Embracing a Cloud-First Mentality and Migrating SAP to AWS
“Over two years, we’ve reduced our data center footprint by 60–70 percent while building a more resilient system on AWS.”
David Hall, Head of Business Solutions, Compass Group UK
For some time, Compass Group relied on SAP for Finance, HR, and payroll processing to ensure that its employees are paid in a timely manner. As the company evolved, it grew dissatisfied with the performance, support, and cost of running its 6½ terabyte (TB) SAP database on the premises.
Given how devastating downtime of the payroll system could be to the business, the long lead time of the legacy disaster recovery strategy, Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) parameters needed to be improved.
Compass Group decided to adopt an AWS Cloud-first strategy and began to plan its migration to AWS. The company developed an 18-month migration timeline for the overall project scope. After selecting Lemongrass as its partner, Compass Group kicked off with a successful proof of concept (PoC), during which it migrated its development environment to AWS.
Through this process, the company identified the ancillary systems that would need to be moved to AWS over an 18-month timeframe, including its IBM Identity and Access Management software, to enable users to log into the network and into SAP.
Lemongrass and Compass Group successfully completed the first phase of the migration in September 2017. The remaining phases of the project were completed by September 2018. The team also worked with AWS Professional Services, who completed environment health checks throughout various stages of the project.
Having the ability to seamlessly run a business-critical application like SAP payroll on AWS has been an eye-opening experience for the Compass Group team. By removing the capital expense of buying new hardware every few years, paying only for what it uses, and having the flexibility to turn its test/development environments on and off each night, taking advantage of AWS Reserved Instances (RIs), and optimizing its storage, the company has been able to achieve significant cost savings by running its SAP payroll system and ancillary systems on AWS.