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Ensuring SAP HANA Delivers

The Need for Functional and Performance Validation

by Shoeb Javed | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2

April 1, 2015

SAP HANA offers a powerful solution to the challenges posed by the “three Vs” of big data: volume, variety, and velocity. Learn how to ensure a successful SAP HANA implementation with an automated approach to functional and performance validations that will help you avoid business disruption, ensure data quality, and deliver faster, better technology deployment.

 

SAP HANA holds enormous promise and offers a big data strategy that effectively addresses the “three Vs” of big data: volume, variety, and velocity. To get there, companies need to embark on a transformation journey that affects many IT projects and a lot of technology across many business units — but without disrupting existing business processes.

Success in an enterprise SAP HANA deployment means your team will need to complete two very important phases:

  1. Functional validation: Make sure that every business process functions correctly both before and after the SAP HANA implementation.
  2. Performance validation: Verify that business users will experience all the speed and responsiveness promised by SAP HANA.

Both of these phases require a considerable amount of work from both IT and business teams. However, automated validation can significantly reduce the burden and accelerate SAP HANA deployment and adoption.

Phase 1. Functional Validation

Unlike most other SAP projects, implementing SAP HANA primarily affects the underlying database. As a result, these projects can involve relatively little configuration and end-user training. However, SAP HANA projects require extensive functional testing — which can represent up to 80% of the total project effort, based on our project experience. This functional validation ensures quality in two major areas: business processes and data (see Figure 1).

SAP HANA Special Report - Worksoft

Figure 1 — Achieve business process quality for SAP HANA with functional and performance validation

Business Process Quality

As you move to SAP HANA, your team will need to validate that every critical business process works before, during, and after the implementation. Typically, companies begin by building their test automation portfolio on the existing SAP system. Once that is completed successfully, the company then runs that same automation on the applications and data using SAP HANA.

With automation in place, this can be accomplished in a matter of minutes for each test cycle — compared to days when using a manual approach. Worksoft automated business process validation shortens overall project timelines and doesn’t require special programming skills because business users can engage directly.

Data Quality

Data quality is paramount in an SAP HANA migration because successful adoption requires business users to have high confidence in their new system, and assurance that business processes still function correctly. Automated business process validation helps you uncover any data transfer problems and system issues before they affect your production systems and users. This is accomplished because automated validation detects any data discrepancies between business intelligence (BI) systems and source ERP systems, providing a mechanism for you to identify any data quality or reporting issues.

It’s not just about performing these validations once and moving on. With all the changes happening to your environment, you need to check the integrity of your business processes and data regularly. After the implementation, regularly validating data transfers across the various enterprise systems that feed SAP HANA will remain important to ensure that every business process functions properly. With the speed of big data, you may find that your validation frequency will increase.

For example, if you have new analytics capabilities that speed up your reporting from monthly to daily, you need to change your validation from monthly to daily to ensure your data is accurate. Without automation, this would be an extremely resource-intensive  and time-consuming process.

Phase 2. Performance Validation

The best way to ensure that your SAP HANA implementation will deliver the performance, speed, and user experience that you need is to test it on a typical maximum workload, analyze the results, identify the bottlenecks, and optimize the hardware, systems, and network infrastructure, if needed.

Here’s how one leading company approached performance and load testing of SAP HANA. Using three analytics systems, the company tracked its computing, network, and storage tiers specifically for SAP HANA — all while monitoring the performance of a virtual SAP HANA system while applying a large production workload.

The company applied Worksoft Performance software for performance and load testing, using SAP financial month-end closing processes as a benchmark. The workload simulated more than a thousand simultaneous users placing orders, viewing stock availability, performing shipments, and conducting other functions. This all happened while resource-intensive MRP jobs were running in the background for consolidation, and creating tens of gigabytes of SAP HANA logs for data replication at remote sites. The company’s hybrid cloud capabilities were also tested.

After conducting these tests, the company was able to confirm that the deployment would perform as planned, and see in advance what effect a wide variety of business activities would have on SAP HANA performance. With automation, the company was able to do so in a quick, cost-effective manner that would help them establish confidence in the new system before going live.

With the pace of change in big data, you can no longer afford to rely on manual effort to ensure quality and performance. Automation is the new standard for functional and performance validation.

Automate for SAP HANA Project Success

With the pace of change in big data, you can no longer afford to rely on manual effort to ensure quality and performance. Automation is the new standard for functional and performance validation.

For SAP HANA projects, automation will help your company avoid business disruption, ensure data quality and deliver faster, better technology deployment.

Companies can accelerate SAP HANA projects and ensure performance across every end-to-end business process touched by SAP HANA. For more information, visit us at www.worksoft.com.

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Shoeb Javed
Shoeb Javed

CTO
Worksoft, Inc.



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