Author Archives: Erik Rieger

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.

vSphere 6.5 – SAP HANA Scale-Out Support

At the end of last year, VMware assisted our technology partner Fujitsu with a SAP Scale-Out BWH benchmark (SAP BW edition for SAP HANA Standard Application Benchmark Version 2).  The benchmark was run on Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B3, 1 TB RAM configured systems, with four Intel Broadwell CPUs (Intel Xeon E7-8880 v4). As a result of the performance demonstrated by this test, SAP provided support for SAP Scale-Out deployments for up to 8 active nodes (7 Worker +  1 Master) with vSphere 6.5.

Why is this important? Previously we only had support for this deployment option on older CPU generations and vSphere 5.5, which will reach end of support in September 2018. If you have deployed SAP HANA Scale-Out on vSphere 5.5, then, please consider upgrading to vSphere 6.5 as soon as possible.

We performed the benchmark with 3.9 billion initial records on a 4 node Scale-Out native and virtual deployed configuration. The SAP HANA native and virtual tests were on the same HW using the same OS and HANA system configuration, to make the native and virtual results comparable.

The benchmark consists of 3 phases. The table below shows the test results of a physical (Test Case 1 cert 2017051) and virtual (Test Case 2 cert 2017052) deployed SAP HANA system.

1. Data load phase
2. Query throughput phase
3. Query run-time phase

For more details around the benchmark please check out

Please note, that the natively running HANA system had 176 compute threads, whereas the virtual running SAP system had only 128 vCPUs due to the vSphere 6.5 limitation available (48 threads less). This explains the around 10% longer time for data load and query execution. The query runtime phase was comparable and shows no degradation to the natively installed system.

SAP HANA scale-out-4-nodes-results

Test case 1 (native) – 2017051: 4 x Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B3 (Intel Xeon Processor E7-8880 v4, 4 procs, 88 cores, 176 threads), BW Edition for HANA Version 2 (3900000000 records) 3-tier, SAP NetWeaver 7.50, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, SAP HANA 1.0

Test case 2 (virtualized) – 2017052: 4 x Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B3 (Intel Xeon Processor E7-8880 v4, 4 procs, 88 cores, 176 threads), BW Edition for HANA Version 2 (3900000000 records) 3-tier, SAP NetWeaver 7.50, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on VMware vSphere 6.5, SAP HANA 1.0

As an additional test, we ran the SAP HANA Hardware Check Configuration Tool (HWCCT) on the natively running SAP HANA systems and the virtual environment to verify if we are able to maintain, the SAP defined TDI storage and network KPI’s.  Both systems passed the HWCCT tests with all KPIs for HANA met for this test.

SAP is currently updating their SAP support note for SAP HANA on vSphere 6.5 and will release it shortly.

Details on the SAP HANA on vSphere support status can get found on this page: SAP Wiki VMware pages.

Details about the used Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B3 systems are here: Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST Website.

CenturyLink Transforms SAP Deployment Model with VMware Virtualization

CenturyLink SAP

We recently worked with CenturyLink, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States, to optimize their virtual SAP HANA solutions. The outcome is below referenced success story, where CenturyLink describes how they use the VMware platform, to provide a customized private cloud for SAP applications, including SAP HANA in less than 28 days, with no compromise on performance.

A SAP infrastructure project duration of 28 days may not sound so fast, but remember, this is a for a completely customized SAP private cloud solution and not just some standard, simple SAP HANA instances running somewhere in the public cloud, as a test or development system. Regarding CenturyLink, customers can deploy new SAP workloads up to four times faster, compared to in-house implementations, where these deployments typically take over 100 days!

Deploying a complete SAP landscape includes several systems like SAP Solution Manger, SAP Gateways, load balancers, several applications servers and finally the SAP HANA database. All these systems need to get configured, patched up to the latest software release level and connected by maintaining highest security standards. All this will get done, if wished, by CenturyLink.

