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HANA continues momentum in Utilities…

July 12th, 2013 No comments

I believe HANA represents the most significant innovation in SAP’s history.  A year ago I wrote  a quick summary of some of the key value points that HANA brings to an organization and I focused specifically on BW on HANA, one of the most common HANA use cases for existing SAP customers.  Over the last 12 months and multiple Sapphire’s I’m hearing more and more about out different customers are leveraging HANA to get access to detailed, real-time data to analyze massive amounts of information in seconds and solve issues that couldn’t be solved before.

Common Use Cases for Utilities

Part 1: Leveraging SAP HANA to Improve Back-Office OperationsSee a presentation on how utilities can leverage the SAP HANA platform to Improving operational reporting within the utilities infrastructure, finance, and procurement, andd transform the strategic use and value of current SAP investments such as SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse.  This session was lead by me.

Part 2: Energy Analytics for Customer Operations

Learn how leveraging the incredible speed delivered via SAP HANA in-memory analytics can impact revenue assurance, energy efficiency programs and customer insights.  This session was lead by Sven Bergstrom.

 

Part 3: Intelligent Data for Smart Grid Operations

Explore how analytics can help you better understand and manage smart grid operations and performance—including outage management, energy portfolio management, fault analytics, and retrospective asset health analytics.   This session was lead by Carol Arneson.

Watch This Space

We heard a lot about HANA at Sapphire (See Replays here).  Now the adoption of HANA continues to spread across Utilities.  Expect to hear a from your colleagues at the SAP for Utilities conference this fall in Huntington Beach.  I hope to see you there!

sap-for-utilities2013

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Categories: HANA Tags: , ,

Using Explorer and Lumira with SAP BW

March 18th, 2013 No comments

This is a quick post to let you know that there is an excellent whitepaper available which explains everything you need to know about leveraging Explorer and Visual Intelligence with SAP BW.

Organizations must leverage some type of acceleration technology – either HANA or BWA.

Here is the original article:
http://www.saphana.com/docs/DOC-2943

Here is a link to the must-read technical document:
http://www.saphana.com/servlet/JiveServlet/download/2943-3-9226/SAP%20VI%20and%20Explorer%20on%20BW%20powered%20by%20SAP%20HANA%20v2.pdf

This document outlines four different scenarios, showing the different implications for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and SAP Visual Intelligence.

  1. SAP NetWeaver BW standalone without SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (BWA) and without SAP HANA
  2. SAP NetWeaver BW in combination with SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (BWA)
  3. SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP HANA, DB edition
  4. SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP HANA, Full Use Editions (allows write-back)

In order to leverage Scenario 3 or 4 you must be on:

  • SAP HANA 1.0 SP5 or higher
  • SAP HANA Modeler 1.0 SP4 Rev 37 or higher
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.0 SP4 or higher
  • SAP Visual Intelligence 1.0 SP4 or higher
  • SAP Netweaver BW 7.3 SP7 or higher (with SAP Notes:  1703061, 1759172, 1752384, 1733519, 1769374 and 1790333)
When reading the whitepaper, make sure that you read through to the end.  Pages 13-15 provide important cavets and new roadmap information.

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Categories: BI Platform, HANA, Lumira Tags: , ,

Sizing Up HANA

May 10th, 2012 2 comments

HANA is here, so I wanted to take a minute a field a few common questions about HANA licensing.

The software stack comes with the hardware provided by the hardware partners, whereas the license has to be obtained from SAP.  SAP HANA is sold in 64GB units.  Although the product is non-discountable, it does come in tiered pricing which means the more you buy the cheaper the units are.

One other interesting caveat with the hardware is that you do not necessarily have to license the entire appliance, so if you want to purchase a large box today, you are required to license at least half the addressable memory.  In other words, if the box is 1TB, you must license between 512GB and 1024 GB (or 8 to 16 units).

In addition to the software license associated with the appliance, SAP HANA also requires SAP Named Users.

For information on available hardware appliances, check out:  http://help.sap.com/hana_appliance/

HANA Editions

HANA is currently available in 3 flavors.

HANA Platform Edition -This is the basic edition.  This contains the software stack needed to use SAP HANA as a database, including the SAP HANA database, SAP HANA Studio for data modeling and administration, the SAP HANA clients, and software infrastructure components.  This is primarily for customers who already have Data Integrator licenses.

HANA BW Edition – This new edition of HANA is for existing SAP BW customers who want to continue doing all their data warehousing within the BW modeling environment.  In other words, you can do whatever you can do today with standalone BW, except that now BW is running on HANA.

Note that this edition does not allow the combination of both SAP and non-SAP data using a transient Info Provider.  That would require the Enterprise Edition.

Example of a Transient Data Provider

HANA Enterprise Edition – This edition extends the HANA Platform Edition with the software licenses needed for customers who want a single solution to import in data from SAP and non-SAP sources.  This edition includes SAP LT replication or ETL-based replication.  The ETL-based replication is provided by SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and the license only allows for the movement of data from external data sources into SAP HANA.  This also includes data distribution rights similar to Open Hub.

**UPDATE 2/1/2013:  There was HANA Enterprise EXTENDED Edition.  This edition has been discontinued.  This edition extended  the HANA Enterprise Edition with the software licenses needed for customers who need replication server to replicate non-SAP data into HANA from DB2.

Let’s drill into the requirements for moving to BW on HANA in more detail.

BW on HANA

AKA:  SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse 7.3, powered by HANA.

This product went GA a month early.  SAP reported a great response from the ramp-up process and news that everything went extremely well was welcome news.  As a result, I’ve seen many BW customers asking about what is required to move to SAP HANA.

