At the edge of the new millennium, we are at the intersection of new business and technology trends that together will transform the way IT infrastructures for business applications are set up. The mySAP.com initiative marks the beginning of a new era of business collaboration. At an astonishingly fast pace, the mySAP vision became a business framework reality, providing a complete portfolio of business functionality for the Internet economy. However, each ecosystem needs a solid technical foundation. This foundation has to be provided by IT infrastructures, consisting of servers, storage, and networks. The basic need for a performing, reliable, and cost-effective platform is still there, if not stronger. In a world where competition is only a mouse click away, an IT infrastructure for an interconnected ecosystem must provide:
• High Performance: No matter how long the personal think time of a user is, he or she ex
pects immediate response from the system whenever the key is pressed. Users wait
ing for their entries to be processed are unproductive by definition, and even milliseconds
add up to years when there are millions of transactions over time. Therefore, short response
time is the Holy Grail of a mySAP.com IT infrastructure.
• High Availability: SAP systems are the business engines that drive a corporation's mission-
critical core business functions. In the Internet ecosystem, where the information infra
structure forms the central nervous system of an enterprise, any disruption leads to an im
mediate paralysis of the attached branch or organization. Therefore, high availability is
mandatory for a mySAP.com infrastructure.
• Low Total Cost of Ownership: The implementation of a mySAP.com system is a strategic
business decision with serious budgetary implications. However, the ongoing operational
costs of the infrastructure may be even larger than the initial purchase price. Therefore, the
total cost of ownership (TCO) for a mySAP.com infrastructure has to be considered.
To satisfy these demands, a holistic approach is needed. Only a joint effort can make a mySAP.com project successful. However, the experts responsible for the different areas of IT infrastructure within an organization use different terminology and often have a quite different understanding of the requirements. Thus, managers responsible for the technical aspects of an SAP implementation have a tough job. To manage the potential chaos requires a basic understanding of the technology and terminology used for mySAP.com infrastructures. Simply investing in the latest technology solutions isn't always the right answer.
In many discussions with customers, the authors learned that there is a need for a guide to help close the understanding gap between the mySAP.com requirements and the available technologies. This book presents the various infrastructure facets involved in a mySAP.com project, going into more detail when necessary to help explain the requirements of SAP infrastructures so that even those not considered specialists could benefit. Throughout the book practical hints are provided to help focus on the important, as well as sometimes less obvious, solution and configuration choices to be made. The scope of the book, however, is limited to the technical design aspects of the IT infrastructure. Details of the installation and customizing of the SAP software itself, and the even more critical challenges of business process reengineering, are not discussed in this book.
The solutions and architecture described in this book are related to the most recent SAP releases available. In response to market demand, new hardware and software solutions are emerging from the labs at an increasing pace. However, the core software technology and architectures take longer to evolve, thus the basic server, storage, and network technology solutions presented in this book may apply to even future versions of SAP software. In addition, many of these technical solutions presented are valid for other types of client/server-based, non-SAP, enterprise software solutions.
This book was purposely written as an overview of the technical solutions needed for designing hardware infrastructure proposals. It is not intended as in implementation guide. Although this book was written generically by intention, both authors are members of the HP-SAP International Competence Center. Therefore, the opinions expressed are based primarily on experiences with the numerous Hewlett-Packard solutions developed for mySAP.com infrastructures. The HP-SAP International Competence Center, founded in 1989 and operated jointly by SAP and HP, enjoys the longest experience with SAP client/server infrastructures. HP products, proven in several thousand installations, are therefore primarily used as solution examples.
How This Book Is Organized
This book is organized in chapters. Chapter 1 sets the foundation for what mySAP.com and SAP systems are all about from an IT perspective. It provides a short review of the mySAP.com Business Applications, along with the SAP system architecture relevant for the remaining chapters. Chapter 2 introduces the server systems used with SAP software. The focus is on the server technologies that are typically specified, with a detailed look at processor and memory designs. In addition, the aspects of consolidating multiple SAP systems on one server are presented. Chap-
ter 3 focuses on sizing principles, which are used to determine the server's processor and memory configurations. It reviews the various sizing methodologies available, which are illustrated with simple examples.
Chapter 4 presents the hot topic of data storage, with a focus on disk system technology for SAP database servers. A unique approach to sizing disk systems for performance is presented in this chapter. It also reviews many of the advanced data management features found in enterprise storage systems.
