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To stay competitive in a digital, highly mobile, and increasingly collaborative business world, your business teams must be able to make the most of the information at hand – which means being able to access, process, and interpret “big data” in the moment, generating real-time insights. Supercharge your data warehouse performance with an in-memory appliance and you radically speed data loading and report times, support flexible modeling, and increase access to even your most granular data. The result: Your employees get the information they need when and where they need it.

SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) running on SAP HANA leverages in-memory capabilities for improved performance, eliminating the need for extensive modeling workarounds. The entire database physically sits under the SAP NetWeaver BW system, removing the need for in-memory aggregation. This arrangement simplifies data modeling and query design, which in turn enhances system performance and lowers IT ownership costs.

Let’s say you’ve done your analysis and you’ve made a decision – your business must take advantage of SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA.  Now what?  How should you proceed?  What is the most effective way for you to make that transition and move to SAP HANA? 

The answer is simple – you do what makes the most sense for your organization. So what does that look like? In working to enhance customers’ database performance with SAP HANA, SAP has identified two successful  approaches:

Option A: Upgrade and Migrate Existing SAP NetWeaver BW Installation

Certain companies will benefit most by upgrading their current SAP NetWeaver BW system and then migrating to SAP HANA. If you’re upgrading an existing installation, follow these three steps to deploy SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA:

  1. Design. First, figure out the extent of the work effort. Perform an overall assessment of relevant activities including use case identification, Unicode planning, technical upgrades, security authorizations, data volumes, and data flow analysis. To streamline this process, SAP Services offers a predefined planning assessment for SAP HANA.
  2. Prepare. Once you have a sense of what needs to be completed, you need to prepare your BW environment from a technical perspective. Based on the activities identified in the assessment, perform any necessary technical, Unicode, and functional upgrades, as well as migrating authorizations or converting data flows.
  3. Migrate. After preparation of the BW environment, it’s time to install and configure SAP HANA and migrate all data and applications.

You’ll end up with a single instance of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, which will allow you to simultaneously derive value from all subject areas in memory. This is a great approach for database production systems that routinely deal with large or complex data volumes. However, the full upgrade, which requires a longer cycle time, may prolong the realization of your in-memory investment.

Figure 1: Design your path to SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA

Option B: Install Parallel Landscape of SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3

Other organizations will benefit the most by identifying those subject areas which can benefit the greatest from SAP HANA. These subject areas may be deployed to SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA more rapidly if you deploy a parallel landscape using these three steps:

  1. Design. Perform an overall assessment of relevant activities, including use case identification, Unicode planning, technical upgrades, security authorizations, data volumes, and data flow analysis. To streamline this process, SAP Services offers a predefined planning assessment for SAP HANA.
  2. Install. Install a separate multitiered BW 7.3 environment on SAP HANA.
  3. Transport. Finally, transport the configurations for the desired subject areas over to SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA, then establish an ongoing method for moving data into the new landscape.

You can also choose a partial transport and load by subject or functional area – expediting only a subset of your subject areas for in-memory. While this can give you immediate value from in-memory solutions without first having to upgrade your entire production system, you may end up with parallel production systems.

So Now What?  Considerations for Choosing a Migration Approach

At this stage you may be thinking, how do I determine which option is best for me? The answer goes back to our introduction – you choose what makes the most sense for your company. To determine that, a deeper set of discussions is required. However, at a summary level, when determining the option best for your organization, you’ll need to reflect on additional business, functional, and technical considerations.

  • Business considerations: What are the drivers for SAP HANA migration? What are the KPIs and desired outcomes? Do you have any use cases requiring immediate SAP HANA acceleration? Would immediate acceleration to those use cases offset a potentially longer overall project?
  • Functional considerations: Is the current BW configuration meeting the business needs or is there a desire for a redesign? Are you currently challenged to meet load windows or is data latency impacting your business?
  • Technical considerations: How much data are you managing in your current BW landscape? Are you able to support multiple BW landscapes?

The above examples represent just some of the important considerations at the earliest stages of discovery. Once your organization starts to review these topics, you can dive into a deeper analysis to determine the most productive path for you. Either option can be effective; the choice comes down to which supports the best performance from your data warehouse at the most optimal total cost of ownership.

SAP Services: Expert Planning and Implementation Support

Let SAP Services help you optimize your SAP NetWeaver BW system, determine the most efficient upgrade path to SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3, and plan for a smooth implementation. Whether you need initial advisory design or a complete implementation, SAP’s expert planning and installation services can help you streamline and accelerate your migration plan for maximum benefit.

To learn more about how SAP can help you deliver maximum business benefits, go to

How do you anticipate implementing SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA?