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SAP BusinessObjects in place vs Parallel Upgrade

I recently worked on a customer request where the customer was using SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP2 and the current version of Linux is out of support as well as  its  CMS database needs to upgrade to Oracle 19c.  Either we upgrade the current environment from SAP BI 4.2 SP2 to SP8 on the same box or we upgrade from SAP BI 4.2 to SAP BI 4.3 was launched last year.  Please find below the options

  • Option 1 -In-place upgrade.  In this option, the current landscape needs to upgrade to BI 4.2 SP8
  • Option2 – Parallel upgrade. Set up the new environment and Install BI 4.3 SP1 on the new environment

We decided to compare these 2 options and shared our point of view on the same.

 

Area In-Place Upgrade Parallel Upgrade (New Deployment )
Development Freeze A longer development freeze is required as an Upgrade is going to be performed on an existing installation Very limited development freeze is required  as there is a parallel environment setup for upgrade
OS Support RHEL 6.10 will support BI 4.2 SP8. However, RHEL 6.10 is out of support (Nov 2020) BI 4.3 can be installed on the latest RHEL which is supported and compatible as well
Rollback In most of the scenarios, the rollback option is not possible as an upgrade is happening on the same instance. If the customer has installed BusinessObjects on Virtual Machine then there is the possibility of rollback. No rollback is required as there is a parallel environment available
Downtime Downtime will be required as an upgrade is performed on the existing installed base No downtime is required as installation will be performed on new servers
BI Content & User/Security Migration No BI Content & User/Security migration required BI Content & User/Security needs to be migrated to the new environment
Installation Issues Difficult to resolve installation issues on the existing platform Installation issues can be fixed easily as there is a new landscape
Outage The outage will be required if there are any issues during installation/configuration No outage is required as a parallel environment needs to be  setup
Training No training to End users is required as there is no change in the interface Training is required for End users as there is a new interface (Fiorified LaunchPad) for accessing reports
Risk Higher Risk as an upgrade is being performed on the existing environment and limited time window Lower Risk as we have a new platform to be set up and no constraint on downtime
Hardware Setup NA New Hardware will be required for installation/configuration
Time & Effort Less effort will be required as the service pack is getting upgraded The additional effort is required in testing & break fixing of reports as the code base is getting changed in SAP 4.3

To summarise there are more cons rather than pros when we go in-place upgrade. It’s better to go parallel upgrade option which is risk-free and you have plenty of time to perform the upgrade as well as regression testing of BI content and security. Ultimately it depends on up how vital is customer’s BusinessObjects Platform is and how much effort/cost the customer wants to invest. If BusinessObjects Platform is small and not significantly important then customers can go for an in-place upgrade as well. However, there is no golden rule to decide to go in-place or parallel upgrade. We need to evaluate options as per customer landscape and take an appropriate call.

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