Apr 14, 2016

Enhance your Competitiveness with the Digital and IoT Enterprise.

Big-Data, IoT and IoE initiatives are mostly about analytics and real-time decision enablement  

According to Gartner 72% of companies have one form or another of a Big-data Initiative underway. According to the same source fewer than 30% of these initiatives would deliver any true business benefits or meet business expectations. So while investments are high the BVA (Business Value Attainment) factor score continues to remain low. Unless you think a ROI of under 30% is acceptable. This is concern 1 for most companies commencing their digital journey.

We started with an IoT events way back at Palo Alto, CA back in  Nov 2014 and realized that we were facing an audience that queried us on whether what we presented was just ‘smoke and mirrors’. We followed these clarifications with another event in April 2015 with a series of IoT demo’s and suddenly the competitive positioning opportunities started to click into place when most attendees realized that IoT and IoE were a real paradigm shift happening all around. On April 6th,2016 we help our ‘Road-2-HANA- The digital Enterprise’ event in New York which this was a resounding success. By the way you can still register and get access to the post event presentation slides and videos.  

In most ways, Internet of Things (IoT) is mainly about collecting enterprise digital dust from currently connected, semi-connected and dumb data generators. Only when we start to collect this digital dust is when we realize that analytics are like any other analytics. In this digital enterprise journey the first step is digitization, the second is analyzing the history of these data generators and the third is extracting decision capable analytics via patterns and algorithms from this digital dust. The Big-Data, IoT, IoE analytics mostly conform to the same rules and design decisions as we have been using in traditional  business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics. Even so, the IoT is creating unparalleled information management and analytics challenges. This is concern 2 on route to establishing our digital enterprise- the fact that Gartner reported in 2012 that current BI initiatives are delivering less than 40% business benefits from thei BI projects. My validation, and interpretation, of this statement is by validating whether this statement is true of false. ‘Move than 60% of the reports in your BI production system are not being used, or will never be used, by your business users’. I have been asking this question to BI managers since 2011 and in every honest reply I slowly get a ‘..probably more than that.’

During our event in New York we briefly touched on the evolutionary steps for a current enterprise to the launch itself into a digital enterprise. We also discussed the difference between IoT, which is like a digital hub and step 1, and IoE which is the end goal of digital connectivity and digital dust generation.

Why is IoE and IoE important?

According to Garner by 2020 50% of major competitive enterprises will have some element of IoT installed and will be capturing essential predictive data?  The message is CLEAR – ‘DISRUPT or be DIRUPTED’ the choice now is yours.

According to our research by 2020 30% of companies will change their business models, i.e. from being sellers of air compressors to simply selling Air-as-a-Service by leveraging predictive maintenance and guaranteeing constant air supply to users without any incumbency of breakdown or old equipment.

In order to meet these requirements business stakeholders will need to firstly define the business needs and the business cases. Start with the business needs so you don’t get lost in the data deluge.  Once you have identified that, we do it with a business focused ‘Design Thinking’ workshop that extracts unique business needs that are otherwise impossible to spot, identify or extract. This becomes the baseline for the digital transformation. This is where we sieve the coal from the diamonds. This is but the beginning.

We simultaneously re-tool our users from Reports to Analytics and then from Analytics to Informatics. We need to retool them from reading reports to real-time decision enhancement. We also need to make them aware of Analytics, Predictive Analytics and Prescriptive analytics which is already taking out all the human errors and replacing them with pattern based algorithms.

Concern 3: We can no longer afford to create technocratic reports and analytics with a 30% ROI. With such large data volumes, we need to keep our data engines surgically clean and effective for real-time decisions. We can no longer apply the same rules, the same architecture and decisions that have go us here. We need to change our partners, architecture, Infrastructure, methodology to optimize our digital experience.

 So what makes the digital and IoT data different?

As our data volumes, velocity, variety and veracity increases algebraically we need to fine-tune our analytics engines like a formula-1 racing car. I published this in a book in 2010 ‘BI Valuenomics’ see end of this post for details, which is more relevant today than when it was published 4 years ago.

