In the face of growing competition, many medium-size businesses are implementing powerful, distributed business applications in order to remain competitive. These applications support complex business processes across the whole company, and therefore require an extended system landscape, as well as greater effort during implementation and operation. However, for medium-size companies, in particular, which have limited human resources and tighter budgets, this is a problem. These companies need easy-to-use solutions for system support.
SAP meets these requirements with SAP One Server, which is a constantly expanding “toolbox” that enables companies to install different SAP solutions in a simple system landscape with just one server and one database. This option forms the basis for the mySAP All-In-One solution range, which is specially tailored to small and medium-size businesses.
Automated installation, flexible infrastructure
At the moment, SAP One Server supports the simplified installation and configuration of SAP R/3 Enterprise and SAP Business Information Warehouse 3.1 (SAP BW), as well as the corresponding middleware components – SAP Internet Graphics Server (SAP IGS), SAP Internet Transaction Server (SAP ITS), J2EE Engine – and Microsoft MS SQL Server Database Management System.
Installation with SAP One Server takes place largely automatically – just a few parameters need to be entered. Installation routines then establish the connection between the various components and copy several clients, in order to logically separate business processes from each other. In addition, they import support packages and plug-ins without the need for further intervention. The advantages are clear: installation is standardized and takes only a few hours, so customers and partners are able to set up a functioning environment quickly.
In addition, SAP One Server offers a flexible infrastructure platform, which can be adjusted to requirements, for example scaling and high availability. As a result, applications can be taken out of the SAP One Server environment at any time and installed on a separate system, or alternatively, additional applications, for example mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM), can be installed.
Different applications run on one server . . .
With SAP One Server, two completely different types of application – Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) – can be installed independently of each other on a single server. In an OLTP application, such as SAP R/3, many users process different business transactions – they create sales orders, for example. One key feature of this type of application is therefore the large number of user interactions – and short response times are required. The amount of processed data here is manageable.
In contrast to this, in an OLAP application, such as SAP Business Information Warehouse, large volumes of data need to be prepared and represented. While only a few users generally work in a system such as this, they generate a very high load. As a result, the most important requirement is good data throughput, and response times play a lesser role.
. . . and in one database
Despite the different requirements, in many cases OLAP and OLTP applications do not obstruct each other. For this reason, SAP One Server uses the option of installing all applications in one database. This guarantees the consistency of data for the different applications and also reduces the costs for daily operation, because only one database needs to be supported. In addition, in one database the applications are always synchronous, which is a particular advantage when a backup is imported, for example.
For this, SAP One Server makes use of the “Multiple Components in One Database” (MCOD) installation option. This is available as standard in all components and makes it possible to install several applications in a common database. MCOD makes use of the ability of various relational databases to support the database schemas of several applications simultaneously. Access to the individual schemas is only possible with the relevant user, for example “sapr3” or “sapbw.” In this way, the various applications are logically separated from each other, and can run independently of each other in one database. However, it is still possible to move individual components to an additional host, if the demands on the system grow. In the case of SAP One Server, SAP BW and SAP R/3 are preinstalled on an MS SQL Server database.
Performance put to the test
SAP One Server therefore reduces the system landscape to one server and one database. But does this option provide the necessary scalability when the CPU is subject to high load? Two performance tests were carried out to answer this question, and showed that SAP R/3 can be used as an OLTP application and SAP BW as an OLAP application at the same time and with a high load, without response times and data throughput being adversely affected.
SAP development carried out the series of tests in close collaboration with hardware provider HP. The tests simulated the user activities of two, independent applications on one server and one database. On the one hand, there were simulated users creating sales orders in SAP R/3 and therefore generating material movements, deliveries, and invoices. On the other hand, users were simulated who accessed aggregated information in SAP BW and navigated through it.
In order to reflect customers’ day-to-day business as realistically as possible, various weightings between SAP R/3 and SAP BW were simulated with an average system utilization of almost 100 percent. The aim of the tests was to verify that both components can be used even when the system configuration is subject to high load. For example, three quarters of the system load in the first test fell to SAP R/3, one quarter to SAP BW, while in the second scenario, the load was distributed differently, with one third falling to SAP R/3, and two thirds to SAP BW. The hardware performance was four gigabytes main memory and around 2000 SAPS (SAP Application Performance Standard) – a hardware-independent unit used to measure the performance of a configuration (www.sap.com/benchmark).
Stability even under high load
The tests showed that SAP R/3 and SAP BW can run simultaneously on one server and one database, and provide a good throughput and good response times even when the load is high. SAP One Server is therefore a powerful option for medium-size companies who want to simplify their system landscape. At the same time, it became clear that, as a rule, the system performance is limited by the memory. Therefore, as soon as the server is utilized at close to 100 percent, the memory is a critical resource. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a higher memory capacity if SAP BW is used more intensively.
For sizing of the SAP One Server System, SAP advises customers to use the Quick Sizer (http://service.sap.com/quicksizing, following the general sizing guidelines). The tool calculates an average CPU utilization of 65 percent to ensure good response times.
For further information on SAP One Server, visit the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/smb-oneserver.