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For any questions regarding the content of this document please send an e-mail to  erieger@vmware.com .

 

By running the SAP HANA platform virtualized on VMware vSphere, SAP customers can leverage an industry standard data center platform, optimized for agility, high availability, cost savings, and easy provisioning.

SAP customers will not only gain the ability to provision instances of SAP HANA in virtual machines much faster, but also benefit from unique capabilities like:

  • Increased security and SLAs, e.g. through NSX or DRS.
  • Live migration of running SAP HANA instances, with VMware vSphere® vMotion®
  • Standardized High Availability, based on VMware vSphere® High Availability (HA)
  • Built-in multi-tenancy support, through system encapsulation in a virtual machine (VM)
  • Abstraction of the hardware layer
  • Higher hardware utilization rates
  • Lower TCO due to SAP HANA instance consolidation

These and other advanced features - to a large extend found exclusively in virtualization - lower the total cost of ownership and ensure the best operational performance and availability.

Support Information

SAP HANA on vSphere is only supported with following so called “main editions”, which are: vSphere Standard Edition and vSphere Enterprise Plus.

For SAP production environments a support contract with a minimal production support level with an 24×7 option is highly recommended.

Following document provides an overview of the licensing, pricing, and packaging for VMware vSphere. For VMware support offerings review following page, section “On-Premises Support”.

For latest SAP released support information please refer to the central VMware on SAP Community WIKI page.

For a collection of recent support issues with VMware vSphere, check  Known Support Issues .

As of SAP note 2652670 - SAP HANA VM on VMware vSphere, usually all update and maintenance versions of vSphere hypervisors are automatically validated within the same boundary conditions (e. g. CPU, memory). SAP has the right to request additional validations if necessary. As an example, to leverage the increased vCPU support in vSphere 6.7U2, SAP and VMware had re-validated this version with 256 vCPUs. Otherwise this version would have been supported only on the feature basis of vSphere 6.7. As a new main release SAP has requested to validate vSphere 7.0, which is by now fully supported and the new basis for all future vSphere releases for SAP HANA.

SAP HANA Best Practices and Recommendations:

SAP Notes and additional information:

SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Support Status and Overview:

Note:

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!

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!
 

Single, Multiple and Scale-Out SAP HANA Systems on VMware vSphere

Availability General Availability - Full SAP Support
Support Level production
vSphere Release

vSphere 6.0 (out of support since March 2020, KB 66977)

vSphere 6.5 / 6.7vSphere 6.7U2/U3vSphere 7.0
SAP Note

2315348

23939172937606
SAP HANA start Release [1]SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 11SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12 Revision 122.19; SAP HANA 2.0 recommended
max. RAM VM Size4 TB

4 TB Broadwell [2]

6 TB Skylake and Cascade Lake [2]

6 TB Cascade Lake [2]

Workload Based sizing

SAP Note 2779240

not availableAmount of memory and CPU upon workload based sizing, single VM memory up to 6 TB (as of today)
min. RAM HANA VM Size128 GB RAM
vCPUs per VM [3]



up to 128

up to 256

Haswell up to 144

Broadwell up to 192

Skylake and Cascade Lake up to 224



Cascade Lake up to 224

min. CPU Resources [3]
  • Minimal CPU resources, as sized according to SAP sizing project results, minimal 8 pCores per SAP HANA VM.
  • SAP HANA NUMA Node Sharing allowed with Intel Haswell and later CPUs and with vSphere 6.x or later. As of today, no odd multiples of half sockets VMs like 1.5 socket VMs, 2.5 socket VMs etc. are supported by SAP.
Persistent Memory Support [6]







No Support







No Support

SAP Note 2913410

Restrictions:

SAP HANA Scale-Out [7]Non-Prod. support as of note 2315348
  • Host servers: Only supported CPU generations (see below) 4- and 8-socket server systems
  • VM Size: 4-socket wide VMs (analog to Scale-Out min. 4-socket bare metal support) 
    • 2 x 4-socket VM on 8 socket host possible (fully and partly QPI meshed)
    • 8-socket wide VMs are yet not supported
    • up to 2TB of RAM per Scale-Out VM (current validated size).
  • Up to 1 Master plus 15 worker Nodes are possible. HA-Nodes should be added according to the cluster-size. FAQ: SAP HANA High Availability





