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Author's profile photo Gavin Barwell

SAP High Availability In AWS Best Practices

When a business invests in SAP, it does so to have control over its data. It also ensures that all of its employees are using a single, definite source of data. In the past, it was as simple as building out a server room that would house the on-premise install of SAP. However, with the availability of cloud solutions such as AWS, it might seem viable to store this data on Amazon’s systems. The primary reason businesses installed SAP in the first place is to ensure that they have high availability (HA). Is it possible to duplicate that HA in the AWS cloud? How does a business approach doing this?

Developing a System Dedicated to Uptime

The deployment of SAP systems (application, presentation, and database layers) is the same in on-premise installs and the AWS cloud. However, if we’re considering HA, then how they are deployed matters. In SAP, specific single points of failure will threaten the system’s uptime. If core systems like the messaging and enqueue system falter, it could cause a loss of availability. This faltering may happen because of a loss of connection to a particular availability zone (AZ). Amazon has several of these scattered around the world. To ensure redundancy in the case of a disconnection, having the SAP essentials available on another AZ is an ideal solution.

Another critical point to note is shared storage. Unlike an on-premise install, businesses can’t utilize a shared storage solution the same way on the cloud. To cater to this difference, companies need to plan and schedule datastore use more efficiently. Once more, multiple AZs may be the best solution for this problem. The downside of having access to storage resources over several AZs is reconciliation. Tracking, managing, and protecting mount points for multiple logical volumes and partitions can get quite complex, and it’s a problem the IT team will have to grapple with.

Monitoring Component Health Across the Install

While it is advantageous to deploy core components across several AZs to ensure access, how does a business monitor these deployments? Knowing if something is wrong with an install is the only way to figure out how to address the problem. The monitoring system needs to be adaptable. The intelligence of such a situation is of the utmost importance. Having a system that simply monitors availability and switches over when it loses contact isn’t good enough. The cloud is dynamic, and there is a need for a more refined approach. Having a suite of SAP-aware products monitoring critical processes (and their failure rates) is one of the best ways to approach the problem. However, they can’t just focus on SAP. To fully comprehend the situation and report on it, these tools must also be AWS-aware. The actions the team needs to take should be specific to the AWS environment.

AWS Offers a Unique Advantage

From floor monitoring to manufacturing improvement software, AWS provides a platform for many tools. SAP can benefit from using AWS, but only if there is a robust failsafe in place to ensure high availability. AWS is more sophisticated than an on-premise solution. The tradeoff is that the business doesn’t have strict control over the hardware anymore. With a dedicated IT team and a holistic approach, the company can develop an SAP-AWS integration that monitors the system sufficiently to ensure continued uptime across multiple availability zones.

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