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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

BI4 Sizing – A SAP Webcast Summary

Last month Ashish Morzaria provided a webcast on BI4 sizing (I recall it was through the SAP Support Academy).  You can view a full recording of the webcast here (SMP logon required).  Thanks to Stephanie Redivo for finding the recording for me.

The purpose of the webcast was how size and think about BI deployment.  The regular disclaimer applies; this is for educational purposes only but not make decisions based on this webinar.  Please also note these are my notes only and for more information go to the BI4 Sizing site or listen to the webcast.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows the agenda; note that my notes really only cover bullet points 1 and 2.


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows that BI4 is different that 3.1

It is has changed to being a component of a larger landscape

It is more dependent around things that are around the system

Server is different; increased server density, RAM, virtualization and can now process more data than before

New licensing model CSBL you do not have to worry about CPU costs


Figure 3: Source: SAP

BI4 is not just a technical upgrade; it is 64 bit

BOE 3.1 was squeezed into a 32 bit architecture

BI4 is designed to take advantage of hardware, designed for modern architecture

BI4 is the first suite under the “SAP” banner

It has new components for Analysis, native BW connectivity

All of these things lead to a new BI4 system


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows that the Adaptive Processing Services (APS) is new in BI4

It allows hosting for a number of services simultaneously

Default install will include APS but it may not be configured or sized the way you need

For production the default install is not what you want and a single node may not work

Required reading is the sizing guide and the BI Platform install guide.


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 gives the URL for “everything you need”.

This is the microsite created specifically for sizing and points to SCN and white papers, link, BI4 sizing estimator

This site ( will be living/updated


Figure 6: Source: SAP

You need an IT professional to install BI4

You also need to take a number of things into account

Quick Sizer does not take into account everything

SAP wants you to use BI4 Sizing estimator because BI4 is a different “beast”

You want to perform for the future

It is easy to underestimate; need to scale out and understand what the numbers are and plan for headroom – plan for the future, better used and more used


Figure 7: Source: SAP

How your system performs – begin with external systems connecting to your system

CMS database latencies will put delays

Input/Output bottlenecks with underperforming file servers – systems slow down for no perceivable reason

SAP says to patch BW systems to get performance improvements

Ashish said to understand pathways for virtualization help as they will impact you


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Almost every production deployment is a multi-node one.  Architect for now and scale for growth

Ashish says start with a small landscape and scale up; it is easier to find bottlenecks that way

It is not a question of hardware but good architecture


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows the sizing estimator – result of benchmarks done internally to SAP

It tries to straddle how size BI system and the way SAP sizes their own system

SAPS – SAP standard metric – the performance described in Figure 9.  SAPS focuses more on processing performance

It is an estimator not an analyzer.  Ashish says do analysis.

It does not know how many nodes you will deploy.

Ashish says they cannot test entire spectrum from small to large; need to apply architecture after looking at results.


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Ashish said to understand terms

Active users are the number of users logged on system – they may not be doing anything

Rule of thumb is 10% of total users

Active Concurrent are users logged in and actively doing something – running a report/query – 10%

Understand what the right inputs are; need to revisit the 10% number


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Figure 11 shows the Report Sizes – different report sizes

If your report sizes are different than what is documented in the BI Sizing Companion guide you will need to adjust

You should review reports per content type

You should also review the workflows and the impact on sizing


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows the user categories  – for example – consumers look at the results

Business Users do a moderate amount of drilling

Expert users perform ad hoc analysis, changing report, large amounts of queries – may create more workload

This is the general idea, not hard and fast rule


Figure 13: Source: SAP

Everything discussed is in the BI4 Sizing Guide

Examples are in the sizing guide

I encourage you to watch the rest of the webcast yourself to review the sizing scenarios.

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      Author's profile photo Christian Key
      Christian Key

      Thanks Tammy. Very useful.

      Author's profile photo Shivakumar Vishwanath
      Shivakumar Vishwanath

      Hi Tammy,

      For all those who missed the earlier webcast, we have another webcast on  SAP Business Objects BI 4  sizing on Sep 4 being done for SAP Partners .The details are enclosed here