New innovations for SAP on AWS customers
Another SAP Sapphire is upon us! After a few years off from an in-person Sapphire event, we are super excited to be back in Orlando this year to meet with customers, partners, and colleagues face to face. We’ll have a full team of SAP technical experts and members of the SAP on AWS leadership team on hand, and definitely encourage you to book time with us—we’d love to learn more about your business plans and help you get the most value out of your SAP investments.
As we get ready for the event, I wanted to take some time to recap some new AWS innovations for SAP customers in 2022. Across industries, nearly every organization is modernizing and transforming their business processes and customer experiences using cloud technology. For so many of our customers this means migrating and modernizing their SAP systems. We continue to invest in supporting this journey, working backwards from customer needs across four key areas that they consistently tell us they’re focused on:
- Simplifying and safeguarding migrations of SAP systems to AWS
- Providing a secure, reliable, and performant infrastructure for SAP workloads
- Streamlining SAP system management, reducing operational overhead, and managing risk with automation
- Helping drive new data insights from all enterprise data, including SAP
In this blog, I will briefly cover our releases this year as they relate to these four important customer needs, and how you can start taking advantage of them to support your own transformation journey.
Simplifying migrations of SAP systems to AWS
Since customers started using AWS to support their production SAP workloads way back in 2011, we have released a number of tools, programs, and services to simplify the migration process. For example, AWS Application Migration Service automatically converts your source servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to run natively on AWS. We also built AWS Launch Wizard, —a first of it’s kind service, which allows you to deploy any HANA-based SAP system on AWS in a few hours through infrastructure and software automation vs. weeks or months using traditional approaches.
Customers have also told us they want blueprints that help them plan and execute their migrations end-to-end. To meet this need, we recently launched AWS Migration Hub Orchestrator—with support for HANA-based SAP migrations a few weeks back at the AWS Summit in San Francisco. AWS Migration Hub Orchestrator is designed to automate and simplify the migration of applications to AWS. Orchestrator removes many of the manual tasks involved in migrating large-scale enterprise applications and managing dependencies between different tools. It gives you a set of predefined and customizable workflow template, tasks, tools, and automation opportunities that orchestrate complex workflows and interdependent tasks to simplify the process of migrating to AWS. Then, it guides you to deploy the target SAP environment using the aforementioned AWS Launch Wizard, extract application info from the newly deployed stack, and then migrate the application using an SAP and HANA database-specific replication mechanism like HANA System Replication (HSR). For a walkthrough of the process, check out the Migration Hub Orchestrator launch blog.
We’ve also partnered with AWS Partner Magnitude and SAP to support the launch of Magnitude SourceConnect, which is built natively on AWS and available only to AWS customers. It significantly simplifies consolidating disparate ERP systems— including SAP ECC and non-SAP systems, on a unified instance of SAP S/4HANA Central Finance. For additional details on how it can support your S/4HANA on AWS transformation, read the SourceConnect launch blog that we co-authored with SAP.
Providing a secure, reliable, and performant infrastructure for SAP workloads
Once customers land on the AWS platform, they count on our infrastructure to provide a secure, reliable, and stable foundation for their mission-critical business processes. To that end, we also continue to invest to ensure AWS is the world’s best infrastructure platform for SAP workloads.
We’ve added additional regional support for our Amazon EC2 R6i, m6i (the first generally available, SAP-certified cloud instances built on 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors) and R5b instance types (which offer an industry-leading 260,000 IOPS per instance), giving customers more flexibility to match their SAP workloads with the right combination of compute, memory, and storage throughput.
In March, we announced the general availability of Amazon EC2 X2idn and X2iedn instances, which are also powered by 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. These instances deliver up to 50% higher compute price performance and up to 45% more SAPS than the previous generation X1 instances.
In April, we certified Amazon EBS Io2 Block Express storage volumes for SAP workloads, which offer up to 256K IOPS & 4000 MBps of throughput and a maximum volume size of 64 TiB, all with sub-millisecond, low-variance I/O latency. With io2 Block Express volumes, customers get SAN-like performance and five 9’s of durability with a cloud-based block store. This enables customers to run even the most IOPS-intensive, business-critical SAP applications on AWS and benefit from the ability to instantly scale, provision, and pay for just the capacity and performance that they need.
And for customers who choose the RISE with SAP construct, the unique design of our Global Infrastructure makes AWS the only cloud provider that can offer a 0 Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for RISE deployments– helping protect customers from costly data loss.
