Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Power for SAP HANA


Organizations are increasingly deploying data-intensive, real-time workloads on SAP® HANA®. These workloads require a robust, multisocket server architecture with scale-out and scale-up capabilities. In addition, IT platforms running SAP HANA should offer the flexibility to meet both current and future needs — with options to run multiple and mixed workloads, expand system capacity, and deploy SAP HANA in on-premise, cloud, or hybrid environments

An integrated solution from IBM, SAP, and Red Hat offers a comprehensive hardware and software foundation for SAP HANA workloads. IBM Power® Systems are specifically designed to deliver necessary hardware flexibility, resilience, and high performance. SAP HANA on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® for SAP Solutions for Power, LE combines IBM’s advanced server capabilities with the leading enterprise Linux operating system to help organizations take full advantage of their SAP HANA investment. 


Red Hat and IBM have partnered with each other and SAP for more than 15 years, creating integrated, proven solutions for enterprises through intensive co-engineering efforts. Together, Red Hat and IBM offer greater flexibility for enterprises to use multiple architectures—including IBM Power Systems—within their datacenters to establish a single, consistent operating system to run big data SAP workloads. 


SAP customers use applications running on SAP HANA to gain real-time insights and faster business results. Performance is critical. 

Designed specifically for big data workloads, IBM Power Systems feature simultaneous multithreading to execute more threads per core than x86-based servers and handle more instructions per clock cycle.1 Even when a server is nearing capacity, IBM guarantees system performance at a sustained 80% use level for IBM Power Systems. 

The connection between the operating system and the server platform is key to achieving high performance. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE includes automatic non-uniform memory access (NUMA) balancing. In addition, Red Hat’s platform includes SAP-specific tuning profiles to help users maximize performance of their SAP systems.


Increasing the density of your SAP HANA deployment maximizes your investment and reduces management time and costs. SAP supports the virtualization of up to eight production SAP HANA workloads on a single IBM Power Systems server using IBM PowerVM. IBM PowerVM can also be used to scale a virtualized SAP HANA workload deployed on IBM Power Systems up to 16TB. In addition, running SAP HANA workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE further increases consolidation to help you maximize your SAP and IBM investments. 

IBM Power Systems uses an on-demand capacity model to let customers easily add SAP HANA cores and memory without requiring configuration recertification by SAP. As a result, organizations experiencing growing demand for SAP HANA resources can add them faster. 


To further take advantage of server capacity, enterprise IT teams can use a shared pool on IBM Power Systems to run nonproduction workloads, including other Linux workloads. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE supports running all of these workloads—as well as additional, non-SAP workloads—within a single operating system environment. 

As a result, SAP HANA workloads, other SAP workloads—such as those supporting SAP business applications, development and testing, and quality assurance—and third-party application workloads can be run side-by-side on a unified, consistent software foundation. In addition, memory-intensive workloads can be run alongside workloads that are input/output (I/O)-intensive—all on a single platform. 

This support for mixed workloads provides maximum flexibility. Resources can be allocated and reallocated to support short- and long-term demand, as well as shifts in demand. For example, running mixed workloads also helps SAP users transition to SAP S/4HANA by supporting necessary conversions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE offers a consistent experience and platform to help organizations migrate to SAP S/4HANA at their own pace. 


SAP customers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE experience the same architecture regardless of deployment environment—whether on-premise, in the cloud, or using a hybrid approach. 

Logical partitions (LPARs) support a multisystem environment to ensure workloads are isolated when running on a single server. This capability helps managed service providers (MSPs) support their customers, while many other organizations can use this multitenancy feature to support multiple divisions, regions, or business units.


Organizations use SAP HANA for critical applications that cannot experience downtime. Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on IBM Power Systems—hardware designed to mitigate risk—offers the highest availability among major server and operating system platforms.

IBM PowerVM running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE supports seamless system transfer of SAP HANA workloads using live partition mobility. With this capability, processor state, memory, attached virtual devices, and connected users can be transferred as needed without disruption.

In addition, built-in resiliency and full application binary interface (ABI) compatibility lets SAP HANA run any software that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux seamlessly on IBM Power Systems and IBM PowerVM. 


The integrated Red Hat and IBM solution also provides memory resiliency for greater reliability. SAP HANA relies on in-memory processing, with extreme demands on memory management, I/O, and other system resources. IBM Power Systems are engineered by default so that even if up to three memory chips fail, data held in memory will not be corrupted. 

In addition, the large memory footprint of IBM Power Systems supports faster execution of SAP HANA in-memory workloads. A single scale-up IBM Power Systems server can support up to 32TB of memory. Higher memory bandwidth provides fast data access to the central processing unit (CPU). Large processor caches keep data close to the CPU, where it is needed for better performance. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE offers efficient and balanced memory management algorithms, making it an ideal operating system for memory-intensive applications. Its inmemory processing capabilities let it act as an intermediary between hardware and applications—a critical necessity for in-memory platforms like SAP HANA. For example, when hardware indicates that a sector is no longer available, a virtual map of memory is dynamically updated by the operating system. Processes are moved out of faulty memory and placed into working memory, offering a seamless application experience. 


Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE can be deployed using the SAP HANA tailored datacenter integration (TDI) approach. This approach supports reuse of IT resources—such as server, storage, and networking assets—to offer more technology options than the preconfigured hardware appliances for SAP HANA. IT teams can reuse familiar components, reducing deployment and management time. 

Running SAP HANA workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE can also reduce management costs by improving consolidation and cutting overhead expenses. By consolidating SAP HANA workloads onto fewer physical systems and creating virtual footprints as failover targets, users can scale up production systems as needed. This approach offers greater efficiency than running idle spare nodes on traditional, scale-out architectures.

By increasing agility and staff productivity across multiple SAP HANA systems, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE helps organizations free resources for strategic projects. 


To support these enterprise deployments, Red Hat, IBM, and SAP offer customers joint support. The companies work closely to identify and resolve issues with a single call from the customer. 

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE, Red Hat also provides optimizations for SAP HANA running on IBM Power Systems, integration with Red Hat Satellite, and proactive issue identification and remediation via Red Hat Insights


Running SAP HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions for Power, LE offers a powerful, consistent platform for enterprises to run all of their applications and take advantage of both scale-up and scale-out configurations on a single server. Together, this solution—based on leading enterprise software and hardware—offers resilience for critical workloads and flexibility to help organizations make the most of their infrastructure investments. 

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IBM Power Systems are servers designed for mission-critical applications and emerging Cognitive Era workloads, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, advanced analytics, and high-performance computing. Designed to deliver efficiency whether deployed in a private, public, or hybrid cloud, Power Systems benefit from a wide range of open technologies, many stemming from collaboration with fellow OpenPOWER Foundation members. 


As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device, SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 365,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

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