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By Chanh Chi, Senior Director, IT, VMware, and Varinder Kumar, IT Director, VMware

As part of the VMware on VMware program, IT runs early versions of VMware products in our production environment. We validate the software is running successfully at scale, identify any bugs, evaluate feature requests, and make sure there is business value. VMware IT started using vSAN, VMware’s hyperconverged infrastructure platform before vSAN was publicly available.

The initial vSAN workload was VDI. As vSAN matured, we moved more business-critical applications onto it. Recently, we began moving our SAP HANA workload to run on vSAN. Our SAP HANA VM memory varies from <1TB to multi-TB. We run applications that need to scale up and scale out on HANA. We picked one of our scale-up instances for the vSAN migration, with a primary goal of avoiding user downtime during the process.

The migration of the SAP application running on SAP HANA from SAN to vSAN was straightforward. To migrate to pre-production, we followed these steps:

  1. IT collected I/O stats using the SAP HANA Hardware Configuration Check Tool (HWCCT).
  2. Since we had deployed NSX micro-segmentation for more granular security, we followed these steps:
    • Performed application discovery for security groups containing SAP VMs
    • Set up security policies on the destination vCenter / NSX-MGR (using IP Sets)
    • Modified existing security policies that contain the VMs on the source vCenter / NSX-MGR
  3. IT verified that the SAP HANA system replication and SAP application were working before the migration was started.
  4. The storage team migrated the HANA servers from the SAN to vSAN cluster using vMotion, which facilitates moving VMs and storage between clusters. No downtime occurred during the migration. Once the validation was done, we migrated the application servers using vMotion.
  5. The admin teams validated the functionalities, including the interface to other SAP modules.
  6. IT collected I/O stats using the HWCCT. vSAN met the SAP HANA I/O requirements. The business team also tested the application and found no issues.
SAP running on SAP HANA with vSAN

Once the steps were thoroughly tested and verified in pre-production, the same process was used to move into production. No issues emerged during the migration and users were not aware that it was occurring.

IT has experienced several benefits using vSAN. It’s quicker to provision because the vSAN data store is part of the vSphere cluster instantiation. In addition, the elimination of the external arrays means fewer moving parts and less to manage. vSAN helped us to reduce our capex and lowered our total cost of ownership (TCO).

With the recent migration of SAP HANA to vSAN, our IT product environment now supports all major databases on vSAN. As vSAN evolves, we will continue to run early versions in our production environment. Customers can be confident in running vSAN in their large-scale deployments of ERP applications that include SAP HANA.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about IT’s digital transformation journey using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Visit our portal to learn more.