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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.

News

  • Multi SAP HANA VM and NUMA Node Sharing (CPU socket sharing) with vSphere 6 support is available now. This allows the installation and operation of multiple SAP HANA systems deployed on a single SAP HANA certified server virtualized with vSphere 6. For details please review SAP note 2315348SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 6 in production and following blog.
  • The new Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere Guide, now available! Download it from here.
  • Broadwell CPU support and vSphere 6.5 support for HANA VM sizes up to 4 TB (6 TB certification in process). Details see note 2393917.
  • Since May 2016, SAP supports also SAP HANA on vSphere 6 deployments for production workloads. See SAP Note 2315348 and blogs.vmware.com for more details on what’s supported, which deployment options can get used and summary of the best practices.The support for vSphere 6 allows customers to increase the RAM to up to 4 TB (4080 GB) of existing virtual SAP HANA systems when migrated to vSphere 6. Beside increased RAM sizes, vSphere 6 supports also more vCPUs: Up to 128 vCPUs may now be configured and used by a single SAP HANA VM. Supporting more physical compute resources inside a VM ultimately provides more “power” to a virtualized SAP HANA system – this alone is worth considering an upgrade from a vSphere 5.5 to a vSphere 6.0 based SAP HANA environment.

Support Information

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

Additionally be aware of the following recommendations:

  • Customers running SAP HANA on VMware shall follow the Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere.
  • Noticing a certain interest in our CPU hot-add feature, we would like to highlight that the use of this capability also requires the OS and the SAP HANA database itself to be capable of leveraging additional resources instantly. Please be aware that the use of CPU hot-add feature disables vNUMA and hence may lead to performance degradation.

The below table states capabilities, supported deployment options and best practices, like minimal vCPU count or maximal vRAM sizes for SAP HANA VMs on VMware vSphere as of May 2016. For additional reference, see SAP Note 1788665 et. al.

 

 vSphere 5.5vSphere 6.0/6.5[1]
 

Capability / Option

SAP Support

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

SAP Support

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

SAP HANA Scale-Up VM 1024 GB

Yes

SAP HANA Scale-Up VM 4080 GB

No

Yes

SAP HANA Scale-Out VM 1024 GB [ 2]

Yes

No

Yes

SAP HANA Scale-Out VM 4080 GB [ 2]

No

Yes

SAP HANA Multi-VM [3]

Yes

Yes [4]

Yes

SAP HANA Version

SPS07 and above

SPS11 and above

SPS09 and above

VMware vSphere and SAP HANA HA and Operation Features [5]

VMware HA

Yes

SAP HANA Host Auto-Failover [6]

Yes

SAP HANA System Replication

Yes

VMware FT

No[7]

VMware SRM

Yes

vSphere vMotion

Yes

VMware DRS [8]

Yes

Supported HW configurations [9]

Supported SAP HANA Systems for VMware virtualization

Only SAP HANA and VMware certified two-, four- and eight socket Intel E7 v2 (Ivy Bridge) and later Intel processor-based server systems and Intel Xeon E5 v3 and v4 based two-socket single node SAP HANA entry level systems, with a minimum of eight cores per CPU are supported.

Intel Xeon E7 CPU support

Ivy Bridge, Haswell

Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell (SPS12 or later)[1]

NUMA Nodes per server

4

up to 8 (4 with Broadwell)

Intel Xeon E5 CPU support

Ivy Bridge, HaswellBroadwell(SPS12 or later)Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell (SPS12 or later)
NUMA Nodes per server

2

Numa Node SharingNoYesYes [4]Yes

Enable Hyperthreading

Yes

Maximal RAM installed in server (host RAM) [10]

up to 6 TiB

up to 12 TiB

Supported Storage Configuration

Supported SAP HANA Storage Systems for virtualisation [11]

All SAP HANA TDI and VMware certified / supported storage solutions can get used.

TDI Storage KPI requested

Yes, per HANA VM

No

Yes, per HANA VM

No

SAP HANA Virtual Machine Configuration [12]

Max. VM size #vCPU

64

128

Max. VM size #vRAM

1024 GB

4080 GB

Minimal VM size #vCPU

All threads of a single CPU socket

10 vCPUs

(minimal 8 physical CPU cores)

All threads of a single CPU socket

10 vCPUs

(minimal 8 physical CPU cores)

Minimal VM size #vRAM

RAM of CPU socket

As sized

RAM of CPU socket

As sized

Supported OS for virtualized SAP HANA

SLES 11 and 12 [13]

Yes

RHEL 6 and 7 [13]

