nSights Talks


Tutorial Highlights & Transcript

00:00 - What is SAP
Hi, my name is Arif Bangash and I’m a Solution Architect with nClouds. If you are familiar with any business, to run operations, there’s a function for sales, marketing, finance, or accounting that we need some sort of tool to help us run that business. That’s where SAPs come in and help us on that one.

What is SAP? SAP is just a system application and product on the data processing side here. It is an ERP, in layman’s terms, it is just enterprise resource planning to help us with the business operations. For any big business, take Boeing or Walmart, for them to run the accounting to pay the account receivables and account payables, there are two invoices, paid invoices. They need some sort of a tool and that’s where SAP comes in to pay the employees. That’s where SAP comes in here. For any small businesses, you may be familiar with the other tool that we use quite heavily, QuickBooks, the same thing. SAP is for enterprise-level businesses, just like Walmart or Boeing, or any other big businesses out there. It’s been around, it’s been utilized. This tool, this application has been used in the United States and outside the United States. As you can see, SAP is everywhere. We’re going to talk about several more general things about what SAP is and then go a little bit deeper into the migration aspect, specifically on SAP HANA and how that will work.

01:48 - History of SAP
Let’s look into the history side of how SAP and AWS have been working together. They’ve been around for 13-plus years, that’s a pretty long time. As you can see, they started in 2008, but they became really serious about them. You can see the purpose-built infrastructure for SAP on an SAP HANA, that’s the database side of the building. And SAP HANA, we can talk about that one, but it’s more of a very memory-intensive database. So that’s where they’re focusing quite heavily on memory instances. Even back in 2017, 2018, 2019, and all the way up to Automator SAP software installed in high availability configuration from AWS. They’ve been closely working together. That’s where we are going to be working on how to migrate SAP applications and modules that were running on-prem to AWS, and how we can come in there. But one thing I just wanted you to just take away from this image is that SAP is a very memory-intensive application. Whenever you go looking for any EC2 instances, focus on the high memory that is available.
03:13 - SAP on AWS
SAP has a lot of functions that you need to support a business. It has accounting for accounts receivable and accounts payables. It is the HR for taking care of all your employees. For sales, there’s an inventory. SAP does provide a lot of modules. There’s quite a heavy number of modules available. We’re going to be focusing a little bit more on the SAP HANA, Rise with SAP, that’s another fully holistic solution from SAP for businesses to run, and some other services that they have from their SAP side.

SAP Business Solutions on AWS

As I mentioned, SAP has wonderful solutions available, but first, we want to look into SAP HANA. This is an in-memory, column-oriented SQL relational database. That is the main database that we are seeing and working on the migration side of it. But then there are obviously other migrations you can do from them. I’m going to this database because you can migrate from on-prem to AWS. This is one of the solutions and one of the databases we are looking at. There are other modules and services that SAP provides for businesses in build.

SAP HANA Offerings on AWS

Some of the SAP HANA offerings are that you can bring your own license to your environment. One of the main things I was talking about was Rise with SAP. Rise gives you full support that’s not only completely end-to-end support by SAP, but they do support your system. Their SLA is that they provide you with full support for your environment. It is more of a hands-off approach from the SAP team. But HANA is one of the main things that I mentioned we’re looking into.

Operating Systems available for SAP on AWS

What operating systems does SAP support on AWS? The main flavor of them is your Red Hat Linux. Oracle Linux is also provided. It’s not my favorite, by the way. But still, Oracle is providing that service for you. Then, your Windows server is the other one that provides the server for you. These are the operating systems we have. You can go through your marketplace and get the images from the marketplace.

Database Platforms available for SAP on AWS

A database is just your normal database, SQL Server databases that you can install with the SAP – Oracle, IBM, DB2. Oracle database is not my favorite, but it’s one of them available. My favorite is Aurora, I love it. That’s where we are supporting that one there. Besides that one, you have an SAP HANA, SAP Max DB, and that’s your own Sybase database that was also available on a database platform.

06:15 - AWS Launch Wizard for SAP
Let’s talk about a couple of tools that we have and how to launch that SAP application on AWS. First of all, AWS has a launch wizard, and that’s an AWS native tool for SAP available. That launch wizard is available for some other services, too. It helps provide infrastructure-as-code. This is giving you guidance on size and configuration, and how to deploy HANA-based SAP applications into AWS, it helps you with EC2, your drives, your VPC, and all of their CloudWatch system. It’s worked with the services that are mentioned here. This is just another service that’s coming in from AWS-native services that will help you to launch any SAP applications on AWS.

SAP System Deployment Process

The process for that SAP deployment is pretty straightforward. You can reuse your infrastructure configuration settings that you have or you can start from scratch. Infrastructure-as-code is going to be very helpful for you to take care of that. You can define your SAP system-wide settings, you can choose deployment models and SAP competence, and whatever components you need. Then you can configure and release the SAP system to end users. You can review and deploy and then finish the steps. It makes it a very simple process for you and doesn’t take that much effort to take care of that installation.

AWS Launch Wizard for SAP Use Cases

You can utilize Launch Wizard for different use cases. You can use it for assessment. We do that for any customer that we are migrating to AWS for that purpose. We definitely can use launch wizard for assessment. Then we can have migration stages, how to migrate that customer to AWS. For operational purposes, it has a built-in hot SAP system for new applications and testing projects. You can automate some steps in that one. That Launch Wizard has quite a bit helpful features available to help you to migrate any applications to AWS.

