Redbull migrates BW to HANA – I am suitably impressed

SAP allowed some of us bloggers to interact with Christian Stoxreiter of Redbull. They just finished migrating their BW system to HANA. We will see him during Vishal’s keynote tomorrow I think explaining in more detail. I am a big fan of Christian now after he made the comment “We want to be dynamic and flexible, but we are NOT stupid. I know the difference between marketing slides and actual technology limitations”.


There is a lot that impressed me with this .


Redbull has been an SAP customer for 11 years. They have ECC, CRM and BW. The BW system which is 1.5 TB in size was moved to HANA platform and now the data size is 300 GB. What is even more impressive is that 200 GB out of this is in row model, which means once the data models are rationalized – it will get even smaller.


It took just 10 days to migrate BW to HANA. Of course this included working night shifts and all, and had the best of SAP techies on the job. The relationship between SAP and Redbull has been at board level from SAP, with Vishal Sikka being involved directly.  But even then, that is quite a short period to pull this off.


Redbull did not see a big improvement in query performance because they were already using BWA.  Moreover, they found that HANA does not have all the features that BWA gave them. But they think this is ok, because SAP is commited to working with them to put in features in future revisions of HANA. However, ETL performance improved in some cases from 50 minutes to 2 minutes.  This is a big value add for them since their total ETL time to get global data from 39 countries to a single BW instance was 32 hours or so.


Redbull thinks HANA is a great investment for them. They are not doing HANA for just BW alone. They want to influence SAP on Trade Promotions Management on HANA. They also have key areas in ECC where they want SAP to make things better. Redbull thinks they can influence SAP due to the first mover advantage. I think they are thinking smart here – sounds like a good strategy to me too.


Redbull’s BW on HANA is running in parallel to their disk based BW system now, and there is no clear answer yet from SAP on when they can put BW on HANA as stand alone without running parallel. But apparently that decision will be taken by next Monday on the time frame. Redbull is fully aware of limitations in HA/DR etc, and made an educated investment and they believe that it will pay off in spades down the line. I think this is pretty smart of them since it is a product that is gaining rapid market share ac, and will face an information explosion. My making an investment now, they will be well placed to concentrate on business without worrying about handling all the data that comes in future, including unstructured data, social media feeds etc.


Redbull has a clear vision for ECC running on HANA in future, with no aggregate tables etc. Again – smart in my opinion, since this is key to get SAP to create cutting edge new innovations on the core.


I have been fairly critical of SAP on several aspects of HANA. But this one is different – and I am glad to say SAP did an excellent job, as did Redbull. Good luck, and I am eager to see how BW on HANA will evolve. Maybe we will get more in keynote tomorrow.




Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

28 thoughts on “Redbull migrates BW to HANA – I am suitably impressed

  1. Sorry guys but this doesn’t appear to be the success SAP would like to promote. Don’t get me wrong, I think SAP is good, in the right place, and I absolutely love Red Bull. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the only success here is in reducing the ETL time; not the core thing I’d be hoping to be banging on about. I’d be looking for improved decision making, reduction in expenditure or increased customer relations, revenue etc. Let’s face it; it’s not hard to reduce ETL time.

    To me, this blog seems more concerned with the tech rather than the benefit it brings to the business; OK reducing ETL is nice but where is the TRUE business benefit’s BI can bring to a company?

    I hope whoever’s in charge of BI in Red Bull has seen the benefits they should have seen. Please let us know.


  2. I am going to quote a para from your blog in the SAP HANA forum to clarify a point a point on row vs column tables.

    “Redbull has been an SAP customer for 11 years. They have ECC, CRM and BW. The BW system which is 1.5 TB in size was moved to HANA platform and now the data size is 300 GB. What is even more impressive is that 200 GB out of this is in row model, which means once the data models are rationalized – it will get even smaller.”



  3. Nice to hear this success story. I commend Red Bull for pioneering this effort and allowing others to see. I hope more success stories with more information will give us good use cases for HANA. The new questions in my mind are:

    1. What BWA features are lacking in HANA? This is a surprise.
    2. Is this a OS/DB migration? Hence, most of the data in row store?
    3. If ETL time is not a big issue, does it make more sense to use HANA as a replacement for BWA?


  4. Hi Vijay…

    I have been following ur blogs and comments over HANA lately….
    U mentioned about query performance in Redbull….
    does it conclusive that customers currently do have BIA will not see big query performance after HANA?? do you have info on much percentage of improvement in query performance for customers like US using BWA earlier??

    Durairaj Premsundar


  5. Nice blog, early movers get a key competitive advantage and as you mentioned benefits would be realized as the technology matures


  6. Great blog Vijay. Good to see the details of the customer implementation something straight from the mentors and not from Marketing videos/slides. (Red-bull 10 days tpt!! thats wow).



  7. Nice to see a customer story with some reality. It is tough to see through the marketing fluff if not for stories like this. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Will watch the keynote.


  8. Great insights, Vijay. Like we ‘tweeted’ about, it’s refreshing to see a large company taking a risk/reward approach like this. I am looking forward to seeing if the early adopter rewards are worth it!


  9. Vijay:

    This just made my day…only 10 days for a HANA migration? That’s pretty impressive…and I’m so glad to have another success case for HANA…it’s a technology that it’s growing quickly and being improved pretty fast…hope to see in the near future more companies taking the big leap in moving into HANA…




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