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Right-Sizing Your Hardware

Sizing SAP Solutions - Business Oriented, Proven, Cost Effective

Sizing means determining the hardware requirements of an SAP System such as network bandwidth, physical memory, CPU power, and I/O capacity. SAP provides a wide range of tools how these hardware requirements can be determined. The most prominent tool is the Quick Sizer (external link, login required, check also SAP note 2210942, if you use Microsoft IE 11), a self-service tool available for free on SAP Service Marketplace. Quick Sizer has been available as a free self-service tool since 1996. It was developed in close cooperation with SAP's hardware partners to help customers determine the parameters of their hardware needs. Approximately 30,000 users in about 40,000 sizing projects take advantage of this tool each year.

For sizing we have identified three different and independent sizing models that have different advantages and disadvantages. The first two, user-based sizing and throughput-based sizing, have been implemented in the Quick Sizer as well:

  • User-Based Sizing: We defined three types of active users (low, medium, high) who work with the system to a different degree. Merely counting the users can be done quite easily. The disadvantage is that this estimation is quite rough as it says very little about the actual throughput these users produce.
  • Throughput-Based Sizing: Compared to the more straightforward user-based approach, the throughput-based approach allows you to define more variables. You can include additional parameters like business objects used, and also account for peaks and averages. This model is quite thorough because it relies on actual or on actually expected throughput. However, this model relies on a number of assumptions in business terms (e.g. number of order line items per year) that need to be cross-checked against the individual installation.
  • Customer Performance Test: The appropriate tests are done in a customer system with customer data. The disadvantage is that conducting these tests requires considerable time and money. 

On SAP Service Marketplace, there is a wide range of documentation on how the Quick Sizer can be used. Besides Quick Sizer, SAP offers sizing guidelines for the SAP Business Suite, SAP BusinessObjects solutions, SAP Industry solutions, and SAP NetWeaver solutions. These sizing guidelines are available on SAP Service Marketplace (external link, login required). Which tools to use strongly depends on the size of the business, the complexity of the processes, and the resource consumption of the application.

You can use Quick Sizer and sizing guidelines only for initial sizings of SAP standard solutions. Initial sizing means that sizing is done for the first time. An initial sizing is helpful for a first projection when you have little knowledge about the scope and the usage of the solution. This sizing approach makes many assumptions about the usage and the setup of business processes.

Besides initial sizing, there is also productive sizing. Productive sizing means sizing for new functionalities or new users. There are different approaches for productive sizing, depending on the stage of a solution's lifecycle. Independent of the approach, you have to measure and analyze your current resource consumption (CPU utilization, table growth, and memory usage) in order to predict future resources. After having analyzed your system you add the extra load caused by additional users or new applications.

There is a tool available that provides you with the right information and helps you to find the right sizing strategy. If you are unsure whether it exists a sizing guideline for a certain SAP product or whether this product is part of Quick Sizer, you can use our search function. You have access to that Search on the initial screen of the Sizing Decision Tree. Please feel free to browse through the Sizing Decision Tree and provide us with your feedback.

This well structured document is called Sizing Decision tree and can be found here.

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