Supported Deployment Models – HANA

The support or deployment models have been simple ones that you can do on one simple node deployment there and you can have multi-node deployment there. What do I mean by simple node? You can have multiple databases with the EC2 instances with a high memory availability now that we have that EC2 mix there. You’d have quite a bit of flexibility in that one there. You can do that. You can host multiple nodes deployment, or you can do high availability deployment, too. That’s pretty straightforward, but the point I’m trying to make is that you have quite a bit of option available since AWS and SAP have been working together for so long. They’ve built a set of specific EC2 instances with a high memory availability. You can utilize that one for your deployment purposes.

09:24 - SAP HANA Quick Start
Then there’s another tool that’s an SAP provider tool. It’s a QuickStart. It gives you the same infrastructure-as-code Bastion solution and enables you to migrate your application or deploy your application in the AWS environment.
09:41 - Types of SAP Migrations
For migrations, we have the same migrations as we’ve been working on. Anyone who’s familiar with the migration side of it, you guys are pretty smart guys because you’ve been working or doing the DevOps side of things a long time so you guys know there are migrations that have been homogeneous migrations that have the same operating system and the same database mode just picking lift and shift approach. Heterogeneous migrations are a different one there. In our normal migration strategies, we use DMS or some sort of tools to migrate databases or the applications. That’s the same approach we’re going to be doing here for SAP HANA.

SAP Migration Options

You have options if you have homogeneous migrations. They are the same HANA to HANA migration from sitting on-prem to AWS or heterogeneous for any database if you’re migrating to HANA there. We have different options available. You can definitely look into that one. If anybody does not know the solution, we can go into a little bit more detail. This SNP T-bone is one of the solutions that are available. It doesn’t mean that you just transform all of the steps of all the phases of migrations into one big step out of that one. That’s just a technical term. Don’t get confused with that all SNP T-bone there. The same thing with database migration. Another option is SAP Software Update Manager combines SAP upgrades and migration to SAP in one tool. It makes another tool for you. You can migrate the databases from any database to HANA. These are some of the options we have.

11:29 - Homogenous Migration Tools
The tools that we use for homogeneous migration are two that we have available right now. For system copy, we can use S3 for Storage Gateway and Data Sync, or for Snowball Edge. For database restore, we can do the same thing there. There’s nothing major different than what we are doing for the regular migration as for any other databases, or for any other applications. Pretty much the same approach, we’re doing it, and we’re not gonna change the database or that many plans. Tools-wise, everything is pretty much the same as what we’re using for any current databases like we’re doing MariaDB to AWS, Oracle to Oracle, or any other database. We’re using pretty much the same approach that you’re going to be taking for SAP HANA today.
12:23 - SAP HANA Migration Options
So far, tools-wise, this is one of the approaches we have for migrating SAP HANA. Let’s take a look at specific options we have available for migration and see what we have.

Option 1: SAP HANA – Backup & Restore

SAP HANA is just straightforward, as I mentioned, there are no major differences in SAP HANA migration, or with any other database migrations we have for any other application. You have the same level of tools that you can use, like Launch Wizard. You can migrate the databases pretty much the same way as we’ve been doing for other applications. The first one, we can look at it is just an SAP HANA Backup and Restore. It’s simple and straightforward. You can provision your SAP HANA system in your AWS. When you provision the environment first, whether it be in your Terraform, or any template you have, transfer with the R sync or SFTP, for SAP HANA backup, and make sure to transfer any necessary SAP HANA logs files there. The way we do it is in small batches that copy the files. We can do that by running special commands. That’s one way of migrating the files from this backup and restoring and then once you did, you recover your SAP HANA database, install your SAP HANA application servers, you can set it up, and run that. So that’s one option for us.

Option 2: SAP HANA – Classical Migration

The second option is the SAP HANA Classical Migration. In that one, we do the same steps. We set up the environment and we performed a permanent SAP homogeneous system copy to export your source SAP HANA database to AWS. For that, we do continue an SAP system copy process on the SAP HANA system to AWS, import your data, and export it to AWS. We do install the SAP application server, the same thing. Again, there’s nothing majorly different than what we’re doing for other databases, and other environments.

Option 3: SAP HANA – HSR (System Replication)

The third option is just an SAP HANA System Replication which replicates our system from the corporate from your on-prem to your AWS.

Option 4: SAP HANA HSR (with Installation via Backup & Restore)

The fourth one is again with the System Replication with the initialization of a Backup & Restore. Overall, bottom line is that migration-wise, it is pretty much the same approach we took for any of the Oracle databases or for any other databases we do, from on-prem to AWS. Same concept, the same approach we take for SAP HANA. Let’s look at the SAP HANA aspects that are different. When I started looking into it, probably a week ago, I thought maybe we have to have a special function or special approaches. But now looking after reviewing everything, all the data, and everything else, their approach is pretty straightforward as we are migrating any homogeneous or heterogeneous databases from on-prem to AWS. For all the regular approaches, we take the same approach with the SAP HANA to Migrator with the same set of tools as we are migrating them with Oracle into AWS.

Jasmeet Singh

Arif Bangash

Enterprise Solution Architect


Arif is an Enterprise Solution Architect at nClouds, helping clients design, modernize and optimize their AWS infrastructure. Arif has a wealth of education and AWS certifications: BS and MS in Computer Science; AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate & Professional, and Security Specialty, including Amazon Authorized Instructor.