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May 11, 2017
Accenture fast-tracks SAP-as-a-Service on AWS
By: Rahul Kabra and Twesh Deshetty

Given the built-in security, agility and scalability found in AWS, global enterprises are confidently moving business-critical SAP production systems and non-production landscapes to the value added, cost effective and flexible cloud environment.

To support this fast-growing demand, Accenture, in collaboration with the Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG), launched the SAP on AWS cloud offering, which combines best practices for rapid turnaround with end-to-end solutions to provision, migrate and operate large-scale SAP ERP modules and S4/HANA systems on the AWS Cloud.

As a cloud leader, AWS provides specific differentiators for running SAP workloads such as AWS Quick Starts, which allow customers to automate SAP HANA deployments in a predictable way; easy resize options to adapt to changing business needs; and more than 25 SAP-certified instances for SAP workloads. AWS also offers a global footprint, featuring 16 geographic regions, and multi availability zone (AZ) concepts to provide robust and certified high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) design for SAP workloads.

Accenture’s market-leading relationship with SAP spans more than 40 years of experience implementing and operating on-premises and private cloud SAP solutions, and, more recently, migrating SAP modules to hyper-scale cloud providers. Accenture also received AWS’s SAP Competency Partner status in 2016.

Co-innovating offerings and accelerators with embedded automation

Following Accenture’s first SAP on AWS deployment in 2014 for internal use, as well as more than 100 customer pilots and deployments to date, Accenture and AWS established the Accenture AWS Business Group in October 2015 and the go-to-market approach was incorporated into Accenture’s SAP Cloud Center of Excellence offerings as of March 2017.

The AABG SAP on AWS cloud offering includes SAP and BASIS migration factories and SAP production reference architectures that:

  • Provide test-driven, SAP-certified AWS environments for operating system and database configurations.

  • Support business continuity through cost-effective high availability/disaster recovery with correct SAP instances incorporated into design architectures.

  • Enable consistent performance with seamless failover routines.

  • Optimize costs by leveraging correct AWS consumption models, as well as correct Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and volume sizes for maximum efficiency of SAP workloads.

Along with a near-term focus on SAP-as-a-service offerings and SAP S/4 HANA greenfield implementations, Accenture and AWS are collaborating to offer sophisticated levels of cloud-native automation that expedite large SAP migrations. Examples of this automation range from security and DevOps to operations and administration, including:

Figure 1: Accenture and AWS are jointly developing automation accelerators for SAP migrations. (Copyright Accenture)

In addition, AWS has an extensive ecosystem with 70+ SAP-related marketplace listings for immediate consumption from customers and partners, and currently offers multiple SAP on AWS Quick Starts, including:

  • SAP HANA—Helps enterprises to deploy fully functional SAP HANA systems on the AWS Cloud and optimally configure AWS services and the operating system (SLES or RHEL).

  • SAP HANA-Business One—Aids small and midsize businesses to fast-track deployment tasks for SAP Business One partners and users who are planning to host SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA, workloads in the AWS Cloud.

Common SAP cloud adoption patterns
As shown in Figure 2, enterprises are approaching an AWS adoption for SAP in three main ways: A) lift and shift to cloud for SAP on AnyDB; B) lift and shift to cloud while migrating to HANA; and C) transform to S/4HANA and cloud combined with consolidation, selective reimplementation and/or greenfield SAP deployments. Note: Greenfield SAP implementations are popular because AWS provides a broad set of services and products that can be used for building native cloud applications along with SAP workloads.

AABG has developed a set of technical reference architectures for enterprise customers to help speed adoption. Pairing these with AWS’s unprecedented scale, hyper-speed, relentless innovation and customer-focused services leads to a faster and smoother SAP migration.

Figure 2: SAP roadmaps (Copyright Accenture)

Recently, Accenture and AWS worked together to help a UK-based chemicals company implement S4/HANA as part of a wider greenfield landscape with 15 different SAP components. The deployment timeline was aggressive, and the customer could not provision its HANA on-premises infrastructure in time. Accenture suggested AWS as a faster alternative and helped the customer provision the development environment on AWS in just two weeks. Accenture then built and operated the complete non-production landscape, consisting of 58 AWS EC2 instances, 3.85 terabytes (TB) of HANA data and 257 TB of storage, for a period of 24 months.

Distributed architecture supports hot restart
As part of the SAP transition to AWS, Accenture and AWS help enterprises architect their high availability/disaster recovery environments, ensuring they are compliant with SAP and their business continuity plans. A traditional on-premises model allows infrastructure to be hosted in the same data center for high availability and in two data centers for disaster recovery, which can take from 30-60 minutes for recovery point objective (RPO) and 4-12 hours for recovery time objective (RTO).

For a more effective option, AWS’s distributed architecture leverages different availability zones and regions, as seen in Figure 3, that support rapid failover and cuts RPO to zero if an availability zone failure occurs and RTO by up to 65 percent less if a region failure occurs.

Figure 3: Architecture for distributed high availability/disaster recovery SAP production (Courtesy AWS)

To learn more and get started on your enterprise-scale SAP migration to the AWS Cloud, contact Rahul Kabra at or Twesh Deshetty

i Refer to SAP note 1656099
ii Reach out to your Accenture or AWS representatives for more details.

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