Beside faster time to market, CenturyLink can utilize templates and repeatable processes, which helps it easily standardize and scale its offering while managing costs, complexity, and risks. This all leads to CapEx savings of up to 60 percent and OpEx savings in a similar range for CenturyLink customers. For instance, as an SAP HEC partner, CenturyLink had to deploy without SAP HANA VMware vSphere virtualization, 20 physical server systems to support 20 independent SAP HANA systems in the past. Now they deploy a VMware cluster of 8 hosts to support these 20 SAP HANA instances, including HA, which is a HW reduction by 12 hosts or 60 percent. 60 percent less power and cooling costs, rack space savings and reduced HW maintenance costs are only the more comprehensible cost savings realized. Additionally, to this the easier operation of a virtual, software defined environment, are major, long-term, cost saving factors.

These are the reasons why CenturyLink wants to go one step further towards a fully software defined data-center and plans to implement a VMware Virtual SAN™ based hyper-converged infrastructure ready to run even the more demanding SAP workloads.

For more information please review the success story posted here:

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

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.

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VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management – Connector for vRealize Automation 1.1

The  VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management just got better and provides now a connector for vRealize Automation 1.1!

Our Integrated Systems Business Unit, just released the VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management – Connector for vRealize Automation 1.1.

Why is this important?

The  vLA Connector for vRealize Automation feature allows SAP and VMware admins to publish SAP systems to vRealize Automation so that SAP Users can consume these contents themselves directly from vRealize Automation.

The new connector augments the automation power of VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management 1.4.1, which leverages capabilities of SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) and VMware SDDC, and empowers SAP customers to provision and manage SAP application seamlessly.

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VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management 1.4.1 – Automate and manage your VMware virtualized SAP Landscape

On behalf of David Gallant, ISBU, Product Management and the Integrated Systems Business Unit, we are very pleased to announce the General Availability of VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management 1.4.1.

VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management integrates SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) with VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) technologies, allowing SAP BASIS administrators, VMware administrators, SAP project and business stakeholders to automate provisioning and management of SAP landscapes running on VMware’s SDDC. The adapter is a key component of VMware private cloud solution for SAP, which defines the software stack to virtualize, secure and automate SAP environments leveraging VMware’s software-defined architecture. At its core, it includes VMware vSphere, VMware NSX, vRealize Automation and the VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management and will help to bring SAP Consumers closer to IT Providers, by leveraging for instance an optional service portal to perform SAP system deployments and management tasks instead of using administrator and system tools.

Below figure shows how providers and consumers can leverage the VMware Adapter for SAP Landscape Management.

VMware Adapter

This release of the adapter is a very important maintenance release. With this release, we continue to enhance support for vRealize Automation and the system automation application interface (SA-API).  These enhancements pave the way for additional customers to adopt SAP LaMa, and VMware’s SDDC.

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Multiple production SAP HANA virtual machines on a single physical server on vSphere 6

Last week we finished the Multi SAP HANA VM and NUMA Node Sharing (CPU socket sharing) tests with vSphere 6. Due to the good results, SAP granted full production level support for multiple SAP HANA systems deployed on a single SAP HANA certified server virtualized with vSphere 6.

With this, customers can get now better TCO results by SAP HANA system consolidation and better utilizing their hardware assets.

For details please review SAP note 2315348 – SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 6 in production.

What is allowed by now with vSphere 6?

  • Consolidation of multiple SAP HANA production level VMs on a single SAP HANA certified server based on Intel Xeon E7-v3 (Haswell).
  • Possibility to share a NUMA node with two production level SAP HANA VMs. Example: 4 socket Haswell server is now able to support up to 8 SAP HANA VMs, and an 8 socket Haswell based server supports up to 16 SAP HANA VMs in production.
  • SAP HANA sizing rules must get applied and followed.
  • When sharing a NUMA node minimal 8 CPU cores (16 threads) must get assigned to the VMs, RAM must get assigned accordingly the latest SAP HANA sizing rules.
  • Enough network and storage IO capacity must be available for all running production SAP HANA VMs (SAP HANA TDI storage KPIs).
  • Enable VMware HA to protect the consolidated SAP HANA workload and ensure that enough failover capacity is available in the vSphere cluster.

