The size of the SAP HANA system required on the AWS Cloud depends on the migration scenario. As mentioned earlier, migrating SAP HANA to AWS involves two possible scenarios: rehosting or replatforming.

Memory Requirements for Rehosting

Because rehosting implies that you are already running SAP HANA, you can determine the size of the SAP HANA system you need on the AWS Cloud from the peak memory utilization of your existing SAP HANA system. You may have oversized your on-premises SAP HANA environment (for example, to support future growth), so measuring peak memory utilization is a better approach than measuring allocated memory. When you have determined the base memory requirement, you should choose the smallest SAP-certified EC2 instance that provides more memory than your base requirement.

There are three ways to determine peak memory utilization of your existing SAP HANA system:


We recommend determining peak memory utilization for a timeframe during which your system utilization is likely to be high (for example, during year-end processing or a major sales event).

Memory Requirements for Replatforming

The replatforming scenario involves two possibilities:

You should also consider the following SAP notes and Knowledge Base articles for SAP HANA sizing considerations:

Instance Sizing for SAP HANA

AWS offers SAP-certified systems that are configured to meet the specific SAP HANA performance requirements (see SAP Note 1943937 – Hardware Configuration Check Tool - Central Note and the SAP Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory). After you have determined your SAP HANA sizing, you can map your requirements to the EC2 instance family sizes. That is, you map the maximum amount of memory required for each of your SAP HANA instances to the maximum amount of memory available for your desired EC2 instance type. You should also consider appropriate storage volume types and sizes to ensure optimal performance of the SAP HANA database. For best practices and recommendations for volume types and file system layout, see the Planning the Deployment section of the SAP HANA Quick Start deployment guide.


Only production SAP HANA systems need to run on certified configurations that meet SAP HANA key performance indicators (KPIs). SAP provides more flexibility when running SAP HANA non-production systems. For more information, see SAP HANA TDI – FAQ and OSS Note 2271345 on the SAP website.

Network Planning and Sizing

You will need to consider network planning and sizing for the amount of data you will be transferring to AWS. Data transfer time depends on network bandwidth available to AWS and influences total downtime. Higher bandwidth helps with faster data transfer and helps reduce overall migration time. For non-production systems where downtime isn’t critical, you can use a smaller network pipe to reduce costs. Alternatively, to transfer extremely large data, you can use services like AWS Snowball for a physical (non-network) transport of data to AWS. We’ll discuss AWS Snowball more extensively later in this guide.

As a guideline, you can use this formula to help estimate how long your network data transfer might take:

(Total bytes to be transferred / Transfer rate per second) = Total transfer time in seconds

For example, for a 1 TB SAP HANA appliance, the total bytes to be transferred is usually 50% of the memory, which would be 512 GB. The transfer rate per second is your network transfer rate—if you had a 1 Gb AWS Direct Connect connection to AWS, you could transfer up to 125 MB per second, and your total data transfer time would be:

512 GB / 125 MB per second = 4,096 seconds (or 1.1 hours)

After you determine the amount of data you need to transfer and how much time you have available to transfer the files, you can determine the AWS connectivity options that best fit your cost, speed, and connectivity requirements. Presenting all available network connectivity options is beyond the scope of this document; see the Additional Reading section of this document for more detailed references.

SAP HANA Scale-up and Scale-out

AWS provides several types of EC2 instances for SAP HANA workloads. This gives you options for your SAP HANA scale-up and scale-out deployments. In a scale-up scenario, you utilize the compute, memory, network, and I/O capacity of a single EC2 instance. If you require more capacity, you can resize your instances to a different EC2 instance type. For example, if you’re using an R4 instance type and it becomes too small for your workload, you can change it to an R5, X1, or X1e instance type. The limitation is the maximum capacity of a single EC2 instance. In AWS, scale-up enables you to start with the smallest EC2 instance type that meets your requirements and grow as needed. If your requirements change or new requirements surface, you can easily scale up to meet the changing requirements.

In a scale-out scenario, you add capacity to your SAP HANA system by adding new EC2 instances to the SAP HANA cluster. For example, once you reach the maximum memory capacity of a single EC2 instance, you can scale out your SAP HANA cluster and add more instances. AWS has certified SAP HANA scale-out clusters that support up to 100 TiB of memory. Please note that the minimum number of recommended nodes in an SAP HANA scale-out cluster can be as low as two nodes; for more information, see SAP Note 1702409 - HANA DB: Optimal number of scale out nodes for BW on HANA. It’s likely that your sizing estimates will reveal the need to plan for a scale-out configuration before you start your SAP HANA migration. AWS gives you the ability to easily deploy SAP HANA scale-out configurations when you use the SAP HANA Quick Start.

The following table illustrates example scale-up and scale-out sizing.

Scenario Source configuration Target configuration
Scale-up r4.8xlarge r4.16xlarge
Scale-up r4.16xlarge x1.16xlarge
Scale-up x1.32xlarge x1e.32xlarge
Scale-out 3 nodes of x1.16xlarge 4 nodes of x1.16xlarge
Scale-out x1.32xlarge 3 nodes of x1.16xlarge

When you finalize your SAP sizing and SAP HANA deployment models, you can plan your migration strategy.

In addition to SAP HANA sizing, you may also need to size your SAP application tier. To find the SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) ratings of SAP-certified EC2 instances, see SAP Standard Application Benchmarks and the SAP on AWS support note on the SAP website (SAP login required).