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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Migrating to BW on HANA – Real Life Lessons – ASUG Webcast

The other week Paul Townsend of Johnsonville Sausage provided this webcast.  He is also presenting an ASUG session at SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas next month as well: Learn How to Successfully Upgrade your SAP BW System to SAP BW on SAP HANA

Paul is the BI coach at Johnsonville Sausage.  According to Paul:

“This session will cover a template implementation plan for a phased approach to a Business Warehouse on HANA (BWoH) landscape. Presenters will discuss the lessons learned, success factors of managing project landscape, and upgrading to BW 7.4. Learn a little about what changes in BW, how best to optimize the environment, what is required activity for the conversion, and what can be planned for future enhancement.”

Paul said along the way they upgraded to BW 74


Figure 1: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 1 shows the application landscape.  Paul said “if SAP has an acronym, they try to own it”.

Most of these modules get to BW for reporting and this includes a “significant amount of testing”


Figure 2: Source: Johnsonville

Johnsonville Sausage is a relatively small company, so why did they go with HANA?

Paul said they provided a business case while looking at Demand Signal Management tool,  trade promotion management.  This was “the fuel that sits on top of BW” and “everyone benefits”

He said they leverage existing BW / BI investments and competencies and don’t need to invest in learning HANA as a sidecar

They were looking for performance improvements – with TPM and BPC

He said performance was a barrier to adoption as the traditional BW system took a while to fetch back; they looked to mitigate with HANA

He also said the “new visualization tools work fast”.  He said they have a lean team.


Figure 3: Source: Johnsonville

In 2005 they had BW on mainframe as shown in Figure 3.  Paul said the upgrades were slow in the past.


Figure 4: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 4 shows their optimization workshop to understand what optimization means

Paul said to look at ABAP in data flow to make sure optimized for HANA

They had to convert 3.x data flows to 7.x

DSO’s had no change with migration to HANA

He said they wanted a single test cycle – everything tested once by users and not take them through the test cycles


Figure 5: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 5 shows a template

He suggested using Figure 5 as a starting point and work backwards

He said the longest time was optimization

They combined UAT with Integration testing


Figure 6: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 6  shows that most of the team was remote  with different locations including India and Malaysia


Figure 7: Source: Johnsonville

Paul said to look at using SAP Database Migration option – puts it all in one step

They had one single downtime; important to Johnsonville

They had one single testing cycle to engage the business to ensure things are happening

Analyze ABAP – run until you have no red lights.  This would not touch custom Z programs

Convert 3.x data flows are for DSO and Cube.  Master data and attributes are not required to update during this upgrade – limit scope

RSMIGRATE – where possible – 3 to 5 that had problems.


Figure 8: Source: Johnsonville

How long it takes to collapse table structures

He said transaction RSMIGRHANADB simplifies scope, Request ID table and cube table – instead of links to DIM table you have the SID values

The BEx Query upgrade was mostly for APO implementation – simple, took little time to do


Figure 9: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 9 shows their landscape pre-HANA, with BW 731 SP10 and no BW sandbox


Figure 10: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 10 shows their parallel landscape where they have the same system source name

They had a development freeze

They have two HANA boxes with different appliances

1 appliance – 1 shared for DEV/QA – using Cisco.  They have a dedicated appliance for production, have a blade on standby


Figure 11: Source: Johnsonville

Their pre-migration activities include “cleaning house”

Procure/rack/patch phase did take time from procurement until into data center; took 6-8 weeks +

Paul advises understand your lead times

He said to clean transports and and clear locked objects (true for any upgrade) – allowed them to copy BW production system back to BW development

Basis also has clean-up including space for back-ups.

He said to be sure to discuss backups as they are different

He said PSA cleanups, didn’t take long

He said they had a soft delete PSA were growing since 2008; if you want a clean house, do this

He said they have no formal archiving process; looked at cubes to purge data not necessary


Figure 12: Source: Johnsonville

Figure 12 shows they had a development freeze.  They did a production trial run and see the different times it took

They learned config and checks

Times were different when they compressed & repaired SQL Server – didn’t do that for BP1

The Dev and QA files were smaller

He recommends trial run; easier to do with a parallel landscape


Figure 13: Source: Johnsonville

He said they found compression to be 3:1

They found 67% savings performance boost – 8 hours down to 2.75 hours

DSO activations are almost instantaneous

LISTCUBE transaction, 1 material (brats) COPA – 98% time savings


Figure 14: Source: Johnsonville

BusinessObjects team – number of rows being selected & returned to BusinessObjects layer with a 60% savings 1 week after go-live

