Installation and Planning Concepts SAP BASIS

With the many SAP solutions that have been available during the last few years, and especially since the global release of the SAP NetWeaver platform and the J2EE engine, the planning process for installing the proper system landscape for deploying and implementing SAP Solutions has become increasingly important and is critical for getting a correct installation. Provided that you know the business requirements and SAP solutions to be implemented, planning SAP installations is a process that involves the following main activities:

  • Carefully analyze the solution and components system and software requirements, and the available installation variants.
  • Define the system landscape.
  • Size the solution according to the chosen platform, or analyze options.
  • Procure the hardware and software.
  • Make sure to meet all the prerequisite requirements before installation, especially last-minute information included in SAP notes.
  • Perform actual installations.
  • Follow postinstallation activities according to the components installed.

Installing SAP software successfully, providing all requirements are met (for example the SAP R/3 Enterprise with the SAP Web AS ABAP), is a process that may last from one to two days, depending on the landscape strategy, the solution to be installed, the multiple installation options, and the processing power of the hardware chosen. After installation, there are also some additional postinstallation steps, basis customization or security settings that most likely need to be done before any productive operation. A good level of expertise with operating systems and management of database systems will ease your way into fast and successful installations. These guidelines will not cover such topics as failover systems or storage RAID options because those issues are dependent on hardware vendor products and configuration utilities.

When a company decides to implement some of the SAP solutions to fulfill its business information needs, it is aware that to customize the functional aspects of the business is the critical and most time-consuming part of a SAP implementation project; however, all the technical elements involved must be seriously considered to overcome the availability issue: the systems and applications must be up and running. SAP defines availability as the fraction of time the system can be used to perform the functions for which it was designed. It does not define it as an isolated hardware or software element, but as a property of the whole information system.

Installation Elements

In any of the SAP solutions installation, you may encounter and require the following hardware elements:

  • Several server computers with sufficient main memory and storage space
  • An appropriate network infrastructure
  • Many presentation servers, commonly personal computers, with network interface cards
  • File and print servers
  • One or several printers

The following software elements may also be present:

  • Server computers operating system and base software kits.
  • Graphical operating environment for the personal computers and a supported network operating system.
  • SAP software kits.
  • Either optional or required third-party software kits.
  • A relational database management system as the SAP information container. This usually comes bundled with the SAP kit.

All previous plus other additional requirements you might need are to be found in several of the planning and installation manuals, which comes bundled in the installation kit, either in printed form, in a CD or DVD online help, or that you download from the SAP Service Marketplace. Finally, a very important element, which is sometimes scarce, is experienced people. Although SAP systems and solutions can be quite complex, managing the SAP systems is not so difficult if the right support lines and procedures are in place. These items are not a SAP requirements list but are the set of elements that should be taken into consideration when starting a SAP technical implementation project. Every element is important, and the right configuration of every one—people configuration used to be known as training—is what makes the planning, installation, and technical implementation a successful base for SAP implementation projects.

Let's review some of the core concepts for a successful planning and installation of SAP solutions, in particular, the base platform for the SAP NetWeaver, aka, the SAP Web Application Server.

Documentation Required for Planning and Installation

There is a comprehensive set of documentation for the planning and installation of SAP solutions, and specifically about the SAP NetWeaver platform and other mySAP Business Suite components. It might seem in fact, that there is so much documentation that sometimes the problem is where to start.

  • SAP Online Library. The SAP Library is the set of documentation for each of the SAP components. This documentation can be installed locally on users' workstations, on file servers, or can be accessed directly in the SAP Help portal
  • Master Guides. The SAP NetWeaver Master Guide is the initial reference point in order to implement and install SAP NetWeaver components. This guide includes a comprehensive list with all the requirements and cross dependencies between components or third-party software. From this guide you will find the appropriate reference to the installation and implementation of specific components or the required SAP Notes.
  • Planning Guides. These guides are also extremely useful and often mandatory in order to plan the installation of a particular component of the SAP NetWeaver or an individual component, listing all the possible installation variants and the description of the parameters that will be required when perform the actual installations.
  • Component Installation Guides. The Component Installation Guides describe the installation and technical implementation of a SAP component, taking into account the combinations of operating systems and databases. Other important documentation you might want to look at is as follows:
  • Security Guide. The Security Guide describes the available options and settings for raising the security level of SAP system landscapes. There is a collective security guide for the SAP NetWeaver platform that includes specific security settings for technologies such as the SAP Web Application Server (SAP Web AS). This document contains general guidelines and suggestions about system security. Other technologies and individual applications have a Security Guide of their own.

