SAP on Azure General Update August 2022
Published Sep 20 2022 03:27 AM 1,611 Views

1.      Woolworths Australia Migrates SAP IS-RETAIL Solution to Azure

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.

 

Microsoft Customer Story-Woolworths completes large-scale SAP cloud transformation, improving effici...

 

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).”

 

1550133 - Using Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) with SAP NetWeaver based Products - SAP ON...

Moving your SAP Database to Oracle Automatic Storage Management 11g Release 2 - A Best Practices Gui...

SAP on Oracle – Automatic Storage Management (ASM) - SAP on Oracle - Support Wiki

 

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.

888626 - Redo log layout for high-end systems

 

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.

 

2.      Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage in preview & Explanation of Bursting

 

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 SSD v2 Disk Storage in preview | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

 

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.

  1. Disk-level Bursting allows an individual disk(s) attached to a VM to exceed the advertised limits for a period of time depending on the model:
    1. Credit Based bursting is free of charge and is enabled by default on premium SSDs 512 GiB and smaller, and standard SSDs 1024 GiB and smaller.  A small amount of burst time is available each day
    2. On-demand bursting model is a paid service that allows a disk to burst up to the allowable burst limit whenever required. This model incurs additional charges anytime the disk bursts. On-demand bursting is only available for premium SSDs larger than 512 GiB.

 

  1. Virtual Machine Level Bursting allows the total aggregate throughput of all disks attached to a VM to exceed the advertised limits for up to a maximum of 30 minutes.  Virtual Machine Level bursting uses a Credit Based Model and is enabled on VMs free of charge.

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

 

3.      SQL Server 2022 Planning for SAP NetWeaver

 

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

 

2656107 - Support for Microsoft ODBC Drivers for SQL Server in SAP NetWeaver

3235023 - DBSL Support for SQL Server 2022 and ODBC Driver 18 for SQL Server

 

4.      Update for SAP on Oracle on Azure

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.

 

  1. Use the most recent Oracle Linux version available (Oracle Linux 8.6 or higher)
  2. Use the most recent Oracle Database version available with the latest SAP Bundle Patch (SBP) (Oracle 19 Patch 15 or higher) 2799920 - Patches for 19c: Database
  3. Use Automatic Storage Management (ASM) for small, medium and large sized databases on block storage
  4. Azure Premium Storage SSD or Premium Storage SSD v2 should be used.  Do not use Standard or other storage types.
  5. ASM removes the requirement for Mirror Log.  Follow the guidance from Oracle in Note 888626 - Redo log layout for high-end systems
  6. Use ASMLib and do not use udev
  7. Azure NetApp Files deployments should use Oracle dNFS (Oracle’s own high performance Direct NFS solution) 
  8. Large databases benefit greatly from very large SGA sizes.  Large customers should deploy on Azure M-series with 4TB or more RAM size. 
    1. Set Linux Huge Pages to 75% of Physical RAM size
    2. Set SGA to 90% of Huge Page size
  9. Oracle Home should be located outside of the “root” volume or disk. Use a separate disk or ANF volume.  The disk holding the Oracle Home should be 64GB or larger
  10. The size of the boot disk for large high performance Oracle database servers is important.  As a minimum a P10 disk should be used for M-series or E-series. Do not use small disks such as P4 or P6.  This may cause performance problems
  11. Accelerated Networking must be enabled on all VMs.  Upgrade to the latest OL release if there are any problems enabling Accelerated Networking
  1. Check for updates in this documentation and SAP note 2039619 - SAP Applications on Microsoft Azure using the Oracle Database: Supported Products and Vers...

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

Cameron_MSFT_SAP_PM_0-1663537092155.png

 

Cameron_MSFT_SAP_PM_1-1663537374789.png

Thanks to Vamshi Polasa for contributing the above illustrations.

 

5.      Update for Windows Customers

 

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:

  1. DBMS data files, log files and temp files
  2. The entire contents of the SAPMNT directory
  3. The entire contents of the SAPLOC directory
  4. The entire contents of the TRANS directory
  5. The entire contents of directories for standalone engines such as TREX

To define exclusions follow these instructions:

Microsoft Defender Configure and validate exclusions based on extension, name, or location | Microsoft Docs

Trend Micro Trend Micro Security (for Mac) 2.0 / Enterprise / Online Help Center

Symantec  Configuring Exceptions policies in Endpoint Protection Manager (broadcom.com)

McAfee McAfee KB - How to exclude files from virus scans on Windows or macOS (TS102056)

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.