Chapter 5 is about high availability and recovery solutions for SAP systems. The solutions presented in this chapter are focused on protecting the SAP application, database, and server and storage layers of the mySAP.com solution stack. However, because technology solutions alone do not make a system highly available, an HA administration philosophy is also presented.
Chapter 6 is about client PCs with focus on the front-end user interfaces for use with SAP. It also addresses output management and printing solutions for SAP.
Chapters 7 through 11 focus on network infrastructure solutions for SAP, including the network requirements of SAP, cabling design, LANs, and WANs. In larger organizations, the network administrators are usually NOT on the application and server/storage administration teams. However, they also must be aware of the performance and availability demands of mySAP.com solutions. This is especially important when response time and availability guarantees are made to the user's desktop.
Chapter 12 is related to connecting mySAP.com systems to the Internet. This reviews the solutions needed for the mySAP.com middleware or Internet Transaction Server.
Each chapter attempts to address the performance, availability, and total cost of ownership topics for its particular set of technology solutions. In addition, each chapter provides an introduction and a summary with bullets highlighting the major recommendations.
There are many people we would like to thank for helping us. This book is dedicated to our wives and children whom we love, but whose time we borrowed the most. It could not have become a reality without their support and patience.
Thanks goes to our managers, Uschi Becker-Haug, Thomas Jescheck, and Gerhard Linde-mann, for supporting this book. Thanks also to Lars Lamade and Thomas Klein of SAP for getting SAP's approval.
We wish to express our gratitude to the following persons for providing technical edits or making direct contributions to this book: Thilo Domsdorf, Klaus Stoeffler, Christian Spiess, and Richard Wendy of HP, as well as Christian Schult. Thanks to Edgar Schill for his expertise in benchmarks and disk tuning for SAP and to Josef Stelzel for his high-availability administration philosophy and expertise for SAP. These consultants' insights and experiences with SAP on HP hardware helped increase the value of this book.
Thanks to Susan Wright of HP Press for helping us get started with the project, and to Jill Pisoni at Prentice Hall for helping us publish it.
In addition, we would like to acknowledge our colleagues at SAP and at HP who patiently answered our questions over the years: Markus Ertl, Michael Weidig, Christian Anlag, Helmut Fieres, Ingo Fenske, Jiirgen Karnstaedt, Friedrich Kilian, Peter Bilitch, Marc Pointeau, and Alexander Rettich of the HP-SAP International Competence Center; Alberto Tanzarella and Ralf Wie-gert of HP's Global Sales Services Back-Office; Leon James, Andy Lim, and Norbert Szczepaniak from HP Digital Workplace Services; Arne Hartmann of HP Consulting, plus many others who actively participated on the HP internal SAP-R/3-Infrastracture Email forum; Volker Rieckert in HP's Outsourcing Service Center; Juergen Mueller of HP's Business Critical Computing division; Juergen Bittmann of HP Open View Division; Frank Nelles, Joachim Krone, and Juergen Grebe of Microsoft; Bernd Lober, Andreas Hahn, Christof Luettge, Martin Crone, Thomas Schneider, and Reiner Hille-Doering of SAP.
And last but not least, very special thanks go to Desmond Albert of HP Australia, who helped us with our German-English writing style and enthusiastically supported us from day one, and to Joerg Lechner of HP Germany Global Sales Services for his help on the business aspects of sizing and for volunteering to help review the first half of the book.
About the Authors
Dr. Michael Missbach is a senior consultant at the SAP-HP International Competence Center in Walldorf, Germany. He is responsible for developing mySAP.com Infrastructure solutions. He is focused on system consolidation and SAP on Linux. Michael's professional specialties include network infrastructures from the wire to the web. He has been a project manager and IT superintendent for ALCOA and, since 1990, for GE CompuNet, for which he established the network partnership with SAP. He holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering and a doctor of material science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. He lives with his wife and son near Walldorf, Germany. His hobbies include model railroading and Isaac Asimov.
Uwe M. Hoffmann developed training courses focused on SAP with Hewlett-Packard computer systems in the areas of sizing, servers and storage, and high-availability as a senior consultant and trainer with Hewlett-Packard Company at the SAP-HP International Competence Center in Walldorf, Germany. Prior to that he was a technical consultant and trainer with HP's Network Server Division and an alumnus of Andersen Consulting. He has since joined Loudcloud, a leading Internet infrastructure company. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Santa Clara University, California. He enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, biking, skiing, and reading science fiction. Thanks to being raised bilingual in Mountain View, California, he most recently got the opportunity to live with his wife and daughter in Germany.