The official SAP on Azure documentation now contains detailed information on how to use Azure Files SMB for standalone and High Availability SAP solutions in the article High availability for SAP NetWeaver on Azure VMs on Windows with Azure Files Premium SMB for SAP app...
The documentation covers using Azure Files SMB for hosting ‘sapmnt’, ‘trans’ and interface directories.
Feedback from customers is that setting up Azure Files SMB for SAP systems is not technically difficult, but it is logistically complex. Most organizations have separate administrators or teams for Active Directory, DNS and Azure. Azure Active Directory Connect is a hard prerequisite Azure Files SMB. Some organizations may not have Azure Active Directory Connect already established and the approval process to setup this tool may take some time.
It is recommended that the SAP Basis team involve the Active Directory and Azure teams at an early stage when planning to use Azure Files SMB.
Customers with no experience of Azure Active Directory Connect, AAD and Azure Files may benefit from creating a temporary isolated Azure subscription for testing purposes. A separate isolated test Active Directory, AAD tenant and Azure Files deployment can be easily deployed. This will allow the Active Directory and Azure Administrators to test and scope the deployment, security and operational impacts of Azure Files SMB without changing anything in the production Active Directory and Azure infrastructure. This isolated Azure subscription can then be deleted or the resources deallocated to save cost.
Before deploying SAP applications with Azure Files SMB review the items on the list below:
There are important reasons for separating Transport, Interface and ‘sapmnt’ onto separate storage accounts. Distributing these components onto separate storage accounts improves throughput, resiliency and simplifies the performance analysis. If many SIDs and other file systems are consolidated onto a single Azure Files Storage account and the storage account performance is poor due to hitting the throughput limits, it is extremely difficult to identify which SID or application is causing the problem.
Prerequisites for the installation of SAP NetWeaver High Availability Systems on Azure Files SMB with Active Directory Integration
The minimum required SWPM 1.0 SP 32 and SWPM 2.0 SP 09 (August 2021). The minimum required SAPInst patch is 91(SAPinst 749.0.91). If earlier versions are used there will be installation errors. Older versions of SWPM limit the number of characters for SAPGLOBALHOST to 13 or less.
To verify the performance of an Azure Files SMB share download the utility diskspd.exe and map a drive to the Azure Files Share. Run this command line and compare to the published ingress, egress and iops for the size of the share
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