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SAP HANA data migration

Heterogeneous migrations — migrations from one OS or DB to another — are a heavy lift in any scenario, but the differences between HANA and previous databases can make an SAP HANA data migration particularly challenging. One major difference is in how data is organized. SAP HANA is a columnar database, while older relational databases are row-based.

SAP HANA is also an in-memory database. To make it as fast as possible, HANA stores everything in memory. Because of the complex differences between HANA and older databases, the right partner is crucial for your SAP HANA data migration. Here’s what you need to know.

SAP HANA Data Migration Issues

  • SAP HANA Migrations Require Careful Sizing The differences in how data is structured make HANA faster — particularly for complex, analytic queries, where a columnar database allows you to load only the relevant data columns. However, they also change the resource requirements.Traditional databases supplement their data with search indices, which speed search at the expense of a larger data footprint. SAP HANA shrinks the data footprint, but needs comparatively high CPU and memory resources in addition to persistence layer throughput (although HANA Dynamic Tiering can reduce memory needs by moving data that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently to disk). Needless to say, getting everything correctly configured requires careful sizing for your use-case.
  • Custom Code Complicates SAP HANA Migration Projects Older systems often have custom code and outdated data modeling processes which are poorly suited for HANA. These issues must be remediated before SAP HANA data migration. In the case of a combined S/4HANA upgrade, there’s an additional transformation process, which must be worked into your SAP HANA migration project plan. In-depth knowledge and expertise is necessary in order to tune the HANA database correctly, and to match a customer’s business requirements.
  • The Data Migration Process Requires Strategic Planning A migration can be relatively painless, or deeply disruptive — it all depends on planning. The provider needs to work closely with the client to control costs and keep disruption to a minimum. For example, an SAP Suite on HANA system may benefit from having older data archived before migration to ensure a speedy process, optimal performance and a smaller (and more affordable) footprint.

SAP HANA Data Migration Requires the Right Technical Provider

SAP HANA isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. A data migration is a complex, technical process, requiring a deep level of expertise and familiarity with the HANA platform, OS, hosting environment, migration methodology and business. Without these competencies, the partner won’t be able to deliver all of the benefits that HANA brings, such as high performance, real time capabilities, security, and business value — they may not even be able to complete the migration project at all.

Symmetry is a technical partner with the knowledge and experience to ensure effective optimization, seamless transition, and crisp execution. Contact our team today to see if we’re the right technical partner for your SAP needs!

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

A Leader and SAP technical veteran, Matt Lonstine oversees the SAP Technologists that make up Symmetry’s Delivery team, while providing strategic guidance to customers. Matt has managed and executed some of Symmetry’s most complex projects with a current focus on HANA, virtualization, disaster recovery, system hardening, and migrations to Symmetry’s SAP Cloud environment.