The Hidden Issue with the SD HANA Benchmarks

Executive Summary

  • SAP has used the SD benchmarks for years for other databases.
  • Four years into S/4HANA, SAP has no benchmarks for S/HANA SD or for ECC SD on HANA.

Introduction

SAP has used the SD benchmarks for years to test for transaction processing performance, but something peculiar happened when SAP released HANA and the benchmarking was to be performed for S/4HANA.

In this article, we will cover the hidden issues with SD benchmarks.

The SD Benchmark for HANA

Here are the SD benchmarks listed on the SAP website for HANA.

This looks like an impressive list of benchmarks for different hardware and different operating systems and database releases. At the time we reviewed this data, we counted 1066 benchmarks.

The Databases

Now notice the databases that were used for the benchmarks.

Each benchmark typically is a single database version or variants of the version, and there are many database versions or variants. For instance, there is a separate benchmark for Oracle 10g, Oracle 10g with Real Application Cluster.

The databases are as follows.

  1. DB2: (41 Benchmarks)
  2. Adabas: (1 Benchmark)
  3. SQL Server: (17 Benchmarks)
  4. SAP ASE (4 Benchmarks)
  5. Informix: (7 Benchmarks)
  6. MaxDB: (4 Benchmarks)
  7. SAP DB: (4 Benchmarks)
  8. Oracle (26 Benchmarks)

The Operating Systems

  1. IBM AIX
  2. Red Hat Enterprise
  3. IBM OS
  4. Solaris
  5. SUSE Linux
  6. Windows 2000, .NET, NT, Enterprise Server, Enterprise Edition, etc..

The most benchmarks were run for Windows Enterprise Server 2003 with 135.

ECC/R/3 Versions

The benchmarks span 52 different versions of ECC. the most frequently benchmarked ECC/R/3 versions were the following.

  1. ECC EHP 5 for ERP 6.0: (242 Benchmarks)
  2. R/3 4.6C: (124 Benchmarks)
  3. SAP EHP 4 for ERP 6.0: (118 Benchmarks)

Hardware Environment

  1. Bare Metal: (984 Benchmarks)
  2. Cloud: (44 Benchmarks)
  3. Virtualized: (36 Benchmarks)

Obviously, this means that 92% and therefore the bulk of the benchmarks were run on bare metal and on premises.

Hardware Vendors

The benchmarks used hardware from 28 different hardware vendors and AWS (not a hardware vendor but a cloud services provider that uses its own open specified hardware as we covered in How the Open Compute Project Reduced the Power of Proprietary Vendors).

The largest number of benchmarks per hardware vendor was as follows:

  1. Dell: (86 Benchmarks)
  2. Fujitsu (57 Benchmarks)
  3. Fujitsu Siemens (106 Benchmarks)
  4. Hitachi (49 Benchmarks)
  5. HP/HPE (209 Benchmarks)
  6. IBM (201 Benchmarks)
  7. NEC (48 Benchmarks)
  8. Sun Microsystems (64 Benchmarks)
  9. Cisco Systems (37 Benchmarks)

AWS only had 14 benchmarks, but this list of SD benchmarks goes back for years. The first benchmark was performed in 1995, and goes all the way up to 2019. AWS does not get its first published benchmark until 2013.

As an example for recent years, there were 32 benchmarks performed in 2018.

The Natural Question That Arises

S/4HANA was introduced in 2015 and just recently had its 4 year anniversary. HANA is going on its 8 year anniversary. Within that context let us take note of the following facts about SAP’s benchmarking.

  • There is not a single benchmark for S/4HANA SD.
  • There is not a single benchmark for HANA for any ERP or other transaction processing system.
  • SAP has only published benchmarks for BW (both the BWH and the BWAML benchmarks)

The HANA benchmark could be run without S/4HANA as HANA works for ECC in something called suite on HANA. However, this setup was never benchmarked.

Conclusion

SAP made enormous claims for both HANA and S/4HANA. However, it has published exactly zero transaction processing benchmarks for HANA (with ECC) or HANA with S/4HANA. The only HANA benchmark that was published where there was a comparison was performed by Lenovo and its problems are covered in the article The Problems with the Strange Lenovo HANA Benchmark.