The changing lens of 360° Decision Enablement

Current - Digital
Data Sources
Inside the Enterprise Firewall
Upstream, Downstream and Midstream
Data Volume
Very High
Data Extraction
Data Sources
Few System with static Data
Data in Motion, streaming from sensors
Periodic ETL
ELT, store, blend and manage massive data
Value Chain
Downstream and Upstream
Data Type
90% Structured enterprise
Growing unstructured streaming data
Reports & Dashboards
Real-time Decision metrics and alerts
Medium to very high
Distributed to the edge
Manual and static
Pattern based automatic algorithm’s
Point of transform
ETL to ELT (transform at DW)
TEL (Transform at Source) then extract
One way to DW
Bi-Directional in Real-Time

What got us here will not get you there

Remember your current architecture and design capabilities are running at 30% efficiency, i.e. 70% of your data is either redundant or worse dead data. So continue with your current paradigms and  your decision system will enter a dark place we don’t want to even discuss here. So Plan your work and only then work your plan.

What will your Digital Enterprise require.

Better Infrastructure Partners: Your legacy partners have been experts in the midstream enterprise requirements, i.e. HW, servers and storage. Your future needs are going to be driven by Big-Data, which resides at the edge, by IoT which requires networking and communications, by IoE which will require connected products and then interconnected devices, and most important of all a dynamic and scalable architecture that does not lock you into long term boxed contracts- like an appliance for SAP HANA.

Better Connectivity: According to Michael Porter the connected enterprise is changing the very definition of an industry and thus your enterprise. So connections, sensors and networking are going to be the keys to success over the next decade.

Better Real-Time Decisions: It will not matter how many millions of dollars you spend. It will not matter how much technology one buys. It does not matter how big-4 your partners are. It will not matter if your project delivers 6,000 or 8,000 reports or 3,000 ODS’s and Cubes. The only thing that matters is how much the end results impacts your day-to-day operations and the enterprise decision capabilities.

What your need to plan for

More Business Participation: I stated this in 2010 and I state it today. Any Si partner that requires your business stakeholders to be kept outside the doors of your Big-Data, Cloud, IoT, BI or SAP HANA projects must be shown the door very rapidly. The only path to success is to get business involved in a ‘design Thinking’ workshop before you start your project.

More Data: Your data is not only going to be high volume, velocity, variety and voracity but it will get more and more unstructured. Your designers will need to play with non-repetitive data streams tht will come streaming and the challenge is going to be where to keep your data in motion.

 More Complexity: Digital Enterprises will no longer collect their data from enterprise, structured applications but from across the planet in very strange and complex formats that will be generated in devices, pass through controlled clouds and systems, zip through servers, filtered via smart routers at the closest point fo data generators and then placed in low cost data lakes. This data will then need to be enterprise harmonized and then merged with structured data that users are familiar with. We need to take a leap from analytics to informatics very rapidly with a high focus on true business benefits.

More Automation: With data generators that produce very large streaming bits of data the only way to do all the above is to identify patterns and the deploy algorithms to automate the data flow and transformation processes as close to the source as possible. The IoT informatics system will be as strong as its weakest link, where a stitch in time will always save nine.

More Secure: This one should actually sit at the top of these topics but it is hard to start with security if one does not comprehend the width and depth of the digital data flows from the edge. As the enterprise doors open to let in data from the edge it will also leave the same doors open for hackers and undesirables to come in via the edge streams right into the heart of enterprise systems. So before you start your Big-Data, IoT, Cloud or SAP HANA initiative start with security. Start with a universal security fabric that runs from one edge to the other. Remember the cardinal rule the undesirables know the edge devices are the least secure so they tend to reside there to gain entry into your enterprise jewels.

…oo ššÅÆ oo…

Jan 19, 2016

How ready are you for the new Digital Generation?

‘Companies today have one of two choices, Disrupt or be Disrupted’

If you were born between 1980 to 1990 then this new digital world is not entirely new to you. If you were born before 1980 you had to grow into this digital world and if you were born before 1970 then unless you are deeply connected to IT and technology the picture above might even be a little difficult to comprehend.  You had to possibly fight your natural instincts before approving things that you could not grasp easily. You had grown on the hard-copy days. The other people who adapted are ones with kids and grand-kids for these generations rapidly exposed their older generations to the transformations taking place all around which we refer to as the new Digital Transformation. However, if you were born after 1990 then you are rapidly defining this new digital world inside which you grew up. This group is now coming into the workforce as workers, trend shifters, leaders and decision makers. This generation grew inside their digital devices. They network, communicate, share and operate digitally. They live inside their digital devices – it’s just another evolutionary step. The photograph on top is routine today rather than an exception. People before 1970 never knew of this world and had to adapt to fit into it.

