When to upgrade your SAP HANA system?

Arne Arnold

Posted by Arne Arnold on April 2, 2014

Product Manager

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Have you ever been unsure when to best upgrade your production SAP HANA system to the latest SAP HANA release? Are you struggling with picking the right Revision to plan your maintenance on? If so, this blog will provide you with a brief overview of your options, together with recommendations from SAP.

It has only been two years since Dr. Vishal Sikka announced the elimination of complexity and delays in the adoption of SAP HANA software by outlining the spirit of timeless software. Since then we have focused on continuously improving SAP HANA and are glad to be able to provide a new SAP HANA release every 6 months.

Following the vision of incremental, but non-disruptive innovation, SAP is strongly committed to supporting all of our SAP HANA powered software by shipping regular corrections and updates. With a growing number of internal tests, we ensure a high quality standard to our customers and always deliver our SAP HANA Revisions in a cumulative and strictly downward compatible fashion.

The newly introduced SAP HANA Datacenter Service Point provides SAP HANA customers with more guidance as to when – and on the basis of which Revision – they should schedule their SAP HANA maintenance stack. It is a point in time – at the end of March and at the end of September – intended to allow better planning of SAP stack maintenance for production environments running on SAP HANA.

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In conjunction with the availability of the SAP HANA Maintenance Revision, this new concept provides new opportunities to upgrade to a new release of SAP HANA.

Under (1), the graphic symbolizes a decision gateway. Targeting customers running SAP Business Suite, SAP NetWeaver BW or Data Marts, powered by SAP HANA in production, this option makes it possible to keep an older SPS running three months longer (line from 1 to 2) while fixing major bugs only. The SAP HANA Datacenter Service Point (3) here serves as landing spot, pointing to the SAP production system verified SAP HANA Revision which customers should update to. Subsequently, only one SAP HANA Revision stream will be used until the next SPS is released. In between (1) and (2), customers can choose to adopt the new SAP HANA SPS at the time of their choosing, depending on their individual requirements.

Point (3) also marks the point in time which you should use to plan your SAP maintenance stack for your production environments. Defined to lie in between the SPS releases, i.e. at the end of March and at the end of September, it will be based on a SAP HANA version which by this time will be much more mature, as it has been available for more than three months and running in production enterprise applications at SAP for at least a week.

Once the Datacenter Service Point has been reached, SAP delivers so called Maintenance Revisions that contain further fixes. They can be identified by having a minor numbering like 102.01.

For SAP HANA SPS’ before SPS10 we delivered Maintenance Revisions only after RTC of the next SPS, e.g 85.01, 97.01, …

For early birds, and pilots who do not run SAP HANA in productive usage, we propose an immediate switch to a new SPS as soon as it is released. This will allow you to benefit from incremental, but non-disruptive innovation, provided by the latest SAP HANA features and fixes. We hope that the information provided in this blog helps to guide your decision as to the best time to upgrade your SAP HANA system. For more details, please refer to the SAP HANA Revision Strategy document on SAP Service Marketplace.

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