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The Hows and Whys of Moving to SAP HANA: Q&A on Technical Tips for a Smooth Migration

December 16, 2014

Amit K Chakravarti

Anita Paul, Worldwide SAP HANA Leader for HP Enterprise Services, and Amit K Chakravarti, Director of Enterprise Services for HP Enterprise Services, recently took readers' questions in a live Q&A on SAP HANA migration.

In this followup to the webinar “Keep Calm and Move to HANA,” they shared tips and advice based on HP's own SAP HANA implementation, as well as work with customers in manufacturing, retail, and other sectors. Topics covered included security and disaster recovery for various deployment scenarios, modeling the move from old data systems to new ones, reasons for sidecar deployment, SLAs, BPC on HANA, and uses of predictive analytics.

View the chat replay below, and the edited Q&A transcript.


Live Blog Technical Tips for a Smooth SAP HANA Migration: Q&A Live Dec 16 2pmET

SAPinsider: Join HP's Anita Paul and Amit "Chaks" Chakravarti on December 16 for a Q&A on technical tips on simplifying migration to SAP HANA.


Bridget Kotelly, HANA 2015:  Thank you for joining us today for this second 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 Chakravarti is the Director of Enterprise Services for HP Enterprise Services.

Anita, Amit, welcome back to this week’s SAP HANA Q&A!

Anita Paul: Good morning all. It is great to be back.

Amit Chakravarti: Welcome you all, hope we have a productive session.

Bridget Kotelly: Thanks for joining again for your second Q&A this month! In this one, we’re focusing more on the technical issues behind an SAP HANA migration. We already have many questions for you, so I’ll let you get to those now.

Comment From Jeff A

What was the full timeline length from start of DEV to PROD go live? 12 weeks? 16 weeks? How many environments did you migrate in total? DEV, QA, UAT, Dress Rehearsal? Prod?

Anita Paul: Generally Dev can be up and running very quickly <4 weeks if planned, getting to production can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months depending on scale of implementation. Generally migration is across all landscapes and Dress Rehearsals are highly recommended, as is an extensive program of data cleansing to ensure you don't migrate what you don't need.

Comment From Roy

Is there a 1-2-3 to implement HANA?

Anita Paul:
1. Workshop with the business as to their pain points so you know what SAP HANA is trying to answer.
2. Run landscape research (something like IBIS) to determine where your business bottlenecks are - and get quantifiable ROI data for your business case.
3. Roadmap your deployment (after deciding on BW, SOH, etc.).

Comment From Shailendra: SOH?

Bridget Kotelly: SOH is Suite on HANA.

Comment From guest

Can you also explain about capacity of the HANA box? Is it possible to run two PROD systems on one HANA box (ERP and BW, etc.)?

Anita Paul: There are certain best practices that we follow. However, with SPS 9, SAP provides multi-tenancy capabilities to run multiple applications in individual containers (MDC - Multiple Database Containers) on a single HANA data base, which basically replaces the MCOS/D concepts, although you can run MCOS/D in a single HANA container.

If a customer chooses MDC, all application run on a single database – meaning the same revision and everything related to this - and a customer can choose a different HA/DR concept and different backup provision for each container.

Comment From Guest

Should we start with BW on HANA or a full Suite on HANA implementation?

Amit Chakravarti: There are 2 parts to this:

1. If the company uses an enterprise-wide data warehouse strategy, where data might come from several sources and where corporate historic data will be maintained for legal and financial reports for a long period of time, then yes, HANA BW is the way to go.

2. If it’s a pure play SAP scenario - if the primary use of BW was just operational report repository for SAP applications (ERP, CRM, SRM, APO, etc.) - then BW on HANA is not needed, since with native HANA Live real time operation reports will be delivered on top of the transactional data, which is much more beneficial for the company.

Comment From Guest

My question is on implementation of SAP HANA with ERP. I heard lot about SAP HANA and BW implementations. But I don’t hear much about HANA with ECC. Is there any upside of using HANA with BW or ECC?

Anita Paul: The upside of SAP HANA with ECC is your ability to speed up business processing and hence get insight earlier. This gives you the opportunity to innovate on how to do processes differently. From a technical point of view you can move to single DBs and optimize landscapes - saving money on infrastructure, support, administration, etc.


