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Author's profile photo Jan-Willem Kaagman

Running both HANA Express Edition & SAP ABAP trial on a dedicated cloud server for less than € 35 a month


This blog describes the steps I took to install both an HANA Express Edition (HXE) instance and an SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP edition (NPL) in a very cost effective way.

I used to run a few virtual machines on my laptop, which was useful for some small development and training purposes. But as I wanted to do some shared development with a few of my colleagues, the need arose to have a system with common access. And as the Amazon (AWS) or Azure costs are considerable if you are running the system quite often, I wanted to have a look at other solutions.

I found out that has an auction for servers that were “abandoned” by previous users. Hetzner offers those secondhand servers for a low price, and I was able to grab an I7-2600 with 32 Gb and 2x 1.5 Tb hdd for €34.57. Not bad, if I compare this price with what I used to pay for something similar at Amazon.

Getting a server and setting it up

First you have to get a machine, somewhere in the cloud. As I said, I used the auction at Hetzner. At the moment I write this blog they offer a nice machine for € 28.57 (Intel Core i7-2600  –  2x 3 TB  –  32 GB). Once you agree to the terms, you can see the server in their web-environment, and manage it from there. 

I choose to start the installation via VNC – selecting openSUSE 42.4 in English. Follow the normal setup for SUSE. I found this excellent blog. This blogis  quite useful, including the remarks. As mentioned in the blog, set the firewall and SSH services.

After the installation of SUSE, log in using a terminal (like PuTTY). I set a hostname for easy access and restarted the network with the following commands:

 sudo vi /etc/hostname 
 sudo vi /etc/hosts
 sudo rcnetwork restart


Installing the SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP instance

Finalize the installation and prepare the system for the ABAP installation using this blog and this blog.  Take care that you install the additional required software and take care you update to the new ASE license. I could repeat all steps, but that would only be repeating those blogs.


Installing the SAP HANA Express Edition (HXE)

First check the additional software dependencies as described in this tutorial. Then, follow the steps in this tutorial or this tutorial.



Once you have completed the previous steps, you have a running SUSE system with both an ABAP and an HANA instance. Now it is time to change all standard password, and add some security to your system (if you hadn’t done that already). Moreover, I found out that both instances can use quite a lot of processes, so I enlarged the maximum amount of processes that can be used with the following command:

vi /etc/security/limits.conf

On the clients I added the server name to the hosts-file, for easy access to the URL’s calling on the server.



It is possible to have both the ABAP and the HANA instances running on one system, and cheaper than on an AWS or Azure system. That is the main advantage.

There are some disadvantages, though. The Amazon/Microsoft solutions are a bit more robust, and have an automated backup system. The solution described here has no backup in place (although it can be done with some additional work and for a few euro’s per month more).

All in all I do like that I have both systems running on a quite cheap solution, and that I can share developments easy with my colleagues.


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      Author's profile photo Henry Stuifzand
      Henry Stuifzand

      Nice find Jan-Willem, looks interesting enough to give it a try.

      Author's profile photo Siarhei Tsikhanenka
      Siarhei Tsikhanenka

      Excellent post about Hetzner Online infrastructure! Thank you!

      Currently Hetzner Online also provides SAP Certified hardware that can host SAP HANA based applications, like S/4HANA on premise.

      Price is really competitive,  however, it is needed to consider some costs optimize boosting with, for example, AWS S3 and AWS EC2 to make it possible to get robust backup solution to outside of data center infrastructure and to cover even disaster-recovery case.

      Architecture concept of such kind of solution is mentioned at our web site. Please consider it as a fast and robust competitive alternative for new S/4HANA implementations especially at prototyping and implementation phases:

      Hope this could help to speed up S/4HANA implementations and deals closing when hardware/hosting costs could create impediments to decision making.

      Author's profile photo Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for your addition, Siarhei.

      This blog was posted as a result of creating a very cost-efficient playground, one where it is still possible to easily work together with colleagues (which is quite difficult with the virtual machines on my laptop). I did not care for back-ups, and am willing to take the risk of less-than-optimal availability. Let's see it as the first step-up from working on your laptop in a virtual machine.

      You are referring to an offering for a fully equipped environment, including back-ups. That is a totally different scenario; one where the pricing is of a different dimension as well.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Jan-Willem,


      Nice blog ! Really interesting !

      But could you explain me how do you connect your ABAP AS to SAP HANA Express ?

      Do you use HANA as a secondary database ?


      Thank you !


      Author's profile photo Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Michael,

      I did not connect the two instances with each other, they run independently.  I do use oData services from one instance by calling it from the other, though. Does this make sense to you, is this an answer to the question?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi !

      Thank you for your reply 😉

      If I understand, you create your oData service in HANA and you consume it in your ABAP AS ?

      I would like to know if is it possible to connect the ABAP AS to HANA and use the HANA DB as primary database ?

      I read several blogs that explain how to connect the ABAP AS to HANA Express as secondary DB but nothing about primary DB...






      Author's profile photo Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Michael,

      You are right, I create oData in HANA, and consume those in ABAP. But also the other way around, creating CDS-views, generating oData on ABAP AS, and consuming those in the HANA XSA environment.

      The question you have, connecting the ABAP AS to the HANA Express, I cannot answer, as I don't have a clue how to do that.  If I ever find out, I'll post another blog, OK? 😉



      Author's profile photo Sulman Mahmood Shaikh
      Sulman Mahmood Shaikh

      Many thanks for this interesting blog.

      I have a question - my trial on SAP Cloud Appliance runs out and I need another solution to work on personal projects using SAP BW/4HANA and a SAP BW 7.5 back end.  To this end the important question is regarding licenses. obviously I don't want to pay crazy license fees per month, so what was your approach to that?  and do you have any advice around this?


      Author's profile photo Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Jan-Willem Kaagman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Sulman,

      The way I set this up was only with the free-to-use and playground installations (and hence license-free) from SAP. You are talking about BW; I don't know if SAP offers a trial environment for BW. If they offer that, you can still try to install it the same way I did here. If SAP doesn't offer a trial BW installation, I suggest you contact SAP directly for advice.

      Furthermore, I found out that the prices of cloud-solutions like AWS dropped considerately the last few months. Currently I have a cloud-solution (started in for about 20-25 Euro a month; mostly storage and a few € for running it about 10 hrs. a month. Perhaps that's a route you can investigate as well?

      With kind regards,
      Jan-Willem Kaagman