Setting a Strategy for Your SAP HANA Investment:
Q&A with Anita Paul and Amit Chakravarti

Choosing Deployment Models, Minimizing Risk, and Leveraging Legacy Systems to Enhance Time to Value

December 09, 2014

Thank you to everyone who joined us for  our online Q&A with HP’s Anita Paul and Amit “Chaks” Chakravarti.

In this one-hour chat, they took some great questions from readers, shared some practical tips for managing risk and costs, and offered advice on guidelines in preparation for a successful SAP HANA implementation.

To review the full chat, view the replay below, along with the Q&A transcript.

Live Blog SAP HANA Planning & Deployment Options with Anita Paul & Amit Chravarti | Dec 10 2pm ET
Live Blog SAP HANA Planning & Deployment Options with Anita Paul & Amit Chakravarti


SAPinsider:  Welcome to the live chat on planning for a move to SAP HANA. Submit your questions to our moderator, BI Expert editor M.S. Hein, at any time.  

M.S. Hein:  Thank you for joining us today for this first of two Q&As on SAP HANA, with Anita Paul and Amit K. Chakravarti of HP. Anita Paul is the Worldwide SAP HANA Leader for HP Enterprise Services and Amit “Chaks” Chakravarti is the Director of Enterprise Services for HP Enterprise Services.

Welcome to you both, and thanks you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Anita Paul: Good morning everyone. It is great to be joining you from New Zealand.

Amit Chakravarti: Good morning. It’s a pleasure to join you from Bangalore.

M.S. Hein: We are focusing today on key points for the business when planning for SAP HANA. As you mentioned in your webinar, Anita, the deployment model has certainly evolved over time.
Can you help clarify what those deployment models are and how to evaluate them, from a technical and business perspective?

Anita Paul: We have many options for deployment for SAP HANA. We can implement in your Data Centre (on-Premise) or in a Cloud environment in an as-a-Service model.
In any of these deployment models we can deliver as CAPEX or OPEX in a subscription/consumption pricing models.

M.S. Hein: We’ve also seen that data speed and reporting performance is not always the core issue in many SAP HANA implementations. Chaks, where do you currently see HANA used in innovative ways across different areas of the business?

Amit Chakravarti: You have to first start with a business case. We at the HP HANA COE have built business cases for HANA deployments of all sizes cross –industry, and while they vary, there are a few common factors:

• TCO Reduction. In many cases HANA has a lower TCO. It reduces hardware renewal costs, frees up valuable enterprise storage and mainframes, and requires much less maintenance

• SAP Simplification. HANA simplifies landscapes by using the same copy of data for multiple applications. Our implementations have shown that adding additional applications to a HANA dataset is very fast and easy, delivering business benefits quickly

Amit Chakravarti: And with the process improvement, you have to take into consideration the industry. Things like Demand Signal management, sales and operations planning, and MRP runs are key processes which are done best on a HANA platform. And imagine getting everything in real time - that's HANA.

M.S. Hein:  I’m sure we will see questions around both those topics in the chat this hour. But in the meantime we already have many questions for you both from our readers, so I’ll let you get to those now.

Comment From Nathan

Do we have a migration cockpit, something similar to what SAP introduced with New GL?

Amit Chakravarti: Yes, we have. With BW, SAP has released a HANA Migration cockpit where you can perform all tasks like sizing, DDL Generation, Checklist Tool, ABAP Optimization, and infocube conversion, etc. This is very good cockpit and simplifies our tasks for pre/post-migration activities.

Comment From Guest

What are your recommendations for testing HANA before migration? How can we know that the use case is right for HANA?

Anita Paul:  Prior to any migration it is critical to cleanse data. This will allow you to limit the amount of data that needs to be moved, migrated, and tested. We use a tool to assess the SAP landscape to determine where the process bottlenecks are. This helps define which use cases will be impactful and create real benefit.

Amit Chakravarti: To test HANA before migration you might want to do a pilot with a certain data set only. Just to give you an example, we did a pilot around Warranty Management on HANA for one of the automotive majors in Asia Pac, and once the customer was able to show the business benefits to his business, only then did we start the large-scale Suite on HANA implementation.
It’s also important that you include few key business folks - apart from the CIO/team - during the workshop. That helps in taking decision faster and nailing down on the use case.

Comment From Matt

Looking at the infrastructure and cloud discussions around HANA, when are appliances still the right approach?

Anita Paul: Appliances are appropriate when high performance is demanded and when you have a large TB load. We recommend it at over 8 TBs, but each environment and requirement needs to be solutioned for a final answer on this.

Comment From Aaron

What kind of timeline can we expect from HANA deployment?

