Mastering the SAP HANA Backup and Restore Process

  • by Jonathan Haun, Director, Data and Analytics, Protiviti
  • September 14, 2015
When organizations implement SAP HANA, they need to devise a strategy to protect the data that the system manages in-memory. Depending on your SAP HANA use case, failure to protect this data can lead to significant monetary or productivity losses. One way to protect the data is through the implementation of a backup and restore strategy. This article helps to fortify your general knowledge of the SAP HANA backup and restore process.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn:

  • How to initiate SAP HANA backups using SAP HANA studio and SQL statements
  • How to use SAP HANA studio and the command line to restore data to an SAP HANA system
  • Which backup files and database log files are required to restore SAP HANA to any point in time
  • The different types of data backups that are available starting in SAP HANA Support Package Stack 10
Key Concept

Failure to back up log files can crash your SAP HANA system. Backup files should not be stored on the same file system that contains SAP HANA data files. Log segment backups need to be configured to a partition that can achieve throughput of 200 gigabytes (GB) to 300 GB per hour. SAP HANA studio contains a graphical user interface to manage the backup and restore process. The SAP HANA backup catalog needs to be kept small and pruned of any orphaned backup jobs. The restore process uses the database redo logs to provide precise point-in-time recovery.

SAP HANA has many technical features that make it a top-notch data management platform. One of the most promising features is its ability to store data in memory. In-memory data storage has the benefit of providing faster query access to data. With its speed advantages, SAP HANA can overcome many of the historical limitations of the legacy disk-bound database.

At its heart, SAP HANA stores data in memory. In memory is a term used to describe the storage of information on random access memory (RAM) chips, solid-state disks (SSDs), or other flash memory devices. However, SAP HANA stores active data within RAM. By most estimates, RAM is thousands of times faster than SSD and hundreds of times faster than most flash memory devices. Therefore, SAP HANA has a huge advantage when compared with other relational database management systems that leverage SSD or flash storage technologies.

RAM is volatile, meaning that the data it stores is discarded when power is removed from the system. With this in mind, SAP HANA has mechanisms built in to protect in-memory data by committing it asynchronously and synchronously to persistent storage devices. In essence, SAP HANA has an automatic built-in in-memory backup mechanism. To further protect the data that is stored on SAP HANA’s persistent disks, organizations also need to devise a strategy to back up this data. This is a strategy in which the persistent data in SAP HANA is stored one or more times in anticipation of data loss.

As organizations adopt SAP HANA and run their critical systems on its platform, SAP HANA business continuity plans become a necessity. SAP HANA supports both high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) through a variety of solutions. However, a backup and restore strategy is at the center of all SAP HANA HA or DR plans. The goal of this article is to educate you on the core options related to the SAP HANA backup and restore process. I then conclude with a few recommendations for implementing a proper SAP HANA backup strategy. SAP HANA supports two primary types of backups: data and log-segment backups.


Jonathan Haun

Jonathan Haun, director of data and analytics at Protiviti, has more than 15 years of information technology experience and has served as a manager, developer, and administrator covering a diverse set of technologies. Over the past 10 years, he has served as a full-time SAP BusinessObjects, SAP HANA, and SAP Data Services consulting manager for Decision First Technologies. He has gained valuable experience with SAP HANA based on numerous projects and his management of the Decision First Technologies SAP HANA lab in Atlanta, GA. He holds multiple SAP HANA certifications and is a lead contributing author to the book Implementing SAP HANA. He also writes the All Things BOBJ BI blog at You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @jdh2n.

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