Due to the cooperation of the two leaders, SAP and AWS, clients and partners can take advantage of a number of benefits, including flexibility, scalability, reliability, and security. Customers can migrate their SAP workloads to the cloud and utilize AWS's infrastructure services by running SAP on AWS, which enables them to lower costs, boost productivity, and foster creativity. Moreover, businesses can build a scalable and adaptable infrastructure that can manage complex business processes and data management by combining these two potent technologies. Needless to say, Engineers with expertise in SAP on AWS are therefore in great demand and can expect to make a good living.
The benefits of becoming an SAP on AWS certified engineer
By gaining this certification, you can demonstrate your expertise and proficiency in this field, making you a valuable asset to any organization. Moreover, the skills you learn while preparing for the exam will help you develop your technical capabilities and expand your knowledge in cloud computing and enterprise software.
Fortunately, I was among the first to pass the AWS Certified: SAP on AWS - Specialty Beta Exam back in January 2022, and in this blog post, I'd like to share some of my notes that enabled me to pass this exam on the first attempt and in just two weeks.
How to prepare for the SAP on AWS certification exam
The best path for preparing for the SAP on AWS exam is to follow a structured approach that covers all the necessary topics and concepts. The AWS website offers a range of resources, including whitepapers, tutorials, and practice exams, to help you prepare. Additionally, SAP offers a certification program that includes comprehensive training materials and hands-on exercises. By combining these resources, you can gain a deep understanding of SAP on AWS and develop the skills you need to pass the exam with confidence. So, let's get into the 47 points you will need to nail this exam!
1) Services that are mostly used for SAP deployment on AWS are:
- Amazon EC2: Virtual machine or Bare Metal server to host the SAP application
- Amazon EBS: Store root files, SAP HANA binaries, data, logs, shared and backups.
- Amazon S3: Store file and database backup and archiving data.
- Amazon EFS: Store SAP application server (e.g., /sapmnt) on a shared Linux file system. This can be used with a scale-out SAP HANA topology to store shared and backup file system across multiple SAP HANA instances.
- Amazon FSx: Store SAP application server (e.g., /sapmnt) on a shared Windows file system
- Amazon VPC: Virtual network for your SAP workloads used to create environment subnets and network isolation.
- Amazon VPN: Connect your on-prem datacenter with the AWS network
- Amazon Direct Connect: Low latency dedicated lease line with high bandwidth that connects your datacenter with AWS. Normally used for moving large data with greater speeds during SAP migrations.
- Amazon Route 53: DNS resolution for SAP applications on AWS.
- Amazon Time Sync: Time synchronization for your SAP systems on EC2 instances.
- Amazon CloudWatch: Monitoring SAP systems running on AWS.
- AWS CloudTrail: Audit all AWS account API calls to get more visibility and better security on your SAP workloads.
- AWS CloudFormation: Automate SAP deployments and DR strategies using IaC.
2) As part of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, AWS is only responsible for managing your EC2 Hypervisor while you are responsible for managing the SAP Application, Databases, and Operating System.
3) You can use your current SAP license while migrating to AWS if it meets the SAP licensing policies.
4) AWS Do Not provide or sell SAP Licenses.
5) The SAP Cloud Appliance Library provides users with preconfigured SAP environments that can be run automatically via a launch wizard.
6) In order to get the full support of SAP on AWS you must at least meet the following guidelines:
- Detailed Monitoring MUST be enabled for Amazon CloudWatch
- AWS Data Provider for SAP MUST be installed and configured on your SAP machines to share performance and configuration data between SAP machines.
- You MUST have either Business Support or Enterprise Support plan.
7) SAP applications can be deployed on AWS using 3 methods:
- SAP Cloud Appliance Library
- AWS Quick Start
8) SAP on AWS comes with two primary architectures:
- All systems on AWS
9) All systems on AWS ensures that all SAP components are either deployed from scratch or fully migrated from an on-prem datacenter to AWS.
10) Guidelines for the SAP All-on-AWS architecture:
- Network communication between Data Center and AWS is handled through either Site-to-Site VPN, or AWS Direct Connect.
- SAProuter is deployed in a public subnet and assigned a public IP.
- The SAProuter should have a dedicated security group that controls the required inbound and outbound access to the SAP support network.
- SAProuter is a proxy used to connect your SAP environment with External Networks such as SAP OSS.
- SAP Solution Manager system and SAProuter should be installed on your AWS network and integrated to the SAP support network (SAP OSS) via a secure network communication (SNC).
- SAP OSS is the official Online SAP Support Network that includes knowledge base to address frequently released bug fixes, new enhancements and helps you check whether a particular SAP note is present in your SAP system.
- SNC stands for Secure Network Communications and is used to encrypt the connections between SAProuters.
- Amazon Nat Gateway is used to secure instances behind a private subnet and allow these instances to have outbound connection to the internet.
11) Guidelines for the Hybrid AWS Architecture:
- Usually ideal for hosted Dev and Staging SAL environments on AWS while keeping the production on-prem.
- The client VPC and the on-prem datacenter is connected via AWS VPN or Amazon Direct Connect.
- SAP Systems on AWS are managed by the SAProuter and SAP Solution Manager running on-prem.
12) If no HA is required, all SAP systems must be installed in a single Availability Zone.
13) To receive SAP Support for your SAP NetWeaver environment you should be running EC2 instances certified by SAP.