The digital world is rapidly changing around us – the only question is are we reading the writings on the wall.

66% of companies report that they were under pressure to reappraise their operating model. 76% said they needed to make considerable changes to their processes to maintain margins. 82% said that they were threatened by digital disruption that they could not yet perceive. 18% said they were victims of digital disruptions.

55% of the top 20 most valuable companies in 2005 are no longer on that list today. 30% of market share leaders will not exist in 5 years. 30% of market share leaders of 2005 do not exist today.

Gartner Predictions: By 2018 75% of IT organizations will be Bi-Modal and 50% of them will make a mess. By 2020 75% of application purchases will done digitally so your mode today has to be 'Build' and not 'Buy'.

The most disruptive component in the market today is not the technology but the customer – the new millennial customer, where customer experience and digital connectivity is the new competitive differentiator.

This disruption was coming and will now become full blown as the millennials start to join and lead the workforce. The last wave of Gen-X are currently migrating within the workforce. The Gen-X world was dominated by a need to follow hard copy, structured and peer-defined standards and processes - sequential and repetitive. However, the millennials have grown up under the digitized pressure to be faster, better and smarter than their peers. While Gen-X have been told that the digital economy will disrupt the real economies, the millennials cant even perceive the difference between the two. While the Gen-X looks at computers and digitization as accelerators the millennials live in that world. The average millennials shops, reads the news, communicates, shares pictures and connects digitally. Looking deeper already the things they don’t do digitally are few and far in-between.

How to capture attention in this new Digital Economy?

In this new digital economy of new technologies, rapid disruptions have been demonstrated by companies like AOL, Amazon (most of us forget Amazon started as a book reseller), Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, etc. These companies continue to dominate and expand in the digital economy. Our path is clear - we need to adapt to fit into this new digital world.

One of the key ingredients to success is to provide instant value to potential services- customers simply will follow by sharing their good experiences. It is not uncommon to find a brand leader promising incredible change, and then a few months later they are just gone. Millennials see the world dominated by digitally visible, instant value, reactive, agile and benefit-leaders and not by traditional, brick and mortar companies that react like sloths and continue to exist as legacy ‘king of the hill’ enterprises. Uber’s disruption to global taxi services in a few short years exemplifies the power of digital disruption. Uber started in 2009 with a $200,000 seed money and today stands as a $27 billion global disrupter. Uber carries the tree hallmarks of the new digital economies, i.e. simplicity, better services and lower costs- how can one beat that. The most important part of their business model is that they do not own a single taxi or a driver, yet give each driver total freedom on when to work and when to take off. Traditional taxi drivers are reacting with  with strikes, politics, violence and legacy Gen-X reasoning but the millennials will henceforth only demand these new level of services that have now become their new benchmark for travel.

Disrupt or be Disrupted?  Is the only path forward..

So one way or another the key is not to simply survive but to become the disrupter. Here are a few ways we have helped companies start on the path to disruption:

