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Author's profile photo Matt Lonstine

SAP Database Migration with DMO: Is It Really That Easy?

Recently, the Database Migration Option (or DMO) has been generating a lot of excitement in the SAP community. Customers on ABAP-based Business Suite and BW systems can use DMO to execute SAP HANA migrations more quickly and easily by combining prerequisites and upgrades into a single step.

DMO is not a magic bullet, however. You’ll still need an SAP Certified Technology

Specialist to install and configure your HANA environments, and some processes —

such as moving to a new SAP hosting environment —require additional steps.

Here’s what DMO can (and can’t) do.

DMO Combines the SAP HANA Migration Process and its Prerequisites into a Single Process

Before DMO, organizations would have to upgrade ECC6 to Enhancement Pack 7 (EHP 7) or BW to 7.31 (at minimum) prior to a migration project. The subsequent heterogeneous migration might also have to include a Unicode conversion (necessitating a separate round of testing and code remediation).

Both EHP upgrades and UC conversions are substantial projects in themselves, each spanning months. DMO combines them and the migration to HANA into one technical procedure, reducing execution efforts, project runtime, testing cycles, and budget dramatically. Most of the procedure is actually performed during uptime while the system is still available to the business, which means less disruption to core business processes.

DMO Won’t Help You Move

The biggest misconception about DMO today is that it facilitates a complete movement of a landscape to new hardware or virtual machines. DMO is a heterogeneous migration, but it is designed to be an “in-place” migration. It keeps the application tier (Central Services Instance, Primary Application Server and Additional Application Servers) intact with the same network identities. Only the database is migrated from the source platform to the SAP HANA platform on a new host as part of the process. DMO can still be used as part of a migration to a cloud environment, and decreases complexity by the same factor, but additional considerations are required.

DMO Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Experts

The DMO procedure requires the in-depth technical knowledge that is associated with both traditional EHP upgrades and heterogeneous migrations. It also requires extensive expertise in tuning and administration of SAP HANA on the supporting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS.

Aside from technical knowledge, your partner also needs a specific understanding of use case and business requirements. In general, you’ll need to leverage existing hardware through TDI, use new HANA appliances, or move to the cloud. Your system will have to be properly sized, configured, and tuned post go-live, just like with any other SAP HANA migration.

DMO can accelerate your SAP HANA timetable.

By minimizing downtime, consolidating technical and testing efforts, and maximizing business continuity, DMO can turn SAP HANA migration from a multi-phased transition to a single project effort, in some cases shaving years off an organization’s HANA timetable.

However, DMO is still a major project, affecting mission critical systems. Organizations should partner with an SAP-certified managed services provider that understands both the technical and business sides of SAP HANA, ensures new systems are properly sized and configured, and will execute the DMO process with expertise.

Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou|/Dollar Photo Club

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