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In the fast-moving world of HANA, old sizing models are already obsolete: Interview with Dr. Bjarne Berg

by Bridget Kotelly

June 19, 2013

Dr. Bjarne Berg, coauthor of SAP HANA: An Introduction  spoke recently with SAPinsider’s Dave Hannon in a couple of interviews covering both dashboarding and HANA.

Here’s a quick except from their HANA conversation, covering topics such as is driving his new three-part BI Seminar and how rapid application development can be of special benefit to dashboard projects.

You can listen to the entire HANA podcast -- including Dr. Berg's assessment of HP, Cisco, and IBM’s next wave of servers for large and midsize DWs, why data cleanup is a first priority, and which new tool to check out before  migration -- available for download (registration required) at the SAPinsider Resources page.

Dave Hannon, SAPinsider: Hello and welcome. This is Dave Hannon from SAPinsider.

I’m joined today by Dr. Berg of Comerit, who is a well-known voice here on the Insider Learning Network. Dr. Berg recently released the second edition of his SAP HANA book to great success at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference.  He also recently posted a video here on the Insider Learning Network outlining five steps to migrate SAP NetWeaver BW to HANA, so we’re going to talk to him a little bit about that today.

Welcome, Dr. Berg.

Dr. Berg, Comerit:  Thank you.

Dave: First off, I wanted to ask you if you have any advice for companies debating whether or not they are a good candidates for migrating BW to HANA – either from a business perspective or from a technical perspective.

I know there are a lot of companies out there sort of trying to determine if they’re a good candidate for this.

Dr. Berg:  I think a lot of people right now have gone through adding more hardware capacity, adding more process, going to virtualized servers.

People are heavily relying on aggregates in BW. They’re running pre-caching queries like BEx Broadcaster, or they’ve put in a BWA system. Anyone in this position is really the prime candidate for moving over to HANA.

More people are planning on, or maybe launching, new capabilities, dashboards or scorecards, or more OLAP  tools, or new users. In the long run, pretty much everybody will move over sooner or later to HANA, because hard drives will be the same as floppy drives. You will no longer be able to buy them.

But in the near term, it’s going to be people are now throwing a lot of hardware capacity after, trying to solve a problem with a relational database.

Dave: You talk in your sessions about sizing BW for the migration to HANA. Is there anything BW customers should be aware of when it comes to sizing, before they make that move?

Dr. Berg:  Yeah, there are so many ways of sizing.

Initially, we were using the quick sizing methods, where we went up and typed in all the stuff and went step-by-step and used the QuickSizer.

That is only appropriate now for people who do not have a BW system or don’t have existing systems they’re applying forward.

Then we have rule-of-thumb sizing, with some basic rules of thumb. We have some t-shirt sizing models and charts that give t-shirt sizing. All of those are kind of obsolete right now.

There’s a program out there that SAP has provided that allows you to run it in a node and you get a very, very detailed sizing estimate, low-impact and low-workload on your company.

So the most appropriate way for companies right now is to get exact sizing. It’s just clean up the system, go through the sizing program, and run it, and skip the whole QuickSizer program.

p href="">To listen to the full interview, visit SAPinsider Resources.

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