Intel Haswell




E7 EX

Host server min 2 and maximal 8 sockets:

  • VM configuration 4 and 8 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, 2, 3 and 4-socket VMs
    • maximal 16 SAP HANA VMs per 8 socket server [4]
  • VM configuration on 2 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, and 2-socket VMs
    • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket [4]





No support


E5 EP

Host server up to 2 sockets:

  • VM configuration: 0.5 [5], 1 and 2-socket VMs
  • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket server [4]





Intel Broadwell




E7 EX

Host server min 2 and maximal 8 sockets:

  • VM configuration 4 and 8 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, 2, 3 and 4-socket VMs
    • maximal 16 SAP HANA VMs per 8 socket server [4]
  • VM configuration on 2 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, and 2-socket VMs
    • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket [4]





No support


E5 EP

Host server up to 2 sockets:

  • VM configuration: 0.5 [5], 1 and 2-socket VMs
  • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket server [4]



Intel Skylake


Platinum

Gold

Silver

Host server min 2 and maximal 8 sockets:

  • VM configuration 4 and 8 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, 2, 3 and 4-socket VMs
    • maximal 16 SAP HANA VMs per 8 socket server [4]
  • VM configuration on 2 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, and 2-socket VMs
    • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket [4]



No support

(validation planned)





Intel Cascade Lake


Platinum

Gold

Silver

 

 

No support

Host server min 2 and maximal 8 sockets:

  • VM configuration 4 and 8 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, 2, 3 and 4-socket VMs
    • maximal 16 SAP HANA VMs per 8 socket server [4]
  • VM configuration on 2 socket server:
    • 0.5 [5], 1, and 2-socket VMs
    • maximal 4 SAP HANA VMs per 2 socket [4]
Persistent Memory Support [6]



No support

First server platform with SAP support for Intel Optane PMem! VMware host restriction for PMem: max. 15 TB host memory (combined) and max. 4-CPU sockets. Later vSphere release will support larger host configurations.

vSphere start release: vSphere 6.7 EP 14 and vSphere 7.0 P01

vSphere ReleasevSphere 6.0 (out of support since March 2020, KB 66977)
vSphere 6.5 / 6.7

vSphere 6.7U2/U3

vSphere 7.0

[1] The SAP HANA start release defined as "SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12 Revision 122.19" includes support for SAP HANA 2.0. SAP HANA 2.0 recommended for Skylake and Cascade Lake platforms!

[2] Maximal SAP HANA VM RAM is 6 TB. vRAM is limited by the maximal supported RAM of a physical SAP HANA supported server configuration as specified by SAP (Broadwell 4 TB, Skylake and Cascade Lake 6 TB) for appliance like configurations. Please refer to the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory. Broadwell with workload based sizing up to 6 TB are possible, for details read SAP note 2779240.

[3] A SAP HANA VM configuration can get configured with maximal 256 vCPUs. As of today maximal 4-socket large VMs are supported on 4- or 8-socket systems. 8-socket large VMs are not supported yet. On Haswell based systems maximal 144 vCPUs, Broadwell based systems maximal 192 vCPUs and on Skylake and Cascade Lake based systems maximal 224 vCPUs can get configured. This is therefore the limiting factor of a SAP HANA VM for CPU resources (SAPS capacity). SAP requests for a SAP HANA system minimal 8 pCPU cores for production. As of today maximal 2 VMs per CPU socket are allowed with Haswell (18 core CPUs) or or later CPU generation (Half-Socket VM). 

[4] SAP HANA VMs can get co-deployed on a ESXi host server with SAP non-production HANA VMs or any other workload VMs. Co-deployed VMs should not negatively impact production SAP HANA VMs (e.g. overloaded network cards). SAP HANA production VMs have to run on dedicated CPUs (NUMA nodes). Half-Socket SAP HANA VMs can share the CPU socket with other SAP HANA Half-Socket VMs (OLAP and OLTP, prod. and non-prod.). Sharing the CPU socket with non-SAP HANA VMs was not tested and is therefore not supported for SAP HANA production VMs.

[5] In case two VMs share a NUMA Node, both VMs need to fulfill the minimal resource requirements for an SAP HANA system: 128 GB RAM and 8 pCores per VM. An additional performance impact for NUMA-node sharing VMs should be considered and a sizing buffer of at least 15% should get used.

