This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

Calculating FUEs for RISE with SAP S/4HANA from ECC

If you are an existing SAP ECC customer, you might be wondering what FUE capacity is needed for a target S/4HANA system in a RISE subscription?

Great news!, if you feel this might be TL;DR, you can now watch my video below:

FUE – Full Usage Equivalent, is the “license metric” for RISE with SAP S/4HANA. When you move from an on-premise license model, to a RISE subscription, you no longer use the old perpetual license model. Instead user quantities are described through the FUE metric, which is used to calculate the RISE subscription size, which includes number of users, quantity of environments included in the subscription cost, where it can be hosted and other RISE benefit entitlements.

It’s all about the FUE!

The FUE model is weighted like so:

Weighting FactorUse Type
0.5SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Developer Access
1SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced use
5SAP S/4HANA Cloud for core use
30SAP S/4HANA Cloud for self-service use

The above means that 1x Developer user account (i.e. a user with development authorisations) in RISE with SAP S/4HANA, will consume a value of 1 divided by 0.5 = 2 FUE.
The higher the FUE, the likely higher the cost of the RISE subscription within the defined subscription t-shirt sizes.

Q: Why does a developer consume so much FUE?
A: It’s all because of the authorisations and ability to access the system and consume resources. The more restrictive the access and minimal resource consumption, the less FUE.
Look at the self-service use usage type. This is for a specific set of transactions and resources that a user can consume.

Pre-calculating your RISE with SAP S/4HANA FUE number can help you to evaluate your potential RISE t-shirt size and what benefits you may get along with your RISE subscription.
Unfortunately, even knowing the FUE will not help you determine an exact cost, due to other factors such as size of the SAP system, number of environments, types of additional environments and other infrastructure or operational extras that you may need. But at least with the FUE you may be able to understand the basic RISE subscription size, and from there you can calculate the potential extra costs with the help of a Cloud Architect certified for RISE with SAP.

If you are running ECC (or S/4HANA on-prem) and would like to know a rough FUE number right now, you can use the report SLIM_USER_CLF_HELP_F01 from SAP note 3113382 for BASIS 702 to 758.
For older BASIS 700 and 701 then SAP note 3308470 should be referenced.

Attached on those above mentioned notes are Excel mapping files.
The ABAP reports use existing role authorisations assigned to existing users, to determine the approximate FUE breakdown.
For those customers on ECC, this estimate cannot account for any role changes made during your business transformation when moving to S/4HANA.
Don’t forget that it is using *existing* users, so make sure that you try and exclude old/defunct/retired user accounts.

There are pre-requisite notes when implementing the above notes, and SAP states that the output from the report is just a rough estimate, consider also using the FREE SAP Trusted Authorisation Review service (STAR):

SAP’s Deeper Partnership with Red Hat

An announcement back in February 2023 from Waldorf tells us of a “deepening” partnership between SAP and the Enterprise Linux Operating System vendor Red Hat.

They have a long history together already, with the SAP Linux Labs encompassing the Red Hat tech team to ensure SAP on Red Hat Linux works and performs as it should.

Here are the lines of significance from the SAP news article:

…SAP is boosting support for the RISE with SAP solution using Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred operating system for net new business for RISE with SAP solution deployments.

The platform builds on this trust by offering a consistent, reliable foundation for SAP software deployments, providing a standard Linux backbone to support SAP customers across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

…building on Red Hat’s scalable, flexible, open hybrid cloud infrastructure.

…SAP’s internal IT environments and SAP Enterprise Cloud Services adopting Red Hat Enterprise Linux can gain greater flexibility to address modern and future technology requirements.

“…Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers enhanced performance capabilities to support RISE with SAP solution deployments across cloud environments…

There are a lot of points to cover and, as always, a little history is useful.
Grab a bagel (that’s what American’s eat right?) put some Obatzda cheese on it (it’s German, I’m trying to equate eating with the subject of this article) and settle in for a read.

