S/4HANA: Scale Up vs. Scale Out
Oct 28, 2022–
Businesses are always looking for ways to improve performance and scalability throughout their organization, especially when it comes to their data. SAP systems have been simplifying the digital transformation for businesses around the world because of their groundbreaking technology and the enhancements available. S/4HANA is the latest SAP product, and has two main ways to scale up and out. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each scale option and help you decide which is best for your business.
Which S/4HANA Scale Option is Best for Your Business?
The S/4HANA process and management simplification leads to improved ease of use due to the modern user interface, performance, speed, and much more. Ultimately, deciding the best scale option for your business will depend on your specific needs and requirements. Let’s explore scale up and scale out options further.
What is S/4HANA Scale Up?
S/4HANA scale up is the process of adding more hardware resources to an existing machine to improve performance or capacity. For example, you could add more CPU cores, RAM, or disk space to a single internal S/4HANA application server.
An advantage of this approach is that it can be done relatively quickly and does not require any external changes to your existing S/4HANA system if the resources are available. Additionally, it can be a good choice for businesses who have very specific data requirements. The downside of scale-up on-premises data centers is that it can be expensive initially, mainly because it involves buying new equipment like hardware and additional storage, which can take months to get delivered, plugged in, etc.
The public cloud made it a lot easier with a simple restart of the server. However, it comes with a few specific requirements:
- Scale up within the same VM family (Virtual Machines)
- Scale up using new VM family using the migration process, which requires a higher downtime
- The ability to quickly and easily increase or decrease the size or power of an IT solution
What is S/4HANA Scale Out?
Scale out involves adding additional S/4HANA application servers to your system to spread the load and improve resilience. For example, you could add multiple computers to one server or add an extra database server externally.
An advantage of this approach is that it can be very flexible and allows you to easily add or remove resources as needed. You’re also able to conquer any restrictions on hardware. The downside of scale out is that it can be complex and time-consuming to set up. In addition, for on-premises scenarios, you will need to have enough spare capacity on your existing servers to accommodate the new servers. This option is usually less expensive initially than scale up, but it may not be able to meet the same level of performance.
Since SAP instances are non-SPOF components, having multiple SAP application servers (redundancy) will protect against system failures and unplanned system downtimes. It will also facilitate load distribution on specific application servers to dispatch business users and give the ability to reserve application servers for batch processing as well as for integration.
Why Having oXya on Your Side is a Smart Move
oXya, a Hitachi Group Company, can be considered a trusted guide to help business owners make a simplified digital transformation regarding their data. Before migrating, our SAP S/4HANA experts will walk you through the performance benefits, cost-effective options, and a database size that will work best for your organization’s needs.
oXya is a global leader in implementing and migrating large and mid-sized enterprises to SAP S/4HANA. We have assisted about 33% of our clients with the digital transformation to SAP S/4HANA and are continually monitoring and managing these systems daily. We have extensive experience helping clients migrate with both scale up and scale out options.
When moving to SAP S/4HANA, oXya’s team can migrate your business to public clouds AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as oXya’s shared and private cloud and on-premises servers. Contact us to learn more about migrating your business to SAP S/4HANA.
One of our customers, a global fashion brand, was already running on SAP S/4HANA in the public cloud.
Part of the transformation was to move a global single instance solution on SAP S/4HANA and support integrated processes across several business areas, as the demand grew from a handful of users to thousands of users worldwide.
The workload migration would impact performance and security, therefore, having a strategy was crucial to achieve the goals with minimal disruption and downtime.
One of the main challenges was the ability to scale efficiently and focus on the ways scalability could help adapt and handle the large volume and wide range of data.
The first step was to estimate the hardware requirements. Quick Sizer, an SAP sizing tool facilitated translating the business requirements into technical requirements.
We will not get into a detailed description of the sizing exercise, but it is important to make sure to perform it early in the project, as you may need to get in a deep exploration of your core business processes with complex sizing tasks. – we will describe the Quick Sizer process in another blog –
Once this step was done, it was time to interpret the sizing results. Resource expectations were high, which validated our initial assumptions for a global system, meaning only the scale out scenario would be a fit.
In this case, we needed to spread the load into five application servers. Each application server had a capacity value. Distribution of users were set up through ABAP logon groups based on the region and type of business users (FI, PP, MM, LIS, LE, etc.). Also, two application servers were dedicated to batch processing and integration.
If additional resources were required during peak loads, additional SAP application server applications would have been added online, they can be also installed, started, and stopped on a business need.
Very often people think that scalability refers to the characteristic of a system to increase performance by adding additional resources but scalability? At what cost? In other word, make sure to adjust your code, queries not to introduce unnecessary overload which will help to bring the costs under control.
We will discuss HANA Database scalability in another blog. If you are located in the US, reach out to our US based team here at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are located in a the EMEA region, reach out to our headquarter team at email@example.com.