Case Study – DB2 BLU for SAP BW

Basis Consulting is a SAP hosting partner (Private Cloud) located in Norway. They are running over 300 SAP systems in a two site data center in Oslo. The DB2 BLU project was done for one of their customers.

Background

The customer has been running SAP BW on DB2 since 2008 and it was original installed using DB2 version 9.7. Basis Consulting was chosen as the new outsourcing partner in 2014 and during the migration weekend, the non compressed SAP BW system, was migrated to DB2 10.1 using Adaptive Compression. The database shrunk from 2Tb to 400Gb. A substantial saving in disk space and it also increased the performance of the system.

Starting the project

After a period of steady state operation, Basis Consulting suggested for the customer to look at the new column based features in DB2 10.5 aka DB2 BLU. Customer complained about long running reports and Basis Consulting was also curious about this new feature of DB2. The customer gave Basis Consulting a ‘GO’ for testing DB2 BLU in their SAP BW landscape.

Implementation

Per-Rune Eide

Per-Rune Eide

Per-Rune Eide, SAP Netweaver consultant, was assigned to the task and started the implementation. The first step was to upgrade the SAP BW Netwaver release from 7.31 SP6 to 7.31 SP13 (the minimum requirement for DB2 BLU). The Netweaver upgrade was the most time consuming step of the project. The DB2 upgrade from 10.5 FP1 to 10.5 FP3a was fast and without any problems. The conversion of the BW Infocubes were done by the SAP report SAP_CDE_CONVERSION_DB6 and the DB6CONV tool. The biggest Infocube took 7-8 hours to convert to BLU.

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Test and results

After SAP BW infocubes had been converted to BLU, it was time to test. Some extra memory was added to the virtual machine “on the fly” (BLU require 8 CPU and 64Gb of memory). Performance tests were done on the BI reports the customer had experienced the longest response times. The results were impressively good.  Reports that had been running for minutes (or hours) were now processed in seconds. Overall, the test results gave up to approx. 50 times faster response times. The results were so good that the customer approved to go into production right after it was tested in the QA system.

Recommendation

SAP customers running SAP BW and DB2 should definitely look at the impressive features of DB2 BLU. It’s a short project, very little risk and gives a major boost if you have performance problems with your SAP BW reports. Another advantages is that there is no need to invest in new hardware (except memory), no extra licenses or need for redesigning your BW data model.

All daily operations of the database including backup strategy and monitoring can be used without any modifications on BLU.

Next Steps

In DB2 10.5 FP4 (Cancun) version, BLU supports columns based ODS, PSA and master data tables in SAP BW. This will add even more performance and space savings to the solution.

About Basis Consulting:

Basis Consulting is specialists in SAP and their hosting center is specially designed for SAP systems. They are certified as SAP Advanced hosting partner and SAP certified in SAP HANA Operation Services

www.basis-consulting.com