Information reported to us from the field, which we covered in the article HANA as a Mismatch for S/4HANA and ERP, illustrates that HANA is a weak performer in transaction processing. Our information shows that HANA underperforms previous versions of databases that were used for ECC in transaction processing, which is the dominant processing type in ERP systems.

It seems quite likely that SAP has published no ERP benchmarks for HANA because it would show that SAP’s statements about being able to master both OLTP and OLAP from one database are false.

SAP’s Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Videos

Fact-Checking SAP’s HANA Information

This video is filled with extensive falsehoods. We will address them in the sequence they are stated in this video.

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

SAP's Statement
Accuracy
Brightwork Fact Check
Link to Analysis Article
HANA is a Platform
0%
HANA is not a platform, it is a database.How to Deflect You Were Wrong About HANA
HANA runs more "in-memory" than other databases.
10%
HANA uses a lot of memory, but the entire database is not loaded into memory.How to Understand the In-Memory Myth
S/4HANA Simplifies the Data Model
0%
HANA does not simplify the data model from ECC. There are significant questions as to the benefit of the S/4HANA data model over ECC.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model?
Databases that are not HANA are legacy.
0%
There is zero basis for SAP to call all databases that are not HANA legacy.SAP Calling All Non-HANA DBs Legacy.
Aggregates should be removed and replaced with real time recalculation.
0%
Aggregates are very valuable, and all RDBMS have them (including HANA) and they should not be removed or minimized in importance.Is Hasso Plattner Correct on Database Aggregates?
Reducing the number of tables reduces database complexity.
0%
Reducing the number of tables does not necessarily decrease the complexity of a database. The fewer tables in HANA are more complicated than the larger number of tables pre-HANA.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
HANA is 100% columnar tables.
0%
HANA does not run entirely with columnar tables. HANA has many row-oriented tables, as much as 1/3 of the database.Why Pressure SAP to Port S/4HANA to AnyDB?
S/4HANA eliminates reconciliation.
0%
S/4HANA does not eliminate reconciliation or reduce the time to perform reconciliation to any significant degree.Does HANA Have a Simplified Data Model and Faster Reconciliation?
HANA outperforms all other databases.
0%
Our research shows that not only can competing databases do more than HANA, but they are also a better fit for ERP systems.How to Understand the Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ECC.

The Problem: A Lack of Fact-Checking of HANA

There are two fundamental problems around HANA. The first is the exaggeration of HANA, which means that companies that purchased HANA end up getting far less than they were promised. The second is that the SAP consulting companies simply repeat whatever SAP says. This means that on virtually all accounts there is no independent entity that can contradict statements by SAP.

Being Part of the Solution: What to Do About HANA

We can provide feedback from multiple HANA accounts that provide realistic information around HANA — and this reduces the dependence on biased entities like SAP and all of the large SAP consulting firms that parrot what SAP says. We offer fact-checking services that are entirely research-based and that can stop inaccurate information dead in its tracks. SAP and the consulting firms rely on providing information without any fact-checking entity to contradict the information they provide. This is how companies end up paying for a database which is exorbitantly priced, exorbitantly expensive to implement and exorbitantly expensive to maintain. When SAP or their consulting firm are asked to explain these discrepancies, we have found that they further lie to the customer/client and often turn the issue around on the account, as we covered in the article How SAP Will Gaslight You When Their Software Does Not Work as Promised.

If you need independent advice and fact-checking that is outside of the SAP and SAP consulting system, reach out to us with the form below or with the messenger to the bottom right of the page.

The major problem with companies that bought HANA is that they made the investment without seeking any entity independent of SAP. SAP does not pay Gartner and Forrester the amount of money that they do so these entities can be independent as we covered in the article How Accurate Was The Forrester HANA TCO Study?

If you need independent advice and fact-checking that is outside of the SAP and SAP consulting system, reach out to us with the form below or with the messenger to the bottom right of the page.