Comment From Radha

We are beginning our BW on HANA migration project in next couple of days. Any advice of critical focus areas, based on your migration experience?

Amit Chakravarti: There are 3 different facets to this:

  1. Testing consumes the biggest amount of time
  2. Keep your functional guys ready for seeing the entire end to end cycle
  3. Run an independent check of your HANA system

… and in addition, please keep it to the latest patches.

Comment From guest

Keeping in perspective that most clients have greater than 10T of data, what kind of testing was helpful and/or necessary?

Amit Chakravarti: When you do the business case creation in your company, you need to make a decision around HOT, WARM, and COLD storage. How much data do you really want to see in-memory vs. how much could be moved to Sybase IQ? Then take a final decision on the sizing.

Comment From George

Can Business Suite be partially implemented on HANA? For example, we need only MRP on HANA, nothing else.

Anita Paul: There are bundles you can implement with SAP Suite on HANA -- for example, CRM, SRM, etc. You will have to determine what dependencies may exist with MRP and how that will affect your ability to implement it as a single deployment. But you definitely do not need to implement across the entire landscape.


Comment From Steve

Please characterize the co-existence model during implementation as it relates to moving integrations from the old to the new environments, especially if historical references must exist in both places at the same time.

Amit Chakravarti: Yes, at some point once your HANA PROD system goes live you need to slowly start integrating all the data sources that were fetching data into your old system. Hence the best way to start would be the sidecar approach:

  • Use HANA as a secondary database and the original database can be used as is.
  • For immediate payoffs with long-term evolution, you can opt for the sidecar approach to reap initial benefits before going big-bang with HANA deployment.
  • If the customer has BW accelerator, then the particular application can be deployed with HANA side car approach to achieve efficiency in report run times.

Comment From nitin

We are in Retail and moving to HANA. Any service packs/EHPs that we should be on before starting the implementation?

Amit Chakravarti: The rule of thumb is to always go with N-1 both for service packs as well as for enhancement packs.

Comment From Guest 

Is HANA available on all SAP landscapes?

Anita Paul: Yes. Development of new SAP Innovation products will be deployed on HANA alone.


Comment From Ravi

Can you please explain the purpose of landscape reorganization during HANA migration on a single node and multi-node appliances?

Amit Chakravarti: The single-node HANA appliance is a single Intel x86 based server with RAM and locally attached persistent storage (usually a combination of spinning hard disks and solid state drives). SAP has defined a number of T-shirt sizes that are possible for these servers, from XS to L, each with a different number of CPU processors and amount of RAM, from 128GB up to 1TB. The scaleout  is not based on their single-node solutions, so it is not possible to scale from a single-node to multimode. Read more here.

Comment From Ranjan

My principal concern is on reporting: Unlike the current data extract – which does not populate the vendor names in the report but their SAP IDs – will HANA bring this data in the reports? Alternatively, what are the reports to look out for that separate HANA classes from current or other ERP BI reports?

Amit Chakravarti: Yes, it will. Plus there are many new RDSs that could be used to generate new reports. For example, if you're in the consumer industry you have new functionalities like Demand Signal Management , Sales and Operation Planning, etc., that can generate a whole set of new reports for your business users -  and obviously you will also have the speed of HANA for data loading.

Comment From Radha

Did you face any major post go-live issues?

Anita Paul: Generally no – as long as there had been a significant amount of cleanup. We have had challenges with the latest releases of hardware, but those were resolvable in time. We have also put services in place to monitor performance, tuning needs, etc.


Comment From Ashwin

What are the considerations for choosing a Cloud implementation vs. an on-premise implementation?

Amit Chakravarti: Cloud is an option based on the following parameters:

  • Infrastructure issues in the organization
  • Problems with day-to-day business process
  • To enhance operational process with agile data mart
  • Use HANA as transformative engine
  • Level of scope and appropriate HANA use case
  • Everything in OPEX and help in building a 'consumption model.

For Public cloud (HPC), the business content with code changes will be taken care of by SAP, as many customers share the cloud and will be charged based on usage. Multi-tenancy is achieved, eliminating traditional software licensing and upgrade models. Any application can be deployed, but the major focus of infrastructure and service is on BW, ERP, and CRM on HANA. IT resource consumption will be limited.

