How to perform expert sizing for SAP BPC NW (Part 2 – Example)
In Part 1 of this blog series, I explained the basic steps and approach on how to perform expert or custom sizing for a SAP BPC NW solution. In Part 2, I will provide an example output of the sizing exercise based on a real life implementation. It is hoped that this will provide you will a base and sufficient information in order to understand the process and methodology on how expert sizing is done.
Example: Basic Information and Context to the sizing example
This section will detail and provide some information, it is hoped that it will provide context to the information in the attached SIZING document, which is attached in this blog below.
This example is based on a real world SAP BPC NW implementation, it was for a very large company in the financial services sector and was part of a larger ERP implementation project. This project was implemented using the standard SAP ASAP methodology and at the time of writing this blog is in the realization phase. Custom sizing was required in order to setup and procure the necessary environments for the project implementation.
In Part 1, I detailed some of the steps that was taken in order to understand the base requirements and the approach in which the number of SAPS was determined. In many expert sizing exercises, SAP determines the number of SAPS that the customer or hardware vendor needs in order to size a system landscape. SAP does not make any recommendations with regards to the sizing of a system, but provides the number of SAPS needed in order for a hardware vendor or systems integrator to size a system. In this example, this hardware platform is the IBM Power Series Server platform. We worked in conjunction with the hardware vendor IBM to firstly establish certain assumptions (i.e. How many SAPS per core, etc) and then to establish the logical system layout in accordance with the require number of SAPS. In order to determine how many SAPS per core, you will need to consult with your hardware or virtualization vendor. The number of SAPS per core is determined as per the SAP SD benchmark. It is recommended to always consult with your hardware or virtualization vendor to get the estimated number of SAPS per core. This will give you an idea of how big your system landscape will be, and the logical system layout will be.
For Example: Make reference to Figure 8 for a logical system layout
Working through the SIZING document and its sections
Download link to SIZING guide
Although this example is based on the IBM Power Series Server platform, you can use the same approach and methodology to size for any hardware platform, or virtual platform.
Please Note: When sizing for a virtual platform, it is imperative to understand the constraints of a virtual environment and to understand SAP’s policies on support regarding these platforms. It is also imperative to work in conjunction with the hardware or virtualization vendor to ensure that the most optimal environment landscape configuration is designed and configured.
Based on the discussions with the functional teams and solution architects, I was able to determine that the proposed SAP BPC NW solution fell within the CATEGORY 3 defined in the sizing guideline and was going to be a complex implementation. Once we have established the base category that this implementation will fall into, we are able to establish the baseline number of SAPS. This figure is the base on which we will then determine the delta from.
The sections below will provide reference to the sections in the attached SIZING document. This is a sample output from a expert sizing exercise, and provides the number of SAPS for the proposed SAP BPC NW solution implementation. The process typically is followed with the preferred hardware vendor in order to verify and design the system landscape in accordance with the SAPS requirements.
Step 1 – Enter the number of users for the anticipated SAP BPC solution implementation
In the attached SIZING document, the section *User Community Information is used to determine the user base and the number of concurrent users for your sizing exercise.
Figure 1 – Screen shot of the section *User Community Information is SIZING document
Step 2 – Determine the performance factors and influences
In the next section of the document, it details the performance influences and considerations that need to be taken into account when performing a sizing exercise.
Figure 2 – Screen shot of the section performance influencing factors
Step 3 – Enter the ‘information in the What If’ scenarios in the SIZING document.
The rationale for this section, is due to the nature of SAP BPC NW implementations, the design is subject to change, and in the sizing it is important to cater for what if scenarios. If your implementation the information is not subject to change, then you don’t have to use the ‘What If’ Scenario’s section.
Figure 3 – Screen shot of the ‘What If’ scenario scenario in the SIZING document
Step 4 – Determine the delta values from the baseline category
In this step, you determine the delta or deviation from the baseline category. The colors are a high level heat map to indicate how much of the baseline is relevant to your specific implementation. The baseline SAPS are also used in order to determine the base configuration and what is your initial starting point for your sizing exercise. In this example, the number of SAPS indicates that this will be a large implementation with a large system footprint.
Figure 4 – Screen shot of the delta values section in the SIZING document
Step 5 – Determine the delta number of SAPS from the baseline number of SAPS
Once you have established what is the delta values, you use the formulas in the sizing guides to determine how much SAPS is required in order to cater for the delta from base. For Example: The baseline in the attached SIZING document is CATEGORY 3, with 300 concurrent users. In the baseline category, they provide the number of SAPS it takes for 30 users to run a Business Process Flow. But we know that in our implementation we estimate that there will be around 190 users who are running Business Process Flows concurrently, so that means we need to determine how many SAPS it will take to run 160 users.
Figure 5 – Screen shot of the ‘delta number of SAPS calculation section
Step 6 – Add the Delta to the Baseline SAPS
Once you have calculated the number of SAPS is required for the delta values, then you add the baseline number of SAPS to the delta number of SAPS to come an estimated number of SAPS.
The worksheet SAPS in the SIZING document is the final number of SAPS that is required for the SAP BPC NW implementation. Once you have an estimated number of SAPS, you need to consult with the hardware / virtualization vendor in order to build and size the system accordingly.
Figure 7 – Screen shot of the ‘SAPS worksheet in the SIZING document
In this real life example, it is a large and complex implementation with over 3000 SAP BPC users. The number of SAPS is very high number and you will need the expert guidance of the hardware vendor in order to determine the preferred logical system layout.
Figure 8 – Logical System Layout
Sizing can be a complex and complicated exercise due to the nature of a SAP BPC NW implementation. The process with sizing is extremely important, as it provides a base for your implementation. It is also important to understand the process which is involved when performing expert sizing. In this example, there was several engagements with the hardware vendor, in order to establish the most optimal configuration and to determine the estimated number of SAPS per core.
It is also important to understand that although sizing can be a pretty scientific exercise, there can be no substitute for performance and stress testing.
I hope that this blog series sheds some light on how to perform expert or custom sizing. Your comments and suggestions are welcome