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Best practices for running BI 4 in virtualized environment – guidances from COIL projects

Do you have SAP BusinessObjects BI products running on VMware? What kind of virtualization overhead you have experienced? Any good lessons you have learned and shared with the world?

A long-awaited guidance

Let me know about your experiences. Here is what I understood from my conversations with our product folks – when not configured optimally, performance penalty of running SAP BI in virtual environments can be as high as 20%-40%, whereas with some best practices applied, the overhead can be brought down to  the industry standard expectation of around 5% to 10%.  

That tells how much we can benefit when we share the best practices.

Well, there was no official guidance for running BI in virtual environments, until now. 

COIL started a project with our next door neighbor in Palo Alto (VMware) and our BI colleagues late last year to address this gap, and just rolled out our first paper (the paper is also available from VMWare site here ) focusing on evaluating a subset of Java-specific best practices by applying them to an SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 deployment and analyzing their effects.

Check it out, and let us know what you think.

If you’ve got questions about the technical details of the paper and/or general virtualizing BI topics, get in touch with Ashish Morzaria. Ashish should be able to provide you an answer or point you to the right contact within the BI teams.

Whom should we thank?

It all started with a meeting at COIL with our friends from VMware, Vas Mitra and Justin Murray. Justin  co-authored the VMware paper “Enterprise Java Applications on VMware – Best Practices Guide” and would like to see how it’s applicable to SAP BI application. Over time, we were joined by Jay Thoden van Velzen, Ashish C. Morzaria, and many others. Jay played a critical role in designing and building the BI testing environment with the help of Roehl Obaldo and Sivagopal Modadugula. Ashish was the one who pushed us through the last mile of the paper. Without Ashish’s diligent work and close collaboration with other BI colleagues, we won’t have the paper as it is published today. 

Many colleagues supported with the setup of the test environment, the execution of the tests, and the review of this paper. To mention a few: Michael Hesse at VMware; and Peter Aeschlimann, Corey Wilkie, Jacques Buchholz, David Cruickshank, Abhay Kale, Irakli Natsvlishvili, David Pascuzzi, Veronique L’Helguen Smahi and Andrew Valega at SAP

What next?

The resulting recommendations in this document only provide general guidelines related to Java and do not target any specific size or type of BI deployment.

Is that enough? Definitely not.

We are planning more document(s) to share validated “Best Practices”, not only Java, but also include all other aspects,  on how to best deploy SAP BusinessObjects BI in a virtualized (VMware) environment. 

We are in planning phase of the next round of tests, and are open for suggestions. So if you have anything in mind and would like us to validate, now is the time to tell us. We can not grantee we will be able to address each and everything given the resources and time available to us, but we will certainly try our best.

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  • If you've got questions about the technical details of the paper and/or general virtualizing BI topics, get in touch with Ashish Morzaria. Ashish should be able to provide you an answer or point you to the right contact within the BI teams.

    • Hi Denis, Thanks. we have started working on a second paper that covers things beyond Java. Check back and keep tuned.- Kevin

      • Nice article Kevin. Thanks for sharing.

        We are in the process of identifying pros and cons of Business Objects server deployment model (Physical/Virtual) and like to have the detailed merits/demerits/common issues of Business Objects environments with reference to deployed server (Physical /virtual).  Do we have any of such information

        Thanks

        Mani