Some additional notes on on-premise and appliance approaches - for example, single node:

  • All SAP HANA components run on single server
  • Scalability is limited by amount of RAM & data growth
  • Can opt for NLS for sparingly used data


Comment From Ken

Still lots of concerns on security and disaster recovery with SAP HANA if we choose a cloud deployment. Anything we should look for to alleviate that?

Amit Chakravarti: Here are some notes on security and disaster recovery and administration with the cloud, including skill sets required for administrators: 

Enterprise Cloud Security features:

  • Data encryption
  • Network encryption
  • Firewalling, network isolation
  • Intrusion detection

Disaster Recovery

  • Cold DR — Tape-based disaster recovery model featuring always-ready networking, a regular testing schedule
  • Hot DR — Disaster recovery model includes software for replication, implementation and documentation of DR strategy

Skill sets required for SAP Systems Administration

  • Installation/configuration skill set
  • SAP front end tool reporting knowledge
  • Infrastructure/capacity management
  • Data expert with business domain expertise
  • HANA solution architecture skills

Database Administration Tasks

  • Help to configure firewalls, port access.
  • Enable roles, authorization, security
  • Defining Disaster Recovery Strategy
  • Proactive system monitoring and perform quality checks
  • Connect to Solution Manager for support services
  • Understand big data roles and integrating with unstructured sources
  • External Network configuration tasks
  • Deployment of application servers and dependent services – for Private cloud

Database and Storage layer

Here are ways that Cloud can help achieve scalability, flexibility, and elasticity as pay-per-use:

  • Basing SAP HANA DBs on HANA platform
  • Adding server nodes to SAP HANA DB
  • Adding capacity - Extend SAP HANA to PROD and non-PROD systems
  • Using shared storage concept of HANA TDI


Comment From Guest

Is HANA scalable from single-node to multi-node?

Amit Chakravarti: SAP HANA is designed for scale-up and scale-out since the beginning ,HANA implements scalability through the use of multiple servers in one SAP HANA cluster

Comment From Guest

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

Anita Paul: No, but SAP HANA supports different connectivity options (such as MDX, BICS, SQL, etc.) to standard reporting tools (e.g., BusinessObjects BI Suite, MS Excel, etc.). We are have also developed a few accelerators and IPs that we use in customer projects .


Comment From troy 

Do you have a good reference for building out the dashboards?

Amit Chakravarti: We have done it for many customers globally , get in touch with me separately .

Comment From Matt

What SLAs should we expect/prioritize in a HANA migration project?

Amit Chakravarti: 99.9% availability for sure. You might want to look at the following factors:

  • Minimum and Target Uptime and Downtime
  • Incident reports, analysis and remediation co ordination
  • Back up and Disaster recovery
  • Service Tickets

Comment From Kelilah

Any advice specific to BPC?

Amit Chakravarti: Here’s more information on how we implemented BPC internally.
Comment From Kelilah:  The link is to a webinar. Is there a link to the actual case study?
Amit Chakravarti: Yes, drop me a note and we can also share the case study.

Comment From Guest

How successfully are you seeing companies using HANA for predictive analytics - looking especially for forecasting for supply chain uses?

Anita Paul: We are seeing excellent results from focus on supply chain - actually, internally for HP, this is one of the specific areas we are focusing on.

If you go to and enter "SAP Case Study" in the search box, you'll get a number of case studies regarding SAP and SAP HANA projects.

Specifically for forecasting - it's speed of getting the information and the consolidation of the variety of information that allows innovation to come into the supply chain process.

Amit Chakravarti: Some ways HANA is being used for Supply Chain analytics include:  Supplier Risk Management , Sales & Operation Planning, and Global Trade Services. And in Finance analytics, HANA can help minimize data latency and provide a pre-built data model.

Comment From Vladimir

I have BPC 10.0 in one server. I also have another server with BW-IP and SEM-BPS. I want to consolidate all in one server on HANA. What would be the best way to migrate my database to HANA?

Amit Chakravarti: Yes, you need to follow the benchmarks. Make sure the BPC Content is properly installed on the BPC Server including the activation of EnvironmentShell.
Validate if BPC is installed properly by making a copy of the EnvironmentShell and test the basic functionalities. If it is not installed properly you might get the error message below while restoring the custom EnvironmentShell.
Then, run program BPC_HANA_MIGRATE_FROM_10 with Transaction Code SE38 to make a standard BPC 10 infocube HANA optimized.
This program will create the HANA hierarchy table/view to facilitate master data query and SQE optimizations. It will also migrate BPC related BW cubes to in-memory optimized cubes and creates additional HANA specific tables and SQL scripts used by the HANABPC component .


