In August 2019, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.7, the latest update to the stable and production-ready RHEL 7 platform. RHEL 7 helps customers meet the modern datacenter demands as well as the next-generation IT requirements of existing and new SAP workloads. On top of that, RHEL 7 for SAP Solutions includes additional capabilities to support SAP Applications across the hybrid cloud, from bare-metal servers to public cloud instances, all on a standard, flexible and scalable operating system platform.

Both RHEL 7.7 and RHEL 7.6 for SAP Solutions bring new features and enhancements1 to bear that can help streamline operations through improved availability and reduced operating costs. RHEL 7.6 for SAP Solutions is validated and supported for use with SAP HANA on Intel x86_64 and IBM Power 8. Corresponding validation for SAP HANA on RHEL 7.7 is planned. Other SAP applications and database products, like SAP NetWeaver or SAP ASE may adopt and benefit from RHEL 7.7 features right away. Please consult SAP Note 2369910 and 2235581 for the latest information about validated releases and support by SAP.

"Always-on" SAP systems with RHEL live patching

Data is the new digital currency and keeping data more secure is a priority for every enterprise. When an operating system vulnerability is found, it is important to be able to quickly identify and mitigate the risks to systems and data as soon as possible. In today’s digital world, taking a mission-critical system like SAP offline is not an option. Live patching addresses exactly this scenario by making it easier for IT teams to patch kernel vulnerabilities without having to shut down or restart a system, and we’re pleased to bring it to bear on our SAP-optimized platform.

Live patching is now supported and readily accessible in RHEL 7.7 for SAP Solutions and RHEL 7.6 Extended Update Support (EUS) for SAP Solutions. This enables customers to patch critical and selected important CVEs in the kernel without interrupting business critical SAP applications. Minimizing the interruptions resulting from system reboots helps to reduce the warm-up time of in-memory databases such as SAP HANA which can otherwise take several hours to load data into memory after an outage. More information is available in our reference documentation.

High-Availability support for SAP HANA scale-out deployments

SAP HANA has become the primary database platform for many SAP landscapes, which increases the requirements for stability and reliability in scenarios where every second of downtime can impact business revenue.

With RHEL 7.7 and 7.6 (EUS) for SAP Solutions, the Pacemaker-based RHEL High Availability feature automates the takeover process when critical system components fail, helping to minimize manual intervention in more complex HA environments. For example, in large scale-out SAP HANA deployments, involving SAP HANA system replication between data centers, automated takeover is a key feature to help minimize the recovery time objective (RTO), and to lessen the possibility of data loss. More information about supported SAP HANA, NetWeaver and S/4 HANA High Availability scenarios is available in our customer portal.

RHEL System Roles for SAP

Today, a collection of Ansible roles and modules are available upstream that provide a prescriptive and automated way to more easily configure SAP environments. We plan to include a selection of these system roles in a future version of RHEL for SAP Solutions to help improve productivity and reduce TCO.

For a full list of new features, enhancements, and fixes, please see the release notes. SAP HANA OS support will be documented through SAP Note 2235581.

Don Pinto is senior principal product marketing manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, at Red Hat.

1 Mentioned features and enhancements are made available via corresponding RHEL 7.7 z-stream and RHEL 7.6 Extended Update Support EUS) channels.

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