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SAP move to the Microsoft Azure cloud

Big Data, the Internet of Things, machine learning and robotic process automation cannot be realized without the right data. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned with these topics and thus also with the issues surrounding data provision.
April 8, 2020
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Where do I get the necessary data from, how do I bring together data from different sources, and where can the data be stored in a legally secure manner and evaluated centrally without storage costs rising extremely as a result or other processes being slowed down?

Automated and consistent outsourcing of low-value SAP data (based on time slice and user behavior) helps to keep the costs for the data and for SAP Hana under control (keyword: sizing) and also to ensure the performance of the Hana database.

Besides SAP-native scenarios such as archiving and deleting unused and non-compliant data, there are other ways to improve an SAP landscape.

With tools such as OutBoard DataTiering and Fitness Testing, Datavard provides companies with an efficient and easy way to analyze, classify and ultimately reduce the size of their database.

Customers are currently making heavy use of these tools before and during preparation for the S/4 Hana migration in order to tidy up before the actual migration and only take with them what is really still needed.

In addition, because there is data that must remain accessible for years due to legal requirements or because of desired preservation of histories, companies are looking for cost-effective, fully scalable storage options such as those offered by the cloud.

When talking about TCO of SAP systems and data, it is always worth looking at how easily and quickly innovations can go live today. Is rapid prototyping and testing easy and, above all, cost-effective? Cloud infrastructures offer companies many advantages and can significantly accelerate innovation cycles.

In the Datavard architecture workshops, we look at all the wishes and problems together with the existing SAP customers and work out possible solutions and roadmaps together.

In preparation for transformation, many customers are looking to the cloud. Running an SAP system in the cloud, such as on Microsoft Azure, is the perfect choice for most customers, not only because of the hard facts like cost, agility, performance and security, but also because of the soft factors like the trust many customers place in Microsoft for security and availability.

A typical journey to the cloud starts with evaluating current SAP system parameters and optimizing them through early monitoring reports. But migrating to Hana, whether to Suite on Hana (SoH) or directly to S/4, is a different story.

Here, existing customers can't easily size the system. In recent months, many Hana sizing guides have appeared that turned out to be wrong:Oversizing is a luxury you can't afford.

Undersizing and buying hardware that is too small, requiring additional unplanned investment, is even more difficult to correct afterwards.

The fastest way to get started with a Hana project on Azure is to "go with whatever seems". This means that existing customers do not have to invest months in preparing and planning the system landscape.

You choose one of the many SAP-certified virtual machines (VM). Microsoft Azure already provides machines with up to 12 TB of storage for this purpose.

Once the SAP system is running on Microsoft Azure, you can focus on tuning and optimizing operations. SAP has always recommended archiving and outsourcing ERP system data.

Unlike in your own data center, where optimizing a system does not have an immediate impact on costs (the hardware has already been purchased and the resources are available), optimizing operations in the cloud is immediately visible on the invoice.

Besides SAP-native scenarios like archiving and deleting unused and non-compliant data, there are other ways to improve an SAP landscape. With tools like OutBoard DataTiering, one sees an easy way to reduce the size of the data in the database.

OutBoard helps reduce the size of a Hana database by archiving and deleting data, but also provides the ability to store this data in "other" locations. Several projects have shown Azure HDInsight Hadoop with Azure Data Lake Store being used for this purpose.

Here, the combination of operating the SAP system in Microsoft Azure with multiple storage options is an option: Hot data can be stored in the database of the SAP system on VMs with very high storage requirements.

At the same time, warm or cold data is offloaded to other storage options available in Azure. Data that is no longer needed can be deleted according to predefined rules.

It is very important to emphasize that while the warm data is not stored in the database itself, it is still available to users. When users access warm data, it is still there, it is just not available as quickly as if it came directly from the Hana system.

For some customers, a 40 percent reduction in system size was achieved for the warm data, which of course dramatically reduces operating costs while increasing performance. Customers only had to resize the VMs to immediately benefit from the reduced system requirements.

Datavard provides software and consulting for SAP transformations such as S/4HANA, SAP data management and integration of SAP data into Big Data.

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.