4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2014 7:50 AM by Tammy Powlas

    Any tips for reducing downtime for SAP ERP?

    Conrad Mickley
    Visibility: Open to anyone

      We have monthly downtime windows for maintenance which last 4-5 hours.  We also have yearly 12-24 hour downtime for major upgrades or disaster recovery testing.  Our business is challenging us to reduce these dependencies and have closer to 0 hours of downtime.  Any tips or suggestions from the community?

       

      Thanks

      Conrad

        • 1. Re: Any tips for reducing downtime for SAP ERP?
          Tammy Powlas

          Hi - what is going on during monthly processing that the system needs to be down?  We have monthly processing and the system is still available.

           

          I recall the only recent downtime we've had was applying enhancement packs, and with the latest release that has gone much faster than before.

          • 2. Re: Any tips for reducing downtime for SAP ERP?
            Conrad Mickley

            Hi Tammy,

             

            We typically have regular downtimes for things like: OS upgrades, DB upgrades, Kernel upgrades, or transports that can go only during downtime.  We are working with our Basis group to determine what we can move into our uptime, but we assume that we may need to take more drastic measures to really reduce downtime.


            Thanks

            Conrad

            • 3. Re: Any tips for reducing downtime for SAP ERP?
              Thomas Dulaney

              Zero downtime is very expensive. You can roll your OS/DB/Kernel upgrades and such through nodes of a cluster, one at a time. It'll cost you in additional hardware and you'll need to work out the processes for the rolling upgrades. SAP provides technology to do even significant upgrades with zero downtime, but nothing is free. You pay for this downtime with complexity, hardware costs, and having MUCH higher training/personnel costs for your Basis team.

               

              Assuming you already have a top-of-the-line Basis team, there is a lot of information that is available on this topic for your basis group. Here's one link to get you started, http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-40355, but I'm sure they're already all over it.

               

              Just bear in mind that any solution you use to drive your downtime below your current levels (which are not bad, in the big picture) are going to increase complexity pretty significantly. With increased complexity comes an increase in the chance that something will go wrong unless your team is properly trained and practiced. Buying the technical solution without making sure your Basis team is also trained and given the time to practice these techniques extensively in non-production environments is the key to success. Basis folks who have the level of expertise to practice zero downtime typically cost a bit of a premium as well. If you train them and then don't keep them well compensated, they'll leave for other customers who will pay them according to their newly-trained-up skills.

               

              I know that sounds obvious, but I've seen too many companies who buy the technical solution without making sure the people side of the equation is factored in. This frequently leads to a sub-optimal result. Even after the technical investment, some companies who don't factor in all of the appropriate costs end up with no better down-time than before.

               

              You'll want to do a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of this including all of the human and technological costs before proceeding. If this is really costing your company significant money, then it may be worth it. If it's really more of an annoyance, then perhaps expectations just need to be realigned in the business. It seems from what little information is here that your downtime is currently in the norm (perhaps even on the skinny side) for all but the largest organizations. (I've been doing SAP Basis for 16+ years as a consultant, if that helps give a window on my perspective.)

               

              I hope this helps!

               

              Best regards,

              --Tom

              • 4. Re: Any tips for reducing downtime for SAP ERP?
                Tammy Powlas

                Conrad - also please see this post by SAP on SCN - "Near Zero Downtime" Safeguard your business processes during upgrad... | SCN