The good news is it’s pretty easy.  The migration process is pretty straight-forward.  Assuming you are already on BW 7.3, it requires about the same amount of work as migration from Oracle to DB2.

Here are some details on the minimum requirements for running BW on HANA.

  • The BW environment must be running BW 7.3
  • BW must be running Unicode
  • BW must have updated analysis authorizations
  • SAP HANA requires a split ABAP/Java stack.  If you are running the dual stack on a single server, they must be broken apart.  This was recommended in BW 7.0 but now it’s a requirement.  In some cases I’ve seen customers who had them both installed but were only using the ABAP stack.  Make sure you need both.

How Much HANA Do I Need?

If you need to do sizing for a BW environment, it’s pretty straightforward.  SAP Note 1637145 walks you through the process.  Use the link below to access it:
https://websmp230.sap-ag.de/sap%28bD1lbiZjPTAwMQ==%29/bc/bsp/spn/sapnotes/index2.htm?numm=1637145

NOTE:  The  HANA sizing script that runs against BW assumes that Unicode is not currently configured.  Unless there are lots of text fields, the impact of already having unicode enabled will be negligible.

For non-BW environments (including SAP ERP) you should leverage this note:
https://websmp230.sap-ag.de/sap%28bD1lbiZjPTAwMQ==%29/bc/bsp/spn/sapnotes/index2.htm?numm=1514966

Here is a final note on HANA Sizing:
https://websmp230.sap-ag.de/sap%28bD1lbiZjPTAwMQ==%29/bc/bsp/spn/sapnotes/index2.htm?numm=1609322

The sizing of your HANA environment will depend on the type of data compression you can get from the HANA platform.  Typically organizations are seeing an average of 7x compression, which is pretty good.  Depending on the type of data it can be even larger.  Most of the SAP Notes use a very conservative 5x compress.

#1 Thing to Remember When Sizing

The only thing to keep in mind is that when you are sizing HANA for every 1GB of storage space, you also need 1GB of working space.  Therefore if you have 500 GB of data, you will need an additional 500 GB of working space, therefore you will need to license a 1TB HANA appliance, therefore when doing the HANA sizing it’s best to see how much raw data there is and then divide by 3, that will give you the amount of GB space you will need to license for HANA.

The Value of HANA

It’s critical that you understand the value of HANA for your organization.  Although I have no doubt that HANA can provide value for every organization, it’s important look at the business problem and calculate a solid ROI.  The top three use cases we are seeing our customers leverage HANA is:

  • Analytics & Operational Reporting – Often these are issues around a need for real time, detailed data which represents large data sets which currently have unacceptable query times or data latency issues.
  • Accelerate ECC Transactions – In some cases, there are batch processes with a large number of read operations.  These processes if run through HANA can happen as much as 350x faster than in a traditional database.  If there are any batch processes that have a limited batch window, you should consider how HANA might help you reduce the overall processing time.
  • HANA Based Applications– HANA provides the ability to create applications that have never been able to exist before because the data and algorithms applied to that data was so complex, that they were simply unrealistic to consider.  SAP is now working with customers to develop a number of “killer apps” running on the HANA platform.I loved Steve Lucas’ analogy.  Think of HANA as the Gaming System (e.g. Xbox, PS3) and HANA based Applications as the game that makes you buy the platform (e.g. Halo, Uncharted).

In my next post I’ll be writing about why you should leverage SAP to help deliver HANA Value workshops.

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Categories: HANA Tags: , ,

Bill McDermott Talks SAP

December 14th, 2011 No comments

Earlier this month, I got a chance to see Bill McDermott, SAP CEO on Mad Money with Cramer.  When asked about the markets in Europe, I loved his response:

If you can deliver a solution that gives a leader of company a business outcome,  they can reach their customers better, they can automated their demand-driven supply chain, they can take better care of their people, they can do things better, they will invest.

Absolutely.  I’ve seen this over and over again.  If you can show value, efficiency gains, cost savings and return on investment, companies will invest.

Here is the whole interview:

It was cool to see SAP HANA discussed.  The speed increases we are seeing have been amazing.  Here’s an extensive, non-technical article about SAP HANA by Bob Evans that appears on the Forbes website:

SAP HANA and the Game Changing Power of Speed

As the year winds down, it’s exciting the see what’s ahead for SAP.  In particular I’m interested to see what will develop with the acquisition of the Sybase IQ database.  It was the first columnar data store and long time member of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems.

Sybase IQ is a very mature product which provides excellent price performance, yet with the emergence of  SAP HANA, which  not only contains a columnar data store, but also runs 100% in-memory.  What does the future hold?

One thing is for sure, the momentum of HANA continues to build and the future of trusted Business Intelligence looks bright.

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Categories: HANA, In the News Tags: , ,

Experience HANA

September 22nd, 2011 No comments

Want to find out what all the buzz is about?

Want to take your education about HANA to the next level?

SAP has put together an aggregated site which brings together all the current content available on HANA.  The website is called:  Experience SAP HANA

http://www.experiencesaphana.com/

It does require you to register but I found there really was a lot of content to look through and it is well worth it.  There are still lots of videos and customer presentations, but it’s the best one-stop shop to go and learn everything there is about HANA.

I especially liked the »Implement« section, where you can learn about technical details like SQL Script, HANA Backup & Recovery, HANA Modeller, Security, SLT Configuration, etc.  If you want to know it, it’s probably here.

Enjoy!

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Categories: HANA Tags: , , , ,