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A More Intelligent BI Platform

by Kevin Nable | insiderPROFILES

January 1, 2011

What puts the “intel” in an “intelligent” BI platform? Intel IT can give you a hint: it has to do with bypassing traditional BI platforms, which have become performance bottlenecks. In this solution profile, discover how SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator, coupled with the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series, can accelerate query performance and business insight.

In this new era of real-time business analytics, more business users — employees, customers, and suppliers — are bypassing predefined reports to create ad hoc queries based on expanding volumes of data. The consequence is no surprise: Traditional business intelligence (BI) platforms have become performance bottlenecks. Query response times are unpredictable, and the platforms are unable to adapt to the changing requirements of today’s businesses. These days, users need a more intelligent BI platform.

Accelerating Business with Applications Out of the Box

A new way to boost BI query performance is to use SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version, which combines the high performance and scalability of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator) software — formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence Accelerator — with the search and exploration capabilities of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. (See sidebar to the right for more information.)

SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator can support a growing number of users and increasing amounts of data because it scales up with multiple cores per processor and scales out across blades. Companies can scale the application to meet their heaviest demand by simply adding blades — a cost-effective way to bring massive parallel processing power to their infrastructure.

Using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version, out of the box, companies can improve their data warehouse query response times, data analysis, and overall business performance.

Smarter Performance from the Intel Xeon Processor 5600 Series

To help drive timely answers to evolving business questions, SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator comes preinstalled on blade systems packed with Intel Xeon processors. The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series (codenamed Westmere) with next-generation Intel microarchitecture boosts the performance of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version (including SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator), by as much as 1.64 times more queries per hour compared to the previous-generation Intel Xeon processor (see figure below) — providing faster answers to critical business questions and extending the benefits of the software to more users. Note that processor numbers are not measures of performance, and they differentiate features within (not across) processor families.1

To deliver intelligent performance, the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series brings together innovative technologies:

  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology, together with Intel Intelligent Power Technology, delivers performance on demand, letting processors operate above the rated frequency to speed specific workloads. Intel Turbo Boost Technology requirements and performance vary depending on the system hardware, software, and overall system configuration.2
  • Intel QuickPath Technology and an integrated memory controller speed traffic between processors and input/output controllers for bandwidth-intensive applications, delivering up to 4.2 times the bandwidth for data-intensive applications that are used with SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator.* Performance benchmark results vary depending on the hardware, software, and configuration.3
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology benefits from larger caches and massive memory bandwidth, allowing for the parallel processing of more data for SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator. Intel Hyper-Threading Technology requirements and performance vary depending on the hardware, software, and configuration.4

*This claim is based on STREAM_MP-Triad benchmark results (Source: Intel internal measurements SSG TR#942 and TR#1071 as of February 12, 2010). [back]

Intel Mult-User Throughput
  Compared to the previous-generation processor (5500 series), the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series will significantly enhance the performance of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version**

**Performance metric used: Maximum number of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer queries per hour in an SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator-based landscape (maximum query throughput). Source: Intel internal measurements of Intel Xeon Processor X5680 (3.33 GHz) versus Intel Xeon Processor X5570 (2.93 GHz), February 2010.

Intel Xeon processors, available from major platform vendors, enable customers to quickly, simply, and cost-effectively deploy accelerated SAP NetWeaver-based business solutions on the latest Intel Xeon processor-based platforms. Installation is easy — it involves slotting the solution into your existing network and performing a few simple activation steps with the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version, must be installed on a dedicated SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator-certified blade. The software can be pre-installed on SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator or added to an existing installation later.

Ensuring Timely Business Insights

SAP and Intel have collaborated for years to deliver SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator as an extraordinary BI tool, optimizing and tuning it to leverage the advantages of Intel architecture. Since the first customer deployment in 2006, this tool has helped professionals in the energy, pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, and other competitive industries achieve business insights that increase revenue opportunities and cut costs.

Now, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version, provides timely insights with a new, transparent approach to boosting BI query performance, allowing users to run queries without having to learn how to use a new application. SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator speeds native BI query performance up to 100 times, enabling more flexible, detailed analytics and insight for more users.

Platforms based on the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series multiply these benefits to boost speed, scalability, enterprise reliability, availability, and serviceability to help ensure business continuity and low cost of operations through innovations such as automated energy efficiency. This new architecture — containing a combination of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated version, software and Intel processors — reduces TCO by enabling you to run SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator on fewer blades.

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