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Author's profile photo Rajendra Palem-Venkata

Low Cost SAP S/4HANA Demo System on AWS Cloud – Part 1 Create S/4HANA Instance

1. Introduction

SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s next generation business suite designed to help you run simple in a digital and networked world. This new suite is built on advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and offers a personalized user experience with SAP Fiori.

Deployable in the cloud or on-premise, SAP S/4HANA is built to drive instant value across lines of business and industries with the ultimate in sophistication: simplicity.

This document is divided into 2 parts it helps the user create a low cost S/4HANA demo system using SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL) on Amazon’s AWS Cloud. Methodology described in this document could be applied in creating demo systems of any type.

Part 1: Gives detailed steps on how to create a S/4HANA instance on AWS.

Part 2: Gives detailed steps on how to reduce the Operational costs of the S/4HANA instance.

2. SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL)

SAP’s Cloud Appliance Library (shot name CAL) can is used to quickly provision test and demo systems on standard cloud infrastructure providers like Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services. In this document we will concentrate only on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

User can access CAL from the URL and login or register in it. When the user logs in for the first time he will need to agree to SAP’s terms and conditions.

3. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Before we provision S/4HANA system on CAL we need to have an account in either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft’s Azure. As mentioned earlier we are going to be using AWS.

User can access AWS from the URL and login or register in it. Please note Amazon would charge the user based on the usage so we need to be careful to stop/delete instances and other components when they are no longer needed.

4. Provisioning S/4HANA on AWS

This section provides detailed steps on how to provision S/4HANA on AWS using CAL. Before proceeding to this section user needs to have a valid account in both CAL and AWS.

4.1. Extract Access Key and Secret Key from AWS

Logon to AWS account and click on user name at the top right which expands as a drop down menu. Select Security Credentials from the Menu.

Now you will get an information box where you need to click Continue to Security Credentials.

Now expand Access Keys (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) and click on Create New Access Key to generate a new key pair. Download the Key pair for future use but please keep it safe.

4.2. Create AWS Account in CAL

Now Logon to CAL ( and click on Accounts Tab you will be able to see the list of cloud accounts already created.

On the top right click on Create Account to open Create Account wizard enter the name and description.

Now click next and select Amazon Web Services from the Cloud Provider drop down and provide the Access Key and Secret Key

Now click next and next again and click finish. You should see the entry in the Accounts table.

4.3. Activate S/4HANA solution in CAL

Now click on Solutions tab and in the search text at the extreme right type Fiori and click on try now for the entry “SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition – Fully Activated”.

After clicking on accept it will apply the agreement

Try Now link will change to Activate. Click on Activate link now. Screen will grey out for some time.

Now Activate link will change to Create Instance link. Click on this link to display Create Instance wizard.

Leave the values to defaults and click on Next. (Make a note of the region)

Leave the values to default again and click next. Here set the master password as per the password requirements as described in the wizard and click next.

In the next screen select Manually activate and suspend in the Scheduling Options drop down and click Next.

In the Summary screen review all the settings and click on Finish.

You will get a Private Key dialog where you need to Click on Store followed by download. Do not forget this step as you will need this private key to logon at the OS level.

Another dialog comes up informing it will take around 50 minutes to activate the instances.

4.4. Check and verify the activation process.

Logon to AWS and select the appropriate region as specified on the previous sub section will creating the instance and click on EC2

Now click on Instances.

You will see the instances will gradually get created and the Instance State will become green.

Once the instance named “SAP_S4HANA(SAP ERP 607 on SAP HANA SP09)” is green you can access the system at the OS level of the S/4HANA system.

To access the OS level from windows you need Putty and Puttygen executables which can be downloaded from URL

Before accessing the OS from putty we need to set the ip address as public IP of the instance (as shown above)  for the host vhcalhdbdb in the hosts file located in the directory C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

Now open Putty and create and entry for SAP_S4HANA with the host name vhcalhdbdb as shown below

Now open Puttygen to convert the private key file from pem to ppk format.

Select Conversions-> Import Key

Now select the pem file you downloaded earlier

Now click on Save private key a warning dialog appears just click Yes.

Now click on Save private key a warning dialog appears just click Yes.

Now specify the file name and click Save.

Now expand SSH->Auth and specify the ppk file

Now go back to Sessions and click Save.

Now click on Open you will be presented with a Alert dialog as show below. Just click Yes.

And specify the user id as root and you will be logged on to the OS without asking for password as you have provided a valid private key file.

After roughly 50 mins you will see the system is up and running. Both the HANA DB and SAP ERP are up and running and also the XS Engine url http://vhcalhdbdb:8002 is available.

