Automating SAP S/4HANA Migration with IT-Conductor, BGP Managed Services, and AWS
By Antonio Santana, Partner Solutions Architect, Migration and Modernization – AWS
By Linh Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder – IT-Conductor
A recent study by IDC shows that 53% of organizations still run SAP HANA primarily on-premises and plan to migrate their current non-SAP database to SAP HANA in the next 12 months, and that only 13.8% of organizations plan to deploy SAP HANA primarily on-premises.
IDC expects that over the long term, many businesses will fully migrate to an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployment for SAP HANA or S/4HANA and gradually retire their on-premises solutions, or at least significantly reduce their on-premises footprint.
However, cloud migrations for SAP HANA or S/4HANA is not a trivial exercise. Challenges businesses must deal with when migrating SAP workloads to the cloud include:
- Timing: Planning for migrating to IaaS takes 8.8 months, on average, and executing the migration takes 17.4 months.
- Tools: There is a myriad of migration tools and services available, but only about half of businesses find the available IaaS migration tools effective; in other words, they need much more and much better help.
- Cost: The average cost of the migration to SAP HANA and/or S4/HANA on IaaS in terms of third-party consulting is $1.5 million; the cost of disruption to the business is also around $1.5 million. If businesses need to move from a non-SAP database to SAP HANA, the cost of that migration is, on average, $4.9 million, and the cost of moving from ERP Central Component (ECC) to SAP S/4HANA is roughly the same.
In this post, we will learn how IT-Conductor worked together with BGP Management Consulting in a real use-case scenario to deliver end-to-end S/4HANA migration from on-premises to Amazon Web Services (AWS) whilst leveraging several of its automated solutions and services. IT-Conductor addressed BGP’s business challenges by leveraging and customizing existing process definition templates for automated migration.
IT-Conductor is an AWS Partner and AWS Marketplace Seller with the Migration and Modernization Competency. IT-Conductor’s operations management platform provides automation, monitoring, and analytics solutions for SAP and DevOps. It’s designed to help businesses streamline their IT ops, improve performance, and reduce costs. This helps to improve collaboration and communication between teams, as well as increase the visibility of the IT environment.
IT-Conductor for SAP Monitoring, Management, Automation and Optimization is a SaaS solution that monitors and manages SAP without installation to provide end-user experience monitoring, application and infrastructure monitoring, impact analysis, root cause analysis, notification, and IT process automation. Also known as Application Performance Management as a Service, APMaaS is available in AWS Marketplace.
IT-Conductor Gateway for SAP application monitoring is a component that extends the functionality of APMaaS and runs inside a customer’s on-premises infrastructure to discover source systems and scope and build the resources that will be migrated. IT-Conductor Gateway is also available in AWS Marketplace.
Leveraging the IT-Conductor platform combined with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types for SAP on AWS, you can solve challenges faced in traditional SAP migration processes such as lack of automation which enforces manual steps and causes high operating costs and downtime periods.
For 35 years, BGP has been offering consulting, services, and software platforms in the areas managed by CFOs and CIOs relating to the design, construction, and management of corporate information systems.
The IT-Conductor team made use of its 5D’s cloud migration strategy to approach the scenario presented by BGP: discover, distill, design, develop, and deploy.
Figure 1 – 5D’s of IT-Conductor’s cloud migration strategy.
The 5D’s strategy consists of the following stages:
Phase #1 – Discover
This includes the discovery of the source system’s leveraged automation through a Landscape Management Database (LMDB) tool.
As an application performance management (APM) platform, IT-Conductor’s first step in performing a migration is to understand the source application environment. This means discovering all of the related applications and how they integrate with each other.
IT-Conductor’s application discovery stage employs a multi-layered approach to automatically detect complex dependency chains between components in an application environment. The platform is capable of presenting components in a hierarchical view, allowing users to navigate up and down the components that comprise their entire system landscape.
As an example, upon configuring IT-Conductor to monitor a particular SAP system, the application servers and services will be automatically mapped. If a new host is to be added to a system that’s already being monitored, or a new option or feature is enabled, IT-Conductor detects the changes and begins real-time monitoring automatically.
