I specialise in everything

Just found this on LinkedIn…

Would you want to have your beer produced by someone whose specialisation is also refining and distributing oil and managing waste?

What’s more irritating: why would anyone believe this would make a good impression?

Is automatic profile scanning and filtering also actually taking the decision who would be a fit for an opening?

Changes to technical properties row/column store

I just came across SAP note 1850112 – Changes to technical properties row/column store again and found it to be an interesting and reassuring collection of design decisions taken over time.

The decisions taken are about changing the storage type for SAP Netweaver tables on SAP HANA systems.

Counting how many tables were “moved” from one storage engine to another in which SAP Netweaver SP results in the table below:

Version to COLUMN STORE to ROW STORE
7.40 SP 3 88
7.40 SP 5 12
7.40 SP 8 57 1
157 1

In total 157 times the developers found that moving a table from row store to column store would be beneficial.

Only in one case, table QRFC_I_QIN_LOCK, the decision was to move a column store table to row store.

(* the way this table is used, like many other RFC and message queue tables, is quite specific, which makes it less suited for the column store)

Now, why is this remarkable?

Back in 2011 when SAP Netweaver porting to SAP HANA started, SAP internal developers had been advised to choose the storage for “their” tables based on the recommendations that can still be found in today’s SAP HANA Administration Guide.

Seeing that the decisions taken back then have been revised not only shows that SAP HANA’s column store is capable of handling production workload.

More than this it underlines the whole point of column store concepts.

It is made for business application.

It lends itself to the way, data is used in such systems and it allows to automatically take advantage of improvements in hard and software. Automatic parallel query processing and efficient mass data processing via SIMD are just two examples for that.

One conclusion of this can be:

If your application is using data in a similar way, then using column store tables is very likely the best single design decision you can take.

In fact, at least in my opinion, it is about time to change the default table type (parameter indexserver.ini • sql [] • table_type) to COLUMN as it really is the new “normal table type”.

Cheers,

Lars

Book Announcement: SAP HANA Administration

I’ve mentioned it before in a couple of threads and today I am happy to officially and proudly announce:

There is now a pack of paper with my name on, available and waiting to be bought by you.

SAP HANA Administration

That’s right.

My colleague Richard Bremer and I put together what we think should be known by every SAP HANA DBA.

The book covers

  • installation and setup of a SAP HANA instance
  • management of users and roles
  • dealing with tables
  • coping with partitioning and data distribution
  • indexing
  • compression
  • using PlanViz and lots more.

Since SAP HANA is a very rapid evolving platform we put a lot of weight to fundamentals, concepts and principles that will take you far and likely still be important to master in revisions to come.

Has everything we thought up made it into the book? Definitively not!

The rigid editing process cut down from  900+ pages to around 722, but it is still quite a brick of dead trees.

Beyond that, I can honestly say I wish I had this book when I started to work with SAP HANA.

Since not everyone is willing to see little forests cut down for an IT book, the good folks at SAP Press provide electronic versions  for all the major platforms as well.

The book can be ordered directly on www.sap-press.com or via the usual suspects of book retailing.

SAP Press will be present at the upcoming teched && d-code events and so will be Richard (your chance to ask for a signature on your copy or ask some questions 🙂 ).

That’s it – hope you enjoy.

Cheers, Lars

This is not High Tech, this is not Innovation

Downloading and installing the new revision of SAP HANA is not innovation.

Porting your application to in-memory column store technology is not high tech.

This is not the bleeding edge.

Here we are in commodity land.

No custom-made hardware. Just off-shelf software. Technology from decades ago.

What’s new than about it?

It’s probably you being new to it.

This is not a new insight or something that did not occur to anyone before.

It’s just one of these standing myths of IT industry to always be ahead of the curve and to drive technology.

The reality, however, is none of us is working at the bleeding edge.

That’s very similar to the fashion industry.

Most folks there are not Karl or Stella but rather work for H&M, Target or some other chain at the other end of the spectrum.

Does it render the retain section of the business less important? Surely not, as this is where revenue is generated.

But we cannot deny that we’re indeed all just wearing off the latest cerulean sweater, something that we were presented with.

Now, if we accept this we can find that this actually changes the game.

Imperfections and flaws cannot be excused anymore by brand-new technology.

The innovation cannot be the scapegoat for bad project management and false hope planning any longer.

It also allows to slow down and step out of the hustle to always use the latest toy and do things properly.

The question now is: what story are you willing to tell yourself, your boss or your customers?