Author 

Williams RuterSAP Chief Solution and Cloud Architect  

Overview  

In this article, we’ll talk about the value and how to run Microsoft Azure as a disaster recovery (DR) cloud while running SAP workloads on VMware. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the next evolution of running VMware services directly within Azure as-a service, a brilliant initiative when we talk about hybrid cloud solution for client that’s running vRealize Suite. 

This approach works well when we talk about full DR with VMware services in the cloud. That said, customers do need ask, What is supported by SAP in terms of deployment?”  

The solution is not yet supported, but it’s just a matter of time.  

So how do you achieve a true DR solution for VMware with Azure that is supported by SAP? This is where Microsoft Azure comes in with their new solution: Azure Site Recovery for VMware. 

Why This Approach?

Today many customers are running VMware in their public or private data centers, but the public cloud offers more and more integrations and solutions for SAP workload.

Besides the integration with cloud services, our clients don’t have to worry about the infrastructure layer since it is managed by the hyperscaler.

ASR (Azure Site Recovery) for VMware is a key element for VMware customers who are already running some of their workload in Azure. This ensures business continuity by keeping the workloads running during an outage, removing overhead infrastructure and management costs.

An important driver in a DR discussion is an RTO/RPO. ASR is a continuous replication-based mechanism which offer a frequency as low as 30 sec.

What about my SAP workload?

In the last section, we talked about the approach and its supportability. However, workload replication is something to be mindful of. In the case of SAP, while running ASR solution, only the application server or technical instance without database should be replicated.

We recommend that a native database replication tool is used to guarantee data consistency during server replication.

Of course, this is not necessarily the only way to proceed for your database. Third party tools such as Actifio or CommVault can also be used.

In any case, it’s important to pay attention to the DB/OS combinations supported on Azure.

As a reference, review the following SAP notes for more guidance.

  • 1928533 – SAP Applications on Azure: Supported Products and Azure VM types
  • 2015553 – SAP on Microsoft Azure: Support prerequisites

It’s important to note that when ASR is used for your application server, the entire core of the source virtual machine is kept.

What do we mean by that? The nature of the source (operating system, filesystem layout and types, network component and specificities) means that it’s important to look at the support matrix and limitation to ensure the success and supportability of the operations.

What the future holds

At the beginning of the article, I have mentioned the next evolution of running VMware model in Azure directly. Currently, SAP workloads running on VMware is a fully supported solution, but the execution of VMware on Azure offer is currently not certified for SAP solution in IaaS model.

Two models are currently proposed, one is GA which is the AVS (Azure VMware Solution) 1.0 that is using CloudSimple service within Azure, and the AVS 2.0 beta.

A full hybrid solution with VMware will of course go by the AVS offer since it gives customers the full usage of the their on-premise VMware investment is terms of product, extended to Azure where the following scenario can play for SAP:

  • Data centre footprint reduction, consolidation and retirement
  • Data centre expansion based on demand
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Application modernization

Summary

Microsoft’s Azure Site Recovery for VMware is providing customers peace of mind when it comes to their DR solution. Currently, most customers are running their VMware in their public or private data centers, but with ASR’s public cloud solution, you can add more integrations and solutions for your SAP workload.

About KochaSoft

KochaSoft is the premier cloud consulting organization focused exclusively on the optimization of SAP business technology in the Cloud. We assist our clients with the digital transformation of their on-premise or Cloud environment in preparation for migration to SAP4/HANA. KochaSoft prides itself on retaining an exceptionally talented group of technical experts and world-class business-savvy professionals with proven capabilities, skills, and experience in building and deploying first-class solutions.

Collectively, the KochaSoft team has over one thousand years’ experience across diverse technology areas and business domains, which enables us to offer end-to-end Consulting, IT solutions, and Services to its customers globally. KochaSoft is in a unique position to deliver its flexible services seamlessly to any location. As a Canadian and US-based entity, KochaSoft provides world-class sustainable, scalable, optimized SAP Solutions at a reasonable cost with exceptional quality.

Looking to speak with a KochaSoft Azure expert? Schedule a demo with one of our experts today!