SAP HANA is a column-based relational database management system (RDBMS). Unlike traditional persistent storage databases that keep data in hard drives, HANA uses in-memory storage to keep data in random access memory (RAM).
SAP HANA works in a diverse set of environments, including private and public clouds and on-premise infrastructure. Additionally, you can use managed services to run SAP HANA directly on AWS, GCP, or Azure.
You can deploy and run SAP HANA on Azure cloud resources. Azure offers virtual machines on shared resources, as well as dedicated, non-shareable bare metal servers certified for use with SAP HANA. These servers are part of an environment that contains CPUs, storage components, and networking, called the SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI).
SAP HANA applications run on the SAP application layer, a group of virtual machines within TDI. Each SAP HANA unit receives compute capacity ranging from 36 Intel CPU cores with 786 GB of RAM to 480 Intel CPUs with 24 TB of RAM. Each customer organization is completely isolated in terms of networking, storage and compute resources, within the TDI environment.
Several Azure services and components, including load balancing, clustering, and Active Directory, are provided as part of the virtual machine. Users can access virtual machines over the Internet, or using a private network connection.
To deploy HANA on Azure, go through the following steps.
1. Select Hosting Model
Azure offers three hosting models:
SAP certified VMs for shared infrastructure. These VMs are optimized for use with SAP, but are less performant than large instances (see the VM sizes officially supported by SAP).
Large instances based on bare metal servers in the TDI environment.
SAP Cloud Platform—a fully managed service provided by SAP based on Cloud Foundry, which lets you host HANA database in Azure.
2. Set up Networking
After deploying the virtual machine, you need to configure the network connection. This can be done using Azure Virtual Private Network (VPN), ExpressRoute, or through a virtual gateway within the Azure Virtual Network (VNet) subnet.
When installing HANA, you need to create two additional subnets:
One subnet for VM hosting
One subnet for the management VM or jump box—this is the VM or machine that hosts SAP HANA Studio and other management software
3. Right Size Azure Resources
Proper sizing involves making sure your cloud resources are just enough to meet your requirements, without limiting performance. To run HANA effectively on Azure, you must ensure you have sufficient high-performance memory-optimized resources, or you will lose the benefits of in-memory database management.
To determine the amount of resources you need, you need to collect and analyze data about your current configuration. This data should include storage, memory, computing, and network requirements. Use this data to plan the deployment model, instance sizes, and the number of HANA instances you will run in Azure.
SAP Hana on Azure Q&A
What are Backup Methods for SAP HANA on Azure?
There are three backup methods for SAP HANA on Azure:
Backup HANA to the file system on an Azure Linux VM
Backup HANA by manually creating a snapshot and saving it to blob storage
How to Monitor SAP HANA on Azure?
The Azure cloud provides Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions, a customized monitoring product for SAP environments on Azure. It can be used with SAP running on Azure Virtual Machines or Azure Large Instances.
Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions allows customers to collect telemetry data from Azure infrastructure and databases in a central location, and visually link telemetry data for faster problem resolution. Customers can monitor components of their SAP environment such as Azure virtual machines, high availability clusters, and SAP HANA databases.
Data collection by Azure Monitor is based on providers that you need to configure for each infrastructure component. Azure Monitor supports metrics including CPU, memory, disk, network utilization, HSR (HANA system replication), backups and HANA host status.
SAP HANA on Azure with NetApp Azure Files
Azure NetApp Files is a Microsoft Azure file storage service built on NetApp technology, giving you the file capabilities in Azure even your core business applications require.
Get enterprise-grade data management and storage to Azure so you can manage your workloads and applications with ease, and move all of your file-based applications to the cloud.
Azure NetApp Files solves availability and performance challenges for enterprises that want to move mission-critical applications to the cloud, including workloads like HPC, SAP, Linux, Oracle and SQL Server workloads, Windows Virtual Desktop, and more.
In particular, Azure NetApp Files can accelerate SAP HANA deployments, reduce costs and development/testing projects, and provide increased agility for your business processes.