Migration Tools and Methodologies - SAP HANA on AWS

Migration Tools and Methodologies

This section provides an introduction to the tools and methodologies available to you for your SAP system migration.

AWS Quick Starts

AWS Quick Starts are automated reference deployments designed by AWS solutions architects and AWS partners. These reference deployments implement key technologies automatically on the AWS Cloud, often with a single click and in less than an hour. You can build your test or production environment in a few steps, and start using it immediately. For SAP HANA migrations, you can use either the SAP HANA or the SAP NetWeaver Quick Starts to automatically provision, deploy, configure, and install your SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver system in the AWS Cloud. Using AWS Quick Starts saves you time and ensures repeatability, because you don’t have to develop custom deployment scripts or manually deploy, configure, and install your SAP HANA systems. As a result, you can often migrate your SAP systems faster.

Migration Using DMO with System Move

SAP has enhanced the database migration option (DMO) of their Software Update Manager (SUM) tool to accelerate the testing of SAP application migrations (see SAP Note 2377305). DMO with System Move enables you to migrate your SAP system from your on-premises environment to AWS by using a DMO tool and a special export and import process. You can use AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon EFS (over AWS Direct Connect), Storage Gateway file interface, and AWS Snowball to transfer your SAP export files to AWS.

You can then use the AWS Quick Start for SAP HANA to rapidly provision SAP HANA instances and build your SAP application servers on AWS, when you are ready to trigger the import process of the DMO tool.

The SUM DMO tool can convert data from anyDB to SAP HANA or SAP ASE, with OS migrations, release/enhancement pack upgrades, and Unicode conversions occurring at the same time. Results are written to flat files, which are transferred to the target SAP HANA system on AWS. The second phase of DMO with System Move imports the flat files and builds the migrated SAP application with the extracted data, code, and configuration. Here’s a conceptual flow of the major steps involved:

          DMO with System Move

Figure 3: DMO with System Move

SAP HANA Classical Migration

SAP offers the SAP HANA classical migration option for migrating from other database systems to SAP HANA. This option uses the SAP heterogeneous system copy process and tools. To copy the exported files, you can use the options described in the Backup/Restore Tools section later in this guide. For details on the classical migration approach, see the classical migration overview on the SAP website.

SAP Software SUM DMO

SAP offers the standard SUM DMO approach as a one-step migration option from other database systems to HANA. This option uses the SAP DMO process and tool to automate multiple required migration steps. This is a preferred option if you are already running SAP on anyDB on AWS, as it will improve your migration times to SAP HANA, since there is no need for data export/import at a file system level. For details, see the DMO of SUM overview on the SAP website.


SAP HANA System Replication (HSR) is a tool for replicating the SAP HANA database to a secondary database or location. The secondary database is an exact copy of the primary database and can be used as the new primary database in the event of a takeover. The advantage of HSR is that it replicates the data directly from source to target. For details, see SAP HANA Disaster Recovery Support in the SAP HANA Administration Guide and the High Availability and Disaster Recovery Options for SAP HANA on AWS whitepaper.

SAP HANA HSR with Initialization via Backup and Restore

SAP supports the option of initializing the HSR target system with a backup and restore process. Using backup and restore can be useful if the network connection between your source SAP HANA system and the target system does not have enough bandwidth to replicate the data in a timely manner. Additionally, you may not want the data replication to consume part of your network traffic bandwith. For details, see SAP Note 1999880 – FAQ: SAP HANA System Replication.

Backup/Restore Tools

Backup and restore options are tried-and-true mechanisms for saving data on a source system and restoring it to another destination. AWS has various storage options available to help facilitate data transfer to AWS. Some of those are explained in this section. We recommend that you discuss which option would work best for your specific workload with your systems integrator (SI) partner or with an AWS solutions architect.

  • Storage Gateway: This is a virtual appliance installed in your on-premises data center that helps you replicate files, block storage, or tape libraries by integrating with AWS storage services such as Amazon S3 and by using standard protocols like Network File system (NFS) or Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI). Storage Gateway offers file-based, volume-based, and tape-based storage solutions. For SAP systems, we will focus on file replication using a file gateway and block storage replication using a volume gateway. For scenarios where multiple backups or logs need to be continuously copied to AWS, you can copy these files to the locally mounted storage and they will be replicated to AWS.

              SAP file replication with Storage Gateway

    Figure 4: SAP file replication with Storage Gateway


    See the SAP ASE Cloud Backup to Amazon S3 using AWS File Gateway whitepaper on the SAP website to learn how to use a file gateway to manage backup files of SAP ASE on AWS with Amazon S3, with the STANDARD-IA (infrequent access) and Amazon S3 Glacier storage classes. For more information about these storage classes, see the Amazon S3 documentation.

  • Amazon EFS file transfer: AWS provides options to copy data from an on-premises environment to AWS by using Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS). Amazon EFS is a fully managed service, and you pay only for the storage that you use. You can mount an Amazon EFS file share on your on-premises server, as long as you have AWS Direct Connect set up between your corporate data center and AWS. This is illustrated in Figure 5.

              Transferring SAP files with Amazon EFS

    Figure 5: Transferring SAP files with Amazon EFS

AWS Snowball

With AWS Snowball, you can copy large amounts of data from your on-premises environment to AWS, when it’s not practical or possible to copy the data over the network. AWS Snowball is a storage appliance that is shipped to your data center. You plug it into your local network to copy large volumes of data at high speed. When your data has been copied to the appliance, you can ship it back to AWS, and your data will be copied to Amazon S3 based on the desired target storage destination that you specify. AWS Snowball is very useful when you’re planning very large, multi-TB SAP system migrations. For more information, see When should I consider using Snowball instead of the Internet in the AWS Snowball FAQ.

Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration

Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration provides a faster way to copy data from your on-premises environment to AWS by copying data first to Amazon CloudFront edge locations that are closest to the source, and then using an optimized network path to copy data to Amazon S3. There is a network charge associated with this type of transfer. You can run an AWS-provided test tool to compare the speed of Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration to standard Amazon S3 data transfer. For SAP workloads, you can copy backups or DB logs at regular intervals over Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration to reduce the transfer time, if your regular network connection is slow—for example, if your SAP environment is hosted in a location that doesn’t have very strong internet connectivity. For more information, see the Amazon S3 documentation.

Amazon EC2 Instance Resize

Amazon EC2 provides you with the ability to easily change your instance type in minutes, from the Amazon EC2 console, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or the Amazon EC2 API. You can start with an instance type that meets your current needs and size your instance up or down, when your requirements change. When you change your EC2 instance type, all instance metadata, including the IP address, instance ID, and hostname, remains the same. This enables you to migrate your SAP HANA to a new instance type seamlessly, without incurring a longer downtime. For details, see the Changing the Instance Type in the Amazon EC2 documentation.


You can use an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to launch any EC2 instance. You can create an AMI of an EC2 instance that hosts SAP HANA, including the attached EBS volumes, through the Amazon EC2 console, the AWS CLI, or the Amazon EC2 API. You can then use the AMI to launch a new EC2 instance with SAP HANA in any Availability Zone within the AWS Region where the AMI was created. You can also copy your AMI to another AWS Region and use it to launch a new instance. You can use this feature to move your SAP HANA instance to another Availability Zone or AWS Region, or to change the tenancy type of your EC2 instance. For example, you can create an AMI of your EC2 instance with default tenancy and use it to launch a new EC2 instance with host or dedicated tenancy and vice versa. For details, see the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) in the Amazon EC2 documentation.