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Why run SAP on AWS? (4 Key Benefits and More)


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most trusted cloud providers for SAP enterprises around the world. Today, more than 5000 organizations run SAP on AWS to gain more modern, innovative, flexible, and data-driven capabilities.

In the sections that follow, we’ll explore considerations for running SAP on AWS, including migration methods, key benefits, and three real-world success stories from Protera’s client portfolio.

Quick Takeaways

  • Running SAP on AWS cloud passes infrastructure management to the cloud provider and enables frequent, automatic updates for your enterprise.
  • SAP applications can be moved to the cloud using lift-and-shift, modernization, database upgrades, or totally Greenfield approaches.
  • Key benefits of SAP AWS migration include cost savings, reliable infrastructure, higher innovation capability, and data security.
    Why do companies pursue SAP AWS migration?

Why do companies pursue SAP AWS migration?It’s important to note that for many companies, the SAP AWS migration journey begins with a general recognition of the potential for running SAP in a cloud environment.

Running SAP HANA or S/4HANA on the cloud means no longer needing to worry about infrastructure management — your cloud provider does it for you. You’ll experience more frequent updates and automatic updates, and you’ll have access to the most innovative technologies available to your business.

AWS in particular has been a pioneer of cloud computing, after realizing the potential for optimizing their unused infrastructure. They’ve played a large role in shaping modern business on the cloud and the way companies digitally transform.

What does SAP AWS Migration look like?

There are multiple models for SAP AWS migration that companies can choose from depending on their needs.


  • Lift-and-shift involves moving applications as they are from their current environments to the AWS cloud. The drawback is that — as on any cloud platform — the application may require some updates in order to translate successfully from its legacy environment.
  • Companies also use AWS to upgrade from non-HANA database management systems to HANA and S/4HANon the AWS cloud. This allows them to adopt HANA’s in-memory database capabilities and lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) by eliminating technical debt and run faster
  • Finally, a complete transformation to S/4HANA on AWS can be completed with a greenfield approach (starting totally fresh without any legacy systems) or by using RISE with SAP to migrate gradually.

The right migration model will depend on an organization’s current capabilities and business needs. Partnering with a SAP-certified service provider (like Protera) to perform an assessment and develop a detailed execution plan can ensure the migration is not only a success, but accelerated.


SAP on AWS Cloud: 4 Key Benefits

We know that AWS is an industry leader in cloud computing and a trusted SAP partner. But what are the specific business benefits enterprises experience from successfully migrating to the AWS cloud? Let’s look at four of the most prominent ones to know.

Cost Savings

Companies can gain significant reductions in infrastructure management and TCO costs with SAP AWS migration. SAP itself recently reported that across all system landscapes, cost savings influenced by use of AWS hosting range from 59-71% over a five year lifecycle.


When broken down by cost element, research shows that companies experienced savings in hardware and software investment, implementation, continuous improvement, and upgrade costs (among others).

Reliable Infrastructure

Amazon’s Global Infrastructure covers 25 regions and 80 availability zones. For global enterprises, this enables the ability to design applications to be geographically located near their customers and that align with local legal and regulatory requirements.

Innovation Potential

Running SAP on AWS means you have access to the same tools Amazon uses to optimize their customer experience, the latest AWS IoT and AI tools and services, and a library of AWS-native offerings to drive SAP innovation.

AWS also reports that 90% of their new features and services are built based on customer feedback, meaning you can expect updates specifically designed to help you improve.

Data Security

Data privacy and security laws are top of mind for every company. AWS boasts 90 security standards and compliance certifications and 100% encryption capability across all of their services currently storing customer data.

SAP AWS Migration: 3 Real-world Success Stories

Merrifield Garden Center

This year, Merrifield Garden Center celebrates 10 years since their successful SAP AWS migration. In 2011, they took a leap of faith and partnered with Protera to become the first SAP running in production ever on the public cloud.

Today, they continue to reap the benefits:

“With SAP on AWS, we have the space to grow, securely, and improve our team’s day-to-day experience, our suppliers, and the end customer. We are a 7-day a week business in high demand, and with Protera managing our SAP on AWS every challenge is solved, every question is answered, and we are constantly looking for what we can improve or innovate next.”
—Bryan Moore, Merrifield IT Manager

Read More about Merrifield’s Transformation


In 2019, K-SWISS worked with Protera to migrate from an unsuccessful cloud environment to AWS. The project was completed in six months and included the migration of 19+ applications. K-Swiss now operates with more agility and is proactive about monitoring and optimization.

“Running SAP on AWS offers us a global networking reach, with the ability to start another system with a couple of clicks. Protera has provided K-SWISS with an agile, growth ready platform that offers us an accurate centralized service with proactive monitoring and optimization.”
—Bob Sobel, Director of IT Infrastructure

Read More about K-Swiss’s Transformation


Commercial solar developer Greenskies decided in 2014 to migrate to the cloud to reduce costs, improve reliability, and increase scalability and flexibility over the long term. Since moving to AWS, they have grown their operating portfolio by 600 percent while only doubling their workforce and experienced significant time and cost savings through their upgrade project.

“Greenskies is a perfect example of how a business can be enabled by technology. With a small team, they’ve been able to leverage the benefits cloud has to offer to solve business problems and drive their vision.”
—Binoy James, VP of Operations at Protera

Read More about Greenskies’ Transformation

Over to You

If you’re planning a SAP cloud migration, Protera can guide you through it successfully. Our proven 3-step process optimizes time to completion while minimizing business disruption.



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.