Category Archives: SAP

Updated for vSphere 6 – SAP on VMware Best Practices guide

SAP production support for vSphere 6 was available from the latter half of last year – see http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-27384 . The best practices guide has been updated with the latest vSphere 6 information to help you with virtualizing SAP. Some of the new content includes:

  • Estimating SAPS of virtual machines and how this is aligned with ESXi scheduling behavior.
  • Updated analysis of high availability options for SAP in the virtual environment. This includes the use of VMware Fault Tolerance for SAP Central Services installed in a multi-vCPU virtual machine.
  • A section where all the best practices are summarized and categorized by different topics (CPU, memory, high availability etc.). For those already familiar with the vSphere concepts and use cases just skip to this section.

Certain topics like HANA and Business Objects have separate papers dedicated to them – these are referenced and the content is not repeated in this document.

The paper is available for download here.

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases – VAPP4634

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases – VAPP4634

How do you simplify and improve availability of your Extended distance Oracle Real Application Cluster using vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) ?

Storage Virtualization, both host based and appliance based, can pave the way for increased ease of configuration and improved availability of your cluster based applications. vMSC features including vMotion, HA, DRS and FT as well as extended distance Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) are greatly simplified, and in some cases, made possible through the use of storage virtualization technologies such as EMC VPLEX, Netapp Metro Cluster, IBM SVC, HP 3PAR Peer Persistence , VMware vSAN or Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) disk groups.

Site Recovery Manager with Oracle Data Guard can provide the much needed Disaster Recovery component thereby providing a complete HA and DR solution to Business Critical Databases

See where and how virtualized storage provided by above storage virtualization vendors and ASM are most effectively used to help protect your business critical applications virtualized on vSphere.

See how one Global 1000 company used storage virtualization to achieve 0 second RPO and 5 second RTO.

Details on the solution will be discussed in detail at VMworld 2015 Barcelona in session VAPP4634:

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases (VAPP4634)
Thursday, Oct 15, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Hall 8.0, Room 38

Sudhir Balasubramanian – Senior Solution Architect – Data Platforms, VMware
Marlin McNeil – VMWare Partner, Yucca Group

Virtual Volumes: A game changer for operations of virtualized business critical databases

This is first of a series of posts on deploying vSphere Virtual Volumes for Tier 1 Business Critical Databases. Although this article is written with a focus on Oracle databases, much of this discussion holds good for any Mission critical application.

Business critical databases are among the last workloads virtualized in enterprises, primarily because of the challenges that they pose with growth and scale. Typically the low hanging fruits are virtualizing the Development, Testing/QA, Staging databases after running a successful POC and then moving on the big guy’s i.e. the Production databases.

There are many common concerns about virtualizing business critical databases that inhibit and delay virtualization of these workloads:

  • Business critical virtualized databases need to meet strict SLAs for performance and storage has traditionally been the slowest component
  • Databases grow quickly, while at the same time there is a need to reduce backup windows and their impact on system performance.
  • There is a regular need to clone and refresh databases from production to QA and other environments. However, the size of the modern databases make it harder to clone and refresh data from production to other environments
  • Databases of different levels of criticality need different storage performance characteristics and capabilities.
  • There is a never-ending debate between DBAs and Systems administrators regarding filesystems VS raw devices and VMFS VS RDM. These are primarily due to some of the deficiencies that existed in the past with virtualization.

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Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases – VAPP4634

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases

How do you simplify and improve availability of your Extended distance Oracle Real Application Cluster using vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) ?

Storage Virtualization, both host based and appliance based, can pave the way for increased ease of configuration and improved availability of your cluster based applications. vMSC featues including vMotion, HA, DRS and FT as well as extended distance Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) are greatly simplified, and in some cases, made possible through the use of storage virtualization technologies such as EMC VPLEX, Netapp Metro Cluster, IBM SVC, HP 3PAR Peer Persistence or Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) disk groups. Continue reading

STO4452 – Virtual Volumes (VVOLS) a game changer for running Tier 1 Business Critical Databases

Virtual Volumes (VVOLS) a game changer for running Tier 1 Business Critical Databases:

One of the major components released with vSphere 6 this year was the support for Virtual Volumes (VVOLS). VVOLS has been gaining momentum with storage vendors, who are enabling its capabilities in their arrays.

When virtualizing business databases there are many critical concerns that need to be addressed that include:

1. Database Performance to meet strict SLAs
2. Daily Operations e.g. Backup & Recovery to complete in set window
3. Cut down time to Clone / Refresh of Databases from Production
4. Meet different IO characteristics and capabilities based on criticality
5. Never ending debate with DBAs : File Systems v/s Raw Devices , VMFS v/s RDM Continue reading

Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Business Critical Applications (Part 3 of 3)

Planned Migration:

One of the relatively newer use cases for SRM is planned migration. With this use case, customers can migrate their business critical workloads to the recovery or cloud provider sites in a planned manner. This could be in planning for an upcoming threat such as a hurricane or other disaster or an actual datacenter migration to a different location or cloud provider.

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Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Business Critical Applications (Part 2 of 3)

Protection Groups:

A protection group is a group of virtual machines that fail over together to the recovery site. Protection groups contain virtual machines whose data has been replicated by array-based replication or by VR. Typically contains virtual machines that are related in some way such as:

  • A three-tier application (application server, database server, Web server)
  • Virtual machines whose virtual machine disk files are part of the same datastore group.

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Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Business Critical Applications (Part 1 of 3)

The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate use cases for disaster recovery of  real business critical applications (BCA) leveraging VMware solutions such as VMWare Site Recovery Manager (SRM). Techniques to protect  against disaster for common business critical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP and Oracle Databases are discussed.

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The Case for SAP Central Services and VMware Fault Tolerance

What’s the CPU Utilization Of Standalone SAP Central Services in a Virtual Machine?

Since VMware came out with VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) we have considered the deployment option of installing SAP Central Services in a 1 x vCPU virtual machine protected by VMware FT. FT creates a live shadow instance of a virtual machine that is always up-to-date with the primary virtual machine. In the event of a hardware outage, VMware FT automatically triggers failover—ensuring zero downtime and preventing data loss. Central Services is a single-point-of-failure in the SAP architecture that manages transaction locking and messaging across the SAP system and failure of this service results in downtime for the whole system. Hence Central Services is a strong candidate for FT but FT currently only supports 1 x vCPU (vSphere 5.x), so some guidance is required on how many users we can support in this configuration. VMware has given technical previews of multi-vCPU virtual machines protected by FT at VMworld 2013/2014, but now, better late than never, here are the results of a lab test demonstrating the performance of standalone Central Services in a 1 x vCPU virtual machine. Continue reading

Critical Factors to consider when virtualizing Business Critical Applications: (Part 2 of 2)

Availability:

Availability of the applications is one of the important requirements for business critical applications. The vSphere platform provides capabilities to protect against hardware and software failures  to meet the stringent SLA requirements of business critical applications.

Virtualized applications can avail of features such as vSphere HA protects from HW failures by restarting virtual machines on surviving hosts if a physical host were to fail. vSphere FT  (Fault Tolerance) protects critical servers such as load balancers and other central servers with a small footprint (1vCPU) with zero downtime in the event of HW failures.

vSphere App HA for Application level protection for supported applications. Third party solutions that leverage vSphere Application Awareness API such as Symantec Application HA , NEVERFAIL, etc. layer on top of VMware HA and provide monitoring and availability  for most of the common business critical applications.

HA_Picture1

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