Anita Paul: Full production deployments can be done in less than 6 months depending on the landscapes. We have recently completed a full SAP HANA migration to Cloud environment in less than 6 months. The scope was a BW on HANA full landscape environment. Everything went well because it was planned in detail and test runs were included.

 Comment From Guest

What is a typical migration timetable for a typical client? How many months and resources are we looking at?

Amit Chakravarti: There are many factors that determine this. The right deployment model is finalized during the business case creation. One has to deep-dive to understand the customer requirements, budget, and timeline to suggest the right model. For BW, there are primarily 3 options.
 What I have seen with our customers is that it takes it takes 20-25 weeks for a successful HANA deployment.  Of course we have also seen some rapid deployments, taking only around 10-12 weeks, leveraging our SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS).

Comment From Nathan

How realistic are these RDS solutions? There are so many variables and dynamic conditions in an implementation, how do RDSs take that into consideration?

Anita Paul: RDSs have the benefit of being quick to deploy, fixed price, etc. But yes, there are a lot to choose from.
In some clients we have implemented multiple RDSs to come up with a combined deployment. Initially it's about using some of the key RDSs like BW migration to start with, and then building in some of the business-related RDSs. You can't do an entire deployment with RDS, but they definitely assist in improving deployment times.
We always suggest a workshop with knowledgeable consultants to help pick which RDSs may be relevant.

Comment From Lauren

Should we even be looking at Suite on HANA if we haven't implemented BW on HANA? Is a BW on HANA implementation the required first step?

Anita Paul:  You can implement Suite on HANA directly. We have an example of one client who has done this. The uptake with Suite has become very aggressive recently, so there are some good lessons learned and examples now coming through.

Comment From Guest

How does SAP HANA coexist with other analytics databases (such as Vertica, etc.)?

Amit Chakravarti: In some of our deployments we have seen that HANA is well integrated with most of the other Big Data tools. For example, we can extract full value from Big Data by combining the in-memory processing power of SAP HANA with Hadoop's ability to store and process huge amounts of data. The final end state is BI simplification -- and simplification in terms of architecture, TCO, and increasing business value.

Comment From Henrique Zaniti

What benefits can HANA provide users in countries like Brazil and Mexico, where tax requirements have been pretty complex and tax-related information is due to the government (e.g., Brazilian SPEDs)?

Anita Paul: SAP HANA can provide access to complex data in a real time fashion. The benefit of complex tax-related information is that it can be managed on a single database, allowing for speed-to-access and speed-to-analyze. SAP HANA can also take information from multiple data sources - from SAP and non-SAP systems. This consolidation of information helps when dealing with complex data requirements.

Comment From Guest

What is the best approach to migrate to HANA if we have a huge database (approximately 12TB)?

Anita Paul: Cleanse your data first!!! At 12TB you will need an appliance approach. The migration steps are really no different, but the infrastructure considerations are. Include plenty of testing. We are doing these types of high-volume migrations with no issues.

Comment From Guest

Does HANA come with a built-in Query Designer Tool for reporting?

Amit Chakravarti: No, but SAP HANA supports different connectivity options (such as MDX, BICS, SQL etc.) to standard reporting tools (BusinessObjects BI Suite, MS Excel, etc.). We at HP's HANA COE have also developed a few accelerators and IPs that we use in customer projects.

Comment From Guest

When does a sidecar implementation make sense and how does it lower risk of deployment?  

Amit Chakravarti:  Sidecar is primarily used it for a select group of tables/processes,  to help improve performance against those objects.
So data from the ERP system would get pulled into the HANA sidecar and queries/jobs would run against the sidecar instead of the original ERP system itself.
Typically what we have seen is when an organization starts implementing HANA they start with a business/use case meant for a particular business unit within the organization. However there are other BUs that gain interest and want to test results for themselves, too. That's when they start with a sidecar approach.  Finance is a good case for sidecar in any industry.

Comment From Guest

What is the best approach for a HANA TDI model? What is the best-fit alliance? Is it HP EMC or Cisco/NetApp?

Amit Chakravarti: SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) model primarily enables the use of enterprise storage and networking components that already exist in your datacenter, rather than requiring customers to purchase additional storage and networking to be used only for the SAP HANA environment. So if it’s an HP hardware shop, it would absolutely make sense to go ahead with all HP.

Comment From Guest

What skill sets and resources should we be looking for in a HANA migration and maintenance?

Amit Chakravarti: For implementation: HANA Basis, BI/BO experts, and the functional guys. The Basis guys play a major part in the migration, so you might want to have your best.
During AMS/maintenance: primarily Basis.

Comment From Nathan

Are functional consultants required during the migration or just the HANA architects? I am assuming they are for post-migration testing, etc. 

Amit Chakravarti: Absolutely YES. Functional folks play a major part during testing and post-migration. Also, when you work with DSIM, S&OP, etc., you need them during the blueprint phase, too.

