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SAP HANA on vSphere – Support Status and Best Practices Summary

Since SAPHIRE 2016, SAP supports now also SAP HANA on vSphere 6 deployments for production workloads, see SAP Note 2315348 for details.

The support for vSphere 6 allows customers to increase the RAM to up to 4 TB (4080 GB) of existing virtual SAP HANA systems when migrated to vSphere 6 and allows to react on increased memory needs due to data growth or newly deployed SAP HANA scenarios and solutions.

Beside increased RAM sizes vSphere 6 supports also more vCPUs. Up to 128 vCPUs can now get configured and used by a single SAP HANA VM.

Supporting more physical compute resources inside a VM ultimately provides more “power” to a virtualized SAP HANA system – this alone is worth upgrading from a vSphere 5.5 to a vSphere 6.0 based SAP HANA environment. Beside this, all vSphere 6.0 features can get used as before with vSphere version 5.5.

Since SAP HANA requires a specific sizing method, and as of today not all deployment options are yet available for vSphere 6 deployed SAP HANA systems, I will provide a series of blogs to provide some details to allow you a smooth start with SAP HANA on vSphere. This is the first blog of this series.

This blog contains information on:

  • What’s supported
  • Which deployment options can get used with which vSphere version
  • A summary of the best practices, like minimal vCPU count for non-prod SAP HANA VMs

In other blogs you will read about:

  • VMware SAP HANA virtualized sizing
  • Guidelines on how to migrate form vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6 and interoperability of vSphere 5.5 and 6 host systems for SAP HANA.
  • SAP HANA on non-production environments
  • Business Case for virtualizing SAP HANA

Stay also tuned for the soon available 140 page “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP® HANA® on VMware vSphere®”, which will available on www.vmware.com/go/sap-hana

SAP HANA Deployment Options and Support Status on vSphere

Please follow, till the new “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphereguide will be available, the best practices and especially the configuration settings as described in the Best Practices and Recommendations for Scale-Out Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere document (page 71-73).

Beside the configuration settings as described in this above document, please ensure that following two parameters get added to the VM .VMX file and that the third parameter changed if you want to achieve optimal performance for SAP HANA:

  1. halt_in_monitor = “TRUE”
  2. idleLoopSpinBeforeHalt = “TRUE”
  3. Lat. Sensitivity – normal

When deploying SAP HANA on vSphere, the main consideration is if the SAP HANA virtual machine will get used for production or non-production workloads. The table below summarizes the capabilities, supported deployment options and best practices, like minimal vCPU count or maximal vRAM sizes for SAP HANA VMs on VMware vSphere.

This table is based on the support status as of May 2016. For a complete overview what is supported in detail please visit our SAP SCN page SAP HANA on VMware.

Capability / Option

vSphere 5.5

vSphere 6.0

Supported in Production

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

Supported in Production

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

SAP HANA Scale-Up VM ≤ 1024 GB Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Up VM ≤ 4080 GB No No Yes Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Out VM ≤ 1024 GB1 Yes Yes No Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Out VM ≤ 4080 GB1 No No No Yes
SAP HANA Multi-VM2 Yes Yes Yes3 Yes
SAP HANA Version SPS07 and above SPS11 and above SPS09 and above
Supported HW Configurations4
Supported SAP HANA Systems for VMware virtualization Only SAP HANA and VMware certified Intel E7 v2 (Ivy Bridge) and later based server systems and Intel Xeon E5 v2 and later based SAP HANA entry level systems with a minimum of eight cores per CPU are supported for SAP approved  SAP HANA scenarios and Support Package Stack (SPS) releases.
Physical RAM installed in server (SoH)5 3 TB 6 TB
Physical RAM installed in server (BWoH)5 2 TB 4 TB
SAP HANA Virtual Machine Configuration6
Max. VM size #vCPU 64 64 128 128
Max. VM size #vRAM 1024 GB 1024 GB 4080 GB 4080 GB
Minimal VM size #vCPU All threads of a single CPU socket 8 CPU cores or 16 hyper threads half-socket / NUMA-node sharing 8 CPU cores or 16 hyper threads
Minimal VM size #vRAM7
As sized As sized As sized As sized

1SAP support for SAP HANA scale-out deployments of SAP Business Warehouse (BW), powered by SAP HANA, on VMware vSphere as outlined in SAP Note 215787.
2The defined KPIs for Data Throughput and Latency for production SAP HANA systems has to be fulfilled for each VM, see SAP Note 1943937.
3vSphere 6 supports as of February 17, 2017 the deployment of multiple SAP HANA VMs on a single SAP HANA certified server system. Beside this two SAP HANA production level VMs can share a single NUMA node (CPU socket). Please refer to SAP note 2315348 – SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 6 in production.
4Both SAP HANA appliance and SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) delivery methods are supported.
5maximal RAM installed in physical server as specified by SAP, in the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory. The listed memory figures are the maximal memory configurations of Haswell based server systems and SPS11. Older SPS levels or hardware supports smaller memory configurations!
6The maximum size of a virtual SAP HANA instance is limited by the maximum size a virtual machine can get with the different VMware vSphere releases. Each SAP HANA instance / virtual machine is sized according to the existing sizing guidelines and VMware recommendations. CPU and Memory overcommitting must not be used. The maximal usable memory for virtualized BWoH systems may be lower as the vSphere memory maxima, as the vSphere 6 128 vCPU support may limit the usable RAM size of a BW instance to around 3.2 TB. For details please refer to the SAP HANA on VMware architecture guide.
7Try to use as less NUMA nodes for the RAM as possible to optimize memory latency (local vs. remote RAM access).


