SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution planning guide

For large SAP HANA scale-up systems, Bare Metal Solution offers extra-large, SAP-certified bare-metal servers that have up to 24 TB of memory and 896 logical CPUs for SAP HANA scale-up systems.

Bare Metal Solution is a managed solution that provides purpose-built bare-metal machines and related infrastructure in regional extensions that are connected to Google Cloud by a managed, high-performance connection with a low-latency network fabric.

This guide covers only those aspects of Bare Metal Solution that are unique or relevant to running SAP HANA workloads in a Bare Metal Solution environment.

For information about running SAP HANA on Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs) on Google Cloud, see the SAP HANA Planning Guide.

For a full description of Bare Metal Solution, see Bare Metal Solution.

Your responsibilities in a Bare Metal Solution environment

As described in the Bare Metal Solution documentation, after the machines are configured and delivered to you, you assume responsibility for licensing, installation, and maintenance of any software, such as SAP HANA.

For more information about your responsibilities in the Bare Metal Solution environment, see Your responsibilities in a Bare Metal Solution environment.

Supported architectures

When running SAP HANA on a Bare Metal Solution server, you must use a three-tier architecture, in which SAP NetWeaver and the application servers run on different servers than SAP HANA.

SAP application servers that run on Google Cloud must be in the same region as the Bare Metal Solution regional extension where you run SAP HANA.

With SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution, you can use the following application server architectures:

  • An all-metal application architecture, in which all of your application servers run in the same Bare Metal Solution environment as SAP HANA. Consider an all-metal architecture if your workload requires a lower latency between SAP HANA and the application servers than the Partner Interconnect connection can provide.
  • A hybrid application architecture, in which SAP HANA runs in the Bare Metal Solution environment, but your SAP application servers run on Google Cloud. A hybrid architecture offers more flexibility and lower costs than an all-metal architecture.

The following diagram shows a hybrid application server architecture. The application servers run on Google Cloud, while SAP HANA runs on Bare Metal Solution. A disaster recovery site is deployed in a different regional extension. Asynchronous SAP HANA system replication passes through the Google Cloud network to reach the disaster recovery site.

Diagram shows a hybrid architecture, in which the SAP
application server is on Google Cloud and SAP HANA is in a
Bare Metal Solution regional extension.

The following diagram shows an all-metal application server architecture. At the primary site, both the application servers and SAP HANA run in the same Bare Metal Solution regional extension. The disaster recovery site is deployed in a different regional extension and also contains both the application servers and SAP HANA. The systems at the DR site can be used for other purposes until they are needed for recovery purposes. Asynchronous SAP HANA system replication passes through the Google Cloud network to reach the disaster recovery site.

Diagram shows an all-metal architecture, in which both the SAP
application server and SAP HANA are on Bare Metal Solution in the
regional extension.

Regional availability

The following table shows the current Google Cloud regions that support SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution.

Region Location
europe-west3 Frankfurt, Germany, Europe
europe-west4 Eemshaven, Netherlands, Europe
us-central1 Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA, North America
us-east4 Ashburn, Virginia, USA, North America
us-west2 Los Angeles, California, USA, North America

If you do not see the region that you need in the preceding table, contact Google Cloud Sales.

Certified machine types

The following table shows the Bare Metal Solution machines that are certified by SAP for SAP HANA.

Machines for SAP HANA are not available in all Bare Metal Solution regional extensions. To check the regional availability of Bare Metal Solution machines for SAP HANA, see Regional availability.

SAP lists the certified Bare Metal Solution machine types for SAP HANA in the SAP HANA Hardware Directory.

Machine types vCPU Memory (GB) Operating system CPU platform Notes
o2-ultramem-672-metal 672 Up to 18 TB RHEL, SUSE Intel Cascade Lake 12 sockets.
Scale up only in a three-tier architecture only.
OLTP workloads only,
Standard sizing.
o2-ultramem-896-metal 896 Up to 24 TB RHEL, SUSE Intel Cascade Lake 16 sockets.
Scale up in a three-tier architecture only.
OLTP workloads only,
Standard sizing.

