SAP Labs IT Contributes to SAPPHIRE NOW 2014

SAP Labs IT has been actively participating in supporting SAPPHIRE events for several years now. Although not frequently mentioned in the participant lists, we are “the invisibles”, workers keeping the stuff running behind the scenes. This year, Labs IT GLDS unit contributed again to SAPPHIRE NOW, helping to launch a new financial solution. Our team worked hard to setup a landscape using a brand new SAP Organization App (to be available soon to the public) and Simple Finance on HANA , with Fiori “wave 3”. The landscape was used during both Bill McDermott’s and Bernd Leukert’s keynotes.

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The landscape build consists of ERP on HANA, a Web dispatcher, an ERP Simple Finance on HANA, Business Objects Data Services, Apache with PHP servers running on Virtual machines with ESX 5.5 (for show floor demos). In terms of infrastructure, 6TB of memory were used for Simple Finance on HANA system. For storage, we adopted GPFS filesystem configuration to take advantage of its high-speed file access capabilities.

SAPPHIRE Behind the Scenes

Building this complex landscape was not a trivial task. Many of the preparations started one month before SAPPHIRE days in June. Systems were copied from source systems located at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, CA. Successive iterations of the demo simulations took place many times, with several system refreshes. The final demo version was actually released onsite by development team the week of SAPPHIRE event. Collaborative work was a pivotal element to have this done right. We had to develop an effective workforce involving IT team members and development team members who are collaborating for the first time. Being part of this special workforce brought a tremendous experience for me, as a result of feeling part of something bigger than myself. We worked well together to deliver a great product to showcase to the world SAP latest innovations on new technologies with simplification.

When the last keynote ended, I could capture that feeling of “Mission Accomplished” from the team, however our work was not over yet. The landscape had to be maintained up and running, as it was used on the show floor to showcase these two new solutions to customers and partners for the rest of SAPPHIRE.

When it was time to dismantle the landscape and pack it all up for shipping, old memories came into my mind. They were flashback of my childhood days seeing a band’s road crew packing up all of their props, equipment and musical instruments on a big truck. I felt like one of those crew members, responsible to handle all what is needed to produce a great show of art form. After all, building beautiful software is considered art too!

What SAPPHIRE 2015 will bring as challenge to our SAP Labs IT team next time? Can’t wait to be part again of “the invisibles” and share our experiences here next year.

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