What is not allowed as of today with vSphere 6?

  • No Intel E7-v4 (Broadwell) based system and vSphere 6.5 support. Validation and tests are ongoing but not finished.
  • Running more than two SAP HANA VMs on a single NUMA node (CPU socket)
  • Over-subscription of CPU and RAM resources


New Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Guide, now available!

I am happy to announce that after a very long review and publication cycle the “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Guide” is now published.

The guide can be downloaded from our central VMware SAP page.

Direct link to the document:

The chapter on sizing tackles the complex subject getting HANA VM’s sized properly, and provides incredible value to the reader as it provides guidance that explains how to size beyond physical to virtual so your organization can get it right the first time, every time.

Building a virtual SAP HANA VM requires to know not only the needed RAM, but also the number of needed CPUs to support this RAM. Without this information, it is not possible to create a VM.

The sizing guidelines published in this guide follow the SAP currently requested CPU socket / CPU core to RAM ratios or, when available describe how to perform a SAPS sizing. Using these guideless will provide you with SAP supported VM configurations.

I will provide some additional sizing examples that focus on SAPS and vCPU sizing, in addition to the already provided “NUMA” node based sizing example. Please remember, primary sizing figure for SAP HANA is memory and CPU is second and a SAP HANA configuration is optimized to optimal memory performance with lowest latency.

SAP production support for vSphere 6.5

On behalf of the VMware Walldorf based SAP engineering and support team, I am happy to announce that since December 7, 2016, in addition to the already granted SAP HANA support, all other SAP applications and solutions, as of below SAP notes are supported in production on SAP and VMware supported server systems with vSphere 6.5

Please read SAP note “1409608 – Virtualization on Windows” and SAP note “1122387 – Linux: SAP Support in virtualized environments” for further details.

Follow SAP note “2161991 – VMware vSphere configuration guidelines”, when planning and installing a VMware virtualized SAP environment.


VMware vSphere 6.5 is certified for SAP HANA 1.0 and 2.0

Thanks to your performance engineering and SAP HANA certification team, SAP released support for vSphere 6.5 with SAP HANA SPS 12 or higher (incl. SAP HANA 2)!

SAP declares support for VMware vSphere 6.5 for virtual single-VM deployments in production scenarios of SAP HANA on either certified appliances or through SAP HANA tailored data center integration verified hardware configurations.

Currently we are limited to 4 TB vRAM, hosts are supported with up to 12 TB. Background is that we did not had a 6 TB system for our tests. RAM is ordered and once installed we will continue to work jointly with SAP on the 6 TB HANA vSphere 6.5 certification.

We also try hard to finish the certification for Multiple-SAP HANA VMs and Scale-Out configurations for production SAP HANA workloads with vSphere 6.0 and 6.5. So stay tuned for the next announcements!

For details please review SAP note “2393917 – Single SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere 6.5 in production” or our SAP HANA on VMware vSphere WIKI page.

SAP HANA on vSphere 6.x on Intel Xeon Broadwell – now supported!

Just on time for SAP TechED 2016 in Barcelona, I am happy to announce that we have finished the vSphere 6.x SAP HANA on Intel Xeon Broadwell CPU certification!

With this all SAP supported or certified SAP HANA Intel Xeon Broadwell based systems can get virtualized and can run SAP HANA VMs with up to 4 TB of vRAM.

For details please review SAP note “2315348 – Single SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere 6 in production” and 2393917 – Single SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere 6.5 in production or our SAP HANA on VMware vSphere WIKI page. Continue reading