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SAP AWS Migration: Migrate and Modernize


Moving SAP systems to the cloud is an increasing imperative for organizations that want to stay competitive in terms of business agility, flexibility, innovation, and customer experience. Running SAP on AWS can help you achieve it in spades.

AWS is an established cloud leader in innovation and technology development, offering the cloud capabilities you need to keep your business agile, secure and a step ahead.

The sections that follow cover why companies running SAP choose AWS and the seven strategic ways to migrate and modernize SAP on AWS for powerful business results.


Quick Takeaways

  • By 2025, 85% of organizations will be operating with cloud-first principles.
  • AWS owns the largest share of the cloud provider market at 31-34% throughout 2022.
  • Running SAP on AWS doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing move—there are simple first steps you can take to test the waters.
  • AWS’s Well Architected Framework can help you comprehensively optimize your SAP systems and yields even better results when done with an expert SAP service provider.

Why Run SAP on AWS Cloud?

Moving your SAP systems to the cloud is no longer a matter of “if” but “when” as you plan your company's IT future.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 85% of organizations will embrace cloud-first principles. By 2027, they’ll use industry cloud platforms for more than 50% of their critical business initiatives. In order to keep your business competitive, agile, and cost-optimized, you need a cloud migration and modernization plan sooner rather than later.

Since the inception of the cloud, AWS has been an industry leader and innovator, owning the largest market share of all cloud providers—between 31% and 34% throughout 2022.

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Alt-Text: Line graph showing cloud provider market share trends during 2022.

Today, more than 5000 organizations around the world run their SAP systems on AWS, and over half of them have already successfully deployed SAP HANA-based solutions.

But moving to the cloud doesn’t happen overnight, and many companies aren’t prepared to make the journey in a single leap. It’s important to note that cloud migration doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing event. 

There are effective ways to begin migrating critical workloads, like SAP and other Enterprise Applications to the AWS cloud and modernize the ones already there without overwhelming your budget or disrupting business as usual.


7 Strategic Ways to Migrate and Modernize SAP on AWS

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Alt-Text: Graphic showing the 7 on-ramps for SAP on AWS cloud.


Archiving old data is good practice. It keeps your database smaller and your business-relevant data easily accessible, all while lowering operational costs.

AWS Data Archiving and storage services like Storage Gateway, EFS, and FSX are known for their virtually limitless capacity and cost-effective pricing. You may even be using them already to archive your non-SAP data. These same services can also be easily leveraged by your SAP teams.

In fact, archiving your SAP data on AWS provides a perfect stepping stone to the AWS cloud if you plan to move your SAP workloads there eventually, but you prefer to start with a less critical use case and/or a smaller subset of your SAP system landscape.

Key benefits of AWS Data Archiving include:

  • Lowest-cost cloud storage
  • Greater business agility
  • Data protection and integrity
  • Zero hardware to manage
  • Easier compliance
  • Unlimited scaling with pay-as-you-go pricing

Modernizing Backup and Recovery

Backup workloads are often the first to move to the cloud as they’re discreet and out of band. Customers already using AWS for data backups elsewhere can easily extend the service to include their SAP systems. Plus, most software tools used to manage data backups support AWS out of the box, making proof of concept easy.

Managing SAP data backups on the AWS cloud have many similar benefits to archiving, including higher data durability, flexibility and scaling, cost efficiency, and streamlined compliance. On the AWS cloud, you’ll also have backup capabilities for all types of data from object to file to block so your backups are protected and available whenever you need them.

Disaster Recovery Readiness

Disaster recovery is top of mind for IT and business leaders in every organization—no surprise given the number of disaster events companies still experience in 2023. Over the past three years, 95% of organizations have experienced at least one brownout or outage, and most have experienced several.


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Alt-Text: Bar chart showing the number of brownouts and outages organizations have experienced over the past three years.


Moving your SAP systems to the AWS cloud gives you access to agile, automated, flexible, and high-performing security and DR capabilities—ones not possible in on-premise environments.

AWS’s shared responsibility security model helps to better prevent the instance of a disaster event in the first place, and enables you to recover more quickly when one does occur. Their regional diversity and global presence give you multiple availability zones to choose from.

And with AWS, you can customize your DR architecture in accordance with your unique business requirements and pay only for the services you use.

SAP User Interfaces

Your IT teams manage distributed access for hundreds or thousands of users across several SAP user interfaces. This can be time-consuming, costly, and riddled with risk without the right tools in place to streamline and secure it. Your UI management also has a direct impact on how your customers and end users perceive your brand.

Running SAP on AWS cloud can help you simplify the management and lifecycle of your SAP UIs and achieve significant efficiency gains. For example: Amazon Workspaces and Amazon AppStream can improve SAP response time up to 50%, and Amazon Cloudfront can improve it up to 35% when hosting static FIORI content locally to the users.

You’ll be able to centrally manage applications more efficiently and effectively, scale without infrastructure, and provide more fluid, responsive user experiences.

Modern Operation and Automation

Modern IT operations—SAP systems included—require automation to meet both business and customer demands. Manual processes are tedious and prone to error, and they take up all of your IT teams’ time and energy, leaving none for focus on strategic growth and improvement.

The AWS cloud powers levels of automation and innovation simply not possible in on-premise and/or otherwise outdated environments. And the more SAP systems you run on the AWS cloud, the more you’ll benefit and the greater the results you’ll achieve. These results include:


  • Reduced Risk — Combined SAP/AWS capabilities help to avoid deployment errors and achieve consistent results, reducing human error and inconsistencies between systems

  • Cost Savings — Reduce labor required on system builds and get precise infrastructure cost estimates

  • Optimized Time — Quickly deploy SAP landscapes on AWS with minimal knowledge on AWS services for SAP (hours vs. days or weeks)

  • Business Agility — Leverage new business capabilities from SAP faster, including many not available in on-premise environments

  • Innovation and Differentiation — Leverage time and cost savings to reallocate focus on innovative business experimentation and other forward-thinking IT initiatives

SAP Lens for Well-Architected Framework

AWS’s SAP lens Well-Architected Franework is a collection of best practices that help you assess and score the quality of your SAP workload architecture. It’s built around 6 key pillars: security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and operational excellence. Together, these pillars enable you to maintain a continually optimized and secure cloud environment.


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Alt-Text: Graphic highlighting the 6 key pillars of a SAP Lens Well-Architected Framework Review.


As you migrate and modernize on the AWS cloud, you can accelerate progress and maximize ROI by working closely with a SAP-certified MSP—like Protera—to conduct a Well-Architected Framework Review that provides company-specific performance insights and actionable steps forward to improve.

Data Lakes for SAP

Data is already at the center of how businesses operate today, and according to McKinsey, the enterprise will be completely data-driven at every level by 2025. That means you need an IT infrastructure in place that enables wide and secure data access, tools for higher data literacy, and enhanced analytics capabilities.

Customers using SAP (on-prem or in the cloud) can get more value from their data and be more innovative using analytics in AWS. This can be done by extracting your SAP data and ingesting it into a data lake or warehouse in AWS, where you can extract more sophisticated insights and share them more seamlessly with key stakeholders.

Working With a Trusted SAP Partner

Migrating and modernizing your SAP systems on the cloud is a complex process—one you want to do responsibly and without interrupting business-as-usual. Protera is a SAP-certified AWS Advanced Consulting Partner helping clients move to the cloud and optimize their SAP systems to achieve the scale, flexibility, and operational shift they need to drive value.

If you’re looking for a trusted partner to help you plan and execute your cloud journey with confidence, talk to a Protera expert today.