emc it breaks ground with sap hana

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White Paper EMC IT Breaks Ground with SAP HANA By Nik Rouda, Senior Analyst November 2015 This ESG White Paper was commissioned by EMC and is distributed under license from ESG. © 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Page 1: EMC IT Breaks Ground with SAP HANA

White Paper EMC IT Breaks Ground with SAP HANA

By Nik Rouda, Senior Analyst

November 2015

This ESG White Paper was commissioned by EMC and is distributed under license from ESG. © 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Page 2: EMC IT Breaks Ground with SAP HANA

White Paper: EMC IT Breaks Ground with SAP HANA 2

© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Contents

Why EMC Upgraded to SAP HANA ............................................................................................................... 3 EMC IT’s Transformation .......................................................................................................................................... 3 The Catalyst for SAP HANA ....................................................................................................................................... 4

The HANA Journey ........................................................................................................................................ 4 EMC Approach to Adopting HANA ........................................................................................................................... 4 How EMC Approached Implementation................................................................................................................... 5 How EMC IT Did It ..................................................................................................................................................... 5

EMC’s HANA Use Cases ................................................................................................................................. 5 Data Mart on HANA .................................................................................................................................................. 5 SAP BPC on HANA ..................................................................................................................................................... 6 SAP BW on HANA ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

The View Today ............................................................................................................................................. 8 What’s Next? ............................................................................................................................................................ 8

The Bigger Truth: EMC Lessons Learned and Takeaways ............................................................................. 9 All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at 508.482.0188.

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Why EMC Upgraded to SAP HANA

EMC IT’s Transformation

When EMC IT decided to move to a new ERP platform, it was after many years of customizing and maintaining legacy applications and infrastructure. With a vastly different set of business needs from a decade earlier, it became clear that the old technology had run its course. EMC’s IT team was using heavily customized Oracle applications and evaluated both Oracle and SAP for the new ERP system. The team chose SAP because the applications met EMC’s requirements within the standard functionality available. In addition, IT decided to transform older UNIX systems to x86 for lower costs and to build the right foundation for virtualizing and automating IT operations.

As part of EMC’s internal IT transformation, IT leaders created the EMC “PROPEL” Program with the ultimate goal of enabling a next-generation ERP platform that would allow for improved business processes, better use of staff resources, lower costs, and better scalability. The program was born out of lessons learned from the past, where highly customized applications meant more time and money spent on updates and maintenance. PROPEL is based on the idea that business transformation can happen through IT, and that a steady, careful approach can help IT to avoid technology mistakes.

The IT team completed Phase 1 of PROPEL in 2012, with the rollout of SAP ERP for back-office operations—manufacturing and finance. That rollout was fully virtualized with VMware on VCE Vblock, using Oracle as the DBMS. Phase 2, completed in January 2014, targeted professional services with the SAP Commercial Project Management application. Also during this time, EMC adopted SAP HANA for several use cases including data mart, SAP BPC, and SAP BW. Phase 3 targets sales with a configuration and quoting system deploying with SAP CRM on HANA and SAP Hybris.

Figure 1. EMC IT PROPEL Program Journey

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Catalyst for SAP HANA

As databases and data warehouses grow in size and number, organizations often have to deal with a number of accompanying challenges. ESG research respondents identified these problems, including performance problems, the need for additional infrastructure, and increased costs related to that infrastructure (see Figure 2).1 Finding ways to address these issues becomes imperative for the environment to support business needs.

Figure 2. Challenges Related to Database Size and/or Growth

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

HANA is leading the way in the emerging in-memory database market. Processing database functions in-memory is faster than using I/O to read and write data to other storage media. Memory continually gets cheaper and denser, and a whole group of supporting technologies like compression, deduplication, scale-out tools, and denser server architectures are making it possible for in-memory databases to flourish in enterprise environments.

EMC IT decided to implement SAP HANA when one critical operational report was repeatedly taking much too long to complete at the end of each quarter. The manufacturing department required a backlog report at the end of each quarter, but those reports were taking about two hours to run, which is not tenable for the quick-turnaround situation. Thus, after EMC’s move to SAP ERP, SAP’s new in-memory database, HANA, made sense as a next step to address this business challenge. The team assessed the risks and had discussions with SAP and with its own internal team before making the move.

The HANA Journey

EMC Approach to Adopting HANA

Since HANA was such a new technology, EMC took a measured approach to adoption, starting slowly to build a successful overall deployment. Adopting HANA went beyond simply learning a new technology product, as well—culture and skill changes were involved. It necessitated a new way of thinking about ABAP programming techniques. To realize the performance benefits delivered by HANA, existing ABAP reports need to be recoded to take advantage of HANA’s in-memory capabilities and columnar methods.

