.
- Use these migration tools strategically: AWS has designed an array of migration tools and methodologies to help enterprises move their SAP software solutions to AWS in an automated and accelerated manner. The most notable tools are AWS Launch Wizard for SAP, AWS Migration Hub Orchestrator, Amazon EC2 Instance Resize, AMIs, AWS Snowball, Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration, Migration Using DMO with System Move, SAP HANA Classical Migration, and more.
How to efficiently manage & optimize your SAP Landscape on AWS?
A reliable SAP solutions partner can help navigate the complexities surrounding a successful and seamless deployment of SAP applications and workloads to the AWS platform. With their expertise in both SAP and AWS technologies, they can help you build the right strategy and take the right steps to ensure rapid deployment to the cloud. Additionally, you can follow a phased approach toward the migration/deployment where you shift the workloads in a planner manner rather than shifting the workloads in one go. It’s also critical to follow the best practices (in case you missed them, just scroll up to the previous section) while planning and deploying the SAP on AWS.