In April 2017, the first service pack stack (SPS 01) for SAP HANA 2.0 was released. In this post, I focus on data protection news that customers should be aware of when they upgrade to SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01. Although many customers are still using the long-term support (LTS) release of SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12, SAP is adding new features to its most recent SAP HANA version 2.0. The most important change for customers who use the fast and efficient snapshot-based data protection is the “forced” migration of SAP HANA into a multitenant database container (MDC) system.


SAP HANA and Multitenant Database Containers

The SAP HANA MDC system was introduced back with SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 09. With this technology, users can run more than one SAP HANA database (or SAP HANA tenant) on one installed SAP HANA instance or host.


In contrast, the standard for SAP HANA has been SAP HANA single-container systems that can run exactly one database on a single SAP HANA instance. Customers often have huge databases and require high performance of the host in terms of memory and CPU. They also need the storage layer to provide the required I/O and throughput. For these reasons, the standard single-container system has been the most common installation at customer sites.


With SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01, that standard will change. New installations will be based on SAP HANA MDC technology, and single-container systems will automatically be migrated into an MDC system. A single-tenant database will contain the data of the upgraded database in addition to the new system database that the SAP HANA MDC introduces.


How Will Data Protection Be Affected When I Use Snapshots?

Customers who use snapshots to secure their SAP HANA systems might know that until SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01, SAP didn’t support storage-based snapshots to back up MDC systems at all. This restriction was huge, but considering the previously mentioned performance requirements, customers typically have used a multitenant SAP HANA system for smaller tenants. With this approach, standard file-based backup is still fast enough to meet backup and restore SLA requirements, compared with the larger single-container SAP HANA systems, in which storage-based backups are the right choice.


This way of doing things has now changed with the most current service pack stack SPS 01. As a first step to enable storage-based snapshots for backup and restore for SAP HANA MDC systems, SAP has extended its SQL API to enable snapshot-based tenants on MDC.


But this change applies only for SAP HANA MDC systems that have exactly one tenant.


With this change, every partner who supports storage-based snapshots for backup must adapt the tools to use the new APIs. Also, the manual option of using SAP HANA Studio to trigger a storage snapshot for backup is gone.


So, what does this change mean for NetApp customers who use NetApp® Snap Creator® software for data protection, as I have discussed in previous blogs?


NetApp SnapCenter 3.0 Is Coming

NetApp SnapCenter® software is a unified data protection and data management solution. Its goal is to support snapshot-based backup and restore as well as clone lifecycle and copy data management features for all major applications and databases. Customers then have a single tool to meet all their data protection and data management needs.


SnapCenter 3.0 is coming soon and will include the SAP HANA plug-in. With this introduction of SAP HANA into SnapCenter, customers can secure their existing single-container SAP HANA systems. SnapCenter also includes a new API calls to enable storage-based snapshots to support SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01 MDC systems with a single tenant. But keep in mind, SAP currently supports data protection using storage based snapshots only for MDC system with a single tenant.


This long-planned switch from Snap Creator to SnapCenter for SAP HANA enables customers to align their SAP HANA upgrade projects to SAP HANA 2.0 with the introduction of SnapCenter 3.0. Customers will also be able to use the most efficient snapshot-based backups without any compromise on SLA or on operation.


Legal Disclaimer

This post contains NetApp’s possible future developments, products and/or platforms directions and functionality that are subject to change without notice. The information in this post is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. This document is for informational purposes. NetApp assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.


Stay tuned—more news is still to come.


In the meantime, find out more about how to restore a SAP HANA database.

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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