What Is SAP Lens and How Does it Relate to AWS?

If you’re thinking that being “well architected” sounds great, but since SAP is special, would it apply there, AWS’ answer is: yes, with few tweaks.


SAP related recommendations collection is captured in SAP Lens of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.


To put it in context, let’s say you know how to drive and bought a new electric vehicle (EV), which not only looks different, but also has buttons and controls at different places (compared to your older car); you already know that maintenance requirements for EV is probably different from a gas (petrol) powered one and you need to learn all of these. The fact that you already know how to drive a car doesn’t change but you still need to know the nuances of EVs and particular make/model you bought. Similarly, you need to learn SAP architectural and operational specific recommendations in addition to general cloud and well architected principles to ensure that your SAP workload is well-architected; thus, SAP Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework was born!


SAP Lens: The SAP Lens does not replace the AWS Well-Architected Framework, but is supplemental content that clarifies how to interpret and adopt the general best practices of the AWS Well-Architected Framework into SAP workload designs.


Don’t think of this as something that needs to be done after the deployment or go-live, rather it should be in your radar right from the planning stage, as various teams collaborate to define the target architecture and migration pattern and in your operational procedures as a periodic review item at the following times:

  • Early design phase: Reviewing your workloads during the design phase ensures that there are no one way door (i.e., irreversible) decisions being made. This helps in laying the right foundations for workloads using guidance from all five pillars.
  • Before going live: Reviewing your workloads before going live ensures that the decisions, trade-offs, and the application architecture is as intended. It also provides an opportunity to test items such as HA/DR procedures, making broader teams familiar with cloud architecture, and potentially fix any issues identified as part of the review.
  • Architecture and business evolution: Over time your architecture might consume newer AWS services and evolve based on new features released from SAP and AWS. So, use SAP Lens review when you make changes to your architecture, and periodically as and when business requirements evolve. For example: business might determine that an SAP system that wasn’t critical last year is now important, which might require HA architecture for that landscape.

The table below shows the topic areas that align with the pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. Both the AWS Assessment tool ( or the AWS well architected tool in AWS Management Console ( are good places to start and provide best practice ratings. 


AWS Well-Architected Framework Pillars and the Related Topics for SAP Lens


Using the AWS Well-Architected Framework tool, not only can you import SAP Lens, but you can also create your own custom lens for your organization, according to your compliance and operational requirements.


To use this tool, you must first define the workload and import the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file for SAP Lens. SAP is considered a custom lens in the tool, at the time of writing. Following are high level steps that you need to execute:

  1. Download the SAP Lens JSON file, which available at
  2. Create a custom Lens in the AWS Well-Architected Framework tool in the AWS Management Console using the downloaded JSON file.
  3. In the AWS Well-Architected Framework tool, under custom lenses, as shown in the figure below, select the SAP Lens and choose Publish lens.

Importing SAP Lens as from Custom Lenses Menu in AWS Well-Architected Framework Tool

  1. Apply the SAP Lens to your SAP workloads. You can also share the lens with all accounts in the organization or in an organizational unit (OU).

The figure below shows an example of how you can review the SAP Lens against recommendations.


Reviewing SAP Lens


At the end of the review, you can generate a PDF report and also examine an improvement plan, if any, in the tool itself, as shown here.


Improvement Plan Based on Your Answers during the Review


Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book SAP on AWS: Architecture, Migration, and Operation by Ravi Kashyap, Rajendra Narikimelli, and Rozal Singh.



Are you ready to move to Amazon’s public cloud? Find all the information you need to deploy SAP on AWS in this guide! Learn how to design a system that meets your business needs with the AWS Well-Architected Framework. Then, prepare for your migration by reviewing AWS-approved methodologies, approaches, and tools. Finally, you’ll see what daily operations look like on AWS, and get tips for multicloud strategies and SAP workload transformations. Your cloud journey starts here!

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