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It’s been quite a while since my last blog post and we’ve been pretty busy in the primary support department.
A major change for us had been the introduction of “Enterprise Support” (ES) and the offer to customers to not only get support with technical issue, but also to get free consulting to a certain degree.

I don’t want to go into the discussion of the pros and cons of ES – to me it’s a fact that I accept.

So do many of SAPs customers.
In fact many of them are e.g. big IT outsourcing companies that require to have the level of support offered by ES.

The idea here is of course to provide customers with top IT-know how and top operation procedures a support that fits to this.
The reality (at least at our end of the support chain) is somewhat less “top”.

In the last months I’ve seen more and more customer messages that had not been opened because the software did not work as it should.
Instead these messages were opened to clarify questions like:

  • “How should I setup my standby server?”
  • “How often do I need to take backups?”
  • “I’m going to install a new system, Should I use Oracle 9 or 10 for that?”
  • “Our storage system is full – what should I do?”

Obviously these questions are a bit awkward when found in support messages of high level IT-companies.
More frightening then the questions itself is the timing with which these are send to SAP support:
All of them needed to be clarified as soon as possible, because the decision/information was on the critical path of a super important and already late implementation project or GoLive due data.

Let put this a bit clearer:
These customers began to worry about the “WHAT” and “HOW” of their database backup strategy two days before they wanted to start the productive use of their system.

The best thing to do here is usually to postpone the GoLive and go back into the planning phase.

But what other options are there for the system integrator to get the answers to their questions?

Answering “Read the f***g documentation!” to this request would be just cynical.

Instead SAP offers a much better alternative: “Run SAP Best Practices” (available in the SAP service marketplace at this link  http://service.sap.com/alm-methodologies )

There you’ll find lots of documents that tell you what to do and how to do it.
And even better: what NOT to do.

One of my favorites of this collection is document “012 – Backup and Restore for SAP System Landscapes“.
In its current revised version a complete overview about the Do’s and Dont’s of system landscape backup and restore is given.
A big part of the guide is dedicated to highlight the critical dependencies that come with point in time recoveries.

This is one of the documents that everyone involved in technical operations of SAP landscapes should now rather well!

Ok – that’s it for today.
Now, go and get your copy of this Run SAP Best Practice!

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2 Comments

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  1. Lehmann Lando L
    Well, you address some crucial points for someone who has done his last SAP installation in 2003. There has been some developments since then that I could not keep up with due to a WEB 2.0 project for an ERP II system.
    In the mean time I moved completely over to an SLES environment with LAMP, leaving MS, Oracle and DB2 on the wayside. I am now interested in SAP on Linux. I am planning a 3 tier landscape installation on one system, for now virtualising  with Sun’s VirtualBox as a training environment. Later I will build a XEN virtualising environment.
    What products are most commonly used these days? I have the test versions SAP Netweaver 2004s MaxDB installed and running. I have problems with the SAP GUI; we only have 64 bit systems …. will have to install a MSWin 32 bit virtual machine just to log in.

    Can you suggest some documentation to give me some perspectives on building and maintaining a typical SAP shop and also a typical development environment with ABAP. I basically need to be able to be a Basis support person; could you fill me in on the requirements please.

    TIA.

    Lando

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    1. Lars Breddemann Post author
      Hi Leman,

      thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately I can’t give you profound answers to most of your questions;
      I’m a DB guy – so GUIs are not so much my strong point…
      If this was my question I would try and put it to the “Database and OS Platform” Forum (/community [original link is broken]) or to the “SAP NetWeaver Platform” Forum (/community [original link is broken]).

      Best regards and success with your projects,
      Lars

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