Variants of SAP Web AS

At the writing of this book, the SAP Web AS 6.40 was the main component of SAP NetWeaver. It can be installed in different basic system variants: as ABAP+Java system, as Java system, as ABAP system, or as a combination of an ABAP system with a Java system. The installation documentation of SAP Web AS contains the information required to install each of the basic system variants of SAP Web AS:

  • SAP Web AS ABAP system. This variant only consists of the ABAP Engine. There is no J2EE Engine.
  • SAP Web AS Java system. This variant only consists of the J2EE Engine, with auxiliary services. There is no ABAP Engine.
  • SAP Web AS ABAP+Java system. With this variant, you can operate both the ABAP Engine and the J2EE Engine in one system (that is, one SAP system with one <SAPSID>).
  • SAP Web AS ABAP system + SAP Web AS Java system. With this variant, you can also operate both the ABAP Engine and the J2EE Engine. But in contrast to a SAP Web AS ABAP+Java system, the two engines run separated in two systems (that is, two SAP systems, each with a different <SAPS1D>). Normally, the two SAP systems also use two separate databases.

It is important to choose correctly the variant required for the particular component being installed.

Platforms

Customer decisions about hardware platforms are quite variable and factor for decisions are many, from the price to scalability, performance, the confidence in your preferred vendor, and the current experience of the internal IT personnel. Most SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite components run in major flavors of UNIX, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and AS400. However, there are some restrictions in some of the components, and therefore you should check the product availability matrix in the SAP Service Marketplace. Regarding databases, ORACLE and Microsoft SQL Server are the two major database management systems selected, but you can find others, such as Informix and DB2 for the IBM platforms. Recently we have seen the appearance of the MaxDB database, as a joint effort between the SAP DB and the mySQL databases.

To explain the decision making among different vendors or operating system architectures is beyond the scope of this book and depends on many factors, such as overall system size (number of users, estimated size of database, business solutions to be implemented and related SAP components, batch load, etc.), budget, expected response time threshold, former database know-how, and so on.

System Landscape Directory

System landscapes for SAP solutions, and in particular for SAP NetWeaver scenarios, are made up of several components with specific platform dependencies, connections, interfaces, and different requirements regarding installation and change management. An overall concept is required that facilitates the implementation, upgrade, and maintenance of your system landscapes—including the SAP NetWeaver system landscape you want to install. This is where SAP System Landscape Directory (SLD) comes into play.

The SLD is the central information provider that stores information about all the components installed and that can be installed in your system landscape. The SLD is required for a SAP NetWeaver system landscape when vising the SAP Web Application Server for Java, 6.40. To bring the SLD server into operation, you only have to configure and activate it. For most SAP system landscapes, the recommended installation scenario of SLD is to use only one SLD server. The most common installation scenario is that all systems inside a system landscape including all subnetworks share a single SLD server. The advantages of using a single SLD server for the entire system landscape are as follows:

  • Consistent data
  • Easier administration and lower operating expense

Unlike this single SLD server installation, the installation of multiple SLD servers may be a good idea for certain SAP system landscapes. For example, if you want to install multiple SLD servers that are distributed over different geographic locations or an additional SLD server dedicated for a particular group of systems (such as a production landscape), then we recommend that you build up a hierarchy of SLDs so that the SLDs of system groups propagate their information to one central SLD. For this propagation, you have to configure the bridge of every SLD so that it forwards any information also to the central SLD. This way, the central SLD hosts consistently the information of your overall system landscape.

We recommend that you run SLD on a host that is highly available, as the information stored in SLD could be essential for applications running in your production landscape. For example, Web Dynpro applications require the RFC destinations that are stored in SLD for their operation. Also, SAP Exchange Infrastructure relies on information stored in the SLD. In contrast to the Web Dynpro applications, this information gets cached persistently, so that a downtime of SLD would only be critical during the first startup of SAP Exchange Infrastructure when SAP XI retrieves this information from SLD. For SAP NetWeaver, we recommend that you operate SLD on the Central SAP Administration and Monitoring System in a dedicated, nonproductive and highly available SAP Web AS ABAP+Java system.

SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer

SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer 2.0 is an installation and configuration wizard that reduces implementation of SAP Enterprise Portal along with other software components and designated SAP business packages from days to hours. SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer enables you to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing the time needed to install, deploy, and configure SAP Enterprise Portal and business packages to a minimum of time.SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer also provides back-end connectivity to systems for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Warehouse (BW), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and SAP Computing Center Management Systems (CCMS). It enables you to connect easily to these systems through a preconfigured portal with a minimum of interaction and configuration time.

SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer 2.0 installs a clearly defined set of business scenarios for mySAP ERP 2004 and mySAP CRM 4.0. Thus the SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer allows an easy and rapid step into the world of SAP NetWeaver and SAP Enterprise Portal for mySAP ERP and mySAP CRM customers and also for customers who prefer to install SAP Enterprise Portal stand-alone without additional business packages. SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer is available as of SAP NetWeaver '04 SR1. You cannot use SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer to install components of earlier releases of SAP NetWeaver '04.

SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer 2.0 installs the following NetWeaver components:

  • Portal
  • Knowledge Management (including Search and Classification [TREX])
  • Collaboration
  • SAP Web AS Java 6.40

It also installs the following software components:

  • Business packages with Employee Self Service (ESS) and Manager Self Service (MSS) business scenarios (prerequisite: mySAP ERP 2004 is installed)
  • SAP Self Service (XSS) 5.0 which is based on SAP NetWeaver '04 Java Stack and connects to the back-end functions in the ERP system.
  • Business packages with business scenarios for mySAP CRM (prerequisite: mySAP CRM 4.0 and SAP BW 3.5 is installed)
  • A SAP System Landscape Directory (SLD) if you want SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer to install a new SLD
  • CCMS agents to enable monitoring in the Portal

Note the following limitations:

  1. Platform availability. One of the following combinations of operating systems and databases is required for installation:
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2000/2003 operating system with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2000/2003 operating system with Oracle 9.2.0.4 64-bit database
    • Sun Solaris SPARC 8 or 9 operating system with Oracle 9.2.0.4 64-bit database
  2. Installation type. SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer supports a one-node installation on the same server. An additional J2EE cluster environment can be set up by using the standard SAP installation tool.
  3. Scalability and sizing. SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer installs a SAP Enterprise Portal that is optimized for a small number of business users (about 200 concurrent users). But you are not limited to this scenario: you can scale the system and add new hardware according to the standard portal sizing.

The Sizing Process

Sizing may have an impact on the overall installation process. But if you just want to perform a simple installation test, you can skip this section as long as you have a system with minimum hardware requirements. Sixing is a complex and inaccurate procedure that involves a few different persons and organizations. A SAP customer usually requires the help of the chosen hardware vendor and of SAP itself. At the same time, these providers pass on to the customers lengthy questionnaires, with data that are fed into a sizing application to calculate the estimated size of the system. The goal of the sizing process is to define three very important figures: how much CPU power is needed (type and number of processors, memory, number of servers), how big the database will be (disk space necessary), and the minimum recommended network infrastructure to support the network traffic for the SAP Solutions. The quality of the sizing is just as good as the quality of the data supplied by the customer.

Sizing SAP systems is based on a unit known as the SAP Application Benchmark Performance Standard (SAPS). 100 SAPSs are equivalent to 2000 order line items processed in an hour (SD module) or 6000 dialog steps with 2000 postings in an hour (FI module). Usually the CPU and memory requirements are calculated considering the estimated user population per application module and an approach of transaction volumes at peak times. Every SAP application module can have different processor power consumption depending on the depth of the transactions, and therefore they are assigned a load factor. Be aware that every SAP release or even the hardware partners could use different factors depending on their technology.

Additional information such as requested average CPU and memory utilization and scalability of the platforms further defines the needed hardware. Database sizing requires more in-depth business knowledge to be able to fill out the lengthy questionnaires supplied by SAP. Often customers are unable to supply these data accurately. In these cases, the approach usually is to supply a moderate amount of disk space based on similar configurations and later monitor the system growth and add more disk space when needed. This, however, might have some drawbacks, including file system redesigns or time-consuming database reorganizations.

SAP has and supplies its partners with a sixing tool to help calculate the amount of disk space needed based on a business questionnaire. This sizing tool also helps to calculate the estimated tablespace sizes and the biggest tables it will include. An easy and first approach to sizing can be the QuickSizer tool provided by SAP through SAP Service Marketplace (service.sap.com/quicksizer). With the quick sizing service, SAP customers can make an initial and categorized calculation of CPU, memory, and disk resources, based either on users by application module or on a transaction load profile. The results in terms of SAPSs and average disk volume requirements are immediately available, and customers can decide to pass on this information to the hardware partner directly from the QuickSizer form.

This self-service tool can be used in the initial project phase to gain an approximate idea for planning the systems infrastructure. As the project progresses and more usage data is available, a double check should be done, either by using the Quicksizer tool again or by directing the information to the selected hardware partner. A third and sometimes underestimated factor for a correct sizing is the expected network traffic. Usually there are two types of network connections that require appropriate bandwidths: from the application servers to the database server (server network) and from the presentation servers (usually PCs) to the application servers (access network). The sizing of an overall SAP installation has a direct impact on the following elements of the process:

  • The installation type (a factor of how many servers and their intended tasks)
  • The hardware and network configuration
  • The layout and size of the file system
  • The installation of the database
  • The load of a customer database
  • The printing infrastructure and strategy
  • The postinstallation steps
  • The description of this first step is solely intended to make you aware of all the implications of a correct system sizing.

Installation Notes

SAP, as well as any other information technology provider, supplies last-minute information and problem corrections through the SAP Service Marketplace. Before proceeding with the installation, you must get the current installation notes. The actual note numbers depend on what release version you are installing, and they can be found in your SAP installation manual. SAP notes are updated constantly. If you have the notes from previous installations or from someone else, you should still obtain the latest, unless the note modification date (which is referred to in the field Set by at the beginning of the note) is exactly the same. At this stage before the actual installation has started, you might find it difficult to understand some of the concepts and requirements included in the notes, but try to follow them. They usually contain instructions for all supported operating systems, but you just have to pay attention to your particular one. Occasionally, you will find everything is OK by default and there are no additional corrections to do. (Do not count on it.)


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