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SAP HANA Now Supported on VMware vSphere 5.5 for Production Scenarios

Eighteen months ago at SAP SAPPHIRE Madrid 2012, VMware presented impressive performance data showcasing SAP HANA running on vSphere. At that time, vSphere 5.1 received support from SAP to run SAP HANA for non-production scenarios.

After an extended and successful joint testing program with SAP, we’re proud to announce that vSphere 5.5 has achieved production support for SAP HANA.  Today, joint customers can run and scale single node SAP HANA databases up to 1TB in a virtual environment while taking advantage of all of the vSphere features they know and rely on to achieve high availability and improved Quality of Service for their mission critical workloads.

Three Years of Joint SAP and VMware Testing and Benchmarking

In order to secure production support for running SAP HANA on vSphere, it was crucial that VMware validate SAP HANA performance was not compromised. A series of exhaustive tests and benchmarks by the SAP HANA and VMware performance teams proved that the in-memory database’s performance running in a virtual environment achieved near native performance. Todd Muirhead will provide the details of these tests and results in an upcoming blog on VMware VROOM! (Performance Team Blog). It’s important to note that during this joint testing project, there were absolutely no functional errors encountered when running SAP HANA on vSphere.

SAP’s Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) program coupled with VMware production support truly provides our joint customers with flexibility when deploying SAP HANA beyond the physical appliance model. TDI reduces CapEx and OpEx by reusing existing hardware as well as taking advantage of current operational management processes.

SAP HANA Enterprise storage was the first TDI component to be generally available in November 2013. This is key since enterprise shared storage is necessary for many of vSphere’s advanced features. TDI deployments do require the use of SAP HANA certified servers and certified storage. SAP partners with certified storage include EMC, HP, Hitachi, IBM and NetApp.

Getting the Most of SAP HANA with vSphere

Here are some highlights of the vSphere features and capabilities which can be used with SAP HANA mission critical workloads:

VMware vSphere vMotion – Migrate live SAP HANA databases from one certified host to another with zero downtime. (View the SAP HANA vMotion Demo on YouTube)

VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) – Automatically balance and manage SAP HANA virtual machines without service disruption. Use DRS Rules to prevent SAP HANA migrations to non-certified hosts.

VMware vSphere Host Profiles – Automatically deploy additional vSphere hosts using a golden optimized SAP HANA host profile. This eliminates the need to set up specialized scripts or manually optimize vSphere hosts running SAP HANA. Maintain consistent service levels and protect against unauthorized changed parameters using host profile compliance checks.

VMware vSphere High Availability (HA) - Monitor SAP HANA hosts and virtual machines to detect hardware and guest operating system failures. Automatically restart virtual machines on other SAP HANA certified hosts in the cluster without manual intervention when a server outage is detected.

vMotion is essential for critical in-memory databases with large memory footprints like SAP HANA. vMotion is an “American Express” feature of vSphere, “…don’t run your data center without it.” With vMotion, admins can proactively move SAP HANA instances  while maintaining the entire memory state, data, temporary tables, computations, and statistics. Using vMotion to migrate a SAP HANA instance takes minutes while providing 100 percent availability; in comparison to restarting and reloading from disk which could take hours to reach its service level prior to restart.

Where to Learn More about SAP HANA on vSphere 5.5

I’m excited about what we’ve accomplished to date with our partners at SAP.  I will be discussing best practices, features, performance, and deployment considerations in depth at EMC World and SAPPHIRE. Drop by the following sessions for more details:

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW June 3-5, 2014, Orlando

Session Title: “Leveraging VMware technologies with SAP HANA in production environment”

Speaker: Bob Goldsand, Staff Partner Architect, Global Alliances

Tuesday, June 3rd 11:00 – 11:30am EST (Presentation, VMware Booth #908)

Tuesday, June 3rd 12:00 – 12:45 pm EST (Microforum session, Room IN132)

Wednesday, June 4th 09:00 – 9:30am EST (Presentation, VMware Booth #908)