Virtustream Blog

Advancing State-of-the-Art Architecture with SAP HANA on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

in SAP, Technology, xStream Talk

Every customer who selects Virtustream entrusts us to handle their most critical enterprise applications. Whether it be SAP, Guidewire, Oracle, or one of many others, our customers trust us to ensure that their mission-critical workloads run on an enterprise-class cloud, are managed by experienced professionals, are secure and are delivering against their service quality expectations. Unlike the deployment of many other applications and database platforms, we know deploying an SAP HANA production environment requires adherence to stringent hardware and software specifications to ensure optimal performance. These requirements, mixed with the fact that we deliver SAP HANA on a modern, multi-tenant cloud platform, create a challenge with unique and demanding complexity. Adding to this is our customers’ expectations that they will be operating on a fully SAP certified, performant, secure and durable platform that delivers compelling economics. At Virtustream, we accept this challenge.

Building a Resilient Architecture for SAP HANA

When designing infrastructure for enterprise applications, there are few designs as opinionated as those for SAP HANA systems. As mentioned previously, SAP HANA has highly prescriptive hardware and software requirements focused on achieving optimal performance, availability and durability for the services that SAP HANA databases provide. Meeting these requirements isn’t simple, but, by leveraging best of breed server and enterprise class storage systems from Dell EMC, Virtustream has been able to deliver SAP HANA on a Virtustream Enterprise Cloud platform that commits up to 99.999% infrastructure SLAs, while delivering strong, consistent performance results.

Virtustream was founded on the belief that large, critical ecosystems can be run in the cloud. We want enterprises to get the most out of their cloud solution, and are constantly innovating with our Dell Technologies partners to deliver advancements, such as running large SAP HANA systems on VMware vSphere or “bare metal” Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. Combined with Dell EMC VMAX all-flash storage arrays and our expertise in SAP Landscape management, we believe our platform is the best in the market for running mission-critical applications in the cloud.

But we don’t just want to say we are the best. We want to prove that we are the best by pushing our innovation even further and advancing the status quo for our customers – particularly when it comes to performance and cost. One of the key opportunities we see to advance our state-of-the-art architecture is with hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). We are committed to provide our customers a certified HCI cloud platform with enterprise-class architecture designed to run their SAP HANA production workloads.

SAP HANA on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Virtustream and our Dell Technologies partners, including VMware, have been quietly working together on building a new reference architecture that takes the stringent SAP HANA requirements and considers the “what if” questions around a tightly integrated hyper-converged infrastructure solution for large SAP HANA instances. This work has led to a hyper-converged prototype that has achieved SAP certification.

By incorporating HCI, we can simplify the stack and operations, enabling greater opportunity for enhancements in productivity and performance, in addition to aiding your economic concerns. HCI brings our customers a tightly integrated hardware and software infrastructure platform that enables more efficient operations, reduced fault domains and much simpler automation.    

Certifications are essential to ensure that SAP HANA performance requirements are consistently met. Additionally, SAP support for production and non-production workloads is extremely important for our customers’ success.

In keeping with our promise to support industry standards, this infrastructure stack focuses on the latest configurations from Virtustream, our Dell Technologies family, and our work with SAP.

The Configurations

There’s always someone who is interested in the exact architectures that Virtustream uses for our cloud, and we support that. Customers should strive to learn the ‘how’ and ‘why’ surrounding the inner-workings of Virtustream’s cloud. We believe that architecture matters, and are open to providing a transparent view into the specific components that were certified:

All of our work was based on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th Generation R940. The compute nodes feature all flash VSAN storage for capacity, and the back-end network leverages multiple discrete multi gigabit per second Ethernet interfaces for VSAN and customer workloads. This is the platform that Virtustream intends to support in our hyper-converged offering for SAP HANA and other large memory requirement workloads.

We Are Excited About the Results So Far

The certification is incredibly important, and we are excited about the results that we’ve observed in the performance, scalability and stability throughout the process. These certifications open the door for us to add these technologies to our Virtustream Cloud offering and will enable exciting new capabilities moving forward. Stay tuned for more information on how Virtustream focuses on architecture that matters in every aspect of how we plan, deploy and operate our infrastructure. We cannot wait to help our customers’ lower costs and increase their performance by leveraging this exciting new capability.