We’ve also worked closely with SAP to certify Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP for SAP HANA workloads. This allows customers to launch and run complete, fully managed NetApp ONTAP file systems to support their HANA-based workloads in the cloud for the first time.
Reducing operational overhead and manage risk with SAP automation
Another solution customers consistently ask for is tooling and automation capabilities to help manage and operate their SAP systems more effectively. This feedback has led us to release a number of features and services over the years, including our Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights for SAP HANA, AWS Backint Agent, and the aforementioned AWS Launch Wizard.
In January, we announced that you can now add nodes to SAP systems deployed with AWS Launch Wizard from within the Launch Wizard console post-deployment if your performance needs increase. This new functionality allows you to scale the infrastructure supporting SAP applications (S/4HANA, BW/4HANA, and NetWeaver) deployed with Launch Wizard using the same guided, best-practice-aligned deployment process.
In February, we announced Launch Wizard support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 7.7 and 7.9. Additionally, with this launch, we made it possible to bring existing RHEL subscriptions to support new SAP deployments with Launch Wizard. This gives you the flexibility to choose between license-included images from AWS Marketplace, or images from the Red Hat Cloud Access program.
In April we also announced that you can clone previous SAP deployments from Launch Wizard for use in future deployments. This eliminates the need to re-enter every parameter manually for subsequent deployments, allowing you to save time and reduce error by instead focusing on the few that make each deployment unique. For instance, when you deploy your production system, you can clone the parameters from your pre-production system also deployed with AWS Launch Wizard. Launch Wizard will pre-populate those parameters, and all you have to do is change the few that are unique to the production system like the SAPSID, instance numbers, and host name, while keeping common components like the SAP software and infrastructure the same.
Customers continue to tell us that using our automation capabilities for SAP is helping accelerate and safeguard their transformation projects. Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie, recently implemented SAP S/4HANA as part of their green energy transition. Leveraging our SAP automation and AWS Launch Wizard, AWS Backint Agent, and the AWS Well-Architected Framework, they’ve been able to dramatically shorten their project timeline, reduce operating costs by 40%, and strengthen their security posture. Check out the Storengy case study to learn more.
Driving new insights with SAP data
Our customers increasingly want to combine their SAP and non-SAP data in a single data lake and analytics solution to bridge siloed data and drive deeper business insights. Last year, we launched the Amazon AppFlow SAP OData Connector to make it easier for customers to get value out of SAP data with AWS services. We outlined how to get started with AppFlow and SAP and some of the benefits in a previous blog.
Following this launch, customers told us they also want to use the AWS data platform to enhance their SAP business process by enriching data using higher level services such as Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning, and then feeding the data back to their SAP applications. In January, we delivered against that request by enabling bi-directional data flows between SAP applications and AWS data lake, analytics services and AI/ML services in just a few clicks. For a full breakdown of how you can setup a bi-directional data flow to extend your SAP business processes on AWS, read this blog.
Join us at SAP Sapphire Orlando 2022
As you can see, we continue to have a relentless focus on driving SAP on AWS capabilities to meet your needs. Many of these industry leading capabilities can also be leveraged through RISE with SAP. We’re excited to be partnering with SAP closely on these efforts. To discuss how these and other innovations can support your transformation goals, we’ll have experts on hand at SAP SAPPHIRE in booth PA410— please stop by and chat with us. As I mentioned above, you can also book time with a member of the team for a more in-depth discussion.
On Monday, May 9th, we are also holding an in-person SAP on AWS Customer Forum. If you are a SAP on AWS customer attending the Sapphire Orlando event, please feel free to register here. I will be joined by Stefan Goebel, Head of Strategic Engineering Partnerships at SAP, Rich Gustafson (SVP & Cloud CTO, SAP NS2), along with many of our SAP on AWS customers to discuss how organizations are accelerating their modernization journeys and responding to the business challenges they face. AWS is also hosting a Sapphire Welcome Reception with Accenture later that night and an SAP on AWS Customer Appreciation Event at the Chocolate Kingdom on Tuesday night.
If you’ll be in person at SAPPHIRE this year, we can’t wait to see you. If not, I hope that you will explore some of the new capabilities that we have released for SAP customers this year. As I mentioned before, more than 90% of what we build is based on customer requests— so keep the feedback coming. I can assure you— there is a lot more coming for SAP on AWS in 2022!