Hana And Linux: A Perfect Match
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Hana And Linux: A Perfect Match

Some SAP customers are beginning or already completing the Hana or S/4-Hana transition this year. This also means using Linux in the future for these companies. A look at the state of play.

You don’t have to be a prophet to know that SAP Hana’s market penetration will continue to grow strongly in 2018. This is also due to many companiesꞌ ongoing migration from the NetWeaver-based SAP ERP ECC (ꞌClassic SAPꞌ) towards S/4 Hana. In doing so, numerous SAP customers (in addition to changing their database,) will say goodbye to their operating system platforms, Unix, and – above all – to Windows, as they change over to Linux.

Any change comes with a certain amount of skepticism, as is natural with a move into ꞌnew territory.ꞌ Our experience at Suse indicates that this skepticism very quickly disappears as soon as the topic at hand is more closely considered. A lot of it has to do with Linux being far from new in general, and in the SAP environment specifically. Linux has long since been established in mission-critical SAP use. Even the largest SAP tasks have been handled by using Linux and have proved their worth.

Even before Hana and S/4 Hana were available, we experienced nothing less than a wave of migration towards Linux and use of x86 standard hardware in the SAP Community.  As an exclusive OS partner, we thus were able to apply our experience and expertise from thousands of NetWeaver-based deployments of Suse SLES for SAP Applications directly to Hana development. After Hana was made available in Spring 2010, SAP and Suse continued to work together on developing new features and functions for SAP’s new flagship. Most importantly, we put a heavy focus on making everything work on Hana-on-Intel as well als Hana-on-IBM-Power- Hardware

SAP distinction

For instance, let us take a look at what characterizes the current Version 12 of Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications for Hana. We use the so-called system replication resource agents which allow for an automatic failover onto a back-up system, including recovery, without a system administratorꞌs intervention. As a result, recovery times of large Hana-in-memory datasets are minimized from hours (in some cases) to minutes.

That was why Suse was honored with the ꞌHana Innovation Awardꞌ last year. Here are some more highlights of SLES 12 for SAP Applications: the ꞌBenchmark Tuning Option at Installationꞌ feature is a further element in performance optimization; we also extended functionalities on the Suse Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension (HAE), dramatically cutting down-times to a minimum; a usable ꞌHawk Graphical User Interfaceꞌ for the configuration of high-availability cluster environments with combined physical and virtual servers; a so-called ꞌcluster sanity check frameworkꞌ (Clustertools2), for verifying HA/DR configurations, specifically before the product goes into productive mode; also live patching, and a lot more besides this.

Beyond Linux

For years now, Suse has taken up a strong position in the SAP Hana environment, putting a lot of commitment into a very diverse range of developments. For instance, as part of conceiving and implementing a high-availability and disaster-recovery reference architecture, around six years ago. Or in the development of a reference environment for the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud (HEC) in 2015.

The cooperation with SAP continues, of course. Whether this is on security, performance optimization or also introducing or using AI techniques in Suse SLES for SAP Applications, in interplay with SAP Hana. It has been shown that SAP Hana and Linux fit together outstandingly well, also regarding use of Hana/Linux in the cloud environment. Yet the Suse-SAP cooperation via Linux has long since expanded into further open-source projects and solutions. Key-words for this are OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes or Ceph.

E-3 Magazine (German) February 2018

About the author

Friedrich Krey, Suse

Friedrich Krey is Director SAP Market EMEA Central at Suse.

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