INSIGHT / Use Cases

Greenfield Implementation of SAP S/4HANA on Azure for a Food Retail Chain

Use Cases - Cloud, Food Industry, SAP

Client Background

The client owns a nationwide food retail chain in the USA. Their business covers 3 core areas, namely food distribution, import of goods and building own stores. Besides, they offer thousands of various goods in the food categories and produces the widest range of exclusive edible products.

Business Challenge

The client was using SAP ERP on on-premises VMware infrastructure. The ERP system covered the majority of the operations which included finance, logistics, procurement, etc, however, it almost reached its end of life and was beyond support. Thus, to meet the growing needs of the business they decided to shift to the modern SAP S/4HANA platform. Having worked with MSRcosmos earlier, a solution partner in one of their earlier cloud project, they relied back on the team without much overthought.

MSRCosmos informed the client of the multiple ways to proceed with the transformation, such as Brownfield migration or Greenfield installation from the ground up. The client took some time to speculate what would work best for their situation — whether they should stay with existing on-premises infrastructure, build a new one, or migrate to the cloud. As a Microsoft Gold certified partner, MSRComos soon pitched in and offered the most viable solution. MSRCosmos proposed to try out the transition to the cloud infrastructure, where the team would create an SAP HANA virtual machine on Red Hat Linux in Azure to test different scenarios, capabilities and requirements of the Azure cloud.


As a part of PoC implementation, MSRComos started with a demo testing of Azure cloud infrastructure for their SAP S/4HANA workloads. Our team set up a virtual machine in Azure and deployed SAP S/4HANA to the cloud:

  • Conducted deployment and preparation of VM with RHEL according to SAP requirement.
  • Migrated Marketplace system from VMware environment to Azure.
  • Configured network connection between the local and Azure cloud infrastructure.
  • Tested the monitoring system (server availability, memory load, CPU, HDDs).
  • Prepared the mechanisms of direct and reverse migration of VMs.
  • Tested tools for reverse migration to the local infrastructure without business halts.
  • Conducted workshops on Azure tools for the client’s in-house specialists.
  • Created technical documentation for SAP on Azure migration.

The client was worried about the project cost, so they insisted our team to cut down the timing of SAP HANA as much as possible. We understood this concern, and readily provided an option that would suit the client’s requirements and at the same time meet the requirements of Microsoft and SAP without raising costs.

MSRCosmos initiated the project even before the VM image with required OS compatibility was released by Microsoft. But the required VM image version was soon released afterward, thanks to the collaboration between MSRCosmos and Microsoft.

Business Benefits

MSRCosmos MS Cosmos designed a well-thought-out architecture that enabled the implementation of SAP ERP infrastructure from VMware to SAP S/4HANA on Azure. We documented the full migration roadmap and full-scale migration strategy with calculations for the client to understand. We achieved the maximum output by utilizing all capabilities of the platform for the client. Besides, our client was able to investigate a number of the critical aspects of migration.

Microsoft Azure as a cloud platform brings SAP S/4HANA solution the following benefits:

  • 98% resource availability.
  • Enables to quickly change specifications of the resource.
  • The lower total cost of ownership.
  • Provides continuous updates along with new features and easy integration with next-gen Azure services.
  • Complete security compliance, and more.

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