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Planning Your SAP HANA Migration?

SAP HANA Migration
Illustration by Fernando Volken Togni

Businesses rely on SAP software for mission-critical operations, but in the coming decade, support will be phased out for some products. SAP has announced that it will cease to support earlier versions of the SAP application software as early as 2025 (bit.ly/2uvLl6K), and is encouraging users of its applications to move to its in-memory database, SAP HANA, to reap the full benefits of the SAP application stack. In addition, SAP has committed to support NetWeaver customers with non-HANA databases until at least 2025.

Database and hardware migrations for SAP HANA can often pose some challenges, including downtime, cost of migrating and learning new processes. Should an organization decide to move to SAP HANA, IBM is ready to help with the migration journey. The IBM Systems Lab Services team can assist clients in any phase of the process and develop a migration plan that suits their business needs.

Migration Options for IBM i and AIX Clients

Hardware and application migrations to SAP HANA, SAP BW/HANA and SAP S/4HANA can be a big step for clients. IBM i clients have long appreciated that IBM Db2* is built into their system and can be used with earlier SAP application releases. “However, if an IBM i client wants to move to SAP HANA, the client will need to migrate from IBM Db2 to the SAP HANA database that runs on Linux* on Power Systems,” says Mark Short, lead migration consultant, IBM Systems Lab Services Migration Factory.

“If clients want to keep the competitive edge they receive from running SAP software, they should start to plan their migration to SAP HANA now, with SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA in mind.”
–Mark Short, lead migration consultant, IBM Systems Lab Services Migration Factory

Some large IBM Power Systems* customers may want to investigate purchasing an “application only” license for IBM i, which doesn’t include Db2. By doing that, these clients can keep their current application stack running on IBM i while migrating their SAP systems to SAP HANA on a Linux LPAR, he notes.

Similarly, AIX* clients can keep their application tier, but may need to run the SAP HANA database within a Linux partition. This move allows them to keep the high uptime and reliability inherent with AIX.

Clients running an SAP NetWeaver stack on IBM i or AIX go through fewer steps in migrating to SAP HANA. For the SAP NetWeaver stack, clients can host the application tier on a system different from the system they host the database. “If clients are running NetWeaver on Oracle or IBM Db2 today and want to migrate their database to SAP HANA, it would be a simple database move,” says Short. Clients must be running one of the more recent versions of SAP NetWeaver to use it with SAP HANA.

Pick Your OS

Unlike other SAP applications that run on IBM i and AIX, the SAP HANA database currently runs only on Linux. That requirement doesn’t mean clients need to leave their OS of choice to leverage the integrated database capabilities of SAP HANA, however. Because the IBM Power Systems platform can handle multiple OS environments with ease, clients have the option of easily adding Linux with a dynamic LPAR, while keeping their applications systems running on AIX or IBM i.

“If clients want to keep the competitive edge they receive from running SAP software, they should start to plan their migration to SAP HANA now, with SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA in mind,” says Short. “The IBM Migration Factory is available to help create the best fit solution for a client’s migration needs. IBM Systems Lab Services—along with our deep business partner network—have the necessary resources to instantiate and provision clients’ IBM Systems and Storage.”

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at savage.shirley@comcast.net.


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