  1. Design for the future millennials and not the historical Gen-X: The world around is rapidly being dominated by the new millennials who operate in this world very different. Companies that continue to think legacy will slowly sing into the quagmire of history. Companies that adapt and change to meet the new digital world of millennials will continue to disrupt and thrive. Hire and think for a millennial.
  2. Innovate to Deliver products and services faster and at lower costs: Look around at the success signatures of the big disrupters- Uber, Airbnb, Apple, ASOS, Spotify, etc. What do they have in common. It can be clubbed into the [1] Internet of things in the form of Uber applications that allows Uber to track every live taxi on the planet against demand in real time; [2] understanding untapped customer needs in the form of providing faster service at lower costs; [3] finding untapped suppliers in the form of private cars not being used optimally for the duration of its life; [4] making it all stick together for a ‘Higher Quality at a lower cost’ paradigm
  3. Reinvent your full value chain: Companies that have lived, planned and operated inside their firewalls are doomed to predictable outcomes. Digital disruption starts by reinventing the full value chain with one seamless and real-time access. Millennials appreciate innovations that reinvent product delivery and service to make life better and simpler. The new digital disrupters did not invent one new product they reinvented the full value chain in the new digital economy. They predicted what the consumers wanted even before they realized it. The new world not only thrives but seeks these new companies out by constant real time digital scoring and social networking.
  4. It’s never the technology, but all about benefits and simplicity: So far most technology projects have remained focused on technology as the ultimate provider of solutions. The disrupters realigned their focus on simplification that is enabled by technology. CEO’s worldwide expect 15% to 50% of their future earnings to come from disruptive technology. Companies that are not planning to be on this path will predictively lose 15% to 50% of their market share to disruptive players. On the technology side the platform for the Big-Bets are IoT, Big Data and Digital Transformation. A lot of companies have initiated these projects but unless they are on a digital business benefit track accompanied by true ‘Design Thinking’ with business users Gartner predicts 70% of them will continue to fail or not meet business expectations.

Many ‘experts’ claim that this new digital revolution is for the millennials only, but it truly isn’t. My mother at 82 has found the Apple iPad as easy to use and communicate with as do our nieces and nephews. However, while my mother uses only a few functionalities the younger generation absorbs new simplicities like a desert sponge with infinite capabilities for social absorption. How many of us have not tried and got hooked to these new digital service providers?

  1. Millennials are on a hyper-growth curve: Not only will they be the largest generation workforce they will also become the largest consumer base that operates and decide digitally. While, technology was important to their predecessors’ millennials see the digital revolution as part of their lives. They seek simplicity, higher quality at a lower cost. Companies like Amazon, Apple, SAP are not simply reinventing the wheel they are out there creating the new digital future and re-designing the future from the ground up on simplicity and real-time. To thrive in the future executives need to become partners with business benefits, simplicity and digital reinvention as never before. We MUST get outside our familiar fire-walls as most of these answers lie outside, i.e. in the upstream and downstream domains of our value chain.

Disruption is the now the only constant?

If disruption is the inevitable constant, then we all have a ‘Zero Option’ in this new game that is right now changing the very definition of industries, products and services.

Every industry, product and service is today prone to digital disruption. All the big players are threatened as never before. Unfortunately, these digital disruptions do not take decades to bring about change- they are becoming more and more rapid as the number of millennials increase in the consumer market. These new disrupters consisting of small team sitting right now in some garage could bring another disruptive idea to life.

So plan, plan very hard indeed-  to be the Disrupter or be disrupted!

Dec 4, 2015

What each of us can do for Climate Change

The world is divided into two opposing blocks, [1] the first believes that humans have nothing to do with climate change and that we must continue our consumption and extraction models at an ever accelerating pace.  [2] The second believes that climate change is real, as real as lead poisoning used to be and that we need to behave like intelligent humans and try and swing the ‘greenhouse effect’ back to a point of equilibrium or negative, just like we did for lead. This article is designed for the second group, where I belong, and is an extension of our individual tasks to help with the Paris summit on the same topic- let work with our global leaders to save our future. I firmly believe that the leaders who have gathered together are not fools and neither should we be. Taking John F. Kennedy’s words “It’s not about what our country can do to save our future generations, it’s all about what we individually can do to save the world”. I humbly believe the opposition are not fools either, but agree to disagree and put my stake in the ground.

Global Climate is very complicated and simple at the same time. The key question, without getting into the politics of things, is how can we individually help reverse the impending global change that is now becoming inevitable.   Long term solutions will need us all to change our habits long term too. Each of us need to do two things

  1. Generate Oxygen: Increase the oxygen generation factory that nature has given to us
  2. Reduce CO2 production: Reduce personal contributions to the Global Climate Change

Let’s start by defining the baseline:

  1. Are we in safe hands: Are you 100% confident that your ‘advisors’ are creating a safe planet for you and your future generations, without any political or personal conflict of interest. It’s all about you and our future generations. Do you think you should contribute if you could impact Climate Change? This is not partisan, national or personal it’s only about YOU
  2. Do you personally believe in the greenhouse effect: Because if you firmly believe that the greenhouse effect is all scientific nonsense then this may not be a paper for you

