Designing an efficient SAP HANA on Power Systems landscape

Most workloads in data centers today are virtualized to drive up system utilization. This results in several benefits for your business: fewer systems needed, a decrease in network/SAN ports, reduced floor space, power and cooling, and most importantly reduced costs for IT management. With SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, you can have more flexibility through superior virtualization and management. HANA on Power also offers better resiliency with unsurpassed reliability, availability and serviceability for mission-critical SAP applications. And it can deliver faster business results thanks to the performance of IBM Power Systems.

There’s been rapid adoption of SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems since its launch in mid-2015. Thousands of clients are now using HANA on Power, including some of the world’s top companies. In addition to clients that have purchased HANA on Power Systems directly in their data centers, many managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud service providers (CSPs) have deployed HANA on Power Systems as a cloud solution.

Why is that? IBM Power Systems is an ideal platform for running SAP HANA because it offers:

And what business doesn’t want high availability with lower costs?

A cost-optimized solution for HANA on IBM Power Systems

Lowering TCO is a priority for most organizations today, and designing an efficient infrastructure landscape is one of the best ways to reduce management and operations expenses. One approach to minimizing IT costs is for organizations to use servers on their secondary system for non-production SAP HANA systems. In such a case, the hardware on the secondary site is used for development and quality assurance purposes. Enabling clients to use their secondary hardware resources for non-production helps drive down TCO by consolidating the IT environment.

Many small and medium-sized organization have chosen IBM Power Systems to run the SAP HANA workloads in a cost-optimized model like this because of the lower TCO, better performance and reliability. IBM Systems Lab Services has helped over 100 companies in the region where I work to optimize the infrastructure design of their SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems solution. We’re part of a global team of technical consultants that can help organizations build a tailored data center infrastructure for SAP HANA.

The following image shows a sample reference architecture of an SAP HANA implementation on two scale-out IBM Power Systems servers:

image of a local area network example

Big endian to little endian

Of the 100+ clients I mentioned above, around 50 were implemented with an SAP HANA 1.0 with SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES) 11, which is based on big endian architecture on IBM Power Systems. SUSE offers SLES 12 on Power Systems in little endian mode only. As such, clients will need to migrate from big to little endian as they upgrade from SLES 11 to SLES 12 to meet the requirements of HANA 2.0 — and Lab Services can help. We assess and design migrations from HANA 1.0 to 2.0 with a proven process, specialized tools and many years of implementation and migration experience.

HANA 2.0 is the next generation of the SAP HANA database platform. It provides significant incremental improvements in a wide range of areas, including administration, data security, high-availability and database management.

We recently had an IBM client running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems that needed help migrating from HANA 1.0 to HANA 2.0, which in turn required its operating system to be migrated from SLES 11 to SLES 12. There was no direct method, but using an export/import option with careful planning is a way to achieve the same goal. After having discussions with the client and an IBM Business Partner that has implemented SAP HANA on Power Systems, IBM Systems Lab Services proposed and implemented a successful two-phase migration from HANA 1.0 to 2.0 with proper planning and professional tuning for optimized performance and reduced downtime.

Need support for HANA on Power Systems?

IBM Systems Lab Services offers a wide range of services to support clients’ HANA on IBM Power Systems journey. If you’re interested in talking to Lab Services or need more information about HANA migration on IBM Power Systems, contact us today.