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SAP on Google Cloud Platform - Overcoming Hurdles on the Way to the Cloud

Because every migration is different - and yet the same

SAP on GCP - Overcoming Hurdles on the Way to the Cloud
Data Management
Google Cloud Platform

Do you want to migrate your SAP landscape to an IaaS landscape in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)? In this article, we will use some insights to show you what hurdles await you and how Arvato Systems has already overcome them in other projects.

Cloud environments are present in all areas of our professional and private lives. Some services are inconceivable without cloud support, just think of the many voice assistants or our cloud storage. SAP landscapes also participate in this very innovative world.

However, most SAP services are not so-called "cloud native" applications that integrate perfectly into cloud environments. Rather, SAP systems produce requirements that often do not fit at all with the way people think in the cloud.


The failure of a server? No problem for companies like Netflix, for example, which have trained their systems to reckon with the failure of individual components by means of a so-called "Chaos Monkey". The failure is the normal case. But what if our HANA database is no longer available because the underlying server has failed and it doesn't look like it can be restored in a few minutes? Here, it's not enough to just boot up a random server - we need our data, our configuration. So we need to look at how we can use application methods (e.g. HANA system replication or SAP-HANA scale-out system with host auto-failover) to secure our systems against the failure of individual components. Likewise, it makes the most sense to decouple your application as much as possible from the underlying operating system. Once you have achieved this loose binding, you can deploy a server within minutes in case of problems within the server or the OS and preconfigure it with an automation solution of your choice. The application will not even notice that it is running on a new server, and you will save yourself the time-consuming troubleshooting.

So if you invest a little time in the architecture and planning of your SAP on Cloud landscape, you can benefit from it in later operation. The following design patterns can help you with this:

Loose coupling - high cohesion
N-Tier Architecture
Infrastructure as a Code
Use of external configuration repositories (e.g. GIT)


The more important an application is within a company, the more critical its performance is. When migrating to the cloud, you should make sure from the outset that you offer your users the same or even better performance, so as not to generate the first negative user experience immediately after go-live. This could have a lasting negative impact on the reputation of the cloud among your users.

So the first thing to do is to create a careful sizing of your SAP landscape in the cloud. SAP's recommendations in the form of the PAM and the Certified and Supported SAP HANA® Hardware Directory as well as the certifications for SAP applications on the GCP should always be taken into account. It is also advisable to always check the current status.

The advantages of the cloud then come into play when sizing. In SAP on Cloud projects it is advisable to set up the servers somewhat larger than required by the sizing. For the first 1-3 months, the servers are then left in pay-as-you-go operation in order to be able to collect secured data on utilization in the new environment. Right-sizing is then performed based on this data. The possible changeover of the servers to a stronger or smaller server-class only requires a reboot. Only then are the servers committed and thus accepted by the cloud provider for a longer period and at lower conditions.


As is so often the case, proper planning avoids many problems in later operation. In addition to the topics of architecture and performance, there are many other fields that should be given attention in the run-up to an SAP on Cloud project. And certainly these two topics are not completely described with what has been said. If you have any questions or are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our numerous experts look forward to talking to you.

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Written by

Jochen Willeke
Expert for SAP on GCP