Transforming SAP-Centric Organizations with MiCloud from APN Partner Lemongrass
By John Studdert, Partner Solutions Architect at AWS focused on SAP
SAP is known for having mission-critical software at the heart of large enterprises worldwide. Many of our customers have been running their key SAP productive systems on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for years.
Lemongrass, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner with the AWS SAP Competency, has focused exclusively on SAP on AWS since 2010. They consistently produce great outcomes by taking customers through migration and deployment, and then providing a managed service offering using their suite of MiCloud applications.
MiCloud is a Lemongrass-owned and developed AWS governance platform that enables:
- Application user self-service through the Start/Stop Cockpit
- Agile operation through automation, task structuring, and knowledge sharing
- Governance through audits, checks, and cost transparency on mobile devices
- Agile projects through global, cross-project RAID management
- Optimizing your bill of material through the trading platform
Features of MiCloud by Lemongrass
Some of these applications are designed to help automate and thus alleviate common SAP pain points. Through MiCloud, users of non-production systems are able to self-manage availability, raise issues directly with Lemongrass, and provide feedback and suggestions. They can use the start/stop functionality to automatically stop systems at a scheduled time.
Customers can use the mobile Cost App to get accurate, up-to-date AWS infrastructure cost information, helping them to fine-tune their AWS usage and reduce costs.
For a more detailed example, a classic pain point for SAP customers is how long it takes to develop, test, and push changes through the SAP landscape to production while maintaining a reliable system for day-to-day operations. In response to this, the rapid, automated system copy Lemongrass built and added to MiCloud for a major soft drinks company greatly speeds up the operating system- and database-level copy time. You can see Lemongrass discuss this as part of our “This Is My Architecture” video series.
MiCloud uses Amazon Machine Image (AMI) creation to conduct system copies. By using the MiCloud Portal, customers can request a system copy to be made by creating a new test system from production, for example. This enables better quality of testing.
Figure 1 – MiCloud launches an AMI in a temporary Amazon VPC that is separate from the source environment.
Requiring no downtime on the source system, an AMI is created and launched in a temporary Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) separate from the source environment. This is where further automated tooling built on AWS Systems Manager updates infrastructure characteristics such as host rename. Another AMI is created and launched in the target environment. At this point, customers can carry out the typical SAP post-copy processing steps.
End-to-end, MiCloud reduces time taken from days to hours, depending on system size. As a result, an overall system refresh based on this approach would be greatly accelerated. This translates into lower downtime for test systems and the option for more frequent system refreshes, which increases the quality of testing.
Ultimately, this can lead to an ability to push changes through an SAP landscape more rapidly and with less impact on reliability.
For more information, visit the Lemongrass website.