SAP Updates Minimum Hardware Requirements for BI4

SAP has quietly updated the minimum hardware requirements for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 as part of the release of Support Pack 5 (SP5).

Here are the minimum hardware requirements from the Support Pack 4 Product Availability Matrix (PAM):

And here are the minimum hardware requirements from the Support Pack 5 Product Availability Matrix (PAM):

Notice the increase in the minimum server hardware requirements for RAM. In the SP4 PAM, the minimum requirement is 8 GB RAM with 16 GB RAM recommended. If you haven’t installed BI4 yet, 8 GB is barely enough for a sandbox. And 16 GB is barely enough if you split the Adaptive Processing Server according to current best practices.

In the SP5 PAM, the memory recommendation and its language have changed. SAP only recommends 16 GB “for evaluation purposes” and refers readers to the BI4 Sizing Companion Guide for production numbers. Which means that a good BI4 project is going to begin with a hardware sizing exercise. When planning for BI4, do not be surprised if the minimum RAM required is 32 GB, 64 GB or even higher.

To be clear, SP5 does not require any more memory than its predecessors. The new recommendations hold true even if you are using Support Pack 2, Feature Pack 3, or Support Pack 4. SAP is finally giving BI architects clear guidance. Having this information clearly stated will assist you when having budgeting and planning conversations with your server administrators and IT management.

For those of you who intend to virtualize your BI4 deployment, SAP strongly recommends “that the memory and CPU(s) be reserved for each virtual machine that is running the BI services”. This is also fantastic advice. We have seen BI4 deployments suffer because these resources were not reserved but instead dynamically allocated. We have also seen BI4 deployments perform badly or even fail due to lackluster performance from the storage devices used to host the Input File Repository (iFRS) and Output File Repository (oFRS). Just like members of an orchestra, you’ll need to put people who play different instruments (network administrators, system administrators, SAN administrators, and database administrators) in a room together to figure out how to make a symphony with your BI4 deployment. It requires teamwork and many hours of practice, but can be done (see related article, My 10 Steps to get to BI4: Get all the Key IT Players to the Table).

Need help? EV Technologies offers a variety of products and services to help you with your BI4 upgrade. From our BI assessments, to architecture design services, to migration services, we are here to help make your SAP BusinessObjects deployments successful.

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