  1. Generate Oxygen: I have seen no evidence of any papers on this topic from a Climate change perspective, or maybe I don’t know where they sit.
    A.1: Trees attract Clouds: I have clear evidence that trees attract Clouds. If you plant trees in any city, state of country the clouds get attracted to them because trees cause low pressure areas. If we deforest then we create a high pressure area. Take Sudan and Saudi Arabia from 1970’s to 2015. During this period Sudan has been on a mass deforestation as forest have being sold globally with no renewal programs. At the same time oil rich Saudi Arabia has been artificially planting trees in their new cities across the Red Sea. Rainfall has  steadily declined by 20% over this period in Sudan while in Saudi Arabia all the new greenery has resulted in unprecedented floods, rains that the environment is totally unprepared for. Saudi Arabia has not seen such floods for hundreds of years. The photograph on the right is an example of their 2011 flood at Jeddah. The evidence is clear; the data is empirical now the question is how can we use this for our country & planet. The graph on the bottom shows how the Global Warming caught up with Jeddah and then followed by the flood in 2011 as green reclaimed its rainfall back from the desert.  (a) My first suggestions is for every one of us to change our Christmas habits. My apologies here but it is something to think about. According to the national Christmas tree association 27 million Christmas trees are cut annually in the US alone to put some lights around them and ‘Feel good’, then throw them into the dustbin. I recommend we give back these 27 million trees per annum to our planet and out future generations. Imagine if each of us planted a Christmas tree every Christmas would that not be better. (b) My second suggestion- especially for California, is that each household plant 3 trees per annum in the wild and take care of them for a year. If you can’t do it, then pay someone to do it on your behalf and I guarantee we will get the rains back in a few years- invest into the future. (c) Third suggestion- Get the government to start planting trees rather than spending billions of dollars in low strategic benefit programs or deforesting. We need to invest into getting the clouds back- because trees breathe in CO2 and exhale O2. How perfect is that.
    A.2: Prevent Deforestation: Some of our global sources of forests are being depleted by the uncontrolled growth of human population and their daily needs. It is very easy to sit in Cupertino, California and recommend why someone starving in Africa or the Amazons should not cut any more trees. Once again it is no longer about us and them it is about You. How can YOU play a part to decrease deforestation? The first is by plangin your trees and balancing the deforestation taking place in poorer economies. The second is by starting and participating in eco-tourism and example is how WWF is trying to convince Thailand fishermen not to eat the Manta Ray by demonstrating how tourism in Hawaii is able to generate $100,000 per Manta Ray by eco-tourism and thereby promoting the economic value of sustenance and natural assets utilization.

  2. Reduce CO2 production: This is where most of our efforts are focused towards. Here are some suggestions:
    B.1: Decrease Consumption: Be an active producer and not a consumer in all things in life.  However, for this article prevent wastage of energy. It is estimated that 61 to 81% of energy is wasted in the US. One year of wastage in the US could provide all the energy UK needs for the next 7 years. It’s is vicious circle. (i) At the corporate level most US Utilities encourage large corporation to keep their lights on 24x7 by giving them a discount if they have continuous consumption. Companies that shut their lights after work may end up paying more than if they had kept all lights on all the time. It is quite common to drive past US offices and see them lit like a Christmas light at 3am. We need to stop this. (ii) At the residence level it is quite common to find house lights all over the house while only 1 room is occupied. So consume less and switch off lights when not in a room. Move to Led lights that consume less power. Insulate your homes. We are a democratic society and we the people can demand changes despite our governments going in the wrong directions. We can also choose governments and parties that take public concerns seriously.

    B.2: Buy Less, Eat More: Getting food from the farm to the fork uses 10% of the national energy budget, 50% of US Land and consumes 80% of fresh water. This is no way means we should stop eating all it translates into is stop wasting. In 2012 50% of the food in the US was wasted, that is 222 billion tons. Would feed all of Sub Saharan countries for  year (230 billion tons). How often have you dined and taken more food than you could possibly eat? How often have you thrown food from the fridge? We all are intelligent people we should plan to buy less and eat everything we buy. This is something each one of us should be able to do effortlessly. Eat less red meats and save the planet and your life.

