BPC on HANA – true innovation without disruption
A recording of Sanjay Poonen’s keynote can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koJfOeb_mkE
As of March 30, 2012 BPC on HANA is available to our customers.
This blog provides you some background on BPC on HANA.
*** Be sure to join us on May 13th at SAPPHIRE for a Deep Dive into SAP Planning and Consolidation – Including BPC Powered by HANA full-day seminar *** Register Today
Also there are 3 recordings of a BPC on HANA webinar, including a demo (S-user required) and there is the BPC on HANA interview with John Reed: http://www.jd-od.com/2012/04/27/saps-jens-koerner-on-bpc-on-hana/
What is BPC on HANA?
As you may know, BPC 10.0 NW sits on top of BW 7.3. BW 7.3 can run on HANA – SAP’s in-memory database.
So, as opposed to running BW on a regular database, we use HANA as its database – easy.
Thus, it’s only logical that BPC 10.0 moves onto HANA as well – since the underlying BW 7.3 system moves onto HANA. With Service Pack 6 of BPC 10.0 NW we will officially “certify” that BPC 10.0 does indeed work on top of BW 7.3 running on HANA. The beautiful part is that you don’t have to re-implement BPC. The application and front-end layers stay the same – your BPC environments, script logic, ABAP code, Business Process Flows, reports etc stay intact without you having to migrate them.
This is what the BPC on HANA stack looks like:
This stack has some inherent benefits. For example BPC environments are now in-memory optimized:
That means that the cube structure is much simpler compared to a conventional BW where cubes have a “snowflaked starschema” with 2 fact-tables (E and F), dimension IDs tables etc.
An in-memory optimized cube has far fewer tables than a traditional cube:
In short, BPC on HANA is like traditional BPC – but on simple, in-memory optimized cubes. And that yields faster performance for loading and reporting.
But this is where the comparison ends… Slow processes running on the application server will not be affected by a switch of the database to HANA. Single threaded code will still be single threaded. This is, unless we push these processes down into HANA to take full advantage of HANA.
Pushing BPC functions into HANA
In order to take full advantage of HANA’s strength – highly parallelize processing on in-memory tables – we will have to shift calculations from the application server into the HANA database.
That means that rather than moving raw data from the database to the application server to calculate results there, we will push calculations down into the HANA engine (similar to a “stored procedure”), execute them highly parallelized in-memory and transfer only the end-results back to the application server.
Figure 7: Moving the work load from the app-server to HANA
The beautiful thing is that SAP will rewrite the internal BPC functions to run on HANA without disrupting your existing BPC implementation. For example, at the EPM labs at SAP Financials you can test-drive a large variety of BPC functionality on HANA including
– Excel and Web reporting
– Business process flows
– Data loading and copying
– Controls and consolidations
– Journal entries
– Books publishing
We didn’t have to rewrite all this content for BPC on HANA. We simply leveraged our existing BPC 10.0 NW MEGA Elite Enablement exercises and swapped the database out underneath them and put in HANA.
Back to the rewrite of internal BPC functions: this will happen over time. The first big function we tackled is reporting – that is coming in SP6. So, rather than calling the BW MDX engine, we will be calling the HANA TREX engine to execute most of our reports (reports with dimension member formulas, custom measures and on year-to-date applications are still following the traditional BW MDX path – for now).
For BPC on HANA customers we do have a new add-on called HANABPC in addition the regular BPC add-on CPMBPC:
This add-on is installed at BPC on HANA customers only and contains the new HANA enabled BPC functions – such as the report acceleration we deliver in SP6.
So what does this all mean for performance? As we discussed in the first part, there are some inherent benefits of putting BPC on top of a BW on HANA. The graph below shows the performance lab results for a report with 500,000 rows selected from a BPC cube with 1 billion records along a dimension with 1 million master data members. The blue bar is the original result on BPC on Oracle. The red bar shows the runtime of the same report on BPC on HANA – but without pushing the report execution into the HANA TREX engine. The purple bar is the same report executed on BPC on HANA where the execution is pushed into HANA via the new add-on HANABPC.
As you can see putting BPC on HANA makes the 500,000 row report run about 1.7 times faster compared to an Oracle DB. But the real performance gain is achieved when we push the execution from the BW appserver down to HANA’s TREX engine:
That makes the backend processing of the data selection and aggregation for this large report 21x faster!
Over time, more and more BPC functions such as write-back, distribution, currency conversion, consolidations etc are planned to be pushed into the HANA engine.
Benefits of BPC on HANA
So, why should you go to BPC on HANA?
First of all: it’s faster. Performance is a big topic for users and slow response times lead to un-productive users in the best case. Worst case users get so frustrated that they stop using the system and start building their own spreadsheets and “shadow”-IT – rendering your IT investments useless. The performance topic also grows in importance as data volumes not only grow but explode. So, you want to be on a platform built to handle “big data”. You want to be on HANA.
Secondly, HANA is the platform of the future. New features such as automated variance analysis or sophisticated scenario planning are considered for BPC on HANA – so we can take advantage of the blazing speed and enable scenarios that are not possible on conventional databases. So, BPC on HANA gears you up for the future.
More and more BPC functions will be accelerated and if you don’t move to BPC on HANA you will miss out.
Thirdly – Mobility: Mobile users are impatient users. Desktop or laptop users might be willing to wait several minutes for a complex report to refresh, but a mobile user won’t. After a couple of seconds, mobile users will navigate away and check their emails or latest sports scores. If your company is going mobile, then you want to be on BPC on HANA.
Installation of BPC on HANA
The high level installation steps are:
– Get a HANA appliance on certified HANA hardware
– Install BW 7.3 SP 6 on HANA
– Install BPC and its new HANABPC add-on
– Turn the add-on on in transaction SPRO
You can also migrate your existing BPC instance from a regular database to HANA. This is a great option if your BPC 10.0 NW system is installed on a separate BW instance. See Installation Options for Business Objects Planning and Consolidation 10.0, version for Netweaver for more details on separate vs. shared BW instances for BPC
How to get your hands on BPC on HANA
There are 3 simple options:
– Install your own BPC on HANA server
– Check www.experiencesaphana.com as we are looking to make BPC on HANA available
One more thing… BPC goes mobile!
The iPad app for BPC is coming…
For more BPC info, references and demos check out:Looking for BPC demos, customer references, roadmaps, performance and sizing information, training, documentation or tips & tricks?