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FAQ - BI Accelerator - Platforms and Shipment

How is the SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator packaged and delivered?

SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator is packaged as an appliance that runs the BIA functions within standard blade server systems equipped with Intel processors and built-in storage. Selected trusted hardware partners (Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett Packard, IBM and SUN are the current hardware partners) deliver the preconfigured appliance to the customer site. The appliance must be cabled into the existing SAP NetWeaver BI infrastructure (running SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0 or higher). Then, from within BI, a user sets the RFC connection, runs a few routine checks, and selects the InfoCubes to be accelerated. The BI accelerator runs on 64-bit SUSE Linux (SLES), but the rest of the customer's SAP landscape can continue to run on any previously supported OS and hardware.

How do I order the SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator?

Please contact
(a) your SAP account executive for licensing the SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator software and
(b) the hardware partner of your choice for the right hardware set-up. Note that the HW partner delivers the preconfigured hardware/software solution (requiring some additional set-up on-site).
For more information, see: Fujitsu Siemens and HP, IBM and SUN. Additionally, customers will receive a (physical or electronic) copy of the installation DVDs (sometimes necessary for legal reasons).

Why is the SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator available only on preconfigured hardware from selected hardware partners?

The general SAP distribution strategy is to deliver software that can be installed on any supported platform. The general distribution strategy is good for delivering incremental improvements to software functionality that runs smoothly on existing hardware but is less suited for promoting radical innovation. With SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator, SAP is pioneering a new distribution strategy designed to speed up the introduction of new functions. The SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator is an innovation that leverages the benefits of new technology. To ensure that customers reap the benefits without incurring the configuration effort and risks entailed by introducing new hardware and software together, SAP is distributing preconfigured hardware. SAP and the hardware partners Intel, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, IBM, and SUN work to ensure that SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator runs with the desired speed and stability, and customers simply enjoy the benefits. SAP is distributing the new functions on preconfigured hardware to ensure that customers experience the full benefits of modern, adaptive infrastructures based on blade servers. The blade server revolution goes far beyond a compact form factor and inexpensive upsizing. Blade servers feature highly automated administration, monitoring, self-repair, reconfiguration, and failover capabilities. The SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator builds on these features, allowing customers simply to ignore details that previously taxed their resources. The new distribution strategy is designed to speed up implementation and reduce costs for our customers.

The customer already owns a storage subsystem. Why is a separate storage included in the BIA appliance?

The storage as part of the appliance has some significant advantages:

  1. Rapid and instantaneous deployment (preinstalled hardware and minimal configuration and integration effort)
  2. Optimal performance configuration through highly integrated hardware and software setup: Only a dedicated storage subsystem can provide desired exclusive access, reliability and repeatable response times for the InfoCube indexing process.
  3. Reduced cost of operation (minimized and centralized maintenance) *
  4. Support only involves SAP and the HW partner, not a third party
  5. High Availability (switch-over) is depending on the storage and cannot be offered out-of-the-box using other storage systems

What is the role of Intel within this announcement?

Intel is collaborating with SAP to drive development and scaling of the enterprise Service Oriented Architecture (enterprise SOA). SAP NetWeaver with the BI accelerator conforms to the enterprise SOA. Intel has been working toward a vision of the Service Oriented Enterprise (SOE) for some time, which extends far beyond simply making better use of data-center resources. It provides guidance for addressing many of the key challenges currently faced by enterprise architects, such as traversing firewalls, integrating third-party networks, and enabling mobile workers, while minimizing costs. Intel and SAP have participated in co-development of SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator by utilizing key Intel technology optimizations to maximize performance and scalability across current platforms and forthcoming multi-core processors. 64-bit and multi-core preconfigured systems powered by Intel Xeon processors available from OEMs such as Fujitsu Siemens, HP, IBM, and SUN enable plug & play in existing environments with very low administrative overhead.

Why is SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator appliance only shipped on Linux?

The BI Accelerator runs under 64-bit SUSE Linux (SLES). 64-bit is necessary to use the bigger address space for large data volumes. SAP has chosen Linux because this is a vendor-independent operating system.

There are no plans to port this solution on other operating systems because the reduced available combinations of hardware and software components allow for a much robuster environment by encouraging a specific, pre-defined setup. SAP and its partners can make sure that hardware components are appropriately configured to support the underlying software architecture. This translates into lower TCO and better performance.

Note: The SAP NetWeaver 7.0BI system attached to the Accelerator appliance may run under any operating system supported by SAP

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