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There’s no doubt that SAP’s HANA database has changed the game. For BW, HANA facilitates dramatic performance increases in queries, data loads, calculations, and more. For Business Suite platforms such as ERP 6, the speed with which core business processes can be executed has opened doors to new ways of operating.

As businesses look to leverage the power of HANA for their BW and Business Suite landscapes, many soon realize that their platform versions don’t meet the minimum compatibility requirements; BW 7.31, and NetWeaver 7.4 (Enhancement Package 7 for SAP ERP). Decision makers familiar with the SAP software lifecycle and traditional migration paths may be left to wonder how they will move forward. Will they first be required to take on a separate Enhancement Pack and/or NetWeaver upgrade project which could span months and require full buy-in from business stake holders before they can even move forward with a migration to HANA? If approached as separate projects, they would mandate separate testing cycles, and require involvement from a spectrum of resources for technical execution, business process validation, and code remediation. Given potential constraints related to budgeting, downtime, resource procurement, and alignment with business agendas, it’s easy to see why this would not be practical path for most businesses.

In recognition of these challenges, SAP developed the Database Migration Option (DMO) in Software Update Manager 1.0 SP 9 for systems based on AS ABAP. DMO allows a prerequisite Enhancement Pack and/or NetWeaver upgrade, Unicode conversion, and Heterogeneous Migration to SAP HANA to be combined into a single procedure which incurs one downtime per iteration. Once a lengthy, multi-project undertaking, it can now be approached as a single project, with one Go-Live.

The DMO process is made possible by the “shadow system” functionality of SUM, which builds a parallel or “shadow” copy of the source database and instance. Upgrade preparation and pre-downtime execution takes place in the shadow system while the HANA database is configured on a separate certified machine. During downtime, application data is migrated, database connections are switched to the HANA instance, and the upgrade is finalized. Meanwhile, the source database remains completely intact in the event that fallback is necessary.

The Database Migration Option in SUM has definitely put the migration to HANA within reach for customers who may have been dissuaded by the thought of prerequisite upgrades to their BW and ERP landscapes. With the right technical partner at your side, you’re closer than you think.

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

A Leader and SAP technical veteran, Matt Lonstine oversees the SAP Technologists that make up Symmetry’s Delivery team, while providing strategic guidance to customers. Matt has managed and executed some of Symmetry’s most complex projects with a current focus on HANA, virtualization, disaster recovery, system hardening, and migrations to Symmetry’s SAP Cloud environment.