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Microsoft

An S/4HANA deployment simplifies lot of business processes like finance. Many customers are deploying S/4HANA systems in Azure. To ensure the continuous and reliable availability of application to your business, you need to architect and design it in the most highly available manner.

Designing high availability and deploying end to end S/4HANA, can be a very complex, and time intensive activity. You also need to know every aspect of the deployment to better troubleshoot, or tune/configure/change/support the system further.

Automation is certainly a way to perform such a deployment for quick, reliable, accurate, and a repeatable action. While automation makes things easy, it may not provide an opportunity to learn what is happening in the background. If you are going to install, configure, and support these SAP systems, then you should know how it was installed and configured? What tuning was implemented? Why a specific setting was used? You will only be able to answer these questions, when you do these things on your own, at least the first time so you learn from it. Once you know the end to end piece, you can use automation in day to day life to get a better outcome.

Microsoft SAP on Azure team provides the guidance on the following two deployment methods:

1.      Automation

This is a fully automated Terraform and Ansible templates/tools to create, monitor and maintain SAP landscapes in Azure. These are highly powerful templates to help you deploy complex SAP landscape in Azure. You can find more information here: https://github.com/Azure/sap-hana.

2.      Semi-Automation  

This is a semi-automated process to deploy S/4HANA in a highly available manner. This method offers both NFS and ANF deployment methods for ASCS instance. You can find more information here: https://github.com/saghorpa/S4HANA-HA.

 

NOTE!

These methods of “Automation” and “Semi-Automation” do not compete. Rather, they complement each other by enabling the user to learn and implement quick, reliable, and error free deployments.

 

In this blog, we are going to discuss the “Semi-Automation” method of an S/4HANA system deployment.

Why do I use this method?

When you want to build and configure highly available S/4HANA system with deep understanding of each layer like infrastructure, clustering, SAP Application, HANA, Replication etc. - You use this method!

By following a comprehensive document with screen shot, you learn it by doing each step on your own. You understand how each step is performed and why it is being done.

After you complete manual installation, you are good to use automation approach for a quick and repeatable deployment.

Here are some benefits for you:

  • Gain hands-on experience
  • Deploy and configure complex SAP HA setup with confidence
  • Create a demo or a reference environment for your CoE
  • Exercise your HA test scenarios

What is this about?

This is a “Semi-Automation” method of S/4HANA deployment. Why do we call it Semi-Automation? Because, this is a combination of ARM templates and linux commands to help build the system.  You can deploy the following two most common and complex scenarios using this method:

High availability using pacemaker with NFS

High availability using pacemaker with Azure NetApp File (ANF)

•        S/4HANA 1809

•        SAP HANA 2 SPS04

•        SuSE 12 SP3 for SAP

•        ASCS – Pacemaker cluster

•        HANA – HSR with pacemaker cluster

•        NFS - Pacemaker cluster

•        S/4HANA 1809

•        SAP HANA 2 SPS04

•        SuSE 12 SP3 for SAP

•        ASCS – Pacemaker cluster

•        HANA – HSR with pacemaker cluster

•        File systems – ANF (Azure Netapp Files)

How do it do it?

You download the package from https://github.com/saghorpa/S4HANA-HA. The package consists of the following files:

  • ARM templates (JSON files)
  • ANF- An end to end comprehensive guide for S/4HANA HA deployment using ANF (pdf file)
  • NFS- An end to end comprehensive guide for S/4HANA HA deployment using NFS (pdf file)

Based on the scenario you want to test out, you start with the respective deployment guide (NFS or ANF). These guides enable you to perform end to end deployment. These are the comprehensive guides (110+ pages each) with screen shot, and common problems with potential resolutions.

The procedure has been tested by Microsoft internal SAP on Azure team, and by the several of our partners.

Here are the pre-requisites before you begin:

  • Azure subscription
  • SAP S/4HANA 1809 bits downloaded
  • SAP HANA 2 SPS04 bits downloaded
  • SAP Basis, Linux, and Azure infra knowledge
  • About 2-3 days of time to install and configure each scenario
  • S/4HANA and HANA licenses (optional)

Conclusion

You have both Automation and Semi-Automation options for S/4HANA deployment in Azure. You chose “Semi-Automation” option when you want to learn in-depth tasks being performed for deployment, and use “Automation” option for quick and repeatable activities.

 

Both the methods, however, is a guidance. Before your build production environment, ensure that you understand each activity you perform and adjust/tune additionally, if needed.