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Run SAP Better?  Really?  How?

 

I’m headed to Las Vegas this coming week to attend the SAP Insider Administration & Infrastructure 2012 conference, which starts on Tuesday 2/28/2012 at the MGM Grand – actually, the SAP Admin conference is co-located with the SAP BI2012, SAP Mobile2012, and SAP Cloud & Virtualization 2012, and you can attend all of 4 for the price of one (time permitting, of course).

 

On top of the list of topics on the SAP Admin 2012 website is “TCO Reduction” and it so happens that I will be hosting discussions on “Run SAP Better” in our EMC booth whenever I’m there.  Ah yes, Run SAP Better!  Every customer whom I talked to in these past two years want to do it since everyone has to find a way to do less with more, so the real question is HOW?  How can you Run SAP Better?

 

Now, let us not confuse Run SAP Better with Run SAP Faster.  These days, almost everyone involved in SAP is talking about HANA all the time, and in my view, HANA is about running SAP faster and not necessarily better (at least the current version of HANA anyhow).  In my opinion, a discussion on running SAP better would be centered on rather “pedestrian and boring” SAP ECC, SAP BW, and so on, the stuff that everyone uses today and struggles with to overcome challenges every day.

 

So how can we run SAP better?  Let me propose a few ideas!

 

First Idea: being able to improve your average SAP response time and also save CAPEX & OPEX while doing very little by way of tuning or tweaking your SAP environment.  How can that be done?  Enter FAST VP for SAP on EMC VMAX: with a one-time set up effort, more and more customers with FAST VP for SAP in Production have reported an average improvement of 35% in dialog response time and an average improvement of 50% in batch processing time, while also noting a savings of 35% in CAPEX and OPEX.  The performance increase was enabled by hot data automatically being tiered up to EFD from FC drives while the costs savings were realized due to cold data automatically being tiered down to less expensive SATA drives which also consume less power (with as much as 70% of the data in a typical SAP database not being used at all, or very infrequently, the savings can add up).  And all that without the Basis admin, storage admin, DBA, or SAP application people having to do anything, except monitor what’s going on using the standard tools being used today.  Now, is that Running SAP Better?

 

Second Idea: being able to significantly reduce the time it takes to conduct your annual SAP disaster recovery drill while increasing SLAs on RPO and RTO, and doing it over a very long distance.  At first look, this idea seems rather far-fetched, but we have customers using RecoverPoint for SAP to replicate tens of terabytes between data centers located over 2,000 miles apart, and their DR drill time went from 80 hours before using RecoverPoint CRR to 8 hours with RecoverPoint.  And the 8 hours is not to recover one SAP database!  Oh no, the 8 hours are for recovering the entire business infrastructure consisting of multiple federated SAP databases, conducting acceptance tests, and declaring that business is ready to be conducted at the DR site (a white paper about this can be found here).  Imagine how the business units were pleasantly astounded when they were told that their most critical SAP applications can be recovered much more quickly and with far less data loss than previously done when RecoverPoint was not used, like with traditional tape restore or logs shipping.  Now, is that Running SAP Better?

 

Third Idea: significantly reduce your SAP backup window while completely eliminate off-site tape storage.  This is a favorite of mine!  During his presentation at SAP TechEd’11 in Vegas last September, the head of SAP Basis at Bank of America (one of EMC’s largest customers) asked the audience of over 100 people if anyone has ever seen or used a DataDomain box, and if “you have not seen one, you should go check it out”.  Thanks to an impressive 40:1 data compression, our customers using DataDomain have routinely reported that their SAP backup window have been reduced to one fourth or one fifth of the time it previously took, and many have gone on to implement a tape-free off-site storage strategy since they simply have another DataDomain installed at their off-site facility and have data being replicated between DataDomain boxes.  The costs savings in tape consumables and courier expenses alone paid for the remote DataDomain box in a few months!  Now, is that Running SAP Better?

 

I could go on, and on, and on, as we have not even discussed how to Run SAP Better with SAP cloning, SAP upgrade, SAP migration & replatforming, and SAP virtualization!

 

So, let’s have a spirited discussion on Running SAP Better next week, shall we?  Come by the booth to get the white papers on FAST VP for SAP, RecoverPoint for SAP, and DataDomain (or if you can’t be in Vegas next week, go to this page to download those white papers).

 

See you all in Vegas!

 

 

Tim K. Nguyen

SAP Global Technical Evangelist & EMC Cloud Architect

EMC Solutions Group

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