Finance – P&L – sub 10 second response requirement; almost appeared instantly

He said they are “setting new norm for business users”


Figure 15: Source: Johnsonville

Paul said to find a partner and do the optimization workshop

He suggested to schedule development freeze to keep environment freeze


Figure 16: Source: Johnsonville

DMO bugs are all worked and the process is mature

He said to keep testing short, test as close to real life as you can

He said to run process chains a few times

They held daily scrum sessions

They have been live since Memorial Day

Question & Answer

Q:  Do you migrate all data to HANA, including old, cold data? Do you use near line storage?

A:  migrated all data in instance to HANA.  Do not use near line storage yet but looking at it for a project.


Q:  BW Prod refresh to Dev is accompanied with ECC prod to ECC Dev ?

A:  BW production refresh did not include an ECC refresh.  A few pointer and delta issues resulted


Q:  Do you use business objects?  If so, did change to Hana affect the olap connection definitions and was there any impact to existing webi, dashboard content?

A:  Yes a BOBJ shop.  UNV universes connections changed to new app servers – no retro required


Q:  Have you had any unexpected outages in production?  Can you talk about backup and recovery with Hana?

A:  No unexpected outages while live.  After production box was racked an issue with Dev box occurred.  But no outages since live


Q:  I missed the cost effective point on first slide – is it really lower cost for you?  Where did you get savings?

A:  Johnsonville has runtime addition license which has limitations; savings not realy there but an investment for Trade Promotion optimization project


Q:  Does your IT dept handle necessary updates/backups/etc for the OS where HANA resides or is the handled by a 3rd party? Have there been any hiccups with the HANA database since go-live that have required a reboot and/or restore?

A:  Basis contracted with vendor.  Vendor manages Linux patches. HANA patches are evaluated they are not current with patches right now.  No hiccups with HANA db since go-live


Q:  Do your 3 Cisco blades share storage, or do each have their own?

A:  all share storage; Production 2 blades with one on standby.  All three active nodes


Q:  Is the ECC system moved on SAP HANA along with SAP BW or just BW?

A:  No just BW not ECC currently

A:  Looking at moving to Suite on HANA in the future


Q:  Is it considered TDI( tailored data center integration as opposed to an appliance )? (related to the Cisco blade ?)

A:  Believes yes but will follow up on the question

Meet Paul next month at his ASUG session at SAP TechEd && d-code in Las Vegas.  Special thanks to Paul for sharing his customer story more than once with ASUG members.

Related – from ASUG Newsletter:

Upcoming ASUG webcasts:

ASUG at SAP TechEd && d-code

Join ASUG members and BI Community Volunteers at SAP TechEd && d-code, October 20-24, in Las Vegas.

Review the ASUG Session List. The Enterprise Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Planning track includes:

  1. Consuming, Using, and Interacting with Enterprise Data
  2. Managing Analytics Technologies Behind the Scenes
  3. Developing and Customizing Analytics
  4. Overview Enterprise Analytics
  5. Preparing and Managing Data for Analytics

Learn & Be Heard: Save space in your agenda for ASUG Influence Councils:

  • EA117 SAP Analysis Influence Council
  • EA210 SAP® BusinessObjects™ Design Studio Influence Council
  • EA304 SAP Lumira in the Enterprise Influence Council
  • EA213 SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI Influence Council

More Information: Blog Collection – Summary of speaker bios, session lists, and more.

ASUG Pre-Conference Seminars at SAP TechEd && d-code

Jumpstart your conference experience by attending an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar on Monday, October 20.

Topics include:

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) 4.1 is the latest suite release from SAP and offers a broad set of BI tools to choose from. Each tool has its own special focus in the area of reporting and analytics. This full-day, hands-on seminar is a series of activities focused on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 products in combination with SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP BW on SAP HANA, and SAP ERP. Attendees will learn to use the different products from the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite 4.1 in combination with SAP data.

Speaker: Ingo Hilgefort, SAP

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for sharing this. It will be really helpful to us for any migrations to plan properly.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks a lot Tammy!!

      This is very helpful and credible, as it has come from experience.



      Author's profile photo Roland Kramer
      Roland Kramer


      Thanks for using the SAP First Guidance Document - SAP First Guidance - Migration BW on HANA using the DMO option in SUM

      Best Regards