While Linux containers and Kubernetes are often discussed as transformative technologies, nearly every IT deployment, new and existing, has one common denominator: data. In-memory database technologies like SAP HANA® can help enterprises accelerate intelligent decision-making but also require a powerful, highly available, and more secure underlying operating system to match the associated data-processing demands. Red Hat’s strategic alliance and long-standing collaboration with SAP makes it possible to pair the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform with mission-critical SAP workloads, delivering a more stable, flexible, and highly available production platform for business transactions.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 for SAP Solutions is an intelligent OS designed to provide a solid foundation that spans the hybrid cloud and one that fuels mission-critical workloads. Building on the successful launch of RHEL 8, we are pleased to announce SAP production support of RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions for running SAP HANA 2.0 (SPS 04 or later) on the Intel x86 (64-bit) platform. In addition, validation on the IBM Power9 platform is underway. For more information, please consult the SAP Note 2235581.

Streamlined operations with faster warmup and restarts

RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions provides several new capabilities to improve performance of modern workloads including SAP HANA. One such improvement in RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions is full support for Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory (pMEM) File System DAX (FS-DAX), which offers high memory density, lower latency, and persistence. Persistent memory can be hugely beneficial for in-memory databases that require data to be pre-loaded into memory prior to serving application traffic. Combining persistent memory with DRAM increases the overall system memory density, allowing for hot data to be processed more quickly with fewer resources.

With persistent memory, hot data can be stored closer to the CPU for low latency access while keeping the higher latency calls to fetch data from the storage subsystem to a minimum. This can accelerate database warmup and reduce the total cost of ownership for other operational tasks such as reboots.

Deeper system insights with RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions

Based on more than 25 years of customer support experience and learnings from 1,000,000+ support cases, Red Hat Insights provides predictive operating system analytics and SAP-specific rules to more quickly discover whether or not your SAP deployment is running optimally. This expertise-as-a-service offering can also help to proactively prevent system risks before they impact your business continuity.

Based on recommendations from Red Hat and SAP, Red Hat Insights is regularly refreshed with new rules to alert operators of misconfigurations, and other system risks such as security vulnerabilities. For enterprise-scale SAP deployments, Red Hat Insights serves as a force-multiplier for IT operations teams by proactively checking systems against known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) and notifying the appropriate teams with suggested remediations. Additionally, it complements SAP Early Watch, so you can get insights across your entire operating system and SAP stack.

When combined with the upcoming live patching capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 for SAP Solutions, IT operations teams can lean on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions and Red Hat Insights to not only find and analyze potential problems, but also fix them more quickly with little-to-no production downtime. Live patching is available today for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 for SAP Solutions customers through Extended Update Support (EUS).

To learn more, please refer to the list of insight rules for SAP Solutions.

Improved performance optimizations

In RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions, the GCC toolchain is based on the GCC 8.2 release series and leveraged by SAP HANA. With GCC 8.2, users gain additional performance optimizations and hardened code for analytical workloads such as SAP HANA. To learn more about the additional optimizations in RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions based on GCC 8.2, refer to the compiler and developer tool documentation.

RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions: A platform for intelligent workloads

As SAP seeks to support customers in a hybrid cloud world, Linux containers and Kubernetes become key building blocks to support future analytics infrastructure. As a leader in open hybrid cloud solutions and one of the top contributors to the Kubernetes project, we’re pleased to collaborate with SAP on this work, including bringing more SAP workloads to the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform: Red Hat OpenShift.

The hybrid cloud isn’t defined by a single solution, and neither is our portfolio-wide work with SAP. Looking to the future, we intend to expand our work in validating SAP solutions across the Red Hat portfolio of open hybrid cloud technologies, including Openshift and ongoing releases of SAP-validated Red Hat Virtualization. Today, a collection of Ansible roles and modules are available upstream that provide a prescriptive and automated way to easily configure SAP environments. We plan to include a selection of these system roles in a future version of RHEL for SAP Solutions to significantly improve productivity and reduce TCO.

Whether you already have a SAP deployment or are considering using RHEL for SAP Solutions for the first time, we encourage you to test RHEL 8 for SAP Solutions and experience the power of the platform for yourself.

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

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