What’s new in SAP HANA SPS 7 – Monitoring

Denys van Kempen

Posted by Denys van Kempen on January 2, 2014


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In the upcoming weeks we will be posting new videos to the SAP HANA Academy to show new features and functionality introduced with SAP HANA Support Package Stack (SPS) 7. To get the best overview of what’s new in SAP HANA SPS 7, see Ingo Brenckmann’s blog on the SAP HANA community site. The delta presentation comparing changes since SPS 6 by SAP HANA Product Management can be found on the SAP HANA web site.

The topic of this post is monitoring and complements a number of tutorial videos posted to the SAP HANA Academy site and on YouTube:

  • Monitoring SAP HANA: Tools Overview – about the different monitoring tools you can use
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: System Views – how to monitor using system views
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: Checklist – using a monitoring checklist
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: What’s New in SPS 7 – zooming in on monitoring
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: New Statistics Server – new architecture and how to activate this
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: Monitoring Role – how to create a custom monitoring role
  • Monitoring SAP HANA: Documentation – where to find documentation on monitoring

Other blogs on the What’s New topic

What’s New with SPS 7?

A “dazzling highlight“, in the words of Lars Breddemann are the new graphical editors: Memory Overview (shown below), Resource Allocation and Memory Allocation Statistics. The editors also caught the attention of John Appleby in his blog on monitoring.


SAP HANA Studio – Memory Overview

Although you can add as many as 18 memory-related statistics to a table viewer in HANA studio, this is not the most intuitive as you can see below.


Memory statistics in SAP HANA Studio, Administration Console, Landscape, Services

To get any graphical display of resource usage over time, before SPS 7, you could use the administration console, performance – load tab. This viewer has not changed much (if any) from the BWA admin tool, which is still included, slightly modified, with SAP HANA (command HDB admin). You need good eyesight, good glasses or a big screen to view clearly as color and line style cannot be modified.



Load graph from the SAP HANA database administration tool and SAP HANA studio.

Hence, the new web-based graphical editors Memory Overview, Resource Allocation and Memory Allocation Statistics are a welcome enhancement as they provide a much clearer and visually attractive display of monitoring data. They all use the SAP HANA XS built-in application server. You can view the new editors in action in this overview video on what’s new with monitoring for SAP HANA SPS 7.

Monitoring SAP HANA: What’s New in SPS 7

New Statistics Server

SPS 7 also introduces a new implementation for the statistics server. This statistics server is the component of the SAP HANA database that continuously collects data about system status, performance, and resource usage. It also issues alerts in the case of problems. As of SPS 7, it is possible to switch to a new mechanism whereby data collection and alerting are implemented through the execution of SQLScript procedures. This has two advantages.

  1. Improved performance – reduction of disk I/O and memory usage by replacing the OS process with internal procedure calls
  2. Increased configuration flexibility – statisticsserver.ini properties file is replaced by tables in the _SYS_STATISTICS schema, which allows for adhoc enable/disable and scheduling of collection

The following video discussed the new statistics server and how to enable it, as it is not active by default.

Monitoring SAP HANA: New Statistics Server

Performance Analysis Guide

New in the documentation set of SAP HANA SPS 7 is the Performance Analysis Guide, which focusses on performance analysis and monitoring. This guide describes what you can do to identify and resolve performance issues and how to enhance the performance of the SAP HANA database in general. Regarding monitoring, the guide describes the different tabs in the SAP HANA studio administration console under performance, like threads, sessions, blocked transactions, job progress and load monitoring.

Other documentation on monitoring can be found in the Administration Guide and the Technical Operations Manual. The video below provides a short overview.

Monitoring SAP HANA: Documentation

Monitoring Tools Overview

In case you are new to the subject of SAP HANA monitoring – or are preparing yourself for the SAP Certified Technology Associate exam – you may find this overview video helpful about the different tools you can use to monitor SAP HANA.

Monitoring SAP HANA: Tools Overview

System Views

More advanced is the topic of system views. SAP HANA contains hundreds of monitoring views in the _SYS._STATISTICS schema that you can use to write your own monitoring scripts in SQL. Getting started on this topic can be a bit of a challenge. However, there is a shortcut you could take. When you navigate through SAP HANA studio, going from tab to tab, enabling or disabling settings for the HANA database, what is actually being sent over the line is just plain SQL. In the video below, we will show you how you can capture the statements using SQL trace and how they can be used for custom monitoring scripts.

The resulting SQL script is attached to this SAP HANA site document.

Monitoring SAP HANA: System Views

Monitoring Role and Security

Both the administration and the installation guide clearly document not to use the SYSTEM user in production system.


However, less clearly documented is how to setup a monitoring role that you can use to grant to database administrators. What about the built-in MONITORING role, you might say? That’s a good start, it is true. It grants GRANT CATALOG READ, so you can use the administration console perspective in SAP HANA studio, and also grants SELECT on the _SYS_STATISTICS schema, so you can view data in System Monitor and the different tabs of the Administration editor. However, with only the MONITORING role granted, you will get an error when trying to open the new web-based graphical editors. What privileges are needed to handle a Disk Full Alert? Restart a service? Cleanup traces? This and more is explained in the video below:

Monitoring SAP HANA: Monitoring Role

Monitoring Checklist

The SAP HANA Administration Guide includes a helpful monitoring checklist. In the last video on monitoring SAP HANA, we show you how to check system availability, how to handle alerts, monitor memory, cpu and disk resource usage and much more.

As with the video on monitoring tools above, you might find this video tutorial helpful when you are preparing for the SAP Certified Technology Associate exam. Details on this certification you can find in the SAP Education and Certification Shop.

Monitoring SAP HANA: Checklist

To be continued…

You can view more free online videos and hands-on use cases to help you answer the what, how and why questions about SAP HANA and Analytics on the SAP HANA Academy at academy.saphana.com or follow us on Twitter @saphanaacademy.

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