SAP Basis – What not to do when you run SAP

The benefit of working for different SAP clients has give me a keen insight on how best to run SAP and what you should not be doing. Believe it or not, I've come across each of these conditions at companies that should have known better.

Don't do any of these:

1. Mix databases, hardware or operating systems
It is hard to believe but I've run into clients who have different hardware, databases, and operating systems all within the same system landscape! This makes is really hard to complete system copies and almost impossible to gauge upgrades.

2. Update components less than once a year
Keep up with your updates to your current version of SAP and get in the habit of updating almost twice a year. Yes. You will need to establish a standard validation process around this but you should already have one in place.

3. Upgrade less than once every 4 years
Get into the mindset that you need to upgrade SAP every 3 to 4 years. The functionality and tool sets that you will gain will make implementing new technologies much easier (i.e. in-memory databases, big data, etc.).

4. Run on the same hardware for over 5 years
Yes. It is expensive to buy and implement new equipment but not nearly as expensive as support contracts for older systems or long production downtimes. Don't be that company that ends up searching Ebay for old hard drives just to keep an old Sun machine running. When it comes down to it, hardware is one of the cheaper parts of running an enterprise application.

5. Install or upgrade a system without sizing
I've shown up at sites where an application has been running fine but suddenly slows to a crawl once a new external application was implemented. You can quickly overwhelm a system by adding functionality without first determining if it can handle the additional load. Systems are funny. They run fine until they reach a certain threshold and then suddenly become an issue. Save yourself the trouble by first sizing the system before making any major changes.

6. Let your IT technical team determine your infrastructure
What you run for your applications and systems should be determined by the business and not your internal technical teams. I've been at too many places where the Linux/Windows admin dictates what gets installed. Don't marry yourself to a platform or a database because that is what your internal team is comfortable with. Go with the best technology at the best price.