Who is Red Hat?

You can read all about Red Hat on Wikipedia here: , but suffice to say:

  • It is owned by IBM since 2019.
  • It owns Ansible.
  • It owns Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS), which is the production Linux Operating System beneath the container platform OpenShift.  RHCOS is built on the same Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) kernel.

What is RISE with SAP?

There are many views on why “RISE with SAP” came to fruition and who it benefits, but the official line is that RISE with SAP is a solution designed to support the needs of the customer’s business in any industry, with SAP responsible for the holistic service level agreement (SLA), cloud operations, and technical support and the partner (insert any Global SI) provides sales, consulting and application managed services (AMS).

…SAP is boosting support for the RISE with SAP solution using Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred operating system for net new business for RISE with SAP solution deployments.

When the article talks about “net new” that just means any brand new RISE subscriptions.

Notice that one of the significant lines I pulled out of the article says:

…providing a standard Linux backbone to support SAP customers across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Since SAP are doing the hosting, the “multi-cloud” part is probably referring to SAP’s hybrid and multi-cloud.  i.e. SAP’s own datacentres and also the hyperscalers.

An enticing option that comes as part of the RISE deal (depending on the customer spend) is SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).
SAP BTP is a PaaS solution under a subscription model, in which SAP customers can combine and deploy curated SAP services from SAP or third-parties, or use services to code their own solutions in a variety of languages including SAP’s proprietary ABAP language.

The SAP BTP environments are hybrid and multi-cloud, as they are hosted in Cloud Foundry (the newest) or Neo (currently sun-setting), with these being run from a combination of SAP’s own datacentres and/or on the main hyperscalers (Cloud Foundry).  There are two other environments Kyma, a micro-services runtime based on Kubernetes and the ABAP environment, hosted in Cloud Foundry.

In conclusion on this section, I suggest that the described “net new business” is actually internal business inside of SAP and not directly the hosting of customer’s S/4HANA systems.  In fact, S/4HANA is only very loosely mentioned in the article, which leads me to believe that this announcement is purely for BTP and other surround services.

SAP HANA and Compute Power

In one of the statements from SAP on this:

“deepening” partnership, we see “…Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers enhanced performance capabilities to support RISE with SAP solution deployments across cloud environments…

I can’t see anything specifically mentioned about how Red Hat’s Linux operating system is more performant than SUSE, other than an article from 2019 where a SAP Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA system (maybe, could be BW/4HANA, difficult to tell) holds a world record.

See here for more:   which links to here:

The thing to note about those claims are that:

  • This was based on a 2nd Gen Intel Xeon (3rd Gen is already available).
  • The CPU used Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set, which Intel says arrived in 3rd Gen chips (is the Red Hat article quoting the wrong chip generation?).
  • Generally we run HANA on hyperscalers on Intel Skylake or Cascade lake CPUs.  Only HANA on bare metal may allow Xeon CPUs.
  • The Red Hat Linux Operating System version was 7.2 for the world record, but 7.9 is the latest support pack version and  9.0 is out now.  Also, 7.2 is now only supported for older versions of HANA 2.0 (up to SPS03).
  • The use of Intel OptaneDC (Intel’s non-volatile memory persistence technology) was used in the world record, but recently announced in 2022 as defunct (superseded by another initiative).
  • 2019 was the year that the IBM acquisition of Red Hat concluded.  Coincidence?

My summary of this section is that I don’t believe performance is the reason for any switch by SAP from (mainly) SUSE to Red Hat.  The one article of relevance that I can find seems just too old and outdated.

What I think, is that the announcement from SAP is referring to something other than the Linux Operating System alone.

Red Hat’s Scalable, flexible, open hybrid cloud infrastructure

We maybe need to look past the Red Hat Linux Operating System and at the infrastructure eco-system that the Operating System is part of.

…building on Red Hat’s scalable, flexible, open hybrid cloud infrastructure.

When the article talks about “open” we are inclined to think about Open Source, freely available or even open APIs (sometimes just having APIs can make something “open”).