    B.3: Public Transport: More and more people want to drive their own cars. More and more automobile multinationals would love to buy city transports to simply close them down so people are forced to buy their cars as it happened in Los Angeles.  We need to reverse this trend as intelligent democratic persons. Demand more public transport and then use it more often. Play your part in this global goal for climate change.

    B.4: Don’t buy a Gas Guzzler: Thinking it makes you look more successful and cool. The global impression might be exactly the opposite on the second count. Yes it may make you look rich but very uncool indeed- at least to the majority. Seeing a single person in a Hummer is such a global waste on all counts.

    B.5: Choose Renewable Energy: Where possible install Solar panels, buy renewable energy and prevent utilities from putting unfair taxes for people opting towards alternative energy options. Weatherize your homes, buy energy efficient appliances and replace your light bulbs with fluorescents, SFL’s or LED’s. Choose wisely as life on planet earth may depend on it.

    B.6: Drive smarter cars: I love the concept of self-driving cars for if all cars were self driven then we could option for a subscription based CaaS (Cars as a Service), where no one needs to own a car and you get your ride in less than 10 minutes from request. However, when I run my big-data numbers I am not totally convinced that Hybrid and electric cars actually contribute towards climate change. In my calculations electric cars have a higher carbon footprint say than clean diesel (assuming that all clean diesel cars are not cheating on their emission numbers). With electric cars all we do is redistribute the energy consumption to a power plant which are routinely far less efficient that a normal car on the street today. Add to that the disposal and the replacement costs of electric batteries and the reality and feel-good changes somewhat.

We have empirical evidence that when we put our minds to it we can place men on the moon and also eliminate lead poisoning of the planet. We faced the lead poisoning with a similar global consciousness. During the 1960’s we collectively faced many parties, companies and individuals that tried to shut these voices with their scientists refuting empirical evidence. In the end we won and by 1972 we witnessed a sharp decrease in lead content in our atmosphere. We need to take the same globally conscience movement with climate change and CO2. A little more difficult but not impossible for the only living race in our known galaxy.

…oo ššÅÆ oo…

About the Author: Hari Guleria is VP HANA Business Solutions at PrideVel Business solutions in Santa Clara, CA, in the heart of the Silicon Valley.  Prior to this Hari was Director for SAP HANA Solutions at HP services responsible for the Americas. Before that he was the Director for SAP HANA with HCL-Axon and before that he worked with SAP in their Value Realization Group. Hi focus is in extracting Business Benefits from HANA Implementations, i.e. the Highest Quality at the Lowest Cost. Quality supersedes everything.

Hari is the author of ‘BI Valuenomics- The story of meeting business expectation sin BI’ a book far more relevant today than it was in 2010 when it was published.

PrideVel is a global Cisco services partner and a global SAP HANA partner, sitting in an ultra-sweet intersection between Big-Data, Networking, IoT and SAP HANA. PrideVel is North Americas leading HANA TDI build and support partner. Hari leads the HANA Social Networking Group events at SAP. The group is over 25,000 members strong

Hari routinely works with customers as their Business Solutions layer between business owners and vendor partners assuring SAP and SAP HANA Business Value Attainment or BVA.  Hari has over 35,000 hours of BI, 12,000 hours of HANA an outlier score of 3.5 for BI and 1.2 for HANA. Hari comes with a platinum level background of SAP BW, BWA and SAP HANA. He also consulted in SAP SD and MM. Prior to SAP he comes with over 9 years of Sr. Business Management experience with major European multinationals. Hari may be contacted at hari.guleria@pridevel.com

Aug 18, 2015

Think Cloud whenever you think DR4HANA


SAP HANA is an In-memory db and columnar too. So whenever you plan for a HANA Landscape you need to think DR for business continuity. As a best practice your DR system will normally be an exact clone of your production system. This simply means 2x or 3x your production if your QUAL is also of the same size- which it is in many cases. While the rest of the big folks have been focused on deploying SAP HANA as another technical upgrade or migration we have been focusing on the exact opposite side of this trend. Our focus is business benefits, business excellence and TCO, i.e. how to get the best quality at the lowest cost for our customers. We call this the IQDCT process.  Increase Quality, Decrease Costs and Decrease Time in HANA migration- all in one single step. Learnt it from Sony in their quest for global excellence when their motto used to be ‘Double the Quality and Half the price every two years’. Our process does tend to save 40% at the initial cost and then approximately the same annually for the life of your SAP HANA system. We have exceeded this 40% each of the 7 times having used this process with global marquee SAP HANA migrations and saved millions of $’s for our proactive customers.