The Oracle database administrators quickly picked up HANA. As an early HANA adopter in a “no-best-practices” world, EMC IT learned as they went along, with help from SAP. EMC initially chose to deploy HANA as a physical

1 Source: ESG Research Report, Enterprise Database Trends in a Big Data World, July 2014.

27%

29%

33%

36%

38%

38%

40%

41%

42%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

Inability to complete maintenance tasks…

Governance requirements

Increased cost of software licenses

Data replication processes are becoming a…

Increased server capacity requirements

Security requirements

Increased cost of infrastructure

Increased storage capacity requirements

Performance degradation

What are the specific challenges your organization is facing with respect to its database size and/or growth? (Percent of respondents, N=119, multiple responses accepted)

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

appliance because that was the model SAP supported. Also as this was EMC IT’s initial experience with HANA, the appliance was faster to implement with lower risk. EMC IT opted for a HANA v1 SPS6 deployment, sized for 800 users with an approximately 150 GB production database.

How EMC Approached Implementation

EMC IT looked to system integrators when deploying SAP Business Suite on Oracle. For HANA, IT technical leaders led the charge, looking to internal resources and SAP for planning, coaching, and training. The IT team took a close look at HANA’s in-memory approach and figured out how to optimize ABAP coding to leverage HANA database capabilities to work in their environment.

How EMC IT Did It

EMC IT jumped into a field where no best practices existed, as HANA was still a very new product when they started the implementation process. The EMC IT team stayed flexible to meet challenges and adjust their own skills. EMC focused on a data mart use case providing a high return/low risk investment in accelerating manufacturing’s operation reporting.

Choosing HANA as an appliance to start—the sidecar approach—was the best way to mitigate risk to production environments and take a careful path toward deployment. Following the initial data mart use case, IT moved the SAP Business Planning & Consolidation (BPC) application to HANA, as it wasn’t meeting user needs and lacked flexibility. SAP’s Business Warehouse (BW) was next on the docket, moving onto HANA in 2014. Along the way, IT team members continued to gain experience, shifting their approach to governing practices and coding standards to better use HANA’s in-memory capabilities. Also, following the initial use case, IT began to leverage SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) and virtualization to lower cost by leveraging existing resources and IT practices.

EMC’s HANA Use Cases

EMC IT developed a strategy for HANA use cases based on the capabilities of the solution. Each use case brings unique benefits and builds on previous learning for the best success.

Data Mart on HANA

When it came to the data mart, performance was the driving force as it had become clear that slow reporting was tripping up workflows and shipping. The first task was addressing end-of-quarter operations in 2012. Putting the data mart onto HANA represented a low-risk and high-reward approach, since it was side by side with the SAP ERP deployment on Oracle. The HANA appliance was placed next to the Business Suite on Oracle, and EMC with SAP LT Replication Server was used to push ERP data to the HANA data mart appliance.

The team did rewrite the original ABAP report to take advantage of HANA’s in-memory capabilities to calculate and run the report faster. Other existing ABAP reports were redesigned to take advantage of HANA’s calculation capabilities.

The key business outcome—within about six months—was the decrease in the time it took to run the problematic manufacturing report, taking the time down from hours to minutes. This also laid the groundwork for moving SAP Business Planning & Consolidation (BPC) to HANA.

EMC’s HANA Timeline

2012: End of quarter report runtime

becomes untenable

2012, Q3: HANA appliance goes live

2013, Q4: SAP BPC application moves to

HANA

2014, Q3: SAP BW moves to HANA

2015, Q4: SAP CRM planned to move to

HANA

2016: SAP ERP migration to HANA planned

2017: SAP ECC moves to HANA

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SAP BPC on HANA

SAP’s Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) module was up next for HANA deployment, becoming EMC IT’s first transactional system on the new platform. The business driver in this case was also performance—the implementation bumped batch processing up by 50%, and sped up reporting by 40%. Data quality is much better and continuing to improve over time. EMC IT chose to run the BPC implementation in standalone mode, rather than embedded in the business warehouse, for better performance, automation, and maintenance.

Based on its experience from the data mart project, EMC IT decided to virtualize and move to a Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) model for BPC. This was a strategic decision for IT. EMC’s BPC system, while compute-intensive, was small in size (~ 150 GB). Thus, acquiring an additional physical appliance would be cost-prohibitive from a CapEx and OpEx standpoint. EMC’s Vblock infrastructure was already SAP-certified for TDI deployments. Because EMC had Vblock in place and didn’t have to buy new hardware for BPC on HANA, implementation only took about two and a half months. Additionally, while SAP did not support virtual HANA in production at this point in time, EMC IT felt it was a requirement to move in this direction for lowest TCO and agility for SAP BPC. EMC worked closely with SAP and VMware to be one of the first virtualized SAP HANA systems running in production.

Figure 3. SAP BPC Virtualized on HANA

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

This project really represented the start of EMC IT’s scaled HANA adoption over time. The IT team deployed HANA using the shared IT model adopted as part of the PROPEL program to:

Enable scalability, agility, and cost-efficiency

Provide flexibility to migrate computing resources to alternate servers

Simplify deployment of new systems from templates through an automated process

Meet production disaster recovery SLAs with no data loss, with RTOs of less than 30 minutes within the primary data center, or 4 hours in the case of complete data center loss

This part of the HANA rollout helped IT understand what virtualization could do in terms of managing the bigger HANA landscape and improving time to deployment. Data retrieval performance improved more than 400% when

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BPC moved to virtualized HANA. In addition, BCP on HANA allowed for more planning iterations and thus more accurate forecasts. From here, the IT team was ready to move the SAP Business Warehouse to HANA in 2014.

