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SAP HANA on VMware vSphere, Multi-VM Support Status as of May 2017

Since my last SAP HANA blog in February, our SAP HANA validation and engineering team was busy performing the remaining validation test on the Intel Broadwell platform.

Because of the positive results, SAP granted us Multi-SAP HANA VM and NUMA node sharing support for vSphere 6.0 and 6.5 on the 4 socket Intel Broadwell platform up to 4 TB VM sizes.

By now we have five SAP support notes that describe the support status of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere. This blog concentrates on Multi-VM configurations. For a complete overview of what is SAP supported please visit the SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Wiki pages on wiki.scn.sap.com.

The first table in this blog shows the SAP HANA Multi-VM configuration status and what is supported in production. The 2nd table shows what is VMware platform supported, but was not explicitly validated for SAP HANA workloads.

A word on what is meant with VMware Platform support as shown in below tables:

This means that VMware supports system configurations with a certain vSphere release, like Intel Haswell based systems with vSphere 6.5, that are listed on our VMware HCL webpage.

Due to resource constraints, we are not able to test all available systems that are HCL listed and we have to decide which version we validate with SAP HANA and which not. The result is table number 1, where all configurations got listed that have full SAP production level support. Table 2 shows configurations, like the Haswell platform that would get supported from us, but again, these configurations where not validated SAP HANA and SAP does therefore not provide SAP HANA production support for these configurations. Same for Scale-Out, here we currently have only full support for vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6 could get used only for non-prod as documented in note 2315348.

What does this mean for you if you want for instance to upgrade from your existing Haswell platform to vSphere 6.5? It means that you will get platform support from VMware, but would not be allowed by SAP to run your production on these systems. In the case of an escalation, VMware would support all VMware related issues like driver or VMware kernel issues, but would not be able to support you when a SAP HANA specific problem exists, which only SAP is able to solve. SAP will provide support for such non-prod. configurations as outlined in following blog “Cost-Optimized SAP HANA Infrastructure for Non-Production Usage” by Bill Zang, SAP.

I also want to stress following disclaimer:

For final design and infrastructure buying decisions, please always refer to the listed SAP notes and do not relay on below tables, as they may not have the latest support status. “The single source of trough” are always the related SAP notes!

These are the five SAP notes I reference. Unfortunately, you can only open them, if you have a SAP account that allows you to read SAP notes.

  • 1995460 – SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 5.5 in production
  • 2024433 – Multiple SAP HANA VMs on VMware vSphere 5.5 in production
  • 2157587 – SAP BW, powered by SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 5.5 in scale-out in production
  • 2315348 – SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere 6 in production
  • 2393917 – SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere 6.5 in production

Table 1 – SAP HANA Multi-VM – SAP Production Level Support

Disclaimer: For final design and infrastructure buying decisions, please always refer to the listed SAP notes and do not relay on below tables, as they may not have the latest support status. “The single source of trough” are always the related SAP notes!

Multiple SAP HANA production VM scenario on a single physical server

Availability General Availability – Full SAP Support
Support level production
vSphere release vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
SAP note 2024433 2315348 2393917
SAP HANA start release SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 07 SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 11 SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12
max RAM VM size 1 TB 4 TB 4 TB [2]
min RAM VM size sized according to SAP sizing project results
CPU resources (up to ESXi maximum) [3] up to 4-sockets 2-/8-socket HW: * 1- and 2-socket VMs
4-socket HW:* 1-,2-, 3- and 4-socket VMs
2-socket HW: * 1- and 2-socket VMs
4-socket HW:* 1, 2, 3 and -4 socket VMs
min CPU resources [4] sized according to SAP sizing project results, minimal 8 pCores / 16 vCPUs
Intel Ivy Bridge E7 EX 2 and 4-socket
E5 EP 2-socket
Intel Haswell E7 EX 2 and 4-socket 2, 4 and 8-socket
E5 EP 2-socket 2-socket
SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with this CPU
Yes, half-socket, no odd multiples of half sockets  [5]
Intel Broadwell E7 EX 2 and 4-socket 2 and 4-socket
E5 EP 2-socket 2-socket
SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with this CPU Yes, half-socket, no odd multiples of half sockets  [5]

Table 2 – SAP HANA Multi-VM – VMware Platform Support (HCL listed configurations):

Disclaimer: The configurations shown in this table may not have been validated with SAP HANA workload, but are all VMware platform supported for a specific VMware vSphere release. SAP may request that you move SAP HANA VMs to SAP HANA validated system before they provide support!

