Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA Part 2: The Future Belongs to Linux
In Part 1 of this blog series, I introduced our new white paper “Migration to SAP S/4HANA – Master the Way into the Future with SUSE.” It strongly points out that the planning that is necessary for the migration to SAP HANA (and therefore to Linux) as well as to SAP S/4HANA should be started far before 2025. In this blog, I’ll highlight the technological challenges and benefits that a change in an application’s system, database, and operating system can bring.
Most of today’s SAP customers, as well as all new SAP customers, will need to become acquainted with Linux. As IT leaders consider their migration plans and options, it can be a trigger also to think about an on-premise solution versus a cloud solution. Or maybe even a mixture of both could be considered.
This planning should start as quickly as possible since it requires time and careful planning. Also, the change to new enterprise software, a new database, a new operating system and, if necessary, the cloud means big changes to the business infrastructure. For example, system administrators need to become familiar with new operational procedures, different maintenance as well as the execution of patches and updates. System availability and disaster recovery may be more complex.
Low Risk – Smooth Switch
Companies can make the switch to SAP HANA on Linux and SAP S/4HANA less complicated by consulting service and integration providers with experience and in-depth specialist knowledge. SUSE is such a partner as the company has been working with SAP in the Linux environment from the very start. The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is still a reference development platform for SAP S/4HANA today. And SUSE offers the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications as its operating system for all SAP cloud scenarios and the top four non-SAP cloud platforms Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and IBM Cloud.
Some of the tools SUSE offers as part of the migration to make it easier and less risky are:
Patches and Updates: The Linux live kernel patching capability in SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching helps reduce downtime by enabling users to install security and stability patches without interrupting their business-critical workloads or simulations. SUSE Manager helps automatically identify and patch non-compliant systems to ensure audit readiness.
Availability and Disaster Recovery: When it comes to migrations, customers worry most about system downtime and data loss. The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications supports SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA automated failover functions. This is one of only a few HA solutions that SAP has certified to manage NetWeaver clusters. You can see the complete list here.
Performance: SUSE provides certification support to enhance hardware performance, with SUSE engineers working alongside the hardware vendor at SAP’s premises to address any performance issues. SUSE also develops features that can boost performance. An example is the “Page Cache Management” function, which controls which memory the operating system can use. In the newest release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we replaced this feature with the more scalable “Workload Memory Protection,” which was not available at the time of the IDC paper.
Security: Systems on SUSE Linux are enabled for security protection by a wide range of features. Examples include FIPS 140-2 certification, which alerts administrators when cryptographic keys have been compromised, Trusted Platform Module 2.0, a hardware-based cryptoprocessor standard, and the SUSEfirewall2 script, which protects systems from network attacks. There is also a built-in firewall for the SAP HANA in-memory data, and a key server to automate security for remote storage volumes.
Be sure to download the white paper “Migration to SAP S/4HANA—Master the Way into the Future with SUSE,” for recommendations as you plan your move to SAP S/4HANA.
Come back for Part 3 of this blog series where I will talk about on-premise and cloud deployment options for SAP S/4HANA.
And of course you can follow me on Twitter @MichaelDTabron.