Inaccurate Messaging on HANA as Communicated in SAP Consulting Firm Videos

For those interested in the accuracy level of information communicated by consulting firms on HANA, see our analysis of the following video by IBM. SAP consulting firms are unreliable sources of information about SAP and primarily serve to simply repeat what SAP says, without any concern for accuracy. The lying in this video is brazen and shows that as a matter of normal course, the consulting firms are happy to provide false information around SAP.

SAP Video Accuracy Measurement

SAP's Statement
Accuracy
Brightwork Fact Check
Link to Analysis Article
HANA runs more "in-memory" than other databases.
10%
HANA uses a lot of memory, but the entire database is not loaded into memory.How to Understand the In-Memory Myth
HANA is orders of magnitude faster than other databases.
0%
Our research shows that not only can competing databases do more than HANA, but they are also a better fit for ERP systems.How to Understand the Mismatch Between HANA and S/4HANA and ECC.
HANA runs faster because it does not use disks like other databases.
0%
Other databases also use SSDs in addition to disk.Why Did SAP Pivot the Explanation of HANA In Memory?
HANA holds "business data" and "UX data" and "mobile data" and "machine learning data" and "IoT data."
0%
HANA is not a unifying database. HANA is only a database that supports a particular application, it is not for supporting data lakes.
SRM and CRM are part of S/4HANA.
0%
SRM and CRM are not part of S/4HANA. They are separate and separately sold applications. SAP C/4HANA is not yet ready for sale. How Accurate Was Bluefin Solutions on C-4HANA?
Netweaver is critical as a platform and is related to HANA.
0%
Netweaver is not relevant for this discussion. Secondly Netweaver is not an efficient environment from which to develop.
HANA works with Business Objects
10%
It is very rare to even hear about HANA and Business Objects. There are few Buisness Objects implementations that use HANA.SAP Business Objects Rating
Leonardo is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
Leonardo is dead, therefore its discussion here is both misleading and irrelevant.Our 2019 Observation: SAP Leonardo is Dead
IBM Watson is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
Watson is dead, therefore its discussion here is both misleading and irrelevant.How IBM is Distracting from the Watson Failure to Sell More AI and Machine Learning
Digital Boardroom is an important application on SAP accounts.
0%
SAP Digital Boardroom is another SAP item that has never been implemented many places.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Other HANA Performance Content

References

https://www.sap.com/dmc/exp/2018-benchmark-directory/#/sd

https://www.sap.com/about/benchmark/measuring.html

“SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) is a hardware-independent unit of measurement that describes the performance of a system configuration in the SAP environment. It is derived from the Sales and Distribution (SD) benchmark, where 100 SAPS is defined as 2,000 fully business processed order line items per hour.

In technical terms, this throughput is achieved by processing 6,000 dialog steps (screen changes), 2,000 postings per hour in the SD Benchmark, or 2,400 SAP transactions.

In the SD benchmark, fully business processed means the full business process of an order line item: creating the order, creating a delivery note for the order, displaying the order, changing the delivery, posting a goods issue, listing orders, and creating an invoice.”

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

S/4HANA Implementation Research

We offer the most accurate and detailed research into S/4HANA and its implementation history. It is information not available anywhere else and is critical correctly interpreting S/4HANA, as well as moderating against massive amounts of inaccurate information pushed by SAP and their financially biased consulting ecosystem.

Select the description that best matches you.

Option #1: Do You Work in Sales for a Vendor?

See this link for an explanation to sales teams.

Option #2: Do You Work for an Investment Entity that Covers SAP?

See this link for an explanation for investment entities. 

Option #3: Are You a Buyer Evaluating S/4HANA?

For companies evaluating S/4HANA for purchase. See this link for an explanation to software buyers. 

Search Our Other S/4HANA Content

References

https://www.sap.com/about/benchmark.html

AWS and Google Cloud Book

How to Leverage AWS and Google Cloud for SAP and Oracle Environments

Interested in how to use AWS and Google Cloud for on-premises environments, and why this is one of the primary ways to obtain more value from SAP and Oracle? See the link for an explanation of the book. This is a book that provides an overview that no one interested in the cloud for SAP and Oracle should go without reading.