The on-premises SAP environment at Ávoris could no longer support the business. “Overnight reporting processes began running into the next working day, so staff couldn’t start working on their SAP-related tasks when they came into work and had to wait up to two hours for the process to end,” says Gabriel Ramis, head of IT at Ávoris. Because SAP is such a business-critical solution—it controls all billing and invoicing at Ávoris—the delays couldn’t continue. “The main problem was that our SAP environment had outgrown the on-premises infrastructure,” says Ramis. “We’d gone from a business of 300 employees to almost 3,000 in the time the SAP platform had been in place. We knew the infrastructure needed updating, which made us look to migrate our SAP environment to the cloud.”
Ávoris already had experience with cloud infrastructures. Since 2014, the company had been running several systems in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, including the front-end and backend infrastructures supporting its websites and e-commerce operations. “The AWS Cloud gave scalability to our expanding e-commerce operation,” says Ramis. “It was also more cost-effective because we didn’t face the upfront costs of building an on-premises platform, and we only paid for the IT resources we used. There was no waste.”
Ávoris saw that migrating its SAP workloads to the AWS Cloud, offered more than just an opportunity to improve performance. Ramis says, “We saw it as a way to increase our reliability and scalability. Up to this point, we had never been able to build a satisfactory level of redundancy into the on-premises platform with acceptable costs, and increasing our capacity was not simple as we would like.”
The company had also learned from previous experience that taking advantage of the cloud can reduce IT management time, and it wanted to bring that kind of a benefit to its SAP environment.
Ávoris decided to migrate its SAP systems to the AWS Cloud. “We engaged with AWS because it was the leader among cloud service providers,” says Ramis. “We looked at Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform, but we were not convinced by their service catalogues.”
AWS introduced Ávoris to Linke Information Technology (Linke IT), an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner, to support the SAP migration. “We told Linke IT that we had three months to complete the work,” says Ramis. “It had to be finished by June, when the travel season enters the busy summer period.”
Migration work was split into two phases. The first was a proof of concept to demonstrate whether Ávoris could integrate all its line-of-business applications with a cloud-based SAP environment and gain significantly better performance across its SAP systems—including SAP HANA and SAP Hybris. In the second phase, Linke IT and Ávoris migrated the data from the SAP on-premises platform to the AWS Cloud. “We completed the entire cloud migration of our SAP environment on schedule,” says Ramis. “It showed the great work of Linke IT and its willingness to collaborate closely with us for the best possible outcome.”
Ávoris’s infrastructure consists of large Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to support SAP applications, including SAP HANA. The instances include r4.xlarge for its SAP application server and r4.2xlarge for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) database server. The company uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for backups and storage. It also uses Amazon S3 for SAP—an add-on that enables direct integration with Ávoris’s SAP ERP platform—for archiving objects.
This simplifies the archiving process while reducing costs by eliminating the need for the on-premises infrastructure where the archiving was previously managed. Ávoris uses Amazon Route 53 to route traffic to the SAP cloud infrastructure, which sits inside an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).
Now that the SAP environment is in the cloud, it’s better able to support the Ávoris business. “Today, when people arrive at work, the SAP ERP workload has been processed and we are ready for our customers. We can handle up to 90,000 invoices,” says Ramis. “Using AWS, our SAP overnight reporting processes are more than 50 percent faster than they were with our on-premises platform.”
The company has also seen a significant improvement in performance during peak hours. Ramis says, “In the past, the average response time for dialog processes of our SAP ERP production system was 1.1 seconds, but on AWS that time has come down to 468 milliseconds—a drop of 57 percent.”
With the scalability of the AWS Cloud, there is no longer the risk of the SAP platform outgrowing its infrastructure. What’s more, because Ávoris can scale the platform up or down, the company has also made its IT more cost-effective. “We don’t pay for unused capacity,” says Ramis. “We can even scale down our AWS platform during quiet periods when activity on the SAP platform is less intense.”
By working with Linke IT, Ávoris successfully migrated its business-critical SAP environment to AWS in just three months. “Even with the short time frame, Linke IT had no problems helping us migrate our SAP workloads to the AWS Cloud,” says Ramis. “Linke IT brought a deep level of expertise in both AWS and SAP to the project.”
In addition, Ávoris has now reduced management time for the SAP environment, just as the company did for its website and e-commerce operations when it migrated them to the AWS Cloud in 2014. “Today, IT administrators don’t have to perform repetitive manual tasks related to the management of the SAP platform’s hardware,” says Ramis. “The platform is continuously optimized by AWS. We have also increased the reliability of our SAP environment because of the disaster recovery capabilities built into the AWS Cloud that ensures high uptimes day in and day out.”
Learn more about the benefits of running SAP in the AWS Cloud.