SAP Backbone Update – What’s Affected And Avoid The Consequences

Avoid the consequences of the new SAP Backbone Update

Let’s try and understand the SAP Support Backbone- what it does and realize how important it is for organizations. The SAP support Backbone is the central infrastructure located at SAP to provide the Tech support to customers. Whether you go to different areas like opening support messages, getting certain data downloaded automatically, etc – all of those are done through the SAP Support Portal. You have the portals that relay infrastructure- the “cockpit” of tickets, systems, license, and the Maintenance Planner. Anytime you do a Support Package upgrade, the data that is fed into the Maintenance Planner is mainly done through Solution Manager. In addition, the Early Watch reports are done in background communication with SAP data. There are multiple things that happen in the background, many of which are not so obvious.

To enhance security, SAP has upgraded and made some real changes to the Backbone. Many times with old systems in your current environment, there are generic usernames and passwords that are used. The information is not encrypted, so to alleviate this SAP has redesigned the Backbone completely, which will be the only thing being used. The legacy infrastructure remains in place which aligns customers for a safe transition into their new environments.

When is my deadline? January 01, 2019.

The legacy infrastructure will be shut down. The new support Backbone is now available so the transition is able to happen anytime. Everybody must switch by Jan 1, 2020 to ensure continuous connectivity. We will review the areas are impacted and what that may mean to users (further below) . Also, we will cover which requirements are needed to make the switch.

You have different devices in SAP, which for the most part are connected to the Solution Manager. Solution Manager talks to SAP Support Backbone for Landscape Management- sending data back and forth, Maintenance Planner, license management, SEA, ITSM, SAP engagement, Service Delivery, Early Watch reporting and content update. There is a bunch of data that gets downloaded and automatically applied to the system. What our team has learned is this information is somewhat being broadcasted in the SAP ecosystem, yet we are still surprised by how many customers have not become aware of this!

Although our main area of focus is Solution Manager, still every SAP system will be impacted to a certain extent, which depends on the version you are on. As a word of caution for those still on Solution Manager 7.1 (or earlier), the mainstream support for 7.1 has already expired. Extended support is available until the end of the year.

As mentioned earlier, the legacy infrastructure remains until January 2020. The two main areas of SolMan that are impacted is

  1. Focused Run – must be upgraded to Focused Run 2.0. If you are running on 1.0, the connectivity with cease to work.
  2. Solution Manager as a whole –  all the tools will cease to work. The recommended approach is to upgrade to SP7 or higher. SP9 is the latest version available.

VERSION SP08 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

If these upgrades are not performed, Solution Manager and Focused Run will lose connectivity to SAP Support Backbone. Anyone that is on 7.0 or 7.1, these release will no longer function. Any data that is uploaded to Maintenance Planner for upgrades, all of that functionality will cease to work.

Affected Capabilities

Landscape Management

  • Landscape synchronization with SAP (automatic update of customer system data which is used for Maintenance Planner
  • Remote Service Connection Management from SAP Solution Manager
  • Systems Recommendation

*SAP ability to connect to your systems to provide support will still function. That will not be impacted by the Backbone, because it is a different technology used. SAP Router will not be impacted.

License Management

  • Automatic download and distribution of licenses and maintenance certificates

Test Suite

  • Change Impact Analysis – Scope and Effort Analyzer (SEA) will cease to work because it connects to the Maintenance Planner.

IT Service Management (ITSM)

  • Exchange of messages directly with SAP from Solution Manager will no longer work.

SAP Engagement of Service Delivery

  • Service Delivery
  • SAP Early watch Alert from SAP Solution Manager to SAP
  • Service Content Update – new data from SAP, new templates for Technical Monitoring, whole areas off content that is updated by SAP

What Will Happen if Not Upgraded by 2020?

Depending on your product version, the impact will be different, see below. Additionally, SAP Partners- like VAR-d, ISV, etc. – will lose connectivity unless they are upgraded to SP08 or higher.

Product Version and Impact

To get started with the upgrade, contact our CoreALM Team to discuss directly with our experts.

You can also watch our webinar on this topic down below:

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