Correctly comparing SAP-SD Benchmark results
By Brad on Jun 12, 2009
In January 2009, a new version, the Two-tier SAP ERP 6.0 Enhancement Pack 4 (Unicode) Standard Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark, was released. This new release has higher cpu requirements and so yields from 25-50% fewer users compared to the previous Two-tier SAP ERP 6.0 (non-unicode) Standard Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark. 10-30% of this is due to the extra overhead from the processing of the larger character strings due to Unicode encoding.
Unicode is a computing standard that allows for the representation and manipulation of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. Before the Unicode requirement, this benchmark used ASCII characters meaning each was just 1 byte. The new version of the benchmark requires Unicode characters and the Application layer (where ~90% of the cycles in this benchmark are spent) uses a new encoding, UTF-16, which uses 2 bytes to encode most characters (including all ASCII characters) and 4 bytes for some others. This requires computers to do more computation and use more bandwidth and storage for most character strings.
See this SAP Note for more details.
SAP, R/3, reg TM of SAP AG in Germany and other countries.
More info www.sap.com/benchmark