[6] SAP supports only Intel Optane PMem for persistence memory! VMware host restriction for PMem: max. 15 TB host memory (combined) and max. 4-CPU sockets. Later vSphere release will support larger host configurations. vSphere Persistent Memory requires vSphere Enterprise Plus. For details please review following document (page 6).  Review https://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2020/06/sap-hana-with-intel-optane-dc-persistent-memory-on-vmware-vsphere.html and SAP HANA with Persistent Memory on VMware vSphere for additional information.

[7] SAP general sizing recommendations is to Scale-Up first. Intel E5 based 2-socket servers are not supported in Scale-Out deployments. This SAP recommendations are not specific to virtualization. Minimal and maximal SAP HANA VM and Host sizes as described in the previous table.


VMware vSphere Supported Storage Configurations for virtualized SAP HANA

Supported SAP HANA Storage Systems for virtualisation [1] All SAP HANA TDI certified and VMware [2] supported storage solutions can get used
Storage sizing [3]
As defined by storage vendor and tested regarding the SAP HANA storage KPIs

[1] For details please refer to the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory and go to “Certified Enterprise Storage” configurations.

[2] Beside SAP HANA TDI stoarge certification, it has to get ensured, that the storage storage solution is VMware certified. See the VMware HCL for supported storage configurations and select the used storage interface as filter.

[3] The defined KPIs for Data Throughput and Latency for production SAP HANA systems has to be fulfilled for each VM. SAP has released a special tool, the SAP HANA HW Configuration Check Tool, to measure if the used storage is able to deliver the required IO capacity, see SAP Note 1943937.

 

VMware vSphere Supported OS Versions and Vendors for virtualized SAP HANA [1]

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Yes

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA
Yes

[1] Both, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications and SAP HANA and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for SAP Solutions and SAP HANA are supported operating systems when virtualized. However, due to different scope and test coverage during corresponding validation activities, the underlying server must be certified for corresponding operating system. For an updated list of supported releases please refer to SAP Note 2235581

 

VMware vSphere and SAP HANA HA and Operation Features [1]

VMware HA [2]
Yes
In-Guest Cluster [3]
Yes
SAP HANA System ReplicationYes
VMware FT [4]No
VMware SRM [5]Yes
vSphere vMotionYes
VMware DRS [6] Yes
Hot-Add CPU [7]
No
Hot-Add Memory [8] No

Intel Cluster-On-Die (COD) / Sub-NUMA Clustering Technology [9]

No

[1] Generally all VMware vSphere features, like distributed switches are supported. The listed features got expliciltly tested with the usage with SAP HANA like vMotion to ensure these features work and that the impact is know to SAP HANA (e.g. vMotion of running SAP HANA VMs).

[2] vSphere HA to protect against OS and Host failures.

[3] SAP HANA supported 3rd party Linux cluster solutions can get used to protect against SAP HANA application failures

[4] VMware FT is not suitable to protect a SAP HANA DB VM due to the resource limitations of VMware FT, but can get used to protect for instance the NetWeaver application servers, SCS application server instance or a virtualized NFS server to protect in a Scale-Out environment the shared SAP HANA directory. Ensure that the SAPS load of the FT protected SAP workload is suitable for the VMware FT limitations.

[5] VMware SRM is an automation tool for disaster recovery and allows a RPO of 5 minutes, if vSphere version 6.5 or above replication gets used for replication (RPO = 5 → data loss up to 5 minutes possible). vSAN also allows a recover point objective of 5 minutes. For any applications or databases that require a RPO < 5 minutes then VMware SRM can get combined with physical synchronous storage replication. For SRM supported storage arrays click on following link.

[6] VMware DRS should get configured in “manual mode” or set to "fully automatic  with conservative". This is the preferred setting as it allows VM host evacuation for instance during a maintenance event.

[7] Please be aware that the use of hot-add CPU feature disables vNUMA and hence may lead to performance degradation. Therefore, as of today we are generally do not support this feature in combination with VMs that run SAP HANA.

[8]  SAP HANA does not support hot-add memory. Because of this, hot-add memory was not validated by SAP and VMware with SAP HANA and is therefore not supported.

[9]  SAP HANA does not support Intel Cluster-on-Die (CoD) and sub-NUMA clustering technology. Therefore this feature is also not supported in VMware virtual SAP HANA environments. Details: SAP HANA Hardware and Software Requirements.

