SAP on Azure: Migration options mature as Microsoft, partner technology evolves
Throughout 2022, Microsoft has continued to deepen its commitment to migrating and supporting SAP workloads on Azure. A subset of partners have specialized in SAP migrations for years and see continued growth in this opportunity—and new ways to leverage SAP data together with Microsoft technology. MSCloudNews checked in with partners about the trends in 2022 so far, best practices for SAP migrations, and where the SAP on Azure opportunity is heading next in FY23.
Customer requests and the choice to migrate
What prompts customers to migrate? Customer requests vary widely in their substance and scope. Increasingly, migrations are likely to be from one cloud to another.
“Customers who went to AWS understand the promise is not kept, and many are coming back to Azure. We migrated a few customers recently from AWS to Azure,” explained Raghavendra Prabu, SVP of Global Sales and Alliances at MSRcosmos, a finalist for the 2022 Microsoft Partner of the Year award for SAP on Azure. The firm works closely with Microsoft's SMC accounts (typically “sub-billion dollar”) and large manufacturers across multiple sectors, delivering over 50 migrations in the last few years.
Azure infrastructure was first certified for SAP in 2017. “We were waiting in the wings,” Prabu said. “But we’re not trying to get tied down, and we want to diversify into automation, data, and AI.”
Don Loden, a managing director in the enterprise application solutions group at Protiviti, told MSCN that the company has recently witnessed “significant investment” in SAP migrations by Microsoft. The preview of the SAP CDC connector for Azure Data Factory is particularly important because it offers a way to replicate data from SAP into broader Azure analytics capabilities.
Protiviti receives requests to carry out SAP migrations, but also increasingly receives requests for advisory services to plan SAP migrations or data readiness assessments, says Loden. “We have a lot of requests around designing and implementing data and analytics platforms using Azure stack and other third-party tools around the SAP digital core.”
Christoph Nagy, CEO of SAP security services firm SecurityBridge, credits Microsoft with improving their migration tooling. "Microsoft makes the deployment of SAP systems particularly easy," he told MSCN. "Automated infrastructure and instance deployment can be realized when using Ansible. The existence of many knowledge base pages that specifically revolve around SAP also offers a special added value. Microsoft documents network segmentation, SAP HANA scale-ups, etc., in detail."
Planning and carrying out a migration
What is involved in planning and executing a migration? The answer depends on a customer’s unique requirements and the nature of its existing SAP workloads.
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