Friday, 10 January 2020 09:59

SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems

Written by https://blogs.sap.com/2020/01/11/sap-hana-on-ibm-power-systems/
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In this blog series you will find quotes, backgrounds, suggested further readings and other information related to my latest book SAP HANA 2.0, An Introduction published by SAP

Press.

As the goal of the book is to provide an introduction, we could not spend as much time and pages on each and every topic as we wished at times. One of those topic was SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. In this blog, I will cover it in a bit more detail and include references where to find more information.

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About IBM Power 

After three decades of Intel Inside marketing (ding dong, ding dong), for many consumers the distinction between a specific processor architecture and the CPU as such is blurry. Intel more or less invented ingredient branding and with success (for the story, read the Guardian article: The battle to become an ingredient brand).

However, there is no Intel inside your Apple iPhone or Android but an ARM one, where ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machines and RISC for Reduced Instruction Set Computer. As it happens, this is the same R from POWER, an acronym for Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC and yes the PowerPC (PPC) once powered the Apple Macintosh and continues to do so for many game consoles.

Long story, short story, there are many processors out there and although several no longer compete for the enterprise market (HP Itanium, Sun SPARC are heading out for the sunset) IBM Power is still in the race.

If you want to hear about it from IBM, always a good source, read Top IBM Power Systems myths: x86 is the industry standard and Power is becoming obsolete.

The latest version of the POWER processor is POWER9, launched in 2017. It is the 9th generation with a pedigree going back to the 1990s, much like the Intel x86.

Migrations do not have to be scary.

IBM Power Systems are particularly good at powering supercomputers and if you need something that can take 64 TB of memory on board and can host up to 16 production SAP HANA LPARs, the E980 might be a good choice. LPARs are logical partitions and together with the PowerVM hypervisor are located on the firmware and do not run on top of an operating system like the XEN, KVM, VMWare or Microsoft Hyper-V, making it possible to go beyond the 6 TB limitation and support up to 24TB for each “virtual machine”.

For more modest needs there is the midrange E950 or the scale-out servers H922 and H924.

  • H = HANA ( E = Enterprise)
  • 9 = Power9
  • 2 = sockets (processor sockets with up to 24 cores)
  • 2 = 2U or 4U (EIA) so you know how many you can stack in the rack.

For the business argument and more general information, see

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TDI and SAP Certified Hardware

As you may recall from the High Performance Analytical Appliance acronym, SAP HANA was initially launched as an appliance with predefined hardware and preconfigured software, a tightly controlled environment to optimise innovation. As customers want choice, a tailored datacenter integration (TDI) program was added after a couple of years with support for the IBM Power System platform added with TDI Phase 4 (August 2015) followed two years later with TDI phase 5 and SAPS-based sizing. Note that SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems is not available as appliance.

For more information, see

Certified appliances, enterprise storage, IaaS platforms, and Power Systems (amongst others) are published on the SAP Certified and Supported SAP HANA Hardware Directory where you can filter on the number of cores and the architecture (Power 8 or 9).

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SAP Support – Notes and KBA

SAP Support publishes notes and knowledge base articles (how-to, FAQ) that document the latest insights and requirements about SAP software and complement the product documentation. Always make sure to consult this information on the SAP ONE Support Launchpad before getting started.

Below a selection of notes that provide information about requirements, updates to supported configurations (e.g. shared LPARs), the maximum number of hosts (nodes) in a scale-out configurations, which operating system is (not are) supported on Power 9, how to configure the file system, etc.

For the early adopters that started out on Power 8 Big Endian (BE) and looking for information how to migrate to SAP HANA 2.0 Little Endian (LE), see

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IBM Support

To complete the picture, make sure to consult the IBM documentation related to running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. For the latest versions of these docs, go to

Currently listed are

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IBM Redbooks

IBM Redbooks are technical publications from IBM support (ITSO) created through in-residency programs. This is first class content available free of charge for download (PDF) or to read online in Apple or Google Books or as EPUB. There are a number of publications about SAP HANA in the Redbooks Library, all highly recommended. Below a sample. To search for the latest publications or learn more about the program, visit ibm.com/redbooks.

cover image

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IBM Training

For IBM employees and business partners, several trainings are offered. For those with time and budget there is a classroom training

Online, you can take the SAP HANA on Power specialisation (onlinedigitallearning.com).

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Partners and Friends 

Additional information about running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems can be found on IBM/SAP business partner web sites and in blogs from enthusiasts:

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Questions, Comment, Suggestions 

Anything I missed? Do not hesitate to post your questions or comments below.

Good stuff? Give it a like and share on social media. Much appreciated!

If you would like to receive updates, connect with me on

Thank you,

Denys van Kempen

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SAP HANA 2.0 – An Introduction

Just getting started with SAP HANA? Or do have a migration to SAP HANA 2.0 coming up? Need a quick update covering business benefits and technology overview. Understand the role of the system administrator, developer, data integrator, security officer, data scientist, data modeler, project manager, and other SAP HANA stakeholders? My latest book about SAP HANA 2.0 covers everything you need to know.

Get it from SAP Press or Amazon:

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