SAP Migration to Azure: Steps to Ensure a Smooth Migration

So now that you have made the big decision of SAP migration from on-premise to cloud – Azure, the next big question can be how do you migrate SAP to the cloud without causing any disruptions to your business.

SAP to Azure migration requires meticulous planning, strategy, and careful execution. Without proper planning and a detailed roadmap, it could be a bumpy journey to the cloud. You may eventually reach your destination, but the journey for SAP on Azure migration can be challenging and might also lead to you missing several crucial checkpoints required to ensure that you make the most of your SAP and cloud investment. For instance, you can fall into common SAP transformation journey pitfalls, such as unplanned downtime, data leak, and more.

To make things easier for you, in this SAP on-premise to Azure migration guide, we will run through the 4 essential Azure migration steps that are needed to ensure moving SAP to the cloud is easy and smooth.

Discover - SAP on Azure initial readiness assessment

Step 1: Discover - SAP on Azure initial readiness assessment

SAP on-premise to cloud migration can be hard to get right and expensive in case it goes wrong. So before SAP migration to Azure, the first step in your SAP on Azure journey is to conduct a detailed SAP migration to Azure readiness scan. As a part of this Azure migrate assessment step-by-step checklist:

  • Perform a detailed analysis of the current SAP landscape, and understand the infrastructure needs and estimated growth patterns. Evaluate your workloads and decide which of those can be replaced, renewed, or refreshed, and prioritize workloads for migration. Also, based on the evaluation, define configuration requirements for running your SAP workloads
    • Define storage provisioning, allocation, and performance needs, so that you don’t encounter any downtime or resource limitations.
    • Define your network bandwidth requirements to ensure swift and hassle-free data migration.
    • Select the right tools, operating systems, and database versions best suited for the migration.
  • Determine the key stakeholders and keep them informed about the required technical changes & plan for SAP on-premises to Azure migration.
  • Capture application, security, and compliance requirements and plan upfront so that you can design/architect your environment and avoid any rework at the end.
  • Determine the Azure region(s) based on your compliance & connectivity requirements to host your Azure resources.
  • Estimate the cost savings (based on the configuration requirements/resource required) of SAP on Azure migration and calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) using Azure TCO calculator.

For this initial step, you can connect with a certified SAP Consulting Partner for Azure readiness scan and architectural planning. SAP Consulting Partners can take all the burden and can help you come up with the best roadmap for migrating applications to Azure cloud.

Step 2: Prepare – Build Blueprint/Proof of Concept for SAP migration to Azure

It is recommended to start with a Proof of Concept (POC) before attempting a full-scale SAP on Azure migration to ensure that there are no issues related to network, data security, scalability, and resource availability.

  • Using the information from the Discovery and assessment phase and the reference architectures from Microsoft and SAP, prepare the architecture/design.
  • Scan your existing SAP landscape to determine applications that can be considered for a pilot SAP to Azure migration. Choose low-risk applications for SAP on Azure pilot migration to understand dependencies and to avoid any business disruptions. 
    Microsoft recommends migrating the low-risk applications included in the sandbox/production environment right away to get experience with SAP on Azure migration in a production environment.
  • Similar to determining pilot migration systems, select and prepare the target Azure environment based on the migration approach (rehost, refactor, rearchitect, rebuild, replace).
  • Determine and rightsize the required Azure resources (allocate the required VMs etc.) and carry out the test migration.

Step 3: Migrate - Deploy environment for SAP migration to Azure and Go Live

To ensure complete security and the business’s continuity, follow the below steps for the SAP on Azure migration.

  • Once you are done with your SAP infrastructure assessment, roadmap planning, PoC/feasibility check, provision all the required Azure licensing, and prepare and recheck the final target environment.
  • Determine what to move when to move and schedule SAP on Azure migration in such a way that you don’t move SAP applications when they are highly critical.
  • Leverage open-source SAP deployment automation framework and automate the deployment of SAP workloads in Azure.
  • Allocate a high-priority migration team that will be able to monitor the migration at all times to minimize the disruptions that might arise.
  • Perform interactive test cycles to make sure that all the database components were properly and correctly transferred.

Step 4: Run SAP on Azure & Optimize continuously

Post SAP on Azure migration, continue fine-tuning your SAP Cloud environment to stabilize it, avoid underutilization and overprovisioning of resources, and ensure business continuity. A few recommendations to keep your SAP – Azure environment optimized:

  • Use Azure capacity and cost management tools to avoid overprovisioning and underutilization and to pay for what you need and use.
  • Monitor Azure technology advances, enhance your SAP on cloud environment, and make the most out of the SAP on Azure infrastructure by incorporating the latest updates.
  • Use Azure monitoring and artificial intelligence for real-time visibility and to detect any threats.
  • Ensure data security by using Azure services along with SAP capabilities and allow access to SAP applications using Azure Active Directory single sign-on and Role-based user access.
  • Organize training sessions for the end-users to promote faster adoption.

Before you embark on your SAP on Azure journey..

Prepare an Azure migration checklist and follow all the Azure migration steps mentioned above to ensure smooth SAP migration to Azure. However, if you don’t want to go through all the hassle, you connect with an SAP Managed Services Provider like Cloud4C. We have a Center of Excellence team that comprises experts in SAP to Azure migration. Our experts have profound domain knowledge across many verticals to help in migrating SAP applications to Azure cloud regardless of the industry you are serving in.