Posted On: June 16, 2020

SAP on AWS: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to your most commonly asked questions about SAP on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

IT leaders today are charged with making their enterprises more agile. To achieve this goal, they are moving their enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to the cloud, specifically their mission-critical SAP applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Here are some of the top questions we get asked about SAP on AWS:

Why are companies migrating SAP apps to AWS?

Companies are migrating SAP applications to AWS because of the maturity and appeal of the platform. Companies are expected to make their SAP systems more efficient, flexible, scalable, and modern. AWS has become the go-to platform for modernizing existing business applications and building new digital products, such as mobile software to deliver new customer experiences and machine learning (ML) systems to generate insights.

SAP and AWS have been working together since 2008 to certify AWS for the productive use of SAP applications, and databases. AWS’s 12 years of experience running SAP workloads are substantially more than any other cloud provider. More than 5,000 active customers trust AWS to run SAP, half of which are also running SAP HANA.

SAP themselves rely on AWS to build systems of differentiation. Today, SAP exclusively runs SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, and SAP Analytics Cloud on AWS. Additionally, it runs a majority of the SAP Cloud Platform regions, as well as SAP Concur, QualtricsXM, and NS2 – which serves some of the largest SAP HANA environments to customers across government and regulated industries – on AWS.

AWS offers the largest cloud-native virtual instances certified for SAP HANA, with up to 24 TB of memory in scale-up architecture, and up to 48TB of memory in scale-out architecture.

One of the core reasons AWS has become the leading public cloud hosting service is that AWS has a rate of innovation far exceeding that of competitors, producing thousands of new features every year. Most IT leaders are tasked with creating new revenue-generating initiatives, so offloading non-strategic work by using cloud providers and partners is increasingly important.

Why is SAP on AWS popular?

One reason for the growing popularity of AWS-based SAP hosting is the maturity of the platform in terms of operating business-critical applications. These include AWS investments in local data centers, high availability, and security. This has helped to reduce companies’ concerns about security and loss of control in a public cloud setting.

AWS offers a wide range of cloud services, including compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), developer and management tools, security, and enterprise applications on demand and with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. The AWS portfolio is constantly expanding with new services and upgrades. Furthermore, AWS has a highly innovative culture that produces innovations on a regular basis. In recent years, AWS has added thousands of new features and services to the platform.

What are the business benefits of moving SAP to AWS?

Running critical SAP workloads on AWS enables your business to be more agile, cost-effective, and secure than on premises. SAP on AWS helps you streamline your ability to adopt emerging technologies, enable greater innovation, and provide faster time-to-value.

With AWS, customers have access to world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, with more than 175 services available to help them innovate today, including services for artificial intelligence, ML, IoT, Data Lakes, and more. To help customers innovate tomorrow, AWS maintains an unparalleled pace of innovation.

Customers consistently report back that running SAP on AWS reduces their total cost of ownership. According to a 2019 IDC report, it is less expensive to run SAP on the AWS purpose-built infrastructure than it is on-premises. Furthermore, over 85.4% of respondents have seen a significant (40.5%) or modest (44.9%) cost reduction by running SAP on AWS. Many SAP processes occur irregularly – monthly, annually, or even further in between. By running on AWS, you no longer have to over-provision capacity to meet these spikes in demand. Instead, you can provision resources on demand when you need them and pay only for what you use.

Learn the business benefits of moving SAP to AWS.

How are SAP customers using AWS?

The use cases for SAP on AWS range from running a single SAP test system to hosting an entire SAP S/4HANA environment on AWS.

Here are some of the most common uses:

  • SAP hosting: Host all SAP environments and connected systems on AWS.
  • Test SAP solutions: Select an SAP solution and try it out on AWS.
  • Hybrid SAP hosting: Migrate existing SAP development and test landscapes to AWS while keeping production on premises.
  • Disaster recovery: Use AWS as a disaster recovery site for on-premise or hosted SAP.

Lean how SAP on AWS can help you accelerate digital transformation.

What types of services can I get to run SAP on AWS?

AWS manages the physical infrastructure up to the virtualization layer.  The operating system and any SAP apps and databases running above the virtualization layer are managed by the customer. AWS is an SAP-certified Global Technology Partner and focuses on providing a highly reliable, scalable, and low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers such as AWS give the customer a pre-defined set of services that serve as an on-ramp to the cloud and offer service level agreements (SLAs) on a customer’s IT infrastructure (not on the application level).

With Managed IaaS (M-IaaS),  you can outsource your infrastructure and its management to a third-party partner. This service includes everything you receive with IaaS, along with a team to handle backup, restoration, disaster recovery, operating system management, patching, security, and monitoring. A Managed IaaS provider will monitor your IT infrastructure and systems 24/7. If something happens, they can quickly resolve issues. Your Managed IaaS provider can also give you higher levels of security and performance than you would get with standard IaaS services.

With Managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), or M-PaaS for short, you can build and update applications without the need to maintain your development infrastructure in-house. Your developers can take applications to market faster – while you avoid the high costs of maintaining your IT infrastructure. Your Managed PaaS provider handles your provisioning and manages your database and its performance. The provider can also handle system management, updates, and backups. With a managed PaaS offering, you are still responsible for your applications and data.

With Managed SAP (M-SAP), you can outsource your whole SAP landscape and its management to a partner. You can consume SAP products – while you avoid the high costs of maintaining your IT infrastructure and management overhead for a true SaaS experience. Your Managed SAP provider handles your provisioning and manages your database and SAP applications, and its performance. The provider can also handle system management, updates, and backups.

Syntax can help you with managed IaaS, managed PaaS, and managed SAP solutions on AWS.

What IaaS platforms are certified by SAP

To find out what IaaS platforms are certified by SAP, please visit the certified and support SAP HANA hardware directory.

How can I test SAP on AWS?

There are numerous SAP test drives and trials available. For example, Syntax has a S/4HANA move experience offer with AWS.

How can Syntax design highly available SAP apps on AWS?

Syntax can help you design custom SAP HA solutions on AWS. Watch this on-demand webinar to discover how to manage and configure highly available SAP apps on AWS and then contact us to learn more.

How do I migrate my existing SAP HANA system to AWS?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach as each business has its own particular needs and objectives for SAP on AWS. The AWS public cloud accommodates organizations at different stages in their digital transformation and may opt to take different approaches. Contact us today to discover how we help you migrate SAP to AWS. If you want to know how moving your SAP environment to the cloud relates to your specific IT environment, you can schedule a cloud readiness assessment.

Learn More about SAP on AWS

To understand SAP on AWS, find out how to minimize risks and ensure a successful migration even if your organization doesn’t have in-house AWS expertise. Also, discover how to build the economic and business case for running SAP infrastructure in the AWS cloud and the benefits and obstacles for operating SAP on AWS.

Also, don’t miss these on-demand webinars where you can find out the seven key questions to ask before migrating SAP apps to AWS and 5 things you should know before moving SAP workloads to AWS.