SAP vSphere

New Scalability and Performance Highlights of SAP S/4 and BW/4 HANA 2.0 Workloads running on VMware vSphere 7.0 U3c and Cooper Lake 8-Socket Systems

With the successful validation and SAP support for up to 8-socket wide, 12 TB VMs with vSphere (ESXi) 7.0 U3c and later, new scalability and performance heights are now attainable.

Our partner HPE recently performed two SAP BW benchmarks on the Superdome Flex 280 server, with 6 TB and 12 TB large SAP HANA 2.0 database instances storing 10,400,000,000 (BWH L-Class sizing) and 20,800,000,000 (BWH M-Class sizing) initial records, respectively.

The tests resulted in the highest ever measured results in a VMware virtualized environment, with 7,600 (cert. 2022014) and  4,676 (cert. 2022015) query executions per hour (QPH), respectively. See next figures and tables for details.

Figure 1: 12 TB BHW benchmark results and direct comparison with a 12 TB bare metal deployed SAP HANA system.

Table 1: 12 TB BHW benchmark results summary

Compared to a previously published bare metal BHW benchmark, cert. 2021058, running on the same hardware configuration with SAP HANA 2.0, we are within 10% of bare metal with our virtual SAP HANA 2.0 VM results in all benchmark phases of this specific benchmark.

When compared to our 2 years old Cascade Lake CPU based 8-socket wide 6 TB SAP HANA 2.0 BHW benchmark with 9 data sets, cert. 2020031, in which we already achieved the SAP BWH sizing L-Category, we see a very high increase in all benchmark phases.

While the old Cascade Lake based benchmark is not completely comparable to the new Cooper Lake based benchmark,  due to the different used hardware configuration and one more data set, we run an internal test with 9 data sets as well. The next figure shows the improvements, where BHW benchmark phase 2, the query phase, is showing a 33% benefit using a newer CPU generation. Phases 1 and 3 are not comparable due to the different used storage and network configuration and marked in the table as not comparable (NC*).

Figure 2: 6 TB CLX vs. CPL 9-data set, 11,7 billion records BWH benchmark

Table 2: 6 TB CLX vs. CPL, 9-Data set BHW benchmark results summary

The power of this on-premise based VMware virtualized 8-socket Cooper Lake platform can also get verified when compared to a recently published cloud based 8-socket, 6 TB 10,400,000,000 records BWH benchmark, cert. 2021042, which has a 21% longer data load time by 46% less QPH and an 11% longer complex query time. See next figure 3 and table 3.

Figure 3: 6 TB, 8-Data set, VMware CPL vs. Cloud based 10,4 billion records BWH benchmark

Table 3: VMware CPL vs. Cloud based 10,4 billion records BWH benchmark results summary

Beside these excellent BHW results, we also conducted internal measurements for S/4 HANA 2.0. In this test, OLTP and OLAP type mixed workloads were executed to simulate a real S/4 HANA ERP system running on an 8-socket wide 12 TB SAP HANA VM.

These tests also produced the highest SAP HANA mixed workload results ever measured with VMware vSphere virtualized SAP HANA 2.0 systems. Over 91,000 concurrently running users generated 9.8 million TPH and 16 thousand QPH results in these INTERNAL standardized tests and where within 10%, at the maximal CPU utilization point, to a similarly configured bare metal SAP HANA system. At 35 and 65% CPU utilization, the deviation to a BM system is neglectable. See next figure 4 and table 4 for details.

Figure 4: Internal S/4 HANA Mixed Workload Test – BM vs. VM

Table 4: Internal S/4 HANA Mixed Workload Test results summary.


Using the latest CPU generation with vSphere 7.0 U3c and later provides significant performance gains. Deploying virtualized SAP HANA on-premises allow full control over their SAP HANA deployment without any compromise when compared to pre-configured cloud configurations.

Running SAP HANA virtualized provides an abstraction layer between the operating system / application and the hardware. vSphere 7 takes advantage of the latest Intel CPU generation features and functions and allows an easy migration of older SAP HANA CPU generation systems to the latest CPU generation, all without an error-prone and time consuming HW migration process.

When leveraging vMotion it is only a click of a button,  followed by a planned downtime in minutes to align the old VM configuration to the new host HW capabilities and size.

Customers that want to migrate to the latest SAP HANA supported Intel CPU generations to align their HANA systems to their data growth and increased performance needs can do this now in minutes instead of hours or days.

When migrating to a virtualized environment you can unlock the full innovation potential of SAP HANA by lowering the migration effort and risks.

Figure 5: Benefits when running SAP HANA on VMware vSphere

Tested Intel Copper Lake CPU configuration:

HPE Superdome Flex 280, 8 processors / 224 cores / 448 threads, Intel Xeon Platinum 8380HL processor, 2.90 GHz, 64 KB L1 cache and 1,024 KB L2 cache per core, 38.5 MB L3 cache per processor, 12,288 GB DRAM. vSphere 7.0 U3c with memory hotfix (KB 87730) and close to 12 TB vRAM and up to 448 vCPUs.