Right after installing and deploying IT-Conductor’s Gateway in BGP’s on-premises infrastructure, it made use of the platform’s built-in LMDB tool for automated SAP landscape discovery to enable the discovery of all BGP SAP landscape components.
Figure 2 – LMDB discovery on BGP landscape.
With the IT-Conductor Gateway deployed in BGP’s on-premises infrastructure, the LMDB tool enables the discovery of all BGP SAP landscape components to export landscape inventory data and for migration assessments (compute, storage, and networking profiles).
Once the target systems are added to the BGP tenant to be managed and monitored from LMDB, process definitions were added to the BGP tenant to start with the automated migration process.
Phase #2 – Distill
This includes distilling the source environment to the on-premises baseline. The distill stage is where the initial benchmarks for both performance and configuration are established based on BGP’s source system.
IT-Conductor provides application performance management, which keeps track of all performance trends, provides alerts in case of any failures, and displays root cause analysis to avoid possible system outages.
Phase #3 – Design
This includes designing the target environment and migration approach on AWS. One of the main concerns customers may have when migrating their systems or information is the incompatibility of the existing structure.
In the design phase, IT-Conductor worked on the infrastructure design to ensure both the source and target systems are compatible. Based on BGP’s requirements, IT-Conductor decided to use HANA HSR as a migration approach from on-premises to the AWS infrastructure. Below is the architecture that makes use of several AWS and IT-Conductor services for the deployment of the architecture and software.
Figure 3 – AWS migration architecture for BGP.
IT-Conductor’s tool for automated SAP landscape discovery reduced the time and effort to design the target system requirements for a proper assessment prior to the migration.
Phase #4 – Develop
This includes developing the customization of best-practice automation templates for provisioning via Terraform and Ansible playbooks.
Once the target systems are added to the BGP tenant to be managed and monitored from the LMDB, process definitions are added to the BGP tenant to start the automated migration process.
Figure 4 – Selecting process definitions in tenant.
Several process definitions were added for the provisioning of the virtual machine for S/4HANA 2021 in AWS, and the installation of the SAP APP Server and HANA Database. For provisioning of the virtual machine, data files were required to be set up based on the design requirements.
Additional requirements for this stage include configuration of the hostname and size for the new virtual machine.
Figure 5 – Tenant process definitions.
Phase #5 – Deploy
This includes deploying the automation to create target systems and migrating data from on-premises to AWS.
In this stage, S/4HANA nodes are provisioned and the installation of S/4HANA 2021 is executed. The migrated S/4 system and database are added to IT-Conductor to be monitored as part of the performance, and the configuration is validated prior to customer operation.
Figure 6 – Provisioning and installation process definition.
Once the new systems are reflected and monitored in IT-Conductor, the next step is to execute the HANA Replication process definition. The first step prior to deployment of the database replication is to check the prerequisites to ensure software components match.
Figure 7 – HANA HSR execution process definition.
After successfully replicating the database via automation of HANA System Replication (HSR), the system performance can be easily compared side-by-side to get baselines taken from IT-Conductor on the source system during the distill stage of the project. Additionally, 24×7 SAP operations are fully monitored and managed by IT-Conductor.
Figure 8 – Customer dashboard.
Factors like planning, higher costs, and choosing the ideal tools are some of the top reasons that often prevent organizations from achieving successful cloud migrations and operations, not to mention the added struggle of managing their SAP workloads efficiently in the cloud.
With the IT-Conductor platform, customers can leverage automation to accelerate migration for SAP workloads and reduce business downtime, and to provide application performance management to guarantee applications are in good health when running in the cloud.
With Amazon VPC and Amazon EC2 instance types for SAP on AWS, you can have the power of AWS infrastructure and use the right instance sizes to enhance security and scalability to SAP-critical workloads. Both features help address challenges customers face with migrating and operating SAP workloads in the cloud.
You can also learn more about IT-Conductor in AWS Marketplace.
IT-Conductor – AWS Partner Spotlight
IT-Conductor is an AWS Partner whose operations management platform provides automation, monitoring, and analytics solutions for SAP and DevOps. It’s designed to help businesses streamline their IT operations, improve performance, and reduce costs.