Why migrate to IBM Power Systems servers from x86 for SAP HANA?

Migrating from SAP to SAP HANA is a significant investment of time, money and resources – so it’s crucial that you evaluate your options carefully to get the most out of SAP HANA. Running SAP HANA on IBM Power SystemsTM servers means you can.

While migrating from another server might seem like an impossible task, the reality is quite different. Making the switch will enable your business to perform better, now and in the future – and IBM can help you manage the transition every step of the way.


Is it complicated?

No. Using the SAP tools and system integrators that you’re already used to, the migration from x86 to IBM Power Systems servers is low risk and very straightforward. The SAP HANA base line code for x86 and IBM Power Systems platforms is the same. Working with the IBM Lab Services Migration Factory experts makes migrating even more painless.


Is it expensive?

The cost of migration itself, as well as labor, varies according to size, scope and timing. But the tools involved are part of SAP – so there’s no additional cost in this respect.


What is the migration process?

If the SAP HANA database on your x86-based server is HANA 2.0 and you want to migrate to a HANA 2.0 database on an IBM Power Systems server, then all you have to do is a simple backup and restore of the SAP HANA database onto the new server.

If the SAP HANA database on your x86 appliance is HANA 1.0 and you want to migrate to a HANA 2.0 database on a IBM Power Systems server, then a simple backup and restore will not work. Because of the technical difference between HANA 1.0 and HANA 2.0, we strongly recommend the SAP HANA Migration Workshop conducted by the IBM Lab Services Migration Factory, which will give you the necessary information to develop the best-fit solution.

The IBM Lab Services Migration Factory helps businesses assess and design migrations from other server and database platforms to IBM Power Systems servers. It also helps clients reduce the costs and risks of migration with a proven process, specialized tools and many years of migration experience.


How long will it take to get things up and running?

Every migration is different. It depends on factors like database size, system bandwidth and whether it is for development or production. Most customers find this migration pretty easy.

The cost of migration itself, as well as labor, varies according to size, scope and timing. But the tools involved are part of SAP – so there’s no additional cost in this respect.


Is it reliable?

Yes, this is a straightforward migration and has been done many times successfully with a variety of customers. Rest assured, IBM is your trusted partner, we can manage the process for you through IBM Lab Services.


Can I manage the migration in-house?

Absolutely. If you have the right SAP skills in-house (like most of our clients), you can do this on your own. We recommend that IBM be involved in the planning stage.


I have server sprawl – can IBM Power Systems servers help?

Yes, IBM Power Systems servers are designed with higher per-core performance on a smaller footprint than on x86-based servers. SAP has eased restrictions on the IBM Power Systems solution for SAP HANA compared to x86 (for example, memory-to-core ratio). IBM Power Systems offerings follow the SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) methodology, providing investment protection by allowing you to reuse your supported storage and network with IBM Power Systems servers.


Will I experience unplanned downtime or security vulnerabilities?

IBM Power Systems servers offer the highest level of reliability with 99.999% uptime (1) and have been voted the most reliable server 7 years running according to ITIC. Additionally, with zero documented vulnerabilities in the past three years (2), the security of IBM Power Systems platforms has been top of the line for the past eight years.


Will I have a partner to guide me?

Of course. In line with SAP best practice, IBM provides support for any migration to IBM Power Systems servers. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more.


Will I have to do this all again in two years?

No. IBM Power Systems technology is built to last. In addition, IBM continues to ensure that all upgrades are quick, easy and low cost.


Will I be able to scale for future workloads?

Yes. IBM Power Systems servers provide a flexible, future-ready infrastructure for a range of workloads – not just SAP. This includes cognitive workloads; for example, IBM Watson® runs on IBM Power Systems technology. It enables clients to mix and match workloads within the same server, which is something x86-based servers can’t do.


Is rip-and-replace worth the hassle?

Our clients think so. IBM Power Systems offerings excel across a range of performance factors, including memory bandwidth and simultaneous multi-threading. See SAP certified benchmarks for details of proven performance levels superior to x86.