Is Running SAP with AWS Worth It?

SAP approved and certified a range of its popular SAP solutions to deploy on AWS so that you can enjoy complete SAP software products in the AWS cloud.


Pros and Cons to Running SAP with AWS


AWS provides many benefits however we should also know that these numerous benefits also involves challenges which we need to consider and have to overcome. These challenges occur primarily in the operating model and the security area.


SAP provides official support for the live operations of SAP systems on AWS cloud however, there are challenges linked to operations in the cloud. The basic support SAP provides for SAP systems may be too general for some customers to use to overcome issues, including security, scope of service, and so on.


VMS AG, an SAP consulting firm, conducted a cost analysis of SAP on AWS. You can find this cost analysis on the Amazon website at http://awsmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/vms_en_tco_study_aws_205.pdf.


The study centered around four profiles of typical SAP landscapes. The four profiles were the following:

  • Large ERP system (on-premise): A three-tier ERP system including a sandbox with 6,000 registered users and 3,000 active users per day. In this landscape profile, the ERP system was installed on-premise.

  • Small ERP system (on-premise): A three-tier ERP system with 300 registered users and 250 active users per day. In this landscape profile, the ERP system was installed on-premise.

  • Small ERP system (outsourced): A three-tier ERP system with 300 registered users with 250 active users per day. In this landscape profile, the ERP system was operated by an outsourcing provider.

  • SAP All-in-One (on-premise): Multiple three-tier ERP, BI, or CRM systems, with 100 registered users and 75 active users per day. In this landscape profile, the system was installed on-premise.

For each system, the study compared the total costs of traditional hosting versus the total costs of hosting by AWS. The table below shows the difference between the overall savings and the specific cost savings in the infrastructure elements, which are directly influenced by the use of AWS.

The total saving refer to the total cost incurred operations cost, SAP licenses cost, cost on SAP maintenance, etc.

The over all savings range from 15% and 22%. For AWS components we can achieve savings range between 59% to 71%. Hence, cost of hosting SAP on the AWS cloud is significant.


The study included the following cost elements:

  • Hardware and software investment: Costs for technical infrastructure, system software, and application software

  • Implementation: Costs for process design, organizational changes, technical setup, business setup, project management, testing

  • Ongoing costs for hardware and software: Costs for the technical infrastructure, system software, and application software

  • Operations: Typical operating costs for system operation and application operation

  • Continuous improvement processes: Costs for continuous, technical, and operational enhancements and rollouts

  • Upgrade projects: Costs for activities such as application upgrades and system upgrades

The study also breaks down potential cost savings according to these cost elements (see table below).

We can see, operating an SAP system in the AWS cloud can provide major cost benefits, and operating your systems in the AWS cloud is, as a result, a legitimate option to consider.

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