Top reasons to run SAP solutions on Red Hat and IBM infrastructure

Deploy a comprehensive foundation for SAP workloads

As part of greater digital transformation initiatives, many organizations are deploying data- intensive, real-time workloads on SAP® HANA®. To be effective, these workloads require robust, scalable multisocket server architecture. These IT platforms must also provide the flexibility to run multiple, mixed workloads, expand system capacity, and deploy SAP HANA in on-site, cloud, and hybrid environments.

Together, IBM, Red Hat, and SAP offer a complete hardware and software foundation for SAP HANA workloads. Based on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® for SAP Solutions and IBM Power® servers, this integrated solution delivers the flexibility, resilience, and performance SAP HANA requires.1

Achieve enterprise-grade performance

SAP HANA applications can deliver rapid, efficient insight. Your underlying operating system and hardware platforms can greatly impact the performance of your analytical workloads. To support demanding applications, IBM Power servers feature simultaneous multithreading, allowing them to execute more threads per core and more instructions per clock cycle than x86-based servers. IBM’s built-in virtualization hypervisor — IBM PowerVM® — isolates workloads running on the same server for improved performance. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions adds automatic non-uniform memory access (NUMA) capabilities and SAP-specific performance tuning to deliver unrivaled speed to insight for users.2

Increase server density and capacity

Depending on the stage of your organization’s digital transformation journey, cost reduction may be a top priority. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM Power servers provide high server density and scalability, allowing you to process large volumes of data using fewer processor cores and run SAP workloads at a significantly lower cost. With IBM Power10 processors and IBM PowerVM, Power servers can host up to 16 production SAP HANA databases on a single server.3 You can granularly allocate memory and cores across SAP HANA instances to meet precise capacity needs. Support for shared processor pools lets you dynamically distribute compute capacity across SAP environments, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). On-demand workload scaling allows you to quickly and easily add more cores and memory to SAP HANA workloads — without configuration recertification by SAP.

Enhance memory performance and protection

SAP HANA relies heavily on in-memory data processing, placing extreme demands on memory management, input/output (I/O), and other system resources. This solution provides high memory resilience, so you can reliably meet these demands. IBM Power servers deliver enhanced reliability, availability, and serviceability to keep SAP HANA environments up and running at all times. Additionally, a single scale-up server can support up to 64TB of physical memory.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions offers efficient, reliable, and balanced memory-management algorithms to support critical memory-intensive workloads. If faulty memory is detected, the operating system dynamically updates the virtual memory map to mark faulty regions and seamlessly move processes to healthy regions. Page cache management limits swapping to more efficiently handle memory pressure scenarios with large datasets.

Improve availability, security, and reliability

Downtime — even for patching system vulnerabilities or deploying regular upgrades — is unacceptable for critical business applications. Red Hat and IBM help you improve reliability, availability, and security for your SAP environment. IBM Power offers the highest reliability rating among major mainstream server products.4 Red Hat also provides a set of recommendations that allows customers to run their SAP workloads in an environment with greater security controls while maintaining very granular control of the processes that keep performance levels at an optimal level. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides in-place upgrade capabilities and live patching for important and critical Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), allowing most stability and security issues in the Linux kernel to be fixed while the system is still running. This eliminates the need to reboot servers, increasing availability and business continuity. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions also includes the Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability Add-On and specifically built and SAP-certified Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability solutions for SAP, helping to further enhance the reliability of SAP applications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions also includes Red Hat Smart Management and Red Hat Insights to help you more easily keep your environment up-to-date and in compliance with security and regulatory policies. Red Hat Insights provides predictive operating system analytics for rapid identification and remediation of threats to availability, security, stability, and performance. SAP-specific rules help you optimize your operating environment to support business transactions and big data initiatives. Red Hat Smart Management helps you more effectively manage and update large Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments.

Furthermore, Red Hat and IBM simplify workload migration to new hardware architectures. Built-in resilience and application binary interface (ABI) compatibility allows existing SAP workloads running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and older IBM Power servers to run without change on newer IBM Power10-based servers. You can seamlessly migrate workloads to Power10-based servers using the live partition mobility capabilities in IBM PowerVM. Processor state, memory, attached virtual devices, and connected users are transferred to the new systems without service disruption.

Maximize flexibility

Organizations need to run a variety of applications at different times to meet changing business needs. This flexible solution allows you to run both SAP and non-SAP applications — including transactional, analytical, memory-intensive, and I/O-intensive workloads — on a single platform. You can also run legacy SAP applications alongside SAP S/4HANA® workloads and migrate at your own pace. Flexible resource allocation lets you support short-term, long-term, and shifting demand. And consistency across on-site, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure delivers reliable customer experiences, regardless of where workloads are deployed.

To provide clients more flexibility and computing power, including those in highly regulated industries, IBM is making the same cloud-based computing power that is underpinning its own migration available to clients. For clients who run RISE with SAP on IBM Cloud, an expansion of the premium supplier option provides an additional choice to run workloads on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud.

SAP HANA deployments require superior performance, maximum availability, and increased security

Together, IBM, Red Hat, and SAP offer a complete hardware and software foundation that combines advanced server capabilities with the leading enterprise Linux operating system to maximize SAP HANA performance and efficiency

Access expert multivendor support

Issues in your SAP environment can cause costly downtime. IBM, Red Hat, and SAP have long-standing alliances that incorporate collaboration and co-engineering to deliver integrated, proven solutions and support for enterprise organizations. The three companies work together to quickly identify and resolve issues with a single support call.

Learn more

IBM, Red Hat, and SAP deliver a powerful, consistent platform that boosts business agility and IT efficiency. With enhanced performance, security, availability, and reliability, this certified solution  provides a robust foundation for critical SAP workloads, allowing you to make the most of your infrastructure investments.

  1. Learn more about SAP HANA performance requirements in SAP Note #2235581.

  2. Learn more about performance tuning in SAP Note #2777782.

  3. Learn more about server densities in SAP Note #2230704.

  4. ITIC, “ITIC 2021 Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability Report”, June/July 2021

About IBM Power Systems

IBM Power Systems are designed for critical applications and emerging cognitive era workloads, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, advanced analytics, and high performance computing. These servers deliver efficiency across private, public, and hybrid cloud environments and benefit from a wide range of open technologies, many of which stem from collaboration with fellow OpenPOWER Foundation members. Learn more about running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems at