Woolworths Australia is the largest supermarket chain in Australia with 1000 stores, $45 Billion revenue and 225,000 employees.
Woolworths migrated from legacy UNIX platforms to Azure using SAP’s Near Zero Downtime migration service.
Woolworths upgraded to the latest version of Oracle and improved storage efficiency by moving to Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM).
Jan Klokkers – Oracle Corporate Vice President responsible for SAP:
“ASM is the default storage architecture for Oracle databases for many years. It is being used on Oracle Engineered Systems and for all RAC deployments on UNIX/Linux systems.
ASM is the only storage layer which has been optimized for Oracle databases. Filesystems such as EXT4 and XFS have never been optimized for Oracle databases as they are designed for general purpose use and not for database workload.
Close to ASM comes only Azure NetApp Files with Direct NFS where Direct NFS has been designed to run an Oracle database more efficiently.
All other solutions are not robust and reliable for large databases and do not provide the throughput to run large databases (especially large SAP systems).”
Although we recommend all customer migrations to Azure use ASM, large customers especially benefit from ASM because ASM eliminates the requirement for Mirror Logging. As discussed in this SAP Note Oracle Mirror Log is not required when running ASM.
Summary: When moving SAP on Oracle systems to Azure follow the guidance from Oracle and implement ASM. The only exception is customers running on dNFS.
Azure Premium SSD v2 storage offers significantly better throughput and latency. In addition Premium SSD v2 is more customizable and configurable. Premium SSD v2 is in preview and customers wishing to test in non-production
It is expected that this storage will be Certified and ready for Production SAP for NetWeaver and Hana systems when Microsoft announces General Availability of Premium SSD v2.
Azure Premium Storage already offers bursting. There are two kinds of bursting, Disk-level and Virtual Machine Level Bursting. Disk level bursting has two models.
Disk Burst Limits are documented here Scalability and performance targets for VM disks - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
It is possible to Monitor disk bursting using these counters Disk metrics - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
More information is available here Managed disk bursting - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
The next version of SQL Server will be released by Microsoft soon. SQL Server 2022 | Microsoft is already in testing and validation with SAP. Further information will be made available in SAP Note 3210087 - Release planning for Microsoft SQL Server 2022 (this note will be released publicly soon)
Unlike SQL Server 2016, 2017 and 2019, SQL Server 2022 will require a relatively new SAP Support Pack Stack.
SQL Server 2022 and lower releases will be supported on Microsoft ODBC Driver 18 once SAP Note 2656107 - Support for Microsoft ODBC Drivers for SQL Server in SAP NetWeaver is updated.
Microsoft ODBC Driver 18 will require new SAP Kernels.
JDBC Driver support for SQL Server 2022 remains unchanged. Validate the JDBC driver deployed and JDBC support matrix 2142959 - Checking the version of JDBC driver for Microsoft SQL Server
Windows 2022 is fully released for SAP Applications. Customers running on Windows 2022 & SQL Server 2022 are in support for these two products until 2031/32 Windows Server 2022 - Microsoft Lifecycle | Microsoft Docs
An increasing number of large multinational companies have moved Very Large Database (VLDB) Oracle systems to Azure during 2022. The list below is the top 10 recommendations for customers of any size moving Oracle systems to Azure.
More information on updated Oracle deployment practices can be found in this YouTube video #105 - The one with SAP on Oracle on Azure (Cameron Gardiner) | SAP on Azure Video Podcast - YouTube
An example of a ASM Disk Configuration is given below
Thanks to Vamshi Polasa for contributing the above illustrations.
Windows 2022 is Generally Available. The Product Availability Matrix has been updated to include support for: LiveCache, Content Server, WebDispatcher, TREX and BI Platform 4.3. Check the SAP Product Availability Matrix for the latest information.
Customers deploying SAP NetWeaver systems on Windows 2022 and SQL Server 2022 will benefit from a very long support period
Recent feedback from SAP Windows component (BC-OP-NT) development support highlighted the need for customers to exclude SAP file systems from real-time and scheduled virus scanning.
It is recommended to exclude:
To define exclusions follow these instructions:
These packages offer typical “Antivirus” capabilities and also Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Network Analysis as a cloud-hosted or on-premises solution.
It is recommended to deploy these solutions on Development, QAS and Production. Provided the files listed in 1-5 above are excluded from Antivirus scans these solutions are generally reliable. The EDR capabilities have caused an increase in support cases recently. It is recommended have clear procedures in place to disable the EDR and Network threat detection functions if problems are observed.
A new blog details how to install a Geographically Dispersed cluster:
Other interesting blogs from SAP colleagues:
Customers deploying SAP Java on Azure Files SMB should review this SAP Note 3147884 - Manual Installation Steps for NetWeaver Java on Azure Files SMB
RedHat Update: Currently (August 2022) the most recent release of RHEL is 8.6. RHEL 9.0 is due to be released and will be evaluated by SAP. SAP and RedHat will release more information later.
RHEL 8.7, 8.8 and other 8.x versions will be released by RedHat too. Typically SAP only certify releases that offer “Update Services for SAP Solutions” for NetWeaver and Hana, therefore RHEL 8.7 may not be certified for NetWeaver and Hana.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle - Red Hat Customer Portal (Check the Guides for RedHat 8.x and 9.x at the bottom of this page)
RedHat Customers should note that GlusterFS is a depreciated feature and should be replaced by Azure Files NFS or another NFS solution.
Suse Update: Currently the most recent release of SLES is 15.3. SLES 15.4 is due to be released and is being tested currently.
Product Support Lifecycle | SUSE and search for “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 15”
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for Linux is now generally available and some customers might observe that MDE is deployed by default with some scenarios. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Linux | Microsoft Docs
To configure exclusions for MDE Linux follow this procedure Configure and validate exclusions for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Linux | Microsoft Docs
It is recommended to exclude:
Another blog about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Linux will be posted to this blog site soon.
M-series customers running scale-out or very high network throughput configurations should check this blog: Optimizing Network Throughput on Azure M-series VMs HCMT (microsoft.com)
Customers running a SAP S/4HANA utilizing SAP HANA Enterprise Search (ESH) functionality should check this Hotnews 3213111 - Transaction Rollback Triggered in SAP HANA 2.0 SPS06 While SQL Error not Indicating Transa...
An undersized OS boot disk is the cause of multiple performance escalations we have worked on recently. Due to the way VM and disk quotas work on Azure it is critical that the OS boot disk is adequately sized.
Larger D/E or M-series VMs running a busy DBMS may need at least a P20 disk.
There is a simple way to diagnose the case where the OS boot disk is too small and is causing the entire VM to run slowly.
In the example below disks sde, sdf, sdg and sdk are P30. A P30 disk has 5000 IOPS and throughput of 200MB/sec (200,000kB/sec). The command “iostat” shows that these P30 disks are doing mostly read IO, with IOPS between 780 to 2560 reads/sec. The throughput is between 30MB/sec and 66MB/sec. The “%util” column shows a surprising number “99.99%”. The limits for a P30 disk are 5000 IOPS and 200MB/sec, yet iostat is reporting 99.99%.
When this scenario is observed it is almost certain that the OS boot disk is undersized.
The troubleshooting and resolution steps for this scenario are:
Review the minimum OS boot disk sizes in the Hana storage guide. If in doubt increase the size of the OS boot disk on larger D/E VMs and M-series to P20 or larger.
Cost optimization is one of the important factors for customer who wants to move or run their SAP workload on Azure. One of such cost optimization scenarios is to minimize the number of VMs footprint for an SAP system. One of the ways to achieve that is to deploy Primary Application Server (PAS) and one Additional Application Server (AAS) dialog instances along with SAP ASCS and SAP ERS in high availability setup. The configuration is basically an extension to already configured SAP ASCS/ERS cluster setup. In this setup, PAS and one AAS is installed on a virtual hostname and its instance directory is managed by the cluster along with SAP ASCS/ERS resources.
End of last year, SUSE certified 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁 𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿 for SAP Application. Compared to the classical pacemaker cluster architecture, with simple mount deployment the file systems for SAP ASCS/ERS are no longer managed by the cluster. With classical cluster architecture, SAP ASCS/ERS HA setup uses instance work directories (/𝘶𝘴𝘳/𝘴𝘢𝘱/𝘚𝘐𝘋/𝘈𝘚𝘊𝘚 𝘰𝘳 /𝘶𝘴𝘳/𝘴𝘢𝘱/𝘚𝘐𝘋/𝘌𝘙𝘚) filesystem that are managed via dedicated cluster resources. Now with simple mount deployment (introduced with SLES for SAP 15 and higher), a new package 𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘴𝘳𝘷-𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦-𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 (part of simple mount configuration) is introduced, which eliminate the need for dedicated instance work directory filesystems. Instead of that, a common NFS share can be statically mounted on all cluster nodes.
Setting up high availability for SAP workload on Azure protect application from infrastructure maintenance or failure within region. But it doesn't provide protection from widespread regional disaster. For DR, protection of application running on Azure VMs can be enabled by replicating components using Azure site recovery (ASR) to another Azure region. But achieving similar high availability setup for your SAP application on DR region can be complex as you need to make sure all related components of the solution are replicated in DR region.
Information from Ralf on setting Kerberos for Azure NetApp Files.
Two SAP Notes for SQL Server
The new Eav5 is certified for SAP NetWeaver. These VMs are based on AMD's 3rd Generation EPYCTM 7763v processor and is available in configurations from 2 vCPU to 112 vCPU and up to 672GB of RAM.
More information is available in 1928533 - SAP Applications on Microsoft Azure: Supported Products and Azure VM types and Easv5 and Eadsv5-series - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
Azure Monitor for SAP
Automated Build and Deployment for Suse and RedHat.
End-to-End documentation on using Azure Files SMB with the SAP ASCS
3rd party content in this blog is used under “fair use” copyright exception for the purpose of promoting scholarship, discussion, research, learning and education
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