14) Specific EC2 instances are required to setup SAP HANA solution on AWS.
15) Operating Systems supported for SAP on AWS are:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (SLES for SAP)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions (RHEL for SAP)
- Microsoft Windows Server
- Oracle Enterprise Linux
16) Operating System Licenses Considerations:
17) Amazon RDS is only supported for SAP BusinessObjects BI and SAP Commerce (previously known as SAP Hybris Commerce).
18) Amazon Aurora is only supported for SAP Commerce (previously known as SAP Hybris Commerce).
19) Database Licenses Considerations:
20) You can always download the SAP installation media either from the SAP Download Center or directly from your network to Amazon EC2.
21) Ensure that you have sufficient resources via AWS Quota before starting your SAP project.
22) Use placement groups if you want to place all your Amazon EC2 instances in close proximity.
23) EBS with io1 configuration is highly recommended for your mission-critical SAP HANA workloads for production use.
24) It is best practice to sync the SAP backups to Amazon S3 after the backup files are available on the EC2 instance.
25) You can backup SAP HANA system automatically using AWS Systems Manager Run Command along with Amazon CloudWatch Events.
26) You can add multiple Security Groups and ENIs on each SAP HANA machine to isolate the client, internal communication, and, if applicable, SAP HANA System Replication (HSR).
27) Data Aging helps free up more SAP HANA memory by storing older, less frequently accessed data in the disk area. (SAP Business Suite on HANA (SoH) or SAP S/4HANA).
28) You can achieve HA for SAP using Overlay IP routing with AWS Network Load Balancer or AWS Transit Gateway.
29) In a SAP HANA cluster instances, source/destination check must be disabled on both EC2 instances which are supposed to receive traffic from the Overlay IP address.
30) The Overlay IP should be outside your VPC CIDR Range.
31) SAP HANA has 6 HA/DR options on AWS:
- Automatic Recovery & HANA Backup/Restore:
- Automatic Recovery & HSR without Data Preload (Warm Standby)
- Automatic Recovery & HSR without Data Preload (Warm Standby + Dev/QA)
- Automatic Recovery & HSR with Data Preload (Hot Standby)
- Automatic Recovery & Multi-Tier HSR (Hot Standby + Out-of-Region DR)
- Automatic Recovery & HSR with Amazon S3 CrossRegion Replication (Hot Standby + Out-of-Region DR)
32) When preload option is turned on, replicated data is always loaded into the memory of the secondary HANA instance for instant failover. Preload option is usually turned off to lower the cost in the failover zone by reducing the instance memory size.
33) EC2 Autoscaling for SAP HANA is possible using EC2 snapshots and Amazon EFS.
34) SAP Rapid Migration Test Program is used to migrate SAP ECC and SAP Business Warehouse to SAP HANA or SAP ASE on AWS using a special export and import process.
35) The database migration option (DMO) of the Software Update Manager (SUM) is used to migrate heterogenous databases for example migrating SAP ABAP system to the SAP HANA or anyDB to SAP HANA.
36) You can use AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon EFS (over AWS Direct Connect), AWS Storage Gateway file interface, and AWS Snowball to transfer your SAP files to AWS during your SAP migration from on-prem to AWS.
37) AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA (Backup & Restore) is used to backup SAP HANA databases to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets directly.
38) SAP HANA HSR is one way to migrate SAP HANA to AWS.
39) SAP HANA Cockpit is one way to allows you automate database backups through the Backup schedule features. (Not recommended)
40) Customers running SAP with Oracle DB on AWS can use Oracle Secure Backup(OSB) Cloud Module to integrate Oracle backups with AWS S3 service.
41) AWS Systems Manager is the recommended way to automate HANA backups through the Command Document, Run Command, and Maintenance Windows features.
42) Oracle Data Guard, SIOS Life Keeper, and Veritas Infoscale are three methods used to achieve HA for SAP workloads running on Oracle database.
43) SAP workloads running on AnyDB Databases can be backed up to Amazon EBS and then move the backups to Amazon S3. This can be automated using Amazon SSM.
44) It is recommended to enable EC2 auto recovery to automatically recover impaired SAP instances using CloudWatch Alarms.
45) EC2 High Memory instances only support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (SLES for SAP) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions (RHEL for SAP) operating systems.
46) u-*tb1.metal instances can only be launched as Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts with host tenancy.
47) u-*tb1.metal instances that offer 6, 9, 12 TB of memory can only be launched through AWS CLI or APIs.
Wrapping up: The price, timing, and importance of SAP on AWS certification
The SAP on AWS test costs $300, same as all Professional and Speciality Exams, and you have three hours to finish it with a total of 65 questions, either multiple choice or multiple response. Before sitting for the exam, make sure to anticipate needing in-depth understanding of a variety of subjects, such as SAP HANA, SAP NetWeaver, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP Business Suite, and you must obtain a minimum score of 750 in order to pass it! However, with the appropriate preparation, you can certainly raise your odds of success and earn this certification within a reasonable timeframe.
In conclusion, preparing for the Certified SAP on AWS - Specialty exam can enhance your career prospects by demonstrating your proficiency in this critical technology. Skilled engineers in leveraging the power of AWS are in high demand and can earn excellent salaries. My final advise for preparing for this exam is to follow a structured approach covering all necessary topics and utilize the resources available on the AWS and SAP websites. Starting today can be the first step towards a brighter future. Happy learning!
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