 

106267 - Virus scanner software on Windows

1497394 - Which files and directories should be excluded from an antivirus scan for SAP BusinessObje...

 

A new blog details how to install a Geographically Dispersed cluster:

How to install SAP in a cluster with different subnets? | SAP Blogs

 

Other interesting blogs from SAP colleagues:

What’s new in SAPRC.DLL version 4.0.0.18? | SAP Blogs

How to move a clustered SAP system into another domain? | SAP Blogs

How to install SAP systems in more than two cluster nodes? | SAP Blogs

How to prevent high paging on certain Windows versions? | SAP Blogs (and corresponding SAP Note 2553235 - High Paging on Windows Server 2012 or higher affecting overall performance)

 

Customers deploying SAP Java on Azure Files SMB should review this SAP Note 3147884 - Manual Installation Steps for NetWeaver Java on Azure Files SMB

 

6.      Update for Linux Customers

 

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. 

 

What's new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 | Red Hat Developer

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)

Overview of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions subscription - Red Hat Customer Portal

2772999 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.x: Installation and Configuration - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

2235581 - SAP HANA: Supported Operating Systems - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

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”

Release Notes for SUSE products | SUSE

2684254 - SAP HANA DB: Recommended OS settings for SLES 15 / SLES for SAP Applications 15 - SAP ONE ...

2578899 - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15: Installation Note - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

 

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:

  1. DBMS data files, log files and temp files
  2. The entire contents of the SAPMNT directory
  3. The entire contents of the SAPLOC directory
  4. The entire contents of the TRANS directory
  5. The entire contents of directories for standalone engines such as TREX

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)

 

7.      SAP Hotnews OSS Notes 

 

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...

 

3235112 - DBI FAE hints no longer work as expected

3049393 - SQL Server 2012 end of Microsoft Extended Support in July 2022

2297283 - SAP support of SQL Server versions when in Extended Maintenance or past "End of Support" p...

 

8.      Minimum Disk Sizes for Azure VMs – Important Guidance

 

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:

  1. Poor performance on a DBMS server is observed
  2. CPU and disk activity is low
  3. IOSTAT column “%util” shows a very high number (typically 99% but can be less)
  4. Check the IOPS and throughput limit for the Azure disk(s) showing 99% utilization, compare the theoretical limits with the IOPS and throughput observed
  5. If disks are reporting 99% utilization but are far below the theoretical limit, check the OS boot disk
  6. If the OS boot disk is a small disk such as P4 or P6, increase the disk size.  P20 is recommended and P30 for very large busy systems
  7. Follow this procedure to increase the size of the boot disk Expand virtual hard disks on a Linux VM - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs

 

Cameron_MSFT_SAP_PM_0-1661845638169.png

 

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.

SAP HANA Azure virtual machine storage configurations - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs

 

Interesting Links and SAP Notes

 

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. 

Deploy SAP Dialog Instance with SAP ASCS/SCS high availability VMs on RHEL - Azure Virtual Machines ...

 

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.

 

Azure VMs high availability for SAP NW on SLES for SAP application with simple mount and NFS - Azure...

 

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.

 

SAP ASCS/ERS HA Cluster with SBD device (using iSCSI target server) failover to DR region using ASR ...

Information from Ralf on setting Kerberos for Azure NetApp Files. 

Implementing Azure NetApp Files with Kerberos - Microsoft Tech Community

Configure NFSv4.1 Kerberos encryption for Azure NetApp Files | Microsoft Docs

 

Two SAP Notes for SQL Server

3218247 - Secondary indexes are created without compression in SUM - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

3156723 - SQL Server Logins and users created in the SQL Server by SAP ABAP installation. - SAP ONE ...

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

Announcing Public Preview for Microsoft Azure Monitor for SAP solutions - Microsoft Tech Community

Announcing Public Preview for Microsoft Azure Center for SAP Solutions

 

Automated Build and Deployment for Suse and RedHat. 

Azure Center for SAP solutions | Microsoft Docs

 

End-to-End documentation on using Azure Files SMB with the SAP ASCS

Azure VMs HA for SAP NW on Windows with Azure Files (SMB) - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs

 

Announcing the Public Preview of the SAP CDC solution in Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse Analyt...

 

Introducing Virtual Machine restore points – a simpler way to protect Azure workloads - Microsoft Te...

Latest innovations in Azure confidential computing - Microsoft Tech Community

Deploying Microsoft Sentinel Threat Monitoring for SAP agent into an AKS/Kubernetes cluster - Micros...

 

Power innovation across the digital estate (microsoft.com)

 

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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