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SAP on Azure

SAP on Azure: The Complete Guide

What Is SAP on Azure?

SAP applications form the basis of many enterprise operations, including those of multinational companies. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications that SAP provides are highly complex and capable of providing the scalability and analytics that are necessary for many organizations. As organizations move to the cloud it is key that they can take these applications with them which is why Microsoft has partnered with SAP on Azure.

Azure provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) options for SAP on Azure, such as Large Instances specially designed to run SAP HANA, and Platform as a Service (PaaS) options such as the managed SAP Cloud Platform.

This is part of an extensive series of guides about managed services.

Included in this partnership is support for the following SAP solutions:

In this article, you will also learn:

SAP Solutions Provided on Azure

To support moving enterprise operations to the cloud, Azure provides support for the following SAP solutions.


HANA is a relational database management system (RDBMS) built on column-oriented, in-memory operations. You can use it as an application database to perform real-time analytics, gather business intelligence, or centralize your operations. In Azure, HANA runs on a single instance.

Azure supports SAP HANA with:

  • On-demand, SAP certified virtual machines (VMs) with up to 12TB memory
  • SAP HANA optimized instances with up to 20TB storage
  • Scaling up to 60 or 120TB supported by TDIv4 or TDIv5 authorization
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) for 99.99% availability


S/4HANA is an ERP suite built on the HANA database. It includes built-in features for financial analytics, supply chain management, manufacturing management, research and development operations, and sales operations. On Azure, you can implement a new S/4HANA deployment or migrate your existing SAP Business Suite deployment.

Azure supports SAP S/4HANA with:

  • Remote connectivity via ExpressRoute for Fiori-based applications
  • An SLA for 99.99% availability with instances in two Availability Zones (AZs)
  • High speed, low recovery time backups
  • Operations based on RedHat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise servers


BW/4HANA is a data warehouse for business insights built on the HANA database. It includes features for simplified modeling and administration of change requests, integration of a wide range of data sources, an intuitive user interface, and real-time data processing.

Azure supports SAP BW/4HANA with:

  • Operations optimized for SAP BW and analytics
  • The ability to scale operations to 15 nodes with 4TB of storage per instance
  • Instances that are SAP certified for BW/4HANA

SAP NetWeaver

NetWeaver is a solution you can use as a platform for application integration and development or as an application server. It enables you to centrally develop, provision, and manage your applications regardless of whether they are SAP applications. You can use it to customize existing SAP solutions or to integrate your solutions with SAP.

Azure supports SAP NetWeaver with:

  • On-demand VMs with attachable storage for non-production environments
  • SLAs guaranteeing 99.95% availability for multiple VMs or 99.99% availability for a single VM
  • SAP Certified operations on RedHat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, or Windows servers

SAP Hybris

Hybris is a set of solutions designed to help you ensure end-to-end customer engagement. It includes products for commerce, revenue and billing, sales, service, and marketing. You can use Hybris in Azure to create automated, on-demand VM operations for your customer facing business units.

Azure supports SAP Hybris with:

  • High availability and disaster recovery tools for business continuity
  • SLAs guaranteeing 99.95% availability for multiple VMs or 99.99% availability for a single VM
  • Operations certified to run on SAP NetWeaver-certified VMs
  • Ability to run the SAP Hybris Commerce platform (v5.x or 6.x) on Oracle databases, SQL Server, or Windows Server

SAP Cloud Platform

Cloud Platform is a platform as a service (PaaS) solution that you can use to connect on-premises and cloud-based SAP resources. Cloud Platform is designed to enable you to build and extend your applications with open protocols. It is based on Cloud Foundry and can be layered on top of Azure resources.

Azure supports SAP Cloud Platform with:

  • The ability to speed application development using Azure Storage and Azure Event Hubs
  • Distribution of applications relying on SAP ERP data
  • Support in five locations, including W Europe, W US 2, E US, Japan E, and SE Asia

Why Use SAP on Azure?

