SAP and Microsoft are continuously adding new features and functionalities to the SAP on SQL Server platform. In addition we have recently released both SQL Server 2012 and Windows 2012. This blog discusses the latest recommendations for customers running on SQL Server. This blog also has information for customers migrating from Proprietary UNIX systems to commodity Intel servers. This blog is broken into two sections, the first topics deal with Windows & SQL Server. The second section is discussing SAP kernel topics - topics 14, 15 & 16
1. SAP on SQL Server 2012 is Generally Available (GA)
SQL Server is now Generally Available for most SAP 7.0x systems. SAP Netweaver 7.30/7.31 are also GA on SQL 2012.
Check the SAP Product Availability Matrix for more information about each SAP component. Post a message in this blog if you are unsure about the release status of a SAP component.
Many multi-terabyte customers are already live in production on SQL 2012 since March 2012.
SQL Server includes many performance features and also a new HA/DR feature called “AlwaysOn”. This is explained in a blog series on http://blogs.msdn.com/b/saponsqlserver/ beginning with:
Also see this blog to download the correct new SAP Installation Master for SQL Server 2012.
2. SQL Server 2012 Column Store feature for SAP BW
Column Store technologies have demonstrated dramatic performance gains for OLAP type queries. Sybase-IQ, Teradata 14 , Vertica , SAP HANA and many other DB platforms offer Column Store features. SQL 2012 includes a column store feature integrated into the SQL Server Engine. The SQL Server 2012 Column Store feature is therefore able to leverage all of the HA/DR, Performance, Backup (compression, agents) and Compression features built standard into SQL Server. Column Store is an integrated feature including in SQL Server rather than a separate standalone product and is included in the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2012.
SQL Server Column Store feature for SAP BW is described in this blog:
Customers who wish to deploy SQL 2012 Column Store for SAP BW are welcome to post questions in this blog.
3. SQL Server 2008 & SQL Server 2012 Database Compression
SQL Server includes powerful database compression that dramatically reduces database size while simultaneously improving performance. Dramatically less disk IO and improved cache hit ratios have been observed on customer systems.
Many SQL Server customers have achieved 80% compression ratios – meaning a 10TB SQL Server database will compress to 2TB.
SQL Server Backup Compression will further reduce the size of the backup file by another 50%, meaning the backup file will be 1TB.
All customers should implement compression on all ABAP systems. Apply OSS Note 1581700 and follow the guidance in this blog .
SQL 2012 also includes a new feature that allows tables with LOB columns to be compressed fully online.
Real examples of the thousands of SQL Server customers that have benefited from compression can be found here:
Customers that have migrated from Oracle and DB2 also realize 75% to 85% compression. This has allowed many customers to terminate expensive proprietary UNIX hardware and migrate to commodity Intel servers with much better performance and lower costs.
4. Windows Hardening Best Practices – New Security Whitepaper
By applying a few simple security guidelines the patching and reboot requirements for SAP on Windows/SQL Server are as good as other OS/DB combinations.
Hardening Windows servers is also considerably simpler because Active Directory Group Policies can be used to enforce security settings onto a group of servers. Security settings are controlled centrally with GPO and no individual “server-by-server” configuration is required. This includes tasks such as configuring the Windows firewall to block all ports other than common SAP ports.
We have released a Whitepaper that customers can use as a guide to harden SAP on Win/SQL
5. Windows 2012 – new features and capabilities
SAP will begin the validation process for Windows 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0 after the public release of Windows 2012 later this year. Given the many SAP Netweaver, Business Objects, stand alone engines like Content Server, the exact PAM for Windows 2012 has not been finalized. List of new features in Windows 2012 server http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831769.aspx
6. Windows Hyper-V – recommended notes and links
Windows 2012 Hyper-V 3.0 supports 64 vCPU and 1TB RAM – sufficient to support almost any SAP workload and twice the vCPU of VMWare
7. Recommended Network Configurations
10 Gigabit Network is strongly recommended as the default for all SAP systems small, medium and large.
10 Gigabit Network is highly recommended to support Live Migration in Hyper-V. Live Migration times dramatically improve with 10G network. New 10 Gigabit Network cards also support technologies such as SRIOv that greatly increase performance when running Virtual Machines
8. Only SAP JVMs are supported – do not use Sun/Oracle JVM
SAP have released a new 1.4.2 JVM for Windows and terminated support for the old Sun JVM.
All SAP Java systems on Windows should use the SAP JVM
9. What are Machine Check or WHEA errors and what should I do?
Intel platforms now incorporate many of the R.A.S features that used to be the exclusive domain of UNIX servers.
Correctable memory errors is one such example.
Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 WHEA handles exceptions passed from the Hardware platform to the operating system.
If errors like this are observed on a server it is highly likely there is a hardware level issue, in this particular case possibly faulty memory.
Contact the hardware vendor immediately.