Comment From Guest

How many resources are necessary full-time or part-time to keep HANA running?

Amit Chakravarti: As a rule of thumb, 3-4 basis resources and 2 HANA modelers are needed during the maintenance phase.

Comment From Guest

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

Anita Paul: 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 he starts with a business/use case meant for a particular business unit within the organization, however there are other BU's that gain interest and want to test results for themselves too , that's when they start with a Side Car approach (Finance is a good case for side car in any industry).

The sidecar approach uses HANA as a secondary database, and the original database can be used as is.

  • To get immediate payoffs with long term evolution, side car approach can be opted to reap the initial benefits before going big bang with HANA deployment.
  • If the customer has BW accelerator, then the particular application can be deployed with HANA sidecar approach to achieve efficiency in report run times

Comment From Radha

Any experience with SAP's cloud (HEC)?

Anita Paul: Yes - extensive. We are an SAP HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud) provider since October so we know the processes to host SAP on Cloud. There are some differences between HEC and HP's solution - that would be the case with a lot of vendors.
As a simple example, HEC provides 99.5% SLA, whereas HP provides 99.9% SLA. You also need to consider the scope of the landscape you need to support, as HEC is focused on the SAP Landscape primarily.


Comment From Guest

What tasks will the Basis team have (and what will change for them) in a cloud HANA deployment?
Amit Chakravarti: Please refer my previous answer on HANA cloud and how the different layers work ( basis layer would be almost similar whether on premise or on cloud)

Comment From Guest

During the implementation phase of HANA for a landscape what resources do you need? 

Amit Chakravarti: Depends on the database size, customization (how much is Z), and the different surround systems (homogeneous vs heterogeneous). Typically you would need around 3-4 people on your Basis team and the right functional guys (based on your use case). Remember at the start I said that all HANA projects require the maximum window for testing.


Comment From Radha

How is SAP HEC working for you? Any performance issues so far?

Anita Paul: We have some of our clients on SAP HEC, but performance issues will demand on the data center you are in. (SAP has many around the world provided either by themselves or by selected vendors). I heard of some initial teething issues, but nothing specific enough around performance to mention. Regardless, we recommend a program to focus on monitoring performance/bottlenecks etc. I would need to check whether this is within the HEC Bill of Services.


Comment From Bob

How much it cost for a 1TB HANA roughly?

Amit Chakravarti: There are many vendors.  Please drop me a separate note for more information - I will share my email at the end.


Comment From Guest

Which landscape in the market have transformed to HANA the max?

Amit Chakravarti: Good question, and you will be surprised to know that 40% of our customers are non-SAP customers, but most of the projects we have done are around BW on HANA. Suite on HANA is slowly reaching a good steady state and probably going into FY15 we will see multiple production environments for that too.

Anita Paul: I wanted to share two links from some taping we did at CBS, NY last year:

Also, don't hesitate to reach out to Amit or myself directly if you have further questions: at or


Bridget Kotelly: Thanks to everyone for the great questions! And a big thank you to our panelists, Anita Paul and Amit Chakravarti of HP.

Anita Paul: Great to see so much interest in this topic.  Thank you for your time and interest.

Amit Chakravarti: Thanks for your time, indeed a pleasure. And don't hesitate to drop me a note if you have further questions. Thanks.

Bridget Kotelly: For more on SAP HANA technical advice, be sure visit the SAPinsider HANA channel. And the agenda is now set for the upcoming HANA 2015 conference, this March in Las Vegas. We invite you to join us there - or at our SAP HANA 2015 events planned for Europe and Singapore.

If you weren’t able to attend Anita Paul’s recent “Keep Calm and Move to SAP HANA” webcast, or follow Anita and Chaks’ Q&A last week for discussion of deployment options and business cases for HANA, those replays are now both available.

That wraps up our last SAP HANA Q&A for 2014. Thanks again to HP’s Anita Paul and Amit Chakravarti. Looking forward to lots more migration and implementation stories in the coming year, and happy holidays!

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