Multiple SAP HANA non-production VM scenario on a single physical server

Availability VMware Platform / Best Effort Support [1]
Support level non-production (limited SAP support as specified in SAP blog)
vSphere release vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
SAP note 2024433 2315348 2393917
SAP HANA start release SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 05 SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 11 SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12
max RAM VM size 1 TB 4 TB 4 TB [2]
min RAM VM size sized according to SAP sizing project results
CPU resources (up to ESXi maximum) [3] up to 8-socket VMs
min CPU resources [4] sized according to SAP sizing project results, minimal 10 vCPUs
Intel Ivy Bridge E7 EX 2,4 and 8-socket
E5 EP 2-socket
SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with this CPU
Yes
Intel Haswell E7 EX 2,4 and 8-socket
E5 EP 2-socket
SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with this CPU
Yes
Intel Broadwell E7 EX No Broadwell E7 support with vSphere 5.5! 2,4 and 8-socket
E5 EP 2-socket
SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with this CPU
Yes

[1] VMware platform/ best effort support for systems that are on the VMware HCL supported server list for a certain CPU type.  SAP may request that you move SAP HANA VMs to SAP HANA validated system before they provide SAP HANA support. See following blog “Cost-Optimized SAP HANA Infrastructure for Non-Production Usage” by Bill Zang, SAP for details on non-prod support. All VMware SAP HANA Best Practices must get applied, regardless of prod. or non-prod.

[2] vSphere 6.5 6 TB SAP HANA VM sizes are in validation. Maximal RAM installed in physical server as specified by SAP, in the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory.

[3] A SAP HANA VM configuration should mirror the physical HW. E.g. a SAP HANA VM running as a single VM on a 4-socket server should get configured with 4 virtual CPU sockets and as many as vCPUs per socket as sized (example: 4 sockets with 32 vCPUs).

[4] SAP requests for a SAP HANA system minimal 8 pCPU cores or 16 threads for production, as of today maximal 2 VMs are allowed for Haswell (18 core CPUs) or (Broadwell 22 and 24 core CPUs). Please use Numa.PreferHT=1 parameter as documented in KB 2003582 when you configure the VMs! For non-prod VMs a mimimum of 10 vCPUs (5 pCores and 5 hyperthreads) is required. Below 10 vCPUs SAP HANA may not be able to start or operate correctly.

[5] As of today, no odd multiples of half sockets like 1.5 socket VMs, 2.5 socket VMs etc.

What’s next?

Next on our roadmap are more tests around NUMA node sharing and tests with SAP HANA VMs that have different NUMA node configurations as we have tested before, like uneven NUMA nodes (1.5 socket configurations) or VMs that span NUMA nodes that do not have direct QPI links to allow even more deployment options and flexibility for when you want to deploy SAP HANA on a virtualized VMware platform.

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.

2 thoughts on “SAP HANA on VMware vSphere, Multi-VM Support Status as of May 2017

  1. Motoi

    Dear Erik.

    Assuming that the physical server has 4 sockets cpu(18 core / socket) and enabled HT(total 144 vcpu).

    If I want to create 32 vcpu VM, which is correct?

    a) 1socket VM(32 vcpu/socket)
    b) 4socket VM(8 vcpu/socket)

    Reply
    1. Erik RiegerErik Rieger Post author

      Hi Motoi,

      sorry for my late feedback, I was on vacation…

      In short, as long your memory requirements can get satisfied by a single CPU socket (NUMA NODE) then go with one socket. So option A) would be the one I would select.

      But why wont you use 36 vCPUs (18 pCores and 18 HTs) of that single socket? Why do you want to reserve 4 threads?

      It is not needed to reserve CPU threads for ESXi. ESXi will make sure that enough CPU resources are available for its operation.

      Configuring a wide-VM (option B) would only be necessary once you need to allocate the RAM of an additional CPU socket. Examples are 2 sockets with 72 vCPUs or 3 sockets with 108 vCPUs or 4 sockets with 128 vCPUs.

      Please use Numa.PreferHT=1 parameter as documented in KB 2003582 when you configure SAP HANA VMs. SAP HANA is more memory and not CPU latency critical.

      Hope this helps!
      Erik

      Reply

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