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Getting into SAP from a network/server engineer background

Hi, I have a strong background in Network, Server technology (Microsoft, Cisco, etc.). I was offered an opportunity by a friend who works with SAP to work with him on some side jobs for very good money. I think he does mostly upgrades, and maintenance type work with SAP. He has a lot of connectins and has been doing it for years now. The thing is though I would have 3 months to learn how to implement or do maintenance on SAP. I figured I would get some books, take a training course, and first tag along on some of my friends jobs to see what he does, then try to get certified.

How much of my networking and server background will carry over into helping me learn SAP. I want to know what I'm getting myself into before I spend about 3500 dollars on books and training. Can anyone give me some advice. Thanks
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rfedeleo
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rfedeleo
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okionkaCommented:
Hi rfedeleo,
SAP is a large Client-/Server Application. For a good skill SAP Administrator, you have to be good at all tree components :  OS, Database and SAP Application. A lot of SAP Admins come from the OS level and some raised from the Database. But most of SAP Admins go directly through the Application with low or medium skills at OS and Database level. I jumped after my academic grade in OS and Database Administration for 2 Years and after that I went into SAP Adminstration. This is now 7 Years ago.

SAP realized this and developed a lot of processes, norms and tools to unified the differences of Databases (e.g. sapdba) and simplified the OS Adminstration. On the Market are a lot of Customers, who have a heterogenous Systemlandscape with a lot of Interfaces between their Systems. Their requirements don't stop at the end of one SAP System and looks for admins who can handle in deep OS/Network troubles without calling an other OS-Admin.

Back to your Question: I think, it helps always, if you have a strong background Knowledge on OS. But for your SAP Administration you'll need this only up to 20%. In the Base-Certification of a Techical SAP Consultant I got 80 Questions in 4 hours : 20 Questions on OS, 20 on DB and 40 on SAP Application. But the OS and DB Questions were about Disk-Layouts for SAP and SAP debugging at OS / Database level!

regards
okionka
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rfedeleoAuthor Commented:
Okionka,
   Thanks for your answer. About the Database, do companies use Microsoft SQL server at all? Also, what is the most common database and OS used for SAP?

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okionkaCommented:
Refedelo,
I live in Germany, Europe and know only about the market here. The most common DB in a SAP environmen is Oracle (80%) followed by DB2. In my 7 Years SAP expirience I saw only 3 productive SAP Systems on MS SQL. But some more developement / consolidation Systems were on MS SQL. In US have MS SQL a better standing, but I don't know numbers.

The most common OS is Unix (AIX; HP-UX; Sun and since 2years Linux) followed by zOS (at Insurances and Banks). The problem on Windows was long time the Ressource-limitations (CPU and RAM). SAP consumes a lot of memoy, specially on the CentralInstance : a lot of Systems have 16GByte or more (up to 64BG) memory on Central Instance. I never saw a Intel-Machine with more than 16GB RAM!

SAP also consumes a lot of CPUs: Large productive Installations have 10 to 30 Machines with each 8 or 16 CPUs to perform enought for the customer requirements.

Develope/Test Systems mostly designed for some tens of Users! And there you can install these cheap Intel-Boxes!
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