Combining your SAP and Azure operations can provide several benefits that are difficult to obtain with SAP or Azure alone. These include greater flexibility of operations, scalability, and integration of solutions.

Azure Is Hybrid

Azure offers support for hybrid operations beyond connectivity and infrastructure. It enables you to consistently perform operations regardless of platform, including identity management, application development, and security. Native and third-party integrations support these capabilities.

Azure Can Use Bare Metal for HANA

You can deploy HANA to VMs or bare metal servers in Azure. This enables you to ensure that resources are maintained in isolation with dedicated hardware. These servers come built-in with infrastructure for storage, compute, and networking. Additionally, bare metal servers are certified for HANA Tailored Data Center Integration.

Easy Integration of SAP and Microsoft Products

A long term partnership between Microsoft and SAP provides significant support for integrated solutions. For example, both Power BI and Office 365 support the use of SAP HANA. Additionally, both vendors use open standards and interfaces for data exchange, including OData. This enables you to integrate products smoothly with no need for data transformation.

Almost 100% Availability

Azure enables you to spread operations and data redundancies across AZs. Data is automatically replicated for durability and availability. You can also create additional backups or select geo-redundant storage for disaster recovery and failover protection.

SAP on Azure Migration Tactics

When moving SAP operations to Azure, several migration options are available. The option best suited to your migration depends on the size of your deployment and your ability to tolerate downtime.

Export / Import

Exporting data from your existing system and importing to your new deployment is the traditional method for migration. This process compressed your database size to between 20-40% of the original size and can help you compensate for lower transfer speeds.

This method is customizable and can be used for heterogeneous migrations. The downside of this method is that your systems may need to be paused during export and there is no way to sync changes.

Database Backup / Restore

The backup and restore is similar to export/import except that it can only be performed on like (homogeneous) systems. To use this method, you can perform a new backup of your systems or use existing backups. You then use the new system’s built-in restore capabilities to apply that backup as though it came from the new system originally.

The downside of this method is that you must have identically configured systems to avoid restoration issues. Additionally, this method requires large files, can strain Internet connections, and doesn’t account for system changes post backup.

Database Backup / Restore with Log Shipping

This method extends the above method by adding log shipping, which helps you capture changes since the backup. Using this method enables you to move the bulk of your system data without requiring significant downtime. After the backup is restored, your logs, which have been capturing changes since the backup, are synched to create a 1:1 duplicate.

Using backup and restore with log shipping can grant greater flexibility for when you transfer workloads since the log sync can be left active. This enables you to switch during the lowest impact time or to create a failover in the cloud.

Data Transfer

Migration through data transfer involves manually or automatically transferring data between systems. This method requires a high bandwidth connection and typically includes use of a data replication tool like AzCopy. Data transfers are best used when you don’t need to replicate your entire system, only select data or applications.

SAP on Azure with Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is a Microsoft Azure file storage service built on NetApp technology, giving you the file capabilities in Azure even your core business applications require.

Get enterprise-grade data management and storage to Azure so you can manage your workloads and applications with ease, and move all of your file-based applications to the cloud.

Azure NetApp Files is certified to work with SAP HANA and solves availability and performance challenges for your production landscapes.

With build-in enterprise data management capabilities, Azure NetApp files lowers your business risk profile and reduces the time to backup and recover your database in the case of data center disruptions or disaster. Azure NetApp Files can accelerate SAP HANA deployments, reduce costs and development/testing projects, and provide increased agility for your business processes.

Learn More About SAP on Azure

Read more in our series of guides about SAP on Azure:

Fast Track Your SAP Deployments in Azure with Azure NetApp Files
Azure offers numerous benefits for SAP users, including cost optimization, performance, agility, and high availability. These benefits come with many opportunities for integration with Azure and Azure partner services, such as Azure NetApp Files.

In this article you’ll learn about performance considerations for SAP in Azure, what storage requirements exist, and how Azure NetApp Files can benefit your SAP deployments.

