For anybody else that runs into this, here are our lessons learned. If you have Smart Reporting and want to limit your impacts to production, have your DB team setup a read-only copy with async clustering.
1. The AR Server you setup as your data source in Smart Reporting must be version 9.1.02 or newer. Anything older will not connect to the read-only db
2. When you run the steps in the BMC documentation via the Java driver, realize there are 3 steps before the "ssi". You first have to run "init" to initialize it. You then run "log" to login to the arsystem. And then "ssp" to set the server port for arserver
3. Step 2 cannot be done unless your ARSystem is up and running but you don't have to do it until after you connect to the read-only DB
We haven't tested Smart Reporting just yet but ARSystem is connected without issue and an update made to production is immediately sync'd to the read-only DB so it is real time or near real time.