Does the speed of your SAP HANA database backup and restore match the speed of your business? Can you rely on the consistency of your backups across applications? Does your disaster recovery system efficiently use a secondary data center and a hybrid cloud?


With NetApp® Snapshot™ and SnapCenter® technologies, you get the fastest backup and restore for SAP HANA databases that’s available on the market. The integration of SnapCenter 3.0 with SAP HANA delivers application-consistent Snapshot based backups. Additionally, with the SnapCenter HANA Plug-In, you can also get automated SAP HANA catalog management and an integrated disaster recovery solution that makes it easy to utilize secondary data centers and hybrid cloud models. (Note that the information in this blog is based on the official beta version of SnapCenter, and all restrictions mentioned in the legal disclaimer at the end of this blog post apply.)


Figure 1 shows a sample setup for SAP HANA with SnapCenter. Local Snapshot backups are stored in the primary data center for two days. A secondary data center is set up to store more midterm backups, for up to four weeks, by using NetApp SnapVault® software. And for long-term storage, either tape or cloud technology is used to store backups for six months or more.


Figure 1) SAP HANA backup options that use SnapCenter technology.

How to Choose the Right Backup Strategy

To choose the right backup strategy and retention settings, let’s take a closer look at the technical constraints that each backup location has:


Primary Data Center

Using SnapCenter’s “Complete” or “File Level” restore on the primary storage offers the fastest way to restore and recover. But keeping Snapshot copies for a long time on the primary storage requires additional capacity, based on the change rate.


Backup Data Center

By using NetApp SnapVault software, SnapCenter can copy backups from your primary data center to your backup data center, which must be kept for a longer period. Of course, restoring from your backup location to your primary data center takes more time than restoring directly from your primary storage.


However, your backup data center is the perfect place to use consistent Snapshot copies to create system clones for many purposes, such as testing or training. There is no performance impact on the primary systems, and backups are kept longer, so locking due to active clones is no problem at this location.


Tape or Hybrid Cloud

A typical space to store long-term backups offline for legal reasons is tape or a hybrid cloud. Tape backups require a high investment with very limited additional features,  however. With cloud storage, you have the option to store long-term backup secure and cost efficient while using these backups as a base to build test systems in the cloud. See also my previous post on “How Cloud Backup with AltaVault Can Help SAP Customers Optimize their DevOps Operations”.


Now that we know the technical constraints, let’s discuss a typical setup to configure an optimal backup strategy for productive SAP HANA databases by using a primary and a backup data center. This example assumes a setup for SAP HANA databases with a total of 16TB of storage, and an average data change rate for the data volume of 40% per day. Be aware, that customers typically implement different backup strategies for their productive and nonproductive systems.


To meet the retention requirements in Figure 1, we configure the following backup and retention policies:

  • Hourly backups are scheduled for every 4 hours with no replication and 12 backups that are kept on the primary storage.
  • Daily backups that include SnapVault are scheduled for once a day. Two backups are kept on the primary storage, and 30 days’ worth of backups are kept on the SnapVault destination.
  • File-based backups are scheduled for once a week, with retention of one backup on the primary storage for a data consistency check only.

Table 1 summarizes these settings and the expected additional storage capacity.

Table 1) Example backup and retention strategy and the resulting extra storage capacity required.


The following video shows the configuration steps when you use SnapCenter 3.0 and the SAP HANA plug-in.


Legal Disclaimer

Please be aware that this video is based on the public beta version and describes possible future NetApp developments, products, and/or platform directions and functionality that are subject to change without notice. The information in this blog post is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality. This blog post is for informational purposes only. NetApp assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this blog post.

Find Out More

NetApp SnapCenter 3.0 helps optimize your SAP HANA databases with speedy and consistent backups and effective use of secondary and cloud storage. More information is still to come, but in the meantime, read the datasheet about NetApp SnapCenter.


Also read my previous blog posts about SAP HANA, SnapCenter and AltaVault:

Bernd Herth

Bernd Herth architects and defines NetApp's SAP solutions as TME at the SAP Partner Port at SAP headquarters in Walldorf. He has over 25 years of experience in SAP software and in planning and architecting infrastructure solutions for SAP and has held various positions in the SAP ecosystem. Herth has published articles and books focused on SAP technology and virtualization. He holds a masters degree in physics and taught computer science classes as assistant professor.

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