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Corporate scale SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA

Working in an IT department does very often mean to use general available software in the best possible way for the business needs and to ensure stable operations. And that’s perfectly fine. But sometimes you are asked to co-innovate with software developers and make a beta release running. That’s usually a great deal of work … and a lot of fun.
That’s the mission: We run a transformational program intending to provide a single source of truth Business Intelligence environment and self-service capabilities in an integrated platform based on proliferation of Business Objects tools for SAP; all built on the latest architectural set-up with an early adoption of HANA In-Memory database and consistent data governance in conjunction with an enterprise-wide data layer (EDL).
Only one of the very exciting pieces for the infrastructure work stream within this program are the ‘latest architectural set-up’ and ‘early adoption of HANA’. Two of our deliverables are the latest SAP Business Objects 4.x platform fully integrated with an SAP Netweaver BW 7.3 powered by SAP HANA – including all operational concepts to run all kind of business-critical reporting and planning on this BI platform.
Our HANA infrastructure setup as of today:

    • 1 TB Main Memory
    • SSD 4x 320 GB for log files
    • 6.5 TB direct attached storage
    • 300 GB internal storage for OS

Our software:
0.1. SAP Business Objects 4.0 SP2.3
0.2. SAP Netweaver BW 7.30 SP5
As first system in our 3-tier (Dev, Test, Prod) BW environment we migrated the test system BWV and it is up and running since three weeks now. The migration for the production system is in process and we will have the entire system landscape ready before November.

<picture: DB02 screenshot shows SAP HANA database>


This BW landscape is a new environment, which will be filled with business content in the next months. As of today we have a handpicked number of data loads and business scenarios on the system.

Some more hard facts:

    • The DB import on HANA was completed in 3.5 hours

Our HANA environment does not only act as database for BW, but powers also ECC and CRM as by-side solution. In this architecture the BW can read per second connection data from the by-side area (e.g. sales pipeline) and other data per classic extraction (e.g. currency conversion data) to join this in a Transient InfoProvider. (Comment: This needs SLES 11 on the application sever).



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  • Matthias,

    Are you saying that I can replace my Oracle database used by BW by SAP HANA and just export / import the data ? Could you please explain a bit more how this works (e.g. are E and F-tables, master data tables and so on exported to SAP HANA) ? Is that a standard database export / import ?

    As far as extractor from SAP ECC are concerned, is this transparent (i.e. no change on ECC and BW side) ?


    • Hello François,

      this is correct. You can replace your existing ‘classic DB’ by HANA to run SAP BW on it. Important is that you need the ‘orange’ version (just announced at TechEd), which is HANA SP3 and available end of the year. The procedure is a DB-export / DB-import, as you know it from other DB migrations.
      It is non-disruptive, but there must be a check for add-ons, custom coding, … first – similar to upgrade preparations.

      Best regards,

    • Hi,

      In case of the ‘orange release’ (see also TechEd announcement) the HANA is the one and only database for BW and is also operated in this way.
      Please specify your question, what kind of details you would like to know.

      Best regards,

  • Matthias,
    Nice blog & interesting topic. Can you highlight on major differences between BW running on a oracle DB vs HANA?
    – Is the OLAP still the same?
    – Any backend data modeling differences?

    Krishna Chiruvolu

    • Hello Krishna,

      Thanks! OLAP is still the same and when you migrate a BW 730 system there is no difference at the beginning. But you can optimize objects (e.g. in-memory optimized info provider) or use new objects (e.g. new virtual info provider) afterwards.
      But if you want to use both you need to have all system-tiers on HANA, not just the productive system. As you can not create those on a dev system, which is still on classic DB.

      Please see also my new blog for more infos:
      How does analytics look like on BW powered by HANA

      Best regards,

    • We have the BPC add-on (NetWeaver version) in the system and HANA all reagulat features are working as before.
      But the should be a HANA optimization of BPC data structures in the future, which is not ready yet.

      Best regards,

  • Very exciting!  Could you elaborate on how the by-side systems are setup?  It appears that ECC and CRM are still running on a classic DB, and only select content is present in HANA.  Is that correct?  Can you elaborate, e.g.  on how CO-PA data is replicated from the classic DB to the by-side HANA DB?  Thank you.
    • Hello Jason,

      at this point in time ECC and CRM are running on classic DB and have a HANA as ‘second DB instance’. This is a non-disruptive way to start to use data in HANA. The standard for by-side replication is SAP LT, which is a trigger based DB replication.
      Please find more information on a business scenario in my new blog:
      How does analytics look like on BW powered by HANA
      Best regards,