By getting SAP support for vSphere 6 virtualized SAP HANA systems on very large servers, like 8-socket servers with up to 6 TB RAM installed, customers can now not only virtualize their bigger SAP HANA systems, but can also be assured that their most critical systems, their SAP HANA systems run stable, performant and secure on vSphere 6.

Please also check out the other blogs around SAP HANA on vSphere to learn for instance how to size a SAP HANA VM for the usage in production or non production environments.

For more information on SAP applications on VMware please visit our SAP SCN pages SAP on VMware or SAP HANA on VMware. Please also check out the soon available new SAP HANA on vSphere architecture guide.

This entry was posted in SAP and tagged , on by .
Erik Rieger

About Erik Rieger

Erik Rieger is a global solutions architect, working with VMware’s global System Integrators and System Outsourcers (SI/SO) and strategic ISV technical alliances. He is responsible for defining, developing and delivering VMware specific SAP solutions that help customers to achieve accelerated business performance and real-time decision making.

17 thoughts on “SAP HANA on vSphere – Support Status and Best Practices Summary

  1. john

    What is the bare minimum vSphere Edition supported?

    1)vSphere ESXi (free),
    2) vSphere Essentials,
    3) vSphere Essentials Plus,
    4) vSphere Standard,
    5) vSphere Enterprise Plus?

      1. Juan Francisco

        Hi Erik, great blog you have here!

        I couldn’t find any info regarding which vSphere licenses are supported for SAP HANA (production) except for your post about it. Do you known about a SAP note or something that confirms this? why wouldn’t a vSphere Essentials be suitable to run SAP HANA (if you use a certified server where you just add the hypervisor layer instead of plain baremetal). Thanks in advance for you help!


        Juan F.

  2. Uwe

    Hi Erik,
    thanks for your great informations on this topic. I really appreciate the very valuable HANA Best Practices Document.
    Starting on page 44 you are explaining the Memory Overhead, but I am missing one piece of information: what is the performance overhead introduced by the memory virtualization itself? Because of HANAs direct memory access and optimization SAP is communicating a performance loss up to 20%, when comparing a virtualized system to a non-virtualized system. The setup is without any kind of overcommitment with simply one large HANA system running on Linux+hardware in comparison to Linux+VMware on the same hardware.
    Personally, I have doubts in such a high drawback, but do you have measurements on this particular performance loss?
    Or could you publish any figures within the soon available new Best Practices Document?
    Best regards

    1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

      Sorry for the delayed answer. The SAP review is done by now and I expect that the guide gets published in December on our webpage. Please send me a mail (erieger(at)vmware.com) if you want to have the draft.

  3. erik iacobellis

    Hi Erik,
    Have you got info about installation of sap hana production on vmware, how many productions Can we install?
    One sap hana production for socket? If the sap hana production not use all cores of a socket we Can use the remaing cores for another sap hana production?

    1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

      On vSphere 5.5 you can have one HANA prod. instance per CPU socket (if it fits into a socket), a 4 socket server would therefore support up to 4 prod SAP HANA instances.
      As of today we still have the support limitation for one SAP HANA prod. instance on vSphere 6. We are currently running the tests to get multiple SAP HANA prod. instance support on a single vSphere 6 host. I expect that we finish the tests EOY 2016 and hope that we soon gat the official support statement.

      Part of the multi-vm testing is also NUMA node sharing, these are the tests if 2 or more SAP HANA production instances share the CPU and memory resources of a single CPU. Just to make sure, also in this configuration no resource overcommitment will get supported and the HANA VMs will need fix resource commitments. But this will allow us to use the compute resources more efficiently.

      I hope this helps and sorry that I am not able to provide fix dates.

      1. Miroslav Kosa

        Hi Eric,

        I was wondering if there is something new with the support of the multi-vm SAP HANA prod. systems, since your last comment. Actually this is the probably the most up to date information available for public regarding this topic.

        Best Regards,


        1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

          Hi Miro,

          we are working on and and are currently finishing our validation. Please understand that I am not able to share final dates as our validation requires SAP approval. Nevertheless you can use as of today already one prod HANA vSphere 6.x VM with multiply non-HANA / non-prod VMs on a single host, so check out the BP guide for more details.


  4. gert vosen

    Hi Erik,

    Is the document “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP® HANA® on VMware vSphere®” already available? I found a 2014 version however not a recent 2016 version.

    Kind regards, Gert

    1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

      Sorry for the delayed answer. The SAP review is done by now and I expect that the guide gets published in December on our webpage. Please send me a mail (erieger(at)vmware.com) if you want to have the draft.

  5. Jon Bryant


    Can you clarify the table headings please? For SAP HANA Scale-Up VM ≤ 1024 GB, you have Production Support and also No SAP support/VMware Best endeavours. (suspect you might mean reasonable endeavours)
    How can you have both?
    As per the SCN page, should that say Supported in Non-Production?

  6. Serri

    Hi Erik
    I have a server IBM x3850 M2 72336LG, when i was looking in supported Versions of VMW i found it the last version supported is Esxi 5.0U3 , we want to using it for Dev and QA for SAP HANA project is it possible to use it ?

    With Best Regards

    1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

      Hi Serri,

      Well, if it is ok that you want be able to open support tickets at SAP, then you may consider to use vSphere 5.0u3.

      By now vSphere 5.0 is very limited in terms of HW support and VM size and therefore we do not support it with SAP HANA workloads.



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