Also you can configure the HANA studio to connect to the new HANA database (as SYSTEM/<master password>) and you will notice all the processes are running fine without any issue.

Also create a new SAP GUI connection to ECC and you can logon to SAP with the below connection parameters.

You will also notice in CAL the instance status in green now

Finally invoke stopsap in erpadm and HDB stop as hdbdm.

Now if you notice the size on the S/4HANA box is r3.8xlarge which is pretty powerful system with 32 CPUs and 244 GB RAM!!!. And the hourly costs for running such a system is pretty high its 2.8$ / hr which makes it unaffordable for many of us even to run it for 3 hrs a day would cost 250$ a month!!.

Next section would give you a workaround in greatly reducing the operating costs by almost 7 to 10 times.  Please note that this technique is valid only for AWS.

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      Author's profile photo Rajendra Palem-Venkata
      Rajendra Palem-Venkata
      Blog Post Author
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Rajendra, the link is not working . Could you please post it somewhere else. Thanks a lot.

      Author's profile photo Andreas Linn
      Andreas Linn

      Hello Rajendra, very nice description of the needed activities. 🙂 great work, thanks a lot.

      unfortunately AWS still seems not to provide 'prepaid' account with e.g. limit of x hours of running and paying e.g. 250$ After consuming the prepaid hours AWS should send a notification and a bill.

      As you mentioned this is still quite expensive and not to be precalculated at all so far I see.

      What Do you think? Are the costs really unpredictable und hard to estimate?

      Will check now 2nd part.



      I found here in SCN a statement that was even worse:

      HANA Cloud access in AWS

      In My case I had to pay 1600$ for one month, on my private bank account.

      I did not recieved no warning from Amazon billing neither from SAP

      Author's profile photo Tom Cenens
      Tom Cenens

      Hi Andreas

      You're in control of the costs, it's your account on AWS so indeed you have to keep an eye on it and be careful.

      You can however, set an alert for example if your surpass a certain amount of $'s.

      There is also a cost prediction feature in the billing section so they precalculate the estimated costs based on previous / current use of the system.

      My tip would be ask the company you work for, for a visa 😉 . Don't pay it on your own expense unless you don't have any other option.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Andreas Linn
      Andreas Linn

      Hi Tom,

      thank you very much for showing the possibilities. But as you mentioned an alert is nice but no fixed limitation that might be set hardly. 😉

      And for sure I won't pay on my own expenses 🙂 But still companies need to calculate on budget /month /year and so do i . Guess AWS has to extend this cost control feature hopefully soon.



      Author's profile photo Tom Cenens
      Tom Cenens

      Hi Andreas

      There is a forecast foreseen, for me it works fine, we can keep an eye on it and keep it under control.


      I didn't screenshot the actual cost of course here but you've got past usage / current usage and a forecast as a result in the billing management console.



      Author's profile photo Andreas Linn
      Andreas Linn

      Hi Tom,

      thanks and ok that's a nice feature.

      regards Andreas

      Author's profile photo Rajendra Palem-Venkata
      Rajendra Palem-Venkata
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Andreas,

      I agree AWS does not provide a pre-paid account however you can try AWS IAM identity access management policies to create a separate user with further restrictions.

      As Tom mentioned we can set alerts so we know how much we are consuming.

      We could use the AWS calculator :Amazon Web Services Simple Monthly Calculator

      To accurately calculate the costs of running instances.



      Author's profile photo Andreas Linn
      Andreas Linn

      Hi Rajendra, ok, thank you very much. 🙂

      Guess that might be kind of workaround. But nevertheless that's from my point of view nothing you can use for business. Guess that's kind of an option to play around on your own. But if you'd like to provide a playground S/4 Hana and you havve to calculate a fixed budget... And Alerts are nice to have, but since e-mails are not guaranteed to be delivered or even worse someone might not pay attention ... Sh.. happens as we know.

      nevertheless thank you very much.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Rajendra,
      Thanks for your blog post. Somehow the part 2 is missing from the SCN. Do you have another link or can post a document with the instructions outlined in part 2. I will appreciate it very much. Thanks,

      Author's profile photo Paul Baldacchino
      Paul Baldacchino

      It does not work for me. This is the error

      Invalid account credentials or no permissions for the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Web service of the cloud provider. You need to have the EC2 service enabled and the following roles assigned to your IAM user: AmazonEC2FullAccess, AmazonVPCFullAccess, ReadOnlyAccess, and AWSAccountUsageReportAccess. For more information, you can visit our FAQ page (

      I have created account and assigned permission as per wiki insert, but it still does not work.

      The only thing I cannot figure out or verfiy is the "no permission for the Elastic Compute Cloud(EC2), as when I go to this section in AWS it asks me to create an EC2 instance, should I do that and what would this one be?