During this search for IQDCT excellence we rapidly realized that there is another point where there is a clear opportunity to increase quality and decrease costs at the same time. That is your DR, and DR including SAP and SAP HANA DR where this blog is focused.  

In SAP HANA DR is no small matter. It is critical. However think of it like this. When you plan for a HANA Production box most companies normally plan for a fixed growth factor ranging from 10 to 30% per annum. As an example let’s use our recent BW customer with 1.2 TB of uncompressed legacy Oracle database in their BW production system. For a HANA system this will convert to a 600GB of HANA for their production system. Normally a customer will install more than what they need today, i.e. future growth. The customer predicted a 30% growth factor per annum for our calculations. Thus, for a 4-5 year plan both SAP and we ended up recommending 3 x 512 GB scale-out servers for their production environment – which is a 1.5TB HANA Production box. If all goes according to plan they may exceed this in 3 years as they may have some acquisitions along the way in 2015-16, which the scale-out design should easily be able to accommodate.  

Now here is the key consideration for DR. If you follow a traditional package you would put your DR as an exact copy of your production in another data center at least 40 miles away but preferably more than 150 miles away if you follow recommended DR geo-location planning. You DR is an insurance policy you hope to never use but it is still an essential one, all the more so in a SAP HANA In Memory environment.

Our customer is based on the East Coast of the US so they had one of two options. Option 1 was to place a bare-metal production clone in Toronto or Washington DC. Our recommendation to them was to put their DR in the cloud with a 3 point governance check-list.  [1] world-class Cloud partner, who has a [2] proven reputation for cloud with a Gartner magic quadrant positioning, and [3] is SAP HANA certified for their service offerings. We know from our experience that there are no HANA HW manufacturers that make world class components representing every component that go into a HANA Chassis. See my two blog’s on TDI vs appliance (One / Two ) for a little more detail on global excellence with TDI.   When we ran all these three criteria’s against various providers we found one of our partners to be sitting right at the sweet spot for meeting this SAP HANA business need – Sungard AS.

They are a world-class Cloud service partner thus meet criteria 1, are the leaders in the Gartner Leaders magic quadrant validated by Gartner thus qualify for criteria 2, and are SAP and SAP HANA certified with certified SAP HANA certified data centers in North America fulfilling criteria 3.

So having established this provider let’s get into the basics of planning a hybrid SAP HANA environment.

Figure 1: Original Oracle System Landscape

The diagram above is an actual customer SAP BW Landscape. It consists of the 3 system Production Pipeline and the 2 system Projects pipeline. In addition it has a sandbox and a training environment and this customer also has a 4 blade BW Accelerator with 60GB of capacity. The Production pipe is where the primary enterprise operations are run and the anchor for all the business applications. The Projects Pipe is where large projects can run in parallel without disrupting the prime production flows with all the developments, enhancements and changes that take place in a typical projects landscape. Just as an example a project could be an upgrade or a new CRM implementation that needs deployment without disturbing the main production pipe.

So here is some of the System landscape decisions that proactive stakeholders undertake:-

  1. PROD: A lot of customers prefer to keep their production system on premise, i.e. behind a secure firewall of their own. A few have moved their PROD into a private Cloud environment. Some are even bringing the production back from the cloud to an on-premise infrastructure landscape. In our above case this customer has 1.2 TB of legacy data so will  go-live with around 600GB of HANA while sitting on a 1.5 TB HANA On-Premise box (to cater for a 3-5 year growth)
  2. DR: Let’s start with the DR as one migrates to HANA. This instance is currently mandatory and there are various ways to skin this cat but two things that remain constant is that – (i) this is insurance for business continuity in case a catastrophic event brings down your primary PROD environment, (ii) it has to be an exact clone of PROD in all aspects of current use. In DR customers have one of two alternatives, and (iii) the customer will start with only 600 GB of data.

