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The shift to using SAP S/4HANA drives standardization towards SAP’s in-memory database (SAP HANA) on Linux. With SAP HANA, both transactional and analytical data workloads are served from the same in-memory database, eliminating the need for separate data systems. However, to deliver the horsepower needed to serve these demanding data workloads, picking the right operating system that can best utilize the underlying hardware resources is essential

When deploying mission-critical enterprise workloads on SAP HANA, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the de-facto standard for many customers. We are excited to announce that SAP HANA 2.0 is certified on RHEL 8.2 and 7.9. Customers may find further details at SAP Note 2235581.

With each release, SAP and Red Hat engineering teams have worked jointly to deliver timely support of the SAP technology stack on Red Hat’s latest RHEL release.  Here are the top five reasons that make running SAP HANA on RHEL 8.2 worth mentioning.

Increased memory limits and lower operating costs on IBM POWER architectures

As an in-memory database, SAP HANA serves hot data from memory, which means low-latency response times for critical business applications. With RHEL 8.2 on IBM POWER, the addressable memory is increased to support 64TB RAM, double the capacity of the 32TB support with RHEL 8.1. This opens up the possibility for customers to manage larger SAP HANA data volumes in scale-up deployments across their enterprise. 

Persistent memory (PMEM) extends the in-memory capacity further for hot data in SAP HANA. By leveraging IBM Virtual Persistent Memory (vPMEM) on POWER9 processor-based systems, customers can take advantage of standard memory DIMMs without purchasing any additional hardware or memory modules. SAP HANA databases running on top of RHEL 8.2 using IBM POWER architecture can benefit from faster restarts and reduced start-up times than traditional disk-based warmups.

Superior performance for data-intensive workloads on Intel hardware

Compared to RHEL 8.0 and 8.1, RHEL 8.2 provides superior performance for some workloads on Intel hardware. RHEL 8.2 adds support for the 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor formerly code-named Cooper Lake. 

For SAP HANA workloads, this means improved data computational speeds, and expanded support for high-density next-generation Intel Optane DC persistent memory to quickly warm up the database, and analyze larger datasets — faster —  and take advantage of advanced analytics workloads like machine learning.

Simplified upgrade path from 7 to 8 for your SAP HANA workloads

When it comes to upgrading a mission-critical system running on RHEL, you need an upgrade process that is in-place, easy to perform and with minimal risks. With LEAPP, you can upgrade the underlying RHEL OS that SAP HANA is running on from RHEL 7.7 to RHEL 8.2 using CLI or by using GUI tools such as the RHEL web console and satellite web UI

LEAPP will check that you’re on the right version of SAP HANA and RHEL and automatically adjust the upgrade path. During the upgrade process, you will be able to check the RHEL web console or Satellite LEAPP report for any issues that might come up and how to remediate them. You may find further details about how to in-place upgrade SAP environments from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 at our Red Hat Knowledge Base Article #5154031

Improved OS security with kernel live-patching 

In most cases, system reboots are needed when it comes to applying a critical kernel security patch. However, when running a workload like SAP HANA, these reboots are expensive, especially when unplanned incidents happen. 

By leveraging kernel live-patching in RHEL, you can patch many security vulnerabilities on-the-fly without rebooting your RHEL instance or having to leave your RHEL system unpatched until the next planned downtime cycle. Live Patching is available for both recently certified releases, RHEL 8.2 and 7.9. 

Efficient and proactive management 

When it comes to deploying mission-critical workloads like SAP HANA at scale, automation is the best way to perform repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently, so that IT teams can focus on increasing the value of their existing deployments. 

With RHEL system roles for SAP, such as sap-preconfigure and sap-hana-preconfigure, you can easily configure and optimize your local or remote RHEL host to run SAP HANA according to the best practices from SAP and Red Hat.

For efficient and proactive management of your SAP HANA deployments, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions includes Red Hat Smart Management and Red Hat Insights. With Red Hat Smart Management, which combines both Red Hat Satellite with Red Hat Cloud Management Services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you can provision, patch, configure, and control your development, test, and production systems, regardless of where they are running.

Red Hat Insights delivers predictive operating system analytics that helps you automatically discover SAP instances in your environment, understand system health, and perform security assessments. With the recently introduced Red Hat Insights dashboard, customers can now even quicker identify security and configuration issues and get a resolution for their SAP HANA deployments on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

So, that’s 5 reasons why you should run your SAP HANA deployments on RHEL 8.2. If you need more, visit our 10 reasons to run SAP S/4HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux infographic to help you understand how Red Hat can help you modernize your SAP systems and build a foundation for digital transformation. 


About the authors

Don Pinto is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat focused on helping customers understand why Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an ideal operating system platform for modern application workloads. Pinto is passionate about data management and operating systems, having authored several technical blogs and white papers on various tech topics. Pinto holds a Masters degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Arne Arnold is an offering Product Manager for Red Hat's solutions targeting SAP. He focuses on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for SAP Solutions, SAP certifications, and product roadmaps for Red Hat Virtualization, Automation and High Availability solutions. He also works on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in context of SAP workloads.

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