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Here's an update of our journey to production Unicode conversions for R/3 and SCM.

In prior installments, I talked about planning and about our development conversions.  This weekend we converted our quality systems, with the largest being an R/3 instance close to 6TB when we began.  It is smaller now!


  • 0.001 - [Destroyed by space pirates]
  • 0.002 - Community Day and Onward
  • 0.003 - Revenge of The Space Monster
  • 0.004 - Children of Murphy
  • 0.005 - Journey to the Edge of Quality
  • 0.006 - The Calm Before the Storm of Quality
  • 0.007 - Passage to Production
  • 0.008 - Unicode The Final Descent
  • 1.000 - The Final Chapter


First, my primary role is performance tuning, so here are charts of CPU use for the application servers we used in R/3 and SCM. 


R/3 Unicode Conversion (quality) CPU Use



SCM Unicode Conversion (quality) CPU Use

At SAP Tech Ed '07, I showed a simplified version of charts below, and explained how we optimized our network connectivity to minimize contention between incoming and outgoing data on all servers.  For R/3, we used 5 app servers, for SCM we used 4.

Network pipe diagrams

Our Oracle and Unicode consultants worked on balancing the export and import streams that R3Load used.  We employed table splitting, the "load fast" procedure, and this time used ROWID (see below).  The CPU charts show we were at peaks for about 12 hours, and the work dwindled after that.  Additional load balancing, plus better I/O systems in production should put us back to around 12 hours for the copy.

As a result, the R/3 database move was executed in under 17 hours. 

There was also downtime in the schedule to move storage back to the original I/O system.  This ran for about 12 hours. 


  TST - just a few of the hundreds of packages!
| Packages       | Runtime (2008-01-11 14:23 - 2008-01-12 07:30)    |
| CDCLS-12       | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                     |
| CDCLS-6        | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                      |
| STXL           |                        EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIII|
| CDCLS-8        | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                       |
| CDCLS-11       | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                       |
| CDCLS-9        | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                        |
| CDCLS-10       | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                        |
| CDCLS-7        | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                        |
| RFBLG-10       | EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                         |
| RFBLG-2        |EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEI                         |

Brad plans to split CDCLS up into more packages for production, and we will debate holding some secondary indexes rebuilds until later. 


SCT - One really big one, but the total time is much shorter than TST, so we don't need to tune this.

| Packages       | Runtime (2008-01-11 20:16 - 2008-01-12 02:19)    |
| REPOSRC        |EEEEEEEEEI                                        |
| SAPAPPL0       |EEEIIII                                           |
| SAPZOD02       |EEEEII                                            |
| SAPAPPL2       |EIIIII                                            |
| SAPDFACT       |EEEII                                             |


R/3 sizes before:
                                 Tables          Indexes                                  
 Total number                   37,475          44,571                                   
 Total size/kb           2,373,250,560   1,423,358,808                                   
                               Tables          Indexes
Total number                   37,821          45,048
Total size/kb           2,156,013,648     983,578,208


Analysis of top run times

 CDCLS392511.5 3.447
 STXL147 8.81.611

Run time for database statistics.  This is the first time we have collected full statistics since 2001!


BR0801I BRCONNECT 7.00 (28)
BR0805I Start of BRCONNECT processing: cdxaktei.sta 2008-01-13 02.01.32
BR0484I BRCONNECT log file: /oracle/TST/sapcheck/cdxaktei.sta
BR0049W Last BRCONNECT run with function 'stats' was probably killed

BR0851I Number of tables with missing statistics: 34975
BR0852I Number of tables to delete statistics: 0
BR0854I Number of tables to collect statistics without checking:  36978

BR0806I End of BRCONNECT processing: cdxaktei.sta 2008-01-13 06.26.46
BR0280I BRCONNECT time stamp: 2008-01-13 06.26.46
BR0803I BRCONNECT completed successfully with warnings
We used Note 830576 to check Oracle 10 parameters, since we migrated the database during this conversion.  A very slick script is attached to that note to categorize your current settings.


Things we learned

The long running table export at the end will be split and started sooner for production. The total time would have been less except for some uncaught space adjustments.

Table splitting

Note 1043380 - Note - Efficient Table Splitting for Oracle Databases 

This was a big time saver for the largest tables.  There was a few lines of code that didn't work with Oracle 9 clients, so we commented these out. Support should have a fix shortly.


Next Steps

Next steps are already underway, as we have started the table scans in production, even though that conversion is 4 weeks away!