Executive Summary

This resource produced by KochaSoft focuses on the general overview of SAP on VMware infrastructure, and it is not specific to any SAP solution and VMWare product. 

Introduction: SAP Platform 

SAP as a company offers a variety of different types of products/solutions, of which SAP ERP is used most widely across all types of industries, making SAP the leading vendor of ERP platforms in the world. Some other products from SAP are SAP BI, CRM, SCM, SRM, HRM, and Enterprise Portal.  A combination of development, quality, and PRD system servers in most of the SAP systems is termed as SAP landscape. These servers can be deployed in two-and-three-tier client/server architecture. 

A three-tier architecture consists of a Presentation layer, an Application layer, and a Database layer. Some SAP implementations require the Application and Database layer on separate machines, and some can be deployed on the same machine. 

 

Figure 1Architecture of SAP NetWeaver application server, KochaSoft Inc., Original Image Source 

Virtualization using VMware 

Virtualization can create a representation of applications, servers, storage, and software-based network. The server resources (RAM, Hard disk, CPU, etc.) can be masked from server users using server virtualization. It is an effective method of reducing IT expenses while boosting the efficiency and agility of a business (irrespective of its size) at the same time. 

There are three editions available for VMware infrastructure: Foundation, Standard, and Enterprise.  The Enterprise edition includes the following components: 

  • ESX Server 
  • Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) 
  • Virtual SMP (Virtual SMP) 
  • Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) 
  • High Availability (HA)
  • Consolidated Backup 

Virtual Machines 

Virtual machines are software computers that provide the same functionality as those of physical computers, such as running applications and operating systems. However, virtual machines are computer files that run on a physical computer, while acting like one. 

Figure 2VMWare Infrastructure, VMware Inc., Original Image Source 

Benefits of Server Virtualization 

  • Higher server ability 
  • Cheaper operating costs 
  • Elimination of server complexity
  • Increased application performance
  • Quicker workload deployment  

Overview:  SAP on VMware 

SAP solutions can be installed and managed on VMware. Until the 2010s, SAP solutions were normally installed in a physical environment. Hence, the process of installation and configuration also remains unchanged on VMware. However, there are specific guidelines and best practices that need to be followed while deploying any SAP solution on VMware. Since December 2007, SAP has supported VMware, and VMware supports every component based on NetWeaver 6.40 The provisioning and management of SAP systems can be automated on VMWare so that the SAP System administrator can easily manage the SAP infrastructure from a central location using VMware tools. 

By running the SAP HANA platform virtualized on VMware, SAP customers can leverage an industry-standard Data Center platform optimized for agility, high availability, cost-saving, and secure provisioning. The SAP customers will not only gain the ability to provision instances of SAP HANA in virtual machines but also make the platform run much faster. 

Figure 3Virtualizing SAP with VMware Products & Solutions, VMware Inc., Original Image Source  

Benefits of SAP Virtualization 

  • Increased business agility (faster deployment 
  • Better resource utilization (consolidation)  
  • Improved SLA (using Distributed Resource Scheduler 
  • Reduced risk (VMotion, Site Recovery Manager) 
  • Improved availability of SAP applications 
  • Costsaving and more productive SAP solution-based landscape (Dev, QA, and PRD) than in a purely physical infrastructure 
  • Dynamic rebalancing of SAP applicationssuch as increase/reduction of the server resources as per the utilization 

SAP Notes 

The following are some useful SAP Notes relevant for running SAP on VMware:  

  • 0895807 – Supported SAP Environments on Linux/VMware ESX 
  • 1056052 – Windows VMware Configuration Guidelines 
  • 1122387 – Linux: SAP Support in virtualized environments  
  • 1122388 – Linux: VMware ESX 3.x or vSphere configuration guidelines 
  • 1173954 – Support of Oracle for VMware  
  • 1130801 – Virtualization of IBM DB2 on Linux, UNIX, and Windows  
  • 1409608 – Virtualization on Windows  
  • 1492000 – General support statement for virtual environments 

SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 

  • Note 1788665 – SAP HANA Support for VMware vSphere Environment (steadily changing) 
  • Note 1995460 – SAP HANA on VMware vSphere in production 
  • Note 2024433 – Multiple SAP HANA VMs on VMware vSphere in production 
  • Note 2020657 – SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA on VMware vSphere in production 
  • Note 1905389 – Additional Material for HA200 and HA200R 
  • Note 2157587 – SAP Business Warehouse, powered by SAP HANA on VMware vSphere in scale-out and production 

Summary 

VMware virtualization does not bring any change in the installation and technical configuration of SAP software. For success with SAP on VMWare virtualization:

  • The most up-to-date best practices, tuning parameters, and SAP notes must be checked before going ahead with the virtualization. 
  • The limitations of virtualizing SAP HANA (vCPU limit, scale-up vs. scale-out support) should be well understood. 
  • VMware supports all components based on NetWeaver 6.40 

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