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Author's profile photo Mario De Felipe

How to go faster to S/4HANA using AWS and new DBS services

May 2019, during SAPPHIRE, SAP’s Elvira Wallis, global head of IoT at SAP, announced a new interoperatiliby between SAP Leonardo IOT and AWS IOT.

This is the first step from more to come, the whole idea is to allow customers to move to S/4HANA by reference architectures that combine SCP with AWS services.

There are seven regions (Montreal, Virginia, Sao Paulo, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney as recent additions) in AWS that support SAP Cloud Platform services. Customers that are willing to try and test their environment in S/4HANA have recent and good news!

SAP and AWS just announced a new offering called S/4HANA Move Xperience, which in words of Bas Kamphius, GM of Strategic ISVs at Amazon Web Services;

“A comprehensive offering allowing customers to transform and test their legacy ERP systems on SAP S/4HANA. The offering leverages automation, a prescriptive set of tools and architectures, and packaged partner offerings to migrate and convert in a matter of days. Customers can start with their existing SAP ERP system or choose a fresh but accelerated start by leveraging the SAP Model Company industry templates. The test environments will be made available to customers free of charge on SAP-certified, production-ready AWS environments. The S/4HANA Move Xperience offering enables customers to validate their business case and to assess the effort involved in transforming to S/4HANA”.

Apart from POCs, thinking of production environments, AWS recently announced support for extremely large S/4HANA deployments on AWS, powered by latest Intel Xeon Skylake processors, which provide 6, 9, and 12 TB of memory for large in-memory SAP HANA workloads.
The last one, the 12 TB, was certified to be scale-out up to 4 nodes! That means we can now build 48 TB SAP S/4HANA on AWS as we can see from Steven Jones’s blog

How many customers run 48 TB S/4 systems today? probably NONE. But a Bugatti Chiron can accelerate to 400 Km/h, while maybe none of its buyers are going to top the 400 Km/h. That’s the SAP S/4 Chiron

With that in mind, there are several tools and services we can leverage to create our S/4HANA environment in a matter of hours, here we have some examples to leverage the S/4HANA in minutes

1. If we are new to AWS, better use AWS’s Quick Start for SAP S/4HANA. 

The Quick Start automatically deploys an SAP S/4HANA environment on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. It includes an SAP application tier, an SAP HANA database tier, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and bastion hosts within a virtual private cloud (VPC) inside AWS.
The deployment includes an ABAP SAP Central Services (ASCS) server, a Primary Application Server (PAS) instance, an optional Additional Application Server (AAS) instance, and AWS core infrastructure services to scale out the SAP application tier if required.

Above, AWS’s SAP HANA quick Start for single AZ

Above, AWS’s SAP S/4 Quick Start for multiple AZ

  • A highly available architecture that spans two Availability Zones.
  • A VPC configured with public and private subnets according to AWS best practices. This provides the network infrastructure.
  • In the public subnets, managed network address translation (NAT) gateways to allow outbound internet access for the SAP instances in the private subnets.
  • An optional Linux bastion host in an Auto Scaling group to allow inbound Secure Shell (SSH) access to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances in the private subnets.
  • An optional Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Windows Server to host SAP GUI and third-party front-end applications for managing SAP systems in the private subnets. SAP Hana Studio can be deployed in this server.
  • Multiple Amazon EC2 instances to host the HANA database and the S/4HANA ASCS, PAS, and an optional AAS.
  • Directory /sapmnt, built on a Network File System (NFS) or on Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) for SAP file sharing among all S/4HANA instances.
  • For multiple-node HANA database deployment, an NFS mounted on directory /usr/sap for file sharing among all HANA database server nodes.
  • Optional automated installation of SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA.
  • Three security groups for restricted inbound access from the optional bastion host, between the database instances, and for application access to the database.
  • AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) and an instance role for accessing installation software in the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket.
  • A dedicated Amazon Route 53 private hosted zone to host the HANA database and S/4HANA server names.

The SAP S/4HANA Quick Start for rapid deployment on AWS is perfectly described by Sabari Radhakrishnan and Kuang-Shih Howard Lee in this blog

 2. If we are familiar with AWS, we can use AWS’s Marketplace to deploy S/4HANA

Using AWS Marketplace we have Access to Partner AMIs. AMI (Amazon Machine Image) are server images with pre-installed SAP systems. We find the complete installation of both SAP S/4HANA software and the database. We just need to perform the post-installation tasks like license installation or STMS config. This definitely speeds up our S/4HANA deployments in AWS if we are familiar to the infrastructure.



 3.Deploy S/4HANA using SAP CAL (on AWS or other IaaS)

SAP Cloud Appliance Library completely automates the provisioning of the virtual machines and deployment of the corresponding system image.

We can Access SAP CAL to create a fully activated appliance providing a pre-installed SAP S/4HANA 1809 (SP00) system, including pre-activated SAP Best Practices content and sample data. SAP always has the latest and greatest systems available using CAL 🙂

More appropriately, we “instantiate” rather than “create” the system because using CAL we get a copy of the Model Company. The test license is free!, but we pay hosting fees for the cloud provider we choose. Because this trial system is our system, we can view and change all functions (including customizing).

We can define various sizes for the virtual systems (i.e., different memory and disk sizes) and thus easily scale the landscape. Furthermore, we can stop, start, and use our system as required. Actual costs involve hourly fees for activated systems only (in addition to the low basic costs for each instance). If needed, we can deactivate a system and then (re)activate it later on.

This option includes a 30-day test license for the SAP S/4HANA system and SAP CAL. After that period, we’ll have to purchase a license for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise, and SAP CAL (via subscription).

 4. Use SAP Store, where a 30-day trial of SAP Model Company is available

Technically, SAP Model Company is a system image containing SAP S/4HANA and, possibly, other SAP solutions, such as the SAP Transportation Management application or SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) application, which are fully configured to execute a set of business scenarios. For each scenario, SAP Model Company includes a detailed description, process diagram, test or demo script, and configuration guide explaining how to set up the system. These are made available as SAP Solution Manager content (JSON-file) and need to be uploaded to our SAP Solution Manager. Together with the test data contained in SAP Model Company, we can instantly run the provided end-to-end scenarios without any additional effort.

SAP Model Company is not only essential for new installations but very helpful for conversions too.
SAP recommends us to use Model Company during the project’s preparation and exploration phase to:

  • Demonstrate the functionality and process in show-and-tell sessions for business users
  • Have our key users study the preconfigured scenarios with the test scripts
  • Build prototypes by using or extending the existing configuration
  • Use it as a reference when conducting fit-gap/fit-to-standard analysis

Basically, the new and enhanced IDES

5. Use the New SAP MaxAttention

The New SAP MaxAttention includes services that help customers to migrate to S/4HANA.

Among the many services that SAP DBS and MaxAttention offers, I want to focus on the ability for New SAP MaxAttention to help customers to define then best infrastructure when moving to HyperScalers, this was perfectly introduced to me during SAPPHIRE 2019 by DBS’s Former Member.

Christian Langpape, vice president of IT Planning at SAP, introduced recently these new SAP Services;

“To keep up with this reality, most businesses require support to ensure architecture changes account for best practices and lessons learned from industry and non-industry peers. The engagement model of the New SAP MaxAttention allows us to flexibly join our customer’s journey based on the customers desired pace, priorities, and degree of assistance. And with the addition of the SAP Transformation Hub, a new delivery concept specifically created for architecture planning, we help foster continuity through regional architect teams based on globally governed methodologies, tools, and content.”

Explore SAP DBS services for premium engagements. It’s a great idea to bring SAP to validate our journey to the cloud.


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