How to Migrate SAP to Azure?

Forward-thinking businesses are increasingly migrating their business-critical applications such as SAP workloads to the cloud. This helps them innovate faster, reduce risks associated with data loss, and lower costs simultaneously. By moving SAP workloads to the cloud, businesses can integrate other cutting-edge technology on the cloud, such as data streams from multiple sources, advanced analytics capabilities, and machine learning. This can help leverage cloud infrastructure, applications, and capabilities to engage customers better, empower their employees, optimize their operations, and improve their products and services. In this article, let us understand how to migrate SAP to Azure.

What Are the Advantages of Migrating SAP to Azure?

Deploying SAP on Azure helps businesses quickly take advantage of the platform to run large SAP and SAP HANA workloads. Here are the advantages of migrating SAP to Azure.

Scalability and Agility for SAP Estates

Enterprises can use Azure for deploying a wide range of business-critical workloads, including SAP applications, in both production and development-test scenarios. Azure offers unparalleled scalability, flexibility, and security for workloads.

Enhanced Productivity and Performance

The migration of SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA workloads to Azure has been simplified with Embrace, a preferred partnership between Microsoft and SAP. With this initiative, businesses can enjoy the best possible performance on Azure Virtual Machines with purpose-built hardware that is specifically tuned for SAP systems. Additionally, businesses can use Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning apart from Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions.

Meets Security and Compliance Requirements

With unmatched hybrid capabilities, Microsoft Azure offers advanced compliance capabilities and offers robust solutions for data protection and privacy. This helps businesses that are operating even in the most regulated industries to move their SAP workloads to Azure.

What Are the Methods for Migrating SAP to Azure?

There are two methods of migrating SAP systems to Azure. The first method is a one-step migration using SAP Database Migration Option (DMO), and the other is a classical lift-and-shift operation followed by the use of DMO.

DMO with System Move for SAP Application Server Migration

DMO with System Move option is the preferred method for migrating SAP servers to Azure as the downtime is minimal. Here are the steps to migrate to Azure with this option.

  • Connect your on-premises server with Azure using Express Route or via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to provision the target infrastructure on Azure that includes SAP NetWeaver and SAP HANA database servers.
  • Start the SAP Server Update Manager (SUM) on the on-premises source application server.
  • Execute uptime activities on the on-premises SAP application server and create a shadow repository before commencing the downtime phase.
  • Use the downtime to export and transfer files from the source system to Azure either sequentially or in parallel.

Lift and Shift Approach for SAP Migration to Azure

In some scenarios where businesses cannot configure their hardware for the one-step migration or is not able to re-sync the SUM directory, the two-step approach is the alternative. Here are the steps involved in performing lift and shift operations followed by DMO.

  • Connect the existing on-premises server with Azure and provision the target environment as with the one-step migration method.
  • Build a cloned system using a homogeneous system copy or with DBMS replication tools.
  • Perform necessary business and technical validation to confirm that the data has been migrated to Azure successfully.
  • Use the DMO process to migrate and upgrade to SAP HANA on Azure.
  • Validate again to confirm that the upgrade to SAP HANA is successful after migrating to Azure.

It must be noted that in this two-step approach, there are two downtimes and two testing cycles.

Apps4Rent Can Help Migrate SAP System to Azure

When businesses migrate SAP to Azure, they can take advantage of the intelligence, security, and reliability of Azure solutions with their SAP applications. The primary challenge is to determine the right database migration option and customize the solution to cater to their business requirements. As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and a premium Azure migration service provider, Apps4Rent follows industry-specific best practices, reference architectures, and leverages appropriate cloud-delivered services to help on-premises SAP and SAP S/4HANA customers migrate their workloads to Azure. Contact our Azure experts, available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for Azure plans and migration assistance.

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