    1. Pure Traditional: In a super traditional HANA Appliance modeled environment each of the Sandbox, DEV, QUAL, TRAIN, P-DEV and P-QUAL would each be a HANA box. This is not only complex but increases the initial and support costs substantially. The above systems in a traditional plan would be replaced with SAP HANA appliances 1:1. This is how it would work mostly in a SAP HANA Appliances model today.  Figure 2 represents The No-Brainer HANA Landscape 1. This is how most SI partners may recommend a HANA landscape on a 1:1 system copy to end up with approximately 7.28TB of HANA. Note: BW Accelerator has been sunset in the migration plan. 7 Box On Premise model

Figure 2: NO-Brainer HANA

    1. Level 1: DR in the Cloud: As step 1 plan to get your SAP HANA DR into the Cloud on a run license, i.e. pay only for what you use. In our above case only 600GB to start with. This would become a pay as you grow model. Low Brainer HANA DR in the Cloud Option. Figure 3 is our level 1 landscape solution recommendation- the bare minimum level of consideration. Note: DR is now a 0.600 GB of DR based on current consumption. 6 Box on Premise and 1 in Cloud model

Figure 3: LOW-Brainer Cloud DR 4 HANA

    1. Level 2: DR + Non-PROD in the Cloud: After the HANA DR was decided to be in the Cloud we reviewed the possibility of taking all the non-production systems to the cloud. Get a SAP HANA Cloud DR environment and subscribe to a run license, i.e. pay only for what you use. In our above case only 600GB to start with. This would become a pay as you grow model. MEDUIM Brainer HANA DR+ Non-Production in the Cloud Option. Figure 4 is our level 2 recommended landscape solution- as additional cloud consideration. Note: No change in overall size as yet. Note 2: Some customers also consider taking their Production to Cloud at this point of discussion. For our examples we leave that as bare metal. 1 Box on Premise and 6 in cloud model

Figure 4: DR + Non-Prod HANA Cloud

    1. Level 3: DR + Non-PROD in TDI: TDI allows data-centers and customers to build a custom SAP environment on SAP certified platform’s, read TDI for more details.  What this allows us to do is take two ideas to the top of an optimized system landscape for HANA.
      • Option 1- Multi-Tenancy: Post SP 9 HANA allows multi tenancy containers in a single HANA box. SP 9 mixed with  TDI allows customers to take their QUAL, DEV and SBx into a single cloud environment. This now consolidates all these environments into a single ‘Multi-Tenant’. See brown box on the Production Pipeline as the single 1TB box to start with.  Now suddenly PROD is a 1.5 TB On Premise. DR is a 600 GB Start, QA now becomes a 600GB Start and DEV and Sandbox all come down to a start size and not a future potential size. Think Cloud consumption model when planning for this design.  This is a pay as you grow model. HIGH Brainer HANA DR+ Non-Production Multi-Tenancy in the Cloud Option. Note: Production has dropped from 5.2 TB down to 3.5 TB Figure 5 is our level 3 recommended landscape solution- as pre-final cloud consideration. 1 Box on Premise 3 on cloud model
      • Option 2- Virtual: Think Virtual especially for the Projects landscape. Very few companies need a 24x7x365 Projects landscape. This is an environment that is mostly used for large projects and then sits idle till the next project. Our recommendation is to lease a cloud SAP HANA environment and spin the virtual environment on demand. Post SP 9 and  multi tenancy containers we can now place P-Dev and P-Qual a single HANA virtual box.  This would become a projects landscape on demand environment with 750 GB to start with.    See brown box on the Production Pipeline as the single 1TB box to start with.   Think On-Demand Cloud consumption model for this design.  . HIGHEST Brainer HANA DR+ Non-Production Multi-Tenancy + Projects on Cloud VM’s  in the Cloud Option.   recommended landscape solution- as pre-final cloud consideration. 1 Box on Premise 2 on cloud + 1 VM in the Cloud ( for Project Systems)

Figure 5: Optimized HANA Cloud Landscape


And remember this is just the start of an optimization process. If you follow this you have already saved over 40% in your HANA TCO simply by planning to do it right the first time and every time

PS: A lot of customers have started taking their HANA PROD to Cloud too. It then simply becomes 3 boxes on cloud (with PRD on cloud too) and 1 VM in the Cloud (for Projet Systems)