Cost-Optimized SAP HANA Infrastructure for Non-Production Usage

Bill Zhang

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In recent quarters, SAP has announced Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) and Virtualized SAP HANA to provide production deployment flexibility and better adaptation of existing and established data center processes and infrastructure standards. These recent innovations help SAP HANA customers to realize better return on investment (ROI) and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

To further lower TCO and accelerate already breathtaking adoption rate, SAP has recently relaxed SAP HANA infrastructure requirements for non-production usage, such as development and testing, in which performance is not focus of these tasks. What does this actually mean to SAP HANA users including enterprise customers and partners? It will further alleviate budget constraints faced by all enterprise customers today by enabling majority of commodity infrastructure components available for SAP HANA non-production usage, either in a virtualized or bare metal environment, without certification. It will help SAP HANA customers to radically accelerate rate of innovation.

My colleagues Adolf Brosig, Zora Caklovic and I would like to highlight following:

  1. CPU: Starting with lower end of Intel E7 or E5 family of processors  
    • Intel Ivy Bridge v2 CPU and related chip sets are now certified with SAP HANA, at clock speed of 2.8 GHz with turbo speed of 3.4 GHz, for production usage. However, earlier generations of processors in Intel E7 family with substantially lower cost, such as Westmere EX (E7-x8xx) or Ivy Bridge EX (E7-x8xx V2) or Haswell EX (E7-x8xx v3), are now also available for non-production usage. Intel Xeon E5 (E5-26xx v2/v3, minimum 8 cores) family is also available for non-production usage, with configuration of 2 sockets, up to 1.5TB memory in scale-up mode only. Customers now have much more flexibility and are able to re-use some existing infrastructure components for software development and testing with SAP HANA.
  2. Memory: Maximum main memory available in a host machine
    • With Intel Ivy Bridge v2, for production analytical workload, SAP has been recommending that the ratio between main memory and CPU needs to be 256GB per CPU. This ratio is not going to be enforced in a non-production environment. SAP HANA customers can use as much main memory as possible in a host machine for any development or testing tasks, in which performance is not focus of these tasks.
  3. Storage: Any storage including RAID 1 or higher on proven file systems
    • As performance KPIs are not enforced for non-production usage, SAP HANA users can use any local or shared storage with standard disks, with RAID 1 or higher is supported. Minimum storage to memory ratio requirement is also relaxed from 5x for production to 2x or even less for non-production usage. Also, any proven File System, such as XFS, NFS and GPFS (IBM/Lenovo only), can be used for log and data volumes in a non-production environment.
  4. Network: Any standard networking components
    • In a typical production environment, 10Gbit/s or even more powerful connections is required for performance optimization. For a non-production environment, any commodity networking components can be used. Customers will likely be able to re-use existing network infrastructure for these non-production tasks.

We are in an exciting phase of SAP HANA revolution. Besides certified SAP HANA appliance, customers have much more flexibility with TDI and Virtualized environment for production usage and simplified infrastructure requirements for non-production usage. All of these innovations will further lower TCO and accelerate SAP HANA adoption.

Disclaimer: SAP HANA configuration for production environment will only be provided on certified appliance listed in reference section below.

Reference:

  1. SAP HANA Virtualized: SAP Note 1788665
  2. Certified SAP HANA appliance configuration on Intel E7 V1 (Westmere) processors.
  3. Certified SAP HANA appliance configuration on Intel E7 v2 (Ivy Bridge) processors.
  4. Certified SAP HANA Enterprise Storage Hardware supported under the HANA Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) program.
  5. Recommended Customer Price for Intel Xeon Processor E7 v2 Family
  6. Recommended Customer Price for Intel Xeon Processor E7 Family
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