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Today, I will be kicking off a blog series centered on a theme called Operationalizing the SAP Real Time Data Platform (RTDP).  To set the stage, I will use this first post to describe a little about myself, where you can find SAP information related to RTDP, my thoughts of the RTDP vision/strategy and introduce you to some of the types of topics I will be discussing in this blog.

 

Who Am I --> Principal Consultant for SAP

First let me tell you a little about myself.  Ever since I started my career in the IT industry over 20 years ago, I have been exposed to many opportunities, challenges and changes in the evolving technical world.  However, it wasn't until 1996 when I started working for Sybase as a Professional Services consultant that I began supporting several different customers which really intensified my exposure and experience to the IT industry.  And although SAP acquired Sybase in 2010, my role really hasn't changed too much. At SAP, I am positioned in the SAP Database & Technology Services (DTS) group as a Principal Consultant where I continue to provide consulting services to our customers.  My primary responsibilities include helping SAP customers operationalize the RTDP while also helping SAP focus on software innovation and cultivating new business.  With regards to the future, I hope that my expertise, skillsets and unique perspective will allow me to contribute in driving the IT industry forward.

 

SAP Reference Material

Before we get started talking about RTDP, I would recommend everyone to review the following two RTDP presentations from SAP.  Both presentations are actually very similar but there are a few slides within each that present the information differently.  In this post, I will be echoing some of this information as I try to describe my thoughts and perspective around RTDP.

 

SAP Real Time Data Platform 1 – Identifies more driving needs for RTDP; shows what a typical complex integration scheme might look like; discusses guiding principals for non-disruptive migrations; and provides the roadmap for RTDP

 

SAP Real Time Data Platform 2 – Contains interesting data points regarding the information sources driving the data explosion; a comparison of the historical trend for memory and disk prices; and performs a deeper dive into a few of the software components which are part of RTDP.

 

The Challenge – Keeping Pace in an Evolving Technical World

Technology is evolving so fast today that sometimes it may seem almost impossible to keep up.  Some of the big trends we see occurring include Big Data, falling prices in computer memory, innovative information capture and consumption technologies hitting mainstream (mobile devices, touch screens, etc.) and the added pressure of cost containment for IT organizations.  Added to this is the fact that businesses have by tradition been building information silos throughout their organization.  This requires a complex web of integration schemes to get the data to the right place so that it can be properly consumed by the user.  And as a customer builds more of these information silos, their IT landscape will become even more complex and costly to maintain.   This in turn will challenge the customer’s ability to provide their end users with access to the right information so that they can make the best decisions as quickly as possible.

 

The Birth of RTDP

SAP has thought this problem through.  They have created a paradigm that would provide customers with innovation and expertise to reduce IT complexity and reduce costs while at the same time ensure it would protect and extend the customer’s current investments.  In putting customers first, they were sensitive enough to understand that any solution developed had to be capable of being deployed in a non-disruptive manner.  To accomplish these goals, SAP made massive investments in data management technology.  For example, in 2010 SAP purchased Sybase to integrate its portfolio of technology.  In addition, they also developed HANA which is a database management system utilizing next-generation in-memory technology.  These investments provide evidence of a strong commitment from a very large software company.

 

My thoughts on RTDP

So what is RTDP?  It’s a comprehensive data management vision and strategy which will help customers remain competitive by providing them with the software they need to efficiently manage information and effectively incorporate emerging technologies.  Its guiding principle is to reduce complexity and cost and employ best-of-breed technologies to solve business problems through innovation by thinking about the customer first.

 

Also with RTDP, customers are provided with a choice of best-in-class database management software so that they can tailor the data management solution to fit their needs.  They are not forced into an inefficient one-size-fits-all (or universal) database approach or into an approach which requires “stacking” to fulfill the fundamentally vital features required of a database server.  Instead, RTDP provides four diverse best-in-class databases, each of which will effectively and efficiently interact with the type of application that they are meant to support.  As a result, a customer will not feel like they are “putting a square peg into a round hole”.

 

When you look inside RTDP, you may notice that it is made up of both software solutions and guiding principles.  When properly utilized, customers are able to build and deploy the next generation of applications.  At the core of RTDP is HANA which provides real time performance with its in-memory technology.  Also included are three more best-in-class database management systems:  ASA (mobile & embedded), ASE (transactional), and SAP Sybase IQ (big data).  To round out the RTDP strategy, SAP provides additional data management and data movement software that support these best-in-class databases.  Among such software includes 1) Sybase Replication to move data from one database to another, 2) Even Stream Processing (ESP) for complex event processing, 3) PowerDesigner for the developers to model the enterprise data and 4) SAP Enterprise Information Management for governing data.

 

What’s my next blog topic

Now that I have described the SAP Real Time Data Platform, I may have still left you wondering what it is that is really going to be discussed under this theme.  This blog will center on the general approaches, specific procedures and other personal perspectives related to making RTDP operational.  My blog posts will be based on my personal experiences including reflections, observations and/or opinions regarding the process of operationalizing RTDP.  Below are examples of topic areas that may be discussed within this blog theme.

  • Business Process Modeling and Data Modeling for the RTDS
  • Architecting and Designing solutions for the RTDS
  • Project Management (POCs, installing, upgrading, migrating, monitoring, tuning, troubleshooting, etc.)
  • Managing a DBA Operations team
  • Remote Database Operations (RDO) Services
  • Working with other stakeholders including Infrastructure, Development and Business Users

 

Please share your thoughts regarding RTDP.  How would you improve RTDP?  What future enhancements would you add to the RTDP roadmap?  I could probably think of a few, but I would prefer to hear from you, our customers.

 

I hope to keep my blog posts interesting.  My next blog post will be regarding the benefits of a Remote Database Operations team.

 

 

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