SAP BW on HANA

For EMC IT, SAP BW remains the largest system the company has put on HANA to date. Some of the key goals of putting BW on HANA included consolidating ETL and analytics, reducing duplicate data, and simplifying the overall architecture. EMC IT started using SAP nearline storage with SAP Sybase IQ before the migration to reduce the size of the DBMS for better efficiency. This is the beginning of a data tiering strategy for SAP BW, with “hot” data maintained in HANA in-memory DBMS and “warm/cold” data on lower-cost storage in SAP Sybase IQ (see Figure 4). EMC IT found faster runtimes and a smaller BW footprint on HANA even when some of the historical data was on the “warm” storage tier. With SAP NLS, EMC reduced the BW 7 TB Oracle database prior to migrating to HANA. Since the go-live in January 2014, more than 3.3 billion records have been archived. EMC uses virtual tables in HANA and SAP Smart Data Access (SDA) to report on “hot” and “warm” information.

Figure 4. Data Tiering and Extended Storage on HANA with SAP Sybase IQ

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

To protect valuable business data on HANA, EMC IT plans to support zero data loss, leaning on its current storage-level offsite replication methods. VMware’s SRM will manage a disaster recovery copy of the virtual HANA nodes, and EMC’s own SRDF and VMAX will protect the HANA log directories, moving them asynchronously to the DR site. Full DR copies of HANA nodes aren’t necessary, which relieves the burden of storing entire HANA memory chunks on a daily basis. A SAN-based backup infrastructure has eliminated all tape storage.

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Figure 5. SAP BW on HANA for Real Time Reporting Integration

Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

The View Today

That initial problem report now takes less than ten minutes versus hours to run, and SLA goals are met consistently. Batch runs and processing are much faster, as well. EMC IT continues to execute on its roadmap as it performs testing on SAP CRM on HANA, the first planned greenfield deployment since introducing HANA. OLTP systems on HANA are largely untested, but so far, tests have passed EMC IT’s requirements.

In general, the team takes a “plain vanilla” approach to applications as much as possible, helping to reduce customization to stay close to SAP’s upgrade path and versions. However, developers do have to use different versions of HANA, which helps them to keep pace with SAP and its upgrade path, and to stay abreast of bugs and patches. Release management is also key to new patches being applied properly and consistently—there’s now an organizational rigor around those practices.

IT roles have become looser and more blended since IT went through the HANA learning process together. Developers and database admins learned new methods quickly, and EMC IT has now contributed to the formation of HANA best practices, as team members collaborate with other companies to share what they’ve learned. EMC IT is slowly dropping the sidecar approach to fold HANA into its Vblock infrastructure as a database platform, reducing hardware and data redundancy as appliances are no longer needed and analytics take place inside each application.

What’s Next?

EMC’s IT team will continue following their collaborative, flexible principles and PROPEL initiatives to move more apps to HANA and scale up HANA operations, taking into account HANA’s high compute demands. They’ll also continue to evaluate the scale-up and scale-out possibilities of using an in-memory database on Vblock, especially as they consider SAP Suite on HANA more archiving-focused.

IT will continue its communication and collaboration with business users on new uses cases and applications that can benefit from the performance and speed delivered by HANA’s in-memory DBMS architecture. The team’s

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© 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

overall goals are to meet business demands and SLAs, stay on the leading edge of technology, and simplify customer and user experiences.

The next project for EMC IT is rolling out SAP CRM on HANA. Other projects include big data initiatives such as aging and tiering data and building a data lake; enabling mobile/sales access; exposing HANA apps to bigger in-house groups; and eventually putting mission-critical apps like ECC on HANA. EMC IT may also fine-tune the optimization of the finance module on HANA, and consider subscription models for users. A move to SAP’s S4 release is also on the drawing board, especially as SAP itself works to optimize those apps for HANA. Thus far, EMC IT has successfully and cost-effectively built on-premises systems, but may consider cloud for some apps.

The Bigger Truth: EMC Lessons Learned and Takeaways

EMC IT became a more agile, flexible, and skilled team throughout the first few years of the company’s SAP HANA deployment. Their gradual approach, starting with a sidecar-type appliance, exemplified the type of rational strategy that pays rewards over time in terms of better performance, better data, and reduced risk.

The IT team has learned some key lessons during the first few years of a new initiative: First, prepare for serious skills development with this kind of change. In-house staff can adapt and grow along with new technology and processes. Prep for bugs, too. And be prepared to follow the software vendor’s lead on patching and version control, not to mention trusting its standard configurations. The team also now places high importance on software lifecycle management, and will consider industry adoption rates, ROI, and IT’s ability to take on new projects for planning future rollouts to HANA. In addition, HANA has pushed EMC IT to adopt stronger governing practices and coding standards, particularly around patch release management and preproduction testing.

Any organization considering upgrading to an in-memory database and enterprise applications platform would do well to heed these lessons.

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