Hana 2.0 does not mark a historical departure in the sense that Hana 1.0 will shortly become redundant. But sooner or later the 2.0 version will come to represent a kind of standard.
SAP customers’ sights are primarily focused on Hana, or rather on the use of Hana as platform, for example on new features or additional functions connected with Hana 2.0 and provided by SAP. It’s safe to say that many of these, indeed very many will impact the following areas: database management, data management, analytical intelligence or application development.
For those in charge of SAP operations, enhancements as regards high database availability will likely be of particular interest, especially the Hana 2.0 feature “Active/Active (read enabled)” with the possibility of read data access on secondary systems in a cluster.
At the same time, using an active/active concept provides improvements in load balancing and performance.
Hana means Linux
Since Hana always requires the use of Linux, or as IDC once put it in a white paper: “Hana means Linux“, it is important to note that in Hana 2.0 there are also changes regarding the use of Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). Moreover, the latest Hana version also has a modified, or a shortened support matrix.
As we already now, SLES is the most frequently used Linux operating system platform in the SAP environment, not least because right from the start Suse Linux Enterprise Server (including the High Availability Extension) was explicitly developed to meet the mission critical demands of SAP solutions (including enterprise support), or was steadily developed with this aim in mind and in close consultation with SAP.
This applies to SAP classic with AnyDBs as well as to Hana or Hana-based solutions such as S/4.Up to the present it has been possible – with Hana 1.0 – to use two SLES variants, namely SLES Priority, the “normal” SLES, and SLES for SAP applications.
With Hana 2.0 , SAP Note 2235581, in version 24, stated that on only SLES for SAP applications is used. The reason: an optimized and packaged product lifecycle management that keeps pace, so to speak, with a leaner support matrix from SAP for Hana. SLES was added back as certified OS for Hana 2.0 in version 25 of that note, however SLES for SAP Applications now is firmly in place as the strongly recommended Suse operating system for Hana 2.0.
Incidentally, further information on this is provided in the corresponding SAP Notes (e.g. Note 2235581) that also describe which version of Hana-for-SAP-applications and which version of SLES-for-SAP-applications applies for Intel- and IBM-Power8-Hana systems.
Clear additional benefits
Of course, Suse for SAP customers with SLES for SAP applications as opposed to SLES Priority has several additional benefits or advantageous functions, for example, Suse HA/DR for scale-out and scale-up, integrated Suse support via SAP SolMan, basis for the use of live patching when using SAP, utilization of Suse tuning packages, Suse Connect access and much more.
But of overriding importance is the fact that, in contrast to “normal” SLES, with SLES for SAP applications an Extended Service Pack Support is available. This means that Service Pack support is extended from six to 18 months, a clear benefit for SAP customers.