No, Your SAP HANA-Based Data Center Is Not as Simple as a Toaster

  • by Irene Hopf, Global Thought Leader for SAP Solutions, Lenovo
  • October 19, 2015
Learn how to set up business continuity in SAP HANA with high availability, disaster recovery, and backup/restore concepts. This overview shows the challenges of managing SAP HANA-based applications in the data center.
Learning Objectives
Reading this article you will learn:
  • How to architect high availability and disaster recovery for SAP HANA
  • How to judge latency for the possibility of synchronous replication between two data centers
  • How to benefit from snapshot functionalities for online backup and restore concepts (including a step-by-step guide)
Key Concept

In thinking about high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) in SAP HANA, you need to distinguish between planned and unplanned outages. Planned outages are maintenance tasks, such as upgrades, patching, and testing, for a graceful takeover in a high availability scenario, or simulating a breakdown and starting again from scratch with a restore. Unplanned outages are the other aspect to cover: a disk fails, a user error leads to a data corruption situation, a power cable is accidentally pulled, or a fire happens in the data center, to mention just a few examples.

Business continuity planning in SAP HANA needs to consider the whole stack in the data center. From top to bottom, that includes the SAP application (both the ABAP application server and the SAP HANA database), the operating system (OS), the file system, drivers and firmware, hardware components, and the network. All of them tend to have dependencies on release levels between each other.

SAP HANA usually is delivered as an integrated solution: a combination of hardware and software. Sometimes it is called an appliance. It still cannot be treated like a toaster. Buy, unpack, plug it in, never read a manual, flip a switch, and it works. If it is broken, throw it out and buy a new one. Not so with a computing device running a business-critical application in IT.

To take the appropriate actions in IT to ensure business continuity, it is essential that two questions be answered by the application departments. First, how much data can be lost in case of a problem and, second, how much time is allowed before work can continue (i.e., the application is available to the end user again).

Irene Hopf

Irene Hopf leads the Center of Competence for SAP Solutions at Lenovo globally. She has more than 20 years of experience in the SAP customer space with infrastructure solutions. In this context she is recognized as a thought leader and gives trusted advice for large-scale customer implementations for the integration of services, hardware, and software supporting SAP implementations. Irene would like to thank Martin Bachmaier, lead architect for SAP HANA, Lenovo, and Dr. Oliver Rettig, senior technical staff member, Lenovo, for their help on this article. Lenovo provides infrastructure components and technology services for SAP HANA and all other SAP application components. The key characteristics are value for money, robustness, investment protection, and breadth and depth of SAP solutions expertise.

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