Read more: Fast Track Your SAP Deployments in Azure with Azure NetApp Files

SAP HANA on Azure NetApp Files: Cloud & AI in Retail & Transportation
Successful AI implementations rely on significant amounts of data and the ability to process that data efficiently. When you want to apply AI to business operations, SAP HANA has tools built-in to assist you.

In this article you’ll learn about using SAP for AI integrations, how to identify patterns in your data using SAP HANA, and how combining SAP HANA with Azure NetApp Files can boost your performance.

Read more: SAP HANA on Azure NetApp Files: Cloud & AI in Retail & Transportation

SAP HANA on Azure eBook
Planning for the future is a challenge for any organization and knowing what technologies to invest in is a big part of that challenge. This is especially true if you are considering enterprise grade solutions, like SAP, and big technology shifts, such as migrating to Azure.

In this article you’ll learn how Azure’s tiered service levels assist in the migration of SAP HANA workloads and how SAP on Azure can enable greater innovation across industries.

Read more: SAP HANA on Azure eBook

5 Ways Cloud Teams Can Ensure Successful SAP Migration and Management
The ability to use SAP solutions in the cloud grants significant flexibility and scalability to organizations. However, to gain the benefits of SAP in the cloud, you need to ensure that your migration is smooth and that services are well supported.

In this article you’ll learn how SAP and Azure combine, how you can use Azure NetApp Files for SAP workloads, and how you can successfully migrate your SAP deployments to Azure.

 Read more: 5 Ways Cloud Teams Can Ensure Successful SAP Migration and Management

SAP HANA Architecture: Components, Storage Types, and Cloud Offerings
SAP HANA is a relational database management system that forms the base of many SAP deployments and solutions. This system contains many built-in features beyond simple database storage, including real-time data processing. You can also combine it with a range of cloud services to provide valuable analytics and business insights.

In this article you’ll learn what SAP HANA is, the components of HANA architecture, what storage types HANA uses, how you can deploy SAP HANA in the cloud, and how to create an efficient HANA architecture with Azure NetApp Files.

Read more: SAP HANA Architecture: Components, Storage Types, and Cloud Offerings

SAP HANA Migration: Methods and Considerations
SAP HANA is a popular column-based in-memory database. You can deploy HANA databases in the cloud or on-premises, and migrate the database from one location to another. However, before migrating there are certain considerations you should take into account.

This article explains key SAP migration concepts and considerations, and reviews popular migration options.

Read more: SAP HANA Migration: Methods and Considerations

SAP Cloud Platform: Developing Applications with HANA On Demand
SAP Cloud Platform is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for running SAP HANA applications in the cloud. You can use SAP Cloud Platform to integrate existing applications, located on-premise or in various clouds, with other SAP environments.

This article provides an overview of SAP Cloud Platform capabilities, use cases, integration services, and best practices.

Read more: SAP Cloud Platform: Developing Applications with HANA On Demand

Business Critical Applications: An In-Depth Look
Organizations rely on business critical applications for standard, normal operations. If a business critical application fails, without proper measures in place, the organization might suffer short and long term consequences, including financial losses.

This article explains, in-detail, how to classify applications into business critical, mission critical, and low priority, and offers steps to take to ensure business critical applications remain secure.

Read more: Business Critical Applications: An In-Depth Look

7 Types of SAP HANA Certification: How to Choose?

SAP offers certifications that help professionals specialize in the specific SAP products and solutions, including SAP HANA. This article provides an overview of the SAP program, and explains the main differences between four key SAP HANA certificates.

Read more: 7 Types of SAP HANA Certification: How to Choose?

See Additional Guides on Key Managed Services Topics

Together with our content partners, we have authored in-depth guides on several other topics that can also be useful as you explore the world of managed services.

AWS Database

Authored by NetApp

What is Cloud Hosting

Authored by Atlantic

Dedicated Server Hosting

Authored by Atlantic

Cloud Data Services