In my mind, something that can run seamlessly almost anywhere on hybrid cloud would involve containers.  Containers provide scalability (scale-out) and flexibility (multiple environments offered).

Let me introduce you to OpenShift.  Yeah, it’s got “open” in the name.

See here for a wiki article:

As a summary of OpenShift, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) underpins the OpenShift hybrid cloud platform and RHCOS uses the same kernel as Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The orchestration of OpenShift containers is done using Kubernetes and Red Hat is the second largest contributor to Kubernetes after Google (Red Hat is a platinum member:

I think you might be able to see where we are heading in this section.

Could SAP be adopting OpenShift internally for its future container hosting platform strategy?

IBM Cloud deprecated support for Cloud Foundry in mid-2022.  As suspected, Red Hat OpenShift is one of the touted solutions to replace it:

Need greater efficiency and revolutionary delivery? Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud might be your solution.

The above quote on the IBM Cloud site does provide some hint that operating Cloud Foundry platform services at scale, could be less efficient and less innovative compared to Red Hat OpenShift.

Maybe this is something that, internally, SAP have also concluded?

What Does SUSE Offer to Compete with Red Hat and it’s OpenShift offering?

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Operating has been a solid foundation for running SAP systems.

Similar to Red Hat, SUSE has a varied portfolio of products in the Linux container technology space.
Rancher Labs is one of those products, and allows easier management of Kubernetes, especially once the quantity of containers accelerates.

SUSE is also a contributor to Kubernetes (it is a silver member).

SUSE also owns Rancher, which is an open source container management platform similar to Red Hat’s OpenShift. 

The SUSE Rancher product is open armed, in that it embraces many different operating systems and a number of license options, whereas Red Hat OpenShift supports only the Red Hat CoreOs and requires a SUSE subscription.

While being open is a good thing, it also adds complexity, since Red Hat’s CoreOs is a purpose built Operating System with all required features and it would appear to have a simpler method of deploying and maintaining it.

It’s possible that SAP’s announcement comes after some internal evaluation of the two products, with Red Hat’s being favoured the most.


We’ve looked at the article from the SAP site where the new “deeper” partnership with Red Hat was announced.

I think I ruled out performance as a reason for the Operating System change.  The article just didn’t have enough depth for my liking.

I have speculated on how this SAP and Red Hat partnership could be about the internal SAP hosting of PaaS and maybe SaaS related systems and not directly related to hosting of customer’s S/4HANA systems.

What we could be looking at, is the next generation of hosting platform for SAP BTP or possibly SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition.
Red Hat’s OpenShift platform, underpinned with the Red Hat CoreOS and the Red Hat tools to monitor, automate and orchestrate, could all combine to provide a solid accompaniment to solve SAP’s internal strategic issues.

It’s one of the platforms chosen by IBM Cloud (a no brainer for them really), with the justification that Cloud Foundry was no longer the strategic platform.

The announcement has no impact on the certification of SUSE for running S/4HANA and therefore should not reflect any customer decisions during their RISE with SAP journey for their S/4HANA systems.


FREE SAP Extended Maintenance

Did you know…

SAP S/4HANA On-Premise customers on legacy versions get free extended maintenance when they move to a RISE with SAP subscription.

That’s correct “legacy SAP S/4HANA“, we’re already at that point where S/4HANA is starting to lose versions.
We are talking specifically about customers on S/4HANA versions 1709, 1809, and 1909.

Customers having subscribed to RISE with SAP or legacy subscription models, for example, subscription for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, take advantage of the option where extended maintenance is included at no additional fee.

Here are the significant dates for those mentioned On-Premise releases:

ReleaseEnd of Mainstream MaintEnd of Extended Maint

Wow, 2025 is going to be a busy year for SAP. Have a guess what release those customers will be moving to (assuming they choose S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition) if they have not already started? See my previous post here for my thinking on that one.

Reference link: