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I have been meaning to reinstall ABAP on my laptop for some time – I previously used the 7.0 EhP1 sneak preview and did some BW tests. It was a painful experience and BW performed like treacle on my laptop. When the beta of BW 7.3 was released last week I knew it was time to have another go and see what has changed since I was last here.So here I am again, but this time, with the latest generation of laptop hardware, in this case a Dell E6510.

The E6510 is a bit special in that it has Intel’s latest i7 quad-core 3.06GHz (when in “turbo boost” mode, whatever that means) CPU, 8GB of 1333MHz RAM and 2x 256GB MLC SSD disks in it. All in a sensible package with a 15.6” widescreen and 5lb weight. I ditched Windows 7 for Windows 2008 R2, and haven’t noticed much difference (I mean this in a good way).

It’s the same kernel as Windows 7 and you just need to activate some of the desktop services from Windows 7 for it to look and feel much the same as it did before.What has shocked and amazed me though is the performance of these new laptops, compared to the last time I had a go – and in fact in comparison with our VMware farm. There’s nothing wrong with the VMware farm but check out some of these numbers (and compare this to your system and let me know how it went):

  VMware Farm  John’s Dell E6510 Laptop 
 ABAP Import  58 minutes  33 minutes
 Database Statistics  19 minutes   5 minutes 
 SGEN (full generation)  312 minutes  128 minutes

 

Why is this? I suspect for several reasons. First, the VMware system has faster Xeon CPUs but only 2 of them are available on this VM. All 8 cores would give a score of 16000 SAPS – and that means 2 gives around 4000 SAPS (SAP’s unit of benchmark).The laptop has an Intel i7-820QM which has 4 CPUs.

Now SAP don’t benchmark laptops so we will have to use SPEC (www.spec.org). According to SPEC, my laptop has 120 SPECints to the X5570’s 240 – or 30 SPECints per core, each. So if we assume these benchmarks are equivalently linear (it won’t be far off) – my laptop has some 8000 SAPS – or twice that of the virtual machine.Plus, the laptop has 8Gb RAM (twice the VM) and 2 SSD disks that can do some 450MB/sec of disk bandwidth between them.

What does all this mean? Well it’s pretty obvious – the laptop is much faster in every way. This shouldn’t bother us because the VMware slice costs much less than my laptop and is manageable. More VM resources could have been added to the system and presumably this would have made it faster. But that’s not the point. The point is that we’re now at a stage where we can get 5000+ SAPS out of a 5lb laptop.

This might not be a lot by comparison to the latest server hardware (60,000 SAPS is easily possible out of a mid-range 24+ core Wintel server, and a lot more from the big UNIX systems which can have hundreds of cores). But it is enough (theoretically, don’t sue me if the laptop melts) for 1000 SD benchmark users. On a laptop.

It won’t appeal to everyone to run a SAP ABAP system on a laptop, but there will be those for which there is a requirement. For those of you, it may be comforting to know that you can run your tests, demos and toys on a laptop without having to wait, then technology has at last provided what you need.

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  1. Jan Penninkhof
    In cases of emergency and when nothing else is available, I wouldn’t hesitate to use a laptop to resume production if necessary.

    On the other hand, do keep in mind that a laptop is not really built to run as a server. There may be cooling issues if you let if run 24×7 on a high load, and also the fact that it’s running RAID-0 instead of the usual RAID5, 6 or 10 isn’t very comforting.

    Generally I also wouldn’t advice using a laptop to temporarily boost performance. If your admins have  only given you 2 CPUs and too little memory, kicking their *** may make more sense.

    I do envy the excellent specs of your gear btw. SAP will definitely fly! 😉

    Regards,
    Jan

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    1. John Appleby Post author
      I’ve got to thank Dell to being kind to me, my old laptop was a D830 and I ran the NetWeaver 7.0 EhP1 sneak preview. It totally sucked and took 3 days to run SGEN. I rarely used it as a result.

      This article was intended as a bit of fun & tongue in cheek and the real reason for NetWeaver 7.3 on my laptop is so I don’t break our main demo system when I tinker.

      It’s not really practical to run SAP on a laptop for 1000 people because when I go home, the other 999 get disconnected. :=)

      It does mean though that for a sensible amount of money, you can build a portable SAP system that can be used for prototypes, demos etc. Which isn’t such a bad thing.

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  2. Gregory Misiorek
    i’ve beem itching to try to do the same on Apple mini, but still need to find time. i would settle for 5 users as this is what my inter”net” provides at a reasonable cost.
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  3. Witalij Rudnicki
    Hi John. Cool stuff, but these days there is no discussion without price point, and I haven’t found it for E6510 in your blog 😉 I tried to look at the web, but there was no even i7 listed on Dell E6510 website. Neither was 8GB of RAM. Was it built just for you? The special order for you like yachts for Larry E.? 😀
    Hope you recovered from TechEd already. I am still in the process… Cheers. -Vitaliy
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    1. John Appleby Post author
      Dell were kind to me… so I don’t know what it would cost to buy. All their systems are built to spec so they can build you one if you want it.

      I checked and it is available here in the UK. You can order it with SSD but the 2nd SSD drive actually required a 3rd party adapter to fit where the DVD normally goes.

      http://premierconfigure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=RC1050265&customer_id=RC1050265&oc=LE65101&~tgt=global_cfg&c=UK&l=en&s=PAD

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