Comment From Guest

What are the typical issues that we can look forward to after migration?

Amit Chakravarti: While the migration piece per se has fewer issues, the most important piece is testing, where you have to involve both functional and technical folks. Of the 35 large HANA services projects that we have done, we have not seen any major pitfalls.

Comment From Nathan

For an existing on-premise landscape or solution, is migration to HANA-on-cloud recommended/suggested?

Anita Paul: If you have made the strategic decision to go to Cloud, then yes. We have moved SAP HANA implementations from On-Premise to Cloud with no issues at all. There are TCO advantages and the new generation of hardware is leveraged. I've been very pleased about the advantages of moving to Cloud.

Comment From Guest

Does HANA come with HANA Live for operational reporting?

Amit Chakravarti: Yes, that's the whole purpose. What is SAP HANA Live? Real-time operational reporting directly on your Suite on HANA system without any redundancy or latency.

Comment From Madhavi

I would like to know the best approaches/strategies for modeling in SAP HANA for any kind of project.

Amit Chakravarti: Now, there is a platform being set up that offers new levels of data modeling that exceeds what's possible with traditional relational database management systems (RDBMS). So, in SAP HANA there is still a need to model the data in the provisioning stage. It's just much different from the data model you would design for a traditional RDBMS.

Comment From Dishant

How does archiving take place in HANA projects? Is it value added to the customer if they have a leaner database?

Anita Paul: We have started to look at where hot/cold/warm storage should take place in some projects. We are also investigating IQ archiving and data cleansing and strategies that need to be considered as you're starting the project, so you minimize the TB load going into the new environment.

Comment From Sunil

Which is the tool that's used to access the SAP Landscape to determine where process bottlenecks?

Anita Paul: IBIS. We run our assessments with this tool within a few days to produce reports that allow us to immediately see where HANA can assist and improve processing. It's extremely insightful reporting and it helps to provide quantitative data for a business case. From HP, we bundle the use of this tool into our Up Front HANA Assessments so any client can get the benefit of the tools assessment from the beginning of the project. Re: IBIS information and assessment tools, don't hesitate to email me directly at after this event.

Comment From Guest

Any insight into the HANA SPS09 storage tiering?

Anita Paul: Not enough, yet, to comment fully. We are investigating it now on a number of projects and are trapping lessons learned. Projects with high TB load are the ones most interested in SP09. This is a good topic for our next Q&A session.

And of course, as Cloud becomes more prevalent in the marketplace, SP09 will come into its own. Everyone is looking forward to the innovation this will offer.

Comment From Guest

Any insight into implications of moving to cloud with respect to reporting or security related issues from reporting point of view?

Anita Paul: If you move to a cloud provider with enterprise-scale security there are really no issues. We have an extended set of tools to manage security, as it does concern a lot of companies.

All our cloud data centres follow regulatory standards. I will source some further information and specifics on tools and we'll answer this question in more detail on the Q&A session next week.

Comment From Siegfried

Is there a tool which analyses the Z-programs, user exits, and modifications to tell the user where problems may occur with HANA and how to solve them?

Amit Chakravarti: HP is designing a tool internally meant to do this, based on our initial learning at various customer sites. Please get in touch with me directly to discuss and learn more.

Amit Chakravarti: I just wanted to add one note about HP's HANA AS Service model. With these  comprehensive capabilities, we want to provide clients with an end-to-end service by integrating the HP Appliance Portfolio for SAP HANA, HP Infrastructure and Application Management Services for SAP HANA, HP Industry and Strategic Services for SAP HANA, and HP Helion Cloud and Security Services for SAP HANA into a single architecture and value proposition that can be offered under one commercial agreement.
The solution allows SAP HANA to be consumed on a subscription basis, as milestone payments, or as “bring your own license,” helping clients unlock the value from already-purchased SAP HANA licenses.

Anita Paul: And here are two links from some taping we did at CBS, NY last year: 
- HANA in the Manufacturing Industry –
- HANA in the Retail Industry -

M.S. Hein:

Thanks to everyone for some great questions! And a big thank you to our panelists, Anita Paul and Amit “Chaks” Chakravarti.

Anita Paul: Fantastic questions everyone!

Amit Chakravarti: Thanks everyone for your time. Indeed a pleasure.

M.S. Hein: For more SAP HANA technical advice, I invite you to view the articles here from BI Expert. To hear more from Anita Paul view her recent “Keep Calm and Move to SAP HANA” webinar, and tune in to our followup Q&A next week on the technical considerations for managed cloud, SAP HANA migrations, and best practices

M.S. Hein: And again, thank you to Anita Paul and Amit Chakravarti from HP. We’re looking forward to more on the technical issues of HANA, cloud and migration in next week’s Q&A!


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