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      3 min read

      The Cost of Installing (Free) SAP Solution Manager 7.2

      Speaking to our clients, and other people at conferences and industry events I attend, SAP Solution Manager (and especially the Solution Manager 7.2) is often top of mind. It’s hard to beat free, but is it really free?

      Yes, if you’re looking at licensing alone. But there are many hidden costs to take into account than just the license cost. Being a great alternative to SolMan when it comes to monitoring and reporting, we decided to share with you the experience one of our customers had installing Solution Manager:

      “We started conceptualizing the new Solman (Solution Manager) Project over one year ago. We began building it on September 14 of last year and are now in the final stages of getting ready to decommission our old Solman 7.01 system which will be completed by September 15.

      I have built a development and production environment. I’ve also configured all of our systems in the new Solman and completed Technical monitoring/Job monitoring.

      The below is a very high-level breakdown of tasks included in this project. This is by no mean a detailed description

      • Reading Master Guides (1 week)
      • Landscape Planning and design (2 weeks)
      • Upgrade all host agents (2 weeks* *depending on size of SAP footprint)
      • Upgrade all SLDs Content ( 2 weeks)
      • Server Builds ( VM's in our case) ( 1 week)
      • Server Config ( 1 week)
      • Download all required media from SAP - don’t underestimate the importance of this ( 1 week)
      • Install Solution Manager
      • Upgrade base build to SP12 ( in our case) (x 2 for Dev and Prd) (1 week)
      • Post config steps
      • Attend Expert Guided Session ( SAP guided session of Solman config) ( 1 week)
      • Configure Solution Manager
      • Install new Diagnostics Agents on all systems ( allow 1 hour per host - we had 150+ hosts)
      • Managed System Configuration ( 1 day per system - we had ~80 systems) (80 days)
      • EWA setup and config Auto Licensing (1 week)
      • Read technical Monitoring guides (3 days)
      • Technical Monitoring of SAP Systems ( ~80 days)

      Again, this is not by any means a full list but rather a high-level list of the project tasks.

      If we summarize, to build a 2 tier Solution Manager from scratch took me about 40-50 weeks (if we include decommissioning). We had one FTE (Full Time Equivalent) working on this project, and some of the time can be cut by using more people, but many of those tasks need to be done sequentially.

      Cost wise, it is totally dependent on your system size and complexity, but you would need to consider:

      • Server builds
      • FTE(s) to install and configure Solution Manager
      • FTE(s) to run the solution after implementation

      Why did you install Solution Manager from scratch and not upgrade it?

      I’ve done some research and talked to both SAP as well as people who went through the process. Many people I spoke with mentioned how a fresh installation of Solution Manager is easier to do than an upgrade.

      SAP recommend to only go the upgrade path if you have business scenarios involved and/or significant amount of documents. So due to the upgrade complexity, we chose the pass of fresh Solman installation.

      One note that I think is worth mentioning to anyone who considers an upgrade vs. a fresh install. SAP highly recommend having Solman on the latest Support-Package level and this should be equal or higher to all of the other NetWeaver stack installed in the landscape (ERP, BW, etc.). Luckily in our case, I didn’t need to go through upgrading the other elements in our landscape, but for many companies, this is an additional time, resources and costs.

      Are you happy now when the project has been completed?

      Well, first I’m happy that I’ve completed the project, it was long and tedious. However, Solution Manager was not the right choice for us. Beyond the installation, the problem is that the level of usability and sophistication of the product is very low. Don’t expect any bells and whistles, or really any usability for that matter. The technology is rudimentary at best, but it can get the job done with the right skills on staff.

      Even with everything configured I still have to use some custom scripts that I have hand written and these need to be checked and verified on a manual basis taking additional time out of my day.

      Out-of-the box Solution Manager requires so much tweaking, scripts and changes that it turned the installation and ongoing maintenance to a nightmare. The time and effort spend managing and maintaining it are much better spent buying a solution like Xandria  and get a complete SAP health and monitoring coverage.

      A complete comparison between Solman and Xandria can be found in this interesting post - The good, bad and ugly - Solution manager

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