Microsoft’s SAP ERP system productive on SQL Server 2008 R2

Two weeks ago Microsoft’s SAP ERP system went productive on CTP2 (also named August CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2. This move represents the most important step of 3 months testing of SQL Server 2008 R2 in sandbox systems, development and test systems. As throughout the whole testing period, the move to production was eventless. No issues have been detected so far in production. From SAP side Basis Support Package 18 does work with SQL Server 2008 R2 without any problems. Also patch level 221 of the 7.00 SAP kernel works perfectly without any issues. Not too surprising since the changes in the SQL server Relational Engine are very limited. The motivation for Microsoft IT going productive with SQL Server 2008 R2 as early as possible was twofold:

·         As usual with new SQL Server Releases, our SAP team wanted to contribute to the success of SQL Server by testing the new release on one of Microsoft’s most important software systems. We did the step of moving our SAP ERP productive with Beta coding of SQL Server for the last 11 years. The philosophy behind it is that if our own IT wouldn’t be able to run new SQL Server releases with our most important business systems, how could we ask customers to do so? The bar is that we even need to be able to do it with pre-released SQL server software. From development side, the step of taking our SAP ERP productive with pre-released coding is an important milestone and data point to determine the quality of our product.

·         The other motivation for our SAP basis team was disk space considerations. We hope to slash another 15-20% disk space of our 5TB volume in the SAP ERP database by leveraging UCS2 compression as introduced with SQL Server 2008 R2.  Looking back considering the fact that we have been at a volume of 6.5TB already before we started with SQL Server 2008, one can state that database compression saved us tremendous money.

As far as our development of SQL Server 2008 R2 goes, we are on track to release in the middle of 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving