SAP on AWS Migration: How to Prepare for a Technical Assessment

Embarking on an SAP on AWS migration journey can seem daunting, but with the right preparation and team, it can be a smooth and successful process. This blog post aims to provide comprehensive guidance on how to prepare for an AWS migration technical assessment and how to navigate the move to the cloud successfully.  

Understanding Your Current ERP Ecosystem

The first step towards a successful SAP on AWS migration is to unravel the intricacies of your existing ERP landscape. This involves a thorough examination of your current system usage, including CPU, memory utilization and applications being used. These metrics are pivotal in understanding the capacity of your existing system and the resource requirements in your new AWS environment.  

While the destination (AWS) is clear, the path and recommended methodologies to get there can vary. The AWS migration technical assessment should help you identify whether what you need is a straightforward lift-and-shift migration or whether in fact what you need is a more complex Brownfield SAP4/HANA migration together with AWS. 

The technical assessment will also delve into your SAP project’s maturity. This includes an evaluation of your account strategy, naming conventions, and security posture. A comprehensive understanding of how your data is currently distributed across different areas such as security, finance, and connectivity is crucial. 

SAP S/4HANA Adoption and Hyperscaler Transition 

One of the most common reasons for migration is the need to adapt your environment to accommodate SAP S/4HANA, SAP’s cutting-edge ERP suite. SAP S/4HANA often demands infrastructure and database upgrades that may surpass the capabilities of your existing hardware. As a solution, many organizations are turning to hyperscaler cloud providers, such as AWS, for SAP S/4HANA adoption. 

In this scenario, you should put a strong emphasis on assessing the scalability options provided by AWS. One of the keys is to determine how easily you can scale resources like CPU, memory, and storage to meet the demands of SAP S/4HANA. You might wish to consider AWS services like Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS for SAP HANA, and Amazon Aurora for SAP, which offer scalable infrastructure options. 

Migrating SAP in a Multi-Workload Landscape 

In cases where SAP is just one part of a broader IT ecosystem, migration planning must account for seamless integration within an existing cloud environment. If your organization already leverages platforms like AWS for various workloads, ensuring SAP’s smooth integration is paramount. This scenario necessitates expertise in both SAP and cloud platforms to ensure harmonious coexistence and minimal disruption to essential systems. 

In this case, key considerations in the AWS migration technical assessment should include reviewing the current AWS architecture, defining a clear integration strategy for SAP, and assessing data integration requirements using AWS services like Amazon S3 and AWS Glue. It’s crucial to ensure secure identity and access management (IAM) for SAP systems, along with network integration through VPC configurations and security measures. 

High availability, load balancing, backup, and disaster recovery should be evaluated within the integrated environment, and extensive integration testing should be conducted. Change management, documentation, and continuous performance optimization are essential to maintain a harmonious coexistence. User training and support, cost management, and business continuity planning are also vital. Effective collaboration between SAP and AWS experts is essential for a successful integration that aligns with business objectives and minimizes disruptions. 

Equally crucial are the intricate dependencies often entwined between SAP and other components like databases, middleware, and third-party applications. Don’t underestimate the significance of comprehensive testing, covering integration, performance, and user acceptance, all while adhering rigorously to AWS security standards. 

Unleashing Cost Optimisation Opportunities 

The technical assessment for an SAP on AWS migration is a golden opportunity to optimize costs. This dialogue should encompass both your existing usage and future ambitions, enabling you to chart a cost-effective course for your migration. 

A comprehensive understanding of your current state and your envisaged state post-migration is pivotal. For instance, one of the key advantages of migrating to AWS is the flexibility it offers compared to on-premise servers. Your servers no longer need to be always on. You can establish operational timeframes, such as only during working hours, leading to substantial cost savings. 

Your goals and future plans also help optimize costs. For example, AWS allows you to scale your operations as per your needs. This means you can dream big when planning your migration, but only roll out new resources as they become necessary. This flexibility can lead to further cost savings as you’re only paying for what you use. 

The AWS migration technical assessment provides a platform to discuss and strategize for cost optimization in your SAP on AWS migration. By considering your current and future usage, as well as aligning your goals with future plans, you can devise a cost-effective strategy for your migration. 

sap team meeting

Bring the right people to the table 

The success of a SAP on AWS migration project is inherently tied to the collaborative efforts of a multifaceted team of experts. While IT leaders play a pivotal role in coordinating the migration, the early involvement of certain key stakeholders is critical to preempt potential pitfalls. Notably, security experts play a crucial role in maintaining data flow and access integrity. Many companies make the mistake of underestimating the impact of not engaging security experts from the outset, which can result in the introduction of unforeseen security vulnerabilities during the migration process, potentially jeopardizing sensitive data and system integrity. 

In a similar vein, financial controllers are instrumental in understanding and managing the financial implications of migration. If not included early in the planning process, financial aspects may become a stumbling block, leading to unforeseen cost overruns or budgetary misalignment. Their involvement from the outset is essential to ensure that the migration stays within budget and aligns with the company’s financial strategy. Collaborative synergy among these experts is imperative, as their early inclusion helps mitigate risks and ensures a smoother SAP on AWS migration, minimizing disruptions and optimizing the overall project’s success. 

Don’t forget to prepare your Early Watch Report 

The Early Watch Report stands as an essential prerequisite for the technical assessment that precedes a SAP on AWS migration. This standard performance analysis tool, tailored for SAP platforms, grants insight into the platform’s health across key technical layers, encompassing the database, applications, and security aspects. Unfortunately, some customers overlook its importance, possibly due to a lack of awareness or misconceptions regarding its significance.  

Other factors that might prevent them from doing this are resource constraints or the incorrect belief that their SAP environment is already well-optimized or that they can handle issues as they arise. Or sometimes this can occur when third parties or trusted partners manage the SAP platform, diminishing the need for direct access. Confidentiality concerns or cost-effective contracts might also deter report requests. 

Regardless, it’s crucial for customers to actively provide this report as it delivers valuable insights into the performance and stability of their SAP systems, facilitating the early identification of potential issues that might impede a seamless migration. 

For example, the Early Watch Report may highlight issues such as database performance bottlenecks, suboptimal application configurations, or security vulnerabilities within the SAP environment. By addressing these concerns early in the migration planning phase, organizations can make the necessary adjustments to ensure a more successful SAP migration to the AWS platform. 

Engage an Expert Team for a Successful Technical Assessment 

SAP on AWS migration, though intricate, can be simplified thanks to the support of a professional and experienced team that provides you with guidance through the main steps and the most appropriate methodologies for a technical assessment. Technical assessments allow you to anticipate your needs before embarking on the actual migration and to prevent any possible obstacles. 

Syntax expertise in the migration field has been proven by its numerous success stories. Our experts are open to any questions related to an SAP on AWS Migration and are more than ready to accompany you through a technical assessment prior to the migration, should you need one. Don’t hesitate to contact our experts here.