Yes

Table 1. SAP HANA on vSphere supported capabilities and options
 

  1. vSphere 6.5 only SAP HANA certified / supported 2 and 4 socket Intel E7 Broadwell EX or 2 socket Intel E5 Broadwell EP processor-based configurations in single-node, scale up configurations only, as of SAP HANA SPS12 or later.
  2. SAP support for SAP HANA scale-out deployments of SAP Business Warehouse (BW), powered by SAP HANA, on VMware vSphere as outlined in the table in context of SAP BW, powered by SAP HANA. Further supported workloads of OLAP-type (HANA Data Mart, HANA Data Warehouse) generated by SAP and non-SAP tools:
    1. Documentation and / or tool-support for table distribution, sizing, partitioning, scale-out and how to configure SAP and 3rd party products on SAP HANA has to be provided by SAP, partners or customers resp.
    2.  3rd party scenarios will not be tested by SAP. In specific cases, SAP HANA support for specific products or scenarios might be excluded by SAP in the future. If tested, then these will be listed in the SAP HANA on vSphere support note.
    3. 3rd party tool support can be checked at http://global.sap.com/community/ebook/2013_09_adpd/enEN/search.html (select a partner --> details --> SAP Certified Solutions)
  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.
  4. Only Intel E7-v3 (Haswell) NUMA node sharing support. No Intel E7-v2 or older support with vSphere 6 for NUMA Node sharing or Multi-Prod.-VM. Intel E7-v4 (Broadwell) based systems and vSphere 6.5 support in validation. Validation and tests are ongoing but not finished.
  5. Generally all VMware vSphere features, like distributed switches are supported, no support for VMware FT for SAP HANA, FT may get used with an (A)SCS instance. vMotion and DRS are explicitly listed since running SAP HANA VMs can get moved from one host to another host while the application is online and users are connected and any negative impact needs to get excluded.
  6. Only available with specific SAP HANA TDI Storage Vendors, see SCN page DOC-60470.
  7. VMware FT is not suitable to protect a SAP HANA DB VM due to the resource limitations of VMware FT (4 vCPus and 64 GB RAM), but can get used to protect for instance the SCS application server instance or a virtualized NFS server to protect in a Scale-Out environment the shared SAP HANA directory.
  8. VMware DRS should get configured in “manual mode”
  9. Both SAP HANA appliance and SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) delivery methods are supported for SAP HANA on VMware vSphere. Where the SAP HANA system has either been delivered pre-configured on certified SAP HANA appliances, as listed in SAP HANA Product Availability Matrix (PAM), with VMware vSphere hypervisor installed by SAP HANA hardware partner or the SAP HANA installation was done by an SAP certified engineer, qualified as " SAP Certified Technology Specialist - SAP HANA Installation on SAP HANA certified hardware. It is recommended to verify the configuration with the SAP HANA hardware configuration check tool prior the installation.
  10. Maximal RAM installed in physical server as specified by SAP, in the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory. The listed memory figures are the maximal memory configurations supported by VMware vSphere. Up to 6TB is supported for ESXi 5.5 Update 2 and later and up to 12 TB is supported with vSphere 6.0 on specific OEM certified platforms.
  11. or details please refer to the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory and go to “Certified Enterprise Storage” configurations.
  12. The maximum size of a virtual SAP HANA instance is limited by the maximum size of a virtual machine of the VMware vSphere release. Each SAP HANA instance / virtual machine is sized according to the existing SAP HANA sizing guidelines and VMware recommendations. CPU and Memory overcommitting must not be used.
  13. Both, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 and 12 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 are supported operating systems when virtualized. Due to different scope and test coverage during corresponding validation activities, the underlying server must be certified for corresponding operating system, however.

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
  • No NUMA node sharing for production SAP HANA VMs
  • Enable Hyper Threading on the ESXi host
  • Use dedicated networks for vMotion, management and client network
  • Use vMotion and VMware snapshots during non peak times

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

For memory latency sensitive workloads with low processor utilization, such as SAP HANA, or high interthread communication, we recommended using hyperthreads with fewer NUMA nodes instead of full physical cores spread over multiple NUMA nodes. To ensure the usage of hyperthreads and to enforce NUMA node locality, set the Numa.PreferHT=1 parameter as documented in KB 2003582.

In addition please ensure that following configuration parameters are used in addition to achieve optimal performance for SAP HANA:

  • halt_in_monitor = “TRUE”
  • idleLoopSpinBeforeHalt = “TRUE”
  • Lat. Sensitivity – normal

Comparison: Physical vs. Virtual SAP HANA Deployment (as State of February 2016)

Capability

Physical SAP HANA

Virtual SAP HANA

SAP HANA Single Node Memory per node

128 GB – 4 TB RAM with 8 sockets

≤ 1 TB RAM per VM

(vSphere 6.0/6.5 4** TB per VM possible)

SAP HANA Scale UP SoH Memory per node

768 GB - 12 TB RAM with 16 sockets

≤ 1 TB RAM per VM

(vSphere 6.0/6.5 4** TB per VM possible)

SAP HANA Scale Out BWoH Memory per node

256 GB - 4 TB RAM with 8 sockets

≤ 1 TB RAM per VM

(vSphere 6.0/6.5* 4** TB per VM possible)

Appliance Model

Yes

possible***, normally a TDI deployment

Server Hardware

Certified Appliances

Certified Appliances or TDI

Storage Hardware

Certified Appliances or TDI

Certified Appliances or TDI

Scale Up Configuration

Supported

Supported

Scale Out Configuration

Supported

Supported

CPU Sockets per server

2 to 16 CPU sockets

2 to 4 CPU sockets (8 with vSphere 6/6.5)

Flexible HANA sizing's

No, T-Shirt sizing's

Yes

HANA DB Live Migration

No, not possible

Yes

Standby-Node / System Replicaktion / VMware HA

Yes / Yes / No

Yes / Yes / Yes

Multi-Tenancy / full tenant isolation

Yes, since SPS09 / No

Yes / Yes

* vSphere 6 for non-prod. use cases
**vRAM configuration is not allowed to exceed installed memory of a physical server system and must follow SAP HANA sizing guidelines.
***Some SAP HANA HW vendors offer VMware vSphere as part of their SAP HANA appliance system. This is not required and optional. The customer can choose between a pre-installed appliance or the certified server configuration and may perform the installation of vSphere on its own.

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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