Virtualization technologies help increase SAP HANA infrastructure efficiency by providing a resource abstraction layer that divides available hardware and software resources and enables running multiple SAP HANA workloads on a single node or scale-out certified HANA systems.
Increased resource utilization comes at a price: When running HANA on a Hypervisor, there is an degradation of the system’s performance (3% - 17+%, depending on the virt. technology and workload type).
In 2013, with the release of SAP HANA SPS 05, SAP announced support for VMware hypervisor, as the first technology supported to partition a SAP HANA server into smaller partitions / VMs. Meanwhile SAP has further extended its support to run SAP HANA in virtualized / partitioned (multi-tenant) environments, by adding additional scenarios, technologies and vendors.
SAP categorizes the following technologies:
- Static Hardware partitioning
- static / "electronic" partitioning of HW, e.g. HPE nPARs, Fujitsu pPARs, and Lenovo X6 server partitioning
- Software-level (Hypervisor) virtualization
- Hypervisor server performs a complete simulation of the underlying hardware.
- Software virtualization as an abstraction and emulation of HW resources at runtime, e. g. VMware vSphere, Huawei FusionSphere, XEN, KVM…
- Logical, firmware-level partitioning of HW, e.g. Hitachi LPARs and IBM Power 8 LPARs
See SAP Note 1788665 and attached CUSTOMER_SAP HANA virtualized-2017.pdf for more information on currently supported scenarios and where to find further information on best practices and constraints which may apply.
SAP HANA support of Hypervisors is specific for Hypervisor releases and CPU generations and it starts with the earliest tested SAP HANA Revision. Typically, SAP HANA Hypervisor certification is done in a series of steps like
- SAP HANA in a single VM on 1 server
- Multiple SAP HANA instances in multiple VMs on 1 server
- SAP HANA scale-out in multiple VMs on multiple servers
- Additional features like live migration, Hypervisor-supported HA etc.