SAP HANA on vSphere Best Practices

In a nutshell: SAP HANA follows general published vSphere Best Practices for databases:

  • Set Memory Reservations for SAP HANA Virtual Machines
  • Configuring Paravirtual SCSI Controllers and Network Adapters
  • Right sizing of SAP HANA VMs to ensure local NUMA node memory access and high 2nd level cache hit ratios
  • Enable Hyper Threading on the ESXi host
  • Use dedicated networks for vMotion, management, client and if needed backup and replication network
  • Use vMotion and VMware snapshots during non peak times
  • Configure for SAP HANA latency critical the ESXi scheduler optimisation parameters as documented in below best practices guide
  • Ensure you set following SAP HANA / vSphere specific Linux kernel parameters:
    • transparent_hugepage=never
    • numa_balancing=disabled
    • elevator=noop
    • vmw_pvscsi.cmd_per_lun=254
    • vmw_pvscsi.ring_pages=32

Please read the “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Guide” for detailed information on the best practices and recomendations. The guide can be downloaded from our central VMware SAP page. Direct link to the document: https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/whitepaper/sap_hana_on_vmware_vsphere_best_practices_guide-white-paper.pdf

Sizing of SAP HANA VMs:

The sizing of virtual SAP HANA VMs is similar to bare metal SAP systems, with the limitation of a maximum size, beginning with with vSphere 6.7, of 6 TB, 256 vCPUs and a SAP support limitation to maximal 4-CPU socket wide VMs. In addition to this the usable resources get limited by the ESXi resource consumption (memory and CPU costs). Actual VM sizes depend on the used CPUs and number of CPU sockets.

For example: On a 4-socket Cascade Lake server only up to 224 vCPUs with up to 6 TB of RAM can get configured per VM. This results in the SAP HANA standard sizes for 4-socket large systems with VM sizes up to 6 TB for OLTP and 3 TB VM sizes for OLAP workloads with 224 vCPUs on an Intel Cascade Lake platform. For SAP supported systems a workload-based sizing has to get performed to define the actual CPU and memory configuration of a host and VM.

Also the memory limitations of appliance like configured hosts can be mitigated via workload-based sizing. Details see SAP note 2779240.The maximum ESXi supported host memory can be up to 16 TB (current vSphere limit) and must follow the hardware vendors memory configuration guidelines.The minimal supported SAP HANA VM size is 128 GB memory, 8 physical cores (with HT enabled) and 16 vCPUs.  SAP NetWeaver / AnyDB VM sizes can be up to 6 TB and 256 vCPUs.

SAP HANA VM on vSphere Deployment Examples:


For SAP HANA only up to two SAP HANA VMs can share a CPU socket. This results in following supported configurations per ESXi host for SAP HANA:

Please keep in mind, that the number of SAP HANA VMs depend strongly on the used storage configuration and that the SAP HANA TDI storage KPIs must be met for all SAP HANA production level VMs. Also, no SAP HANA VM support for 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5 CPU socket VM sizes!


The next figure shows multi-VM SAP HANA configurations in more detail by using a 4-socket server CPU architecture picture. Not shown in the picture is a single large 3 or 4-socket spanning SAP HAN VM. 

SAP HANA on vSphere Support and Validation Roadmap:

SAP HANA VMware’s HANA certification/support strategy starting with Haswell, is to support a single chipset with 2 versions of the hypervisor and to have a single hypervisor version span normally 2 chipsets. VMware does its best to strike a balance between supporting new customers on the latest hardware and customers who are remaining on older platforms. vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 are by now out of support. The next planned vSphere release will be vSphere 7.0 U1.

VMware SAP HANA System Health Check

SAP and VMware are offering joint services to help you design, deploy, and implement your virtual SAP HANA platform. Examples of services which may be offered are:

  • Pre-Call to discuss PoC, goals, timeline and success factors (SAP, HW Partner, Customer and VMware)
  • Architecture review and introduction to the SAP HANA on vSphere Configuration Guidelines and Requirements
  • Introduction to SAP HANA Hardware Check Configuration Tool (HWCCT)
  • Online review session to check prepared environment like:
    • Host including storage and network configuration
    • VM configuration
    • Linux OS configuration

For more information on SAP Consulting and VMware Professional Services, visit vmware.com/consulting or get in contact with your local VMware contact.

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