This issue can also be caused by a bug in Intel’s E7 CPU. "Package C3/C6 with Memory Self Refresh Enabled May Cause False Error Logging" Page 25: http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/specupdate/325122.pdf
BL680 customers view this advisory
DL580 customers view this advisory
10. Recommended Trace flags for SQL 2008 and SQL 2012
SQL Server trace flags are used to control SQL Server behavior or to activate specific features.
SQL Server trace flags are normally set as startup options.
WARNING: incorrectly setting SQL Server trace flags will prevent SQL Server from starting.
The syntax must be exactly correct. SQL 2012 Configuration Manager simplifies adding trace flags
To check active trace flags run ST04.
To enable Fast CHECKDB activate 2562 and 2549
11. SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 Released
SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 has been released and is automatically supported by SAP. SAP do not specifically document support of SQL Server Service Packs because Microsoft test pre-release versions of SQL Server Service Packs prior to release. SQL Server Service Packs are always supported by SAP as documented in Note 62988 - Service Packs for Microsoft SQL Server . We generally recommend to apply the latest SQL Server Service Pack. Target to keep an SAP landscape on the latest SQL Service Pack = N or N-1. SQL Server Service Pack release information can be found http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlreleaseservices/
SAP & Microsoft generally do not place SQL Server packs onto the http://service.sap.com/msplatforms -> SQL Server webpage. This page only contains JDBC drivers, SAP Tools for SQL Server (for SQL upgrades and system copies) and SQL Server installation guides for SAP. The normal procedure is to download the latest SQL Server Service Pack from Microsoft's website (a link to the download site can always be found from http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlreleaseservices/ )
12. New OS/DB Migration FAQ version
Attached to this blog is my latest Oracle to SQL Server Migration FAQ. This document contains feedback and recommendations based on hundreds of Oracle and DB2 migrations to SQL Server.
Key updates are:
Intel & AMD servers have a 98% market share and the proprietary UNIX server shrinks every quarter as more and more customers buy into Industry Standard Architecture servers.
13. New SAP on SQL 2012 & Win 2012 Training Course Coming Soon
Microsoft has completed creating an entirely new SAP on SQL 2012 Hands on Administrators course. These courses will be run around USA, Europe & Asia over the next year. Course schedules will be posted in blog. The courses will include hands on lab setting up SAP on SQL 2012 with AlwaysOn high availability scenario with Windows 2012. Topics such as Performance Tuning, Hardening Windows, Oracle -> SQL Migration and Windows Hyper-V 3.0 will be covered.
Asia Region Training:
Taiwan – September 12, 13 & 14 2012
16F.,No 99 , Fuxing N. RD., Songshan District , Taipei City 105.
Hong Kong – September 24, 25 & 25 2012 - Click HERE to REGISTER
8/F, Greenwich Centre
260 King's Road, Hong Kong
(near Fortress Hill MTR station exit B)
香港英皇道260號怡安中心8樓 (炮台山地鐵站B出口) [ Click here to view map ]
Dates and locations for Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Bombay & Delhi are to be confirmed later.
14. Standardize on 720 EXT Downwards Compatible Kernel
SAP have released a downwards compatible kernel that supports SAP components based on 7.00, 7.01, 7.02, 7.03, 7.10, 7.11, 7.30 and 7.31
The SAP downward compatible kernel (DCK) is available for both ABAP and Java.
Some new kernel fixes are only released for 720 downwards compatible kernel. These fixes may not be ported to older kernels such as 7.01
There is a difference between the 720_REL kernel and the 720_EXT_REL . The 720_EXT_REL kernel needs the Visual Studio 2010 Runtime Libraries.
The runtime libraries can be installed by running the vcredist_x64.msi . This file is bundled in the SAPEXE.SAR file
It is recommended to standardize on 720_EXT_REL
To check which kernel version is in use run SM51 -> single click on an application server -> Release Info
Kernel 720_EXT_REL Patch Level 315 includes several useful features and updates.
15. Recommended Update for NT Cluster Resource DLL
A new version of the 720 EXT DCK NTCLUST.SAR package is available.
This new version of NT Cluster DLL includes several new features and fixes. Highly recommended to update
These cluster DLLs are downwards compatible and support 7.00, 7.01, 7.3 etc systems.
16. Update to Zero Administration Memory Management
SAP on Windows platform has simple memory management and tuning.
SAP application server instances with approximately 50 work processes will generally run well with the default ZAMM parameters. The default value will be used if the parameter is not specified in the profile.
Unless a specific problem is encountered leave these values as the default values set automatically in the kernel. Make sure to set the "master" profile parameter for ZAMM. PHYS_MEMSIZE determines the defaults for most of these parameters and should be set on most systems.
17. List of Recent Customer Case Studies
Many large multi-national multi-terabyte customers run their mission critical SAP systems on Windows SQL. Increasing numbers of customers are migrating from proprietary UNIX platforms to commodity Intel platforms. Here is just a sample of a few:
Wei Chuan Food Corporation: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-SQL-Server-2012-Enterprise/Wei-Chuan-Food-Corpor...
Goethe University Frankfurt: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Windows-Server-2008-R2-Datacenter/Goethe-University-Frankf...
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