Certified operating systems

The following table shows the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) operating systems that are certified by SAP for production use with SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution machine types.

Some operating system versions that are certified for SAP HANA are not yet available to order from Google Cloud for Bare Metal Solution. If you need an operating system that is not yet available, let us know by contacting Google Cloud Sales.

To check availability, see Operating systems in the Bare Metal Solution documentation.

The table lists only certified operating system versions that are in mainstream support.

Operating system Version
RHEL for SAP 7.6
7.7
8.1
SLES for SAP 12 SP4
12 SP5
15
15 SP1
15 SP2

Storage

This section explains your storage options for SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution, such as ordering, volume layout, and performance.

Logical volume layout for SAP HANA

When you take control of your Bare Metal Solution machines, you need to configure the logical volume layout for SAP HANA so that it is consistent with the storage layout that SAP certified.

Generally, the procedure is the same as it would be in an on-premises environment and depends on the operating system you use.

For step-by-step support for configuring your storage layout, work with the Google Cloud representative that helps you provision your Bare Metal Solution environment.

For more information about configuring your storage, see Configuring your storage.

Block storage for SBD fencing in high-availability clusters

If you set up a Linux high-availability cluster with SBD fencing, Google Cloud provisions three shared LUNS for the fencing mechanism that in total use about 150 GB of your block storage.

Ordering storage

Unlike other Bare Metal Solution machine types, you order attached block storage for SAP HANA in increments of 48 TB. 48 TB is the minimum required amount.

When calculating the amount of storage you need, include storage for backups and snapshots of your SAP HANA data.

Storage performance

The storage that Google Cloud provides for use with SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution servers meets or exceeds the SAP HANA performance requirements. You can expect throughput of up to 3.5 GB per second.

Backups

You have a variety of backup options for your SAP systems in a Bare Metal Solution environment.

SAP HANA backups

Use Cloud Storage for persistent storage of your SAP HANA backups.

You can use the following backup solutions in the Bare Metal Solution environment:

  • Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA to send backups directly to Cloud Storage.
  • Any third-party backup solutions that are supported by SAP.

Because transferring backups between Bare Metal Solution and Cloud Storage consumes a lot of bandwidth on your connection to Google Cloud, schedule backups to Google Cloud during off-peak hours and use delta backups when possible.

If your backup solution has a throttling mechanism, you can decrease the send rate (throughput) of your backups. Decreasing the throughput reduces the amount of bandwidth that the backup consumes, but increases the amount of time that is needed to complete the backup.

The Backint agent includes a throttling mechanism.

Backint agent

If you use Backint agent, you need to set up Private Google Access for on-premises hosts, or use of NAT gateways/proxies. For more information, see Setting up access to Google Cloud APIs and services.

In a Bare Metal Solution environment, the Backint agent requires a service account key to access Cloud Storage. For more information, see Service account options for the Backint agent.

Snapshots

With Bare Metal Solution, you can request local disk snapshots of your Bare Metal Solution servers.

Snapshots are local copies only and multi-regional replication is not supported.

By default, Bare Metal Solution takes daily snapshots of the boot disk and operating system LUN at no cost. The daily snapshots are retained for seven days.

You can order snapshots of your data volumes, but you need to request them when you order your Bare Metal Solution servers. You must also order extra storage to store the snapshots of the data volumes.

Networking

The networking infrastructure and setup for an SAP deployment is basically the same as it is for other workloads on Bare Metal Solution. This section covers only those aspects of networking that are unique or relevant to an SAP HANA deployment on Bare Metal Solution.

Enabling your Cloud Interconnect connection and configuring access to the internet and to the Google Cloud APIs are covered in the Bare Metal Solution documentation.

For more information, see Bare Metal Solution networking.

Bandwidth requirements

When planning for SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution, you need to determine your bandwidth requirements for the Cloud Interconnect connection between your bare metal servers and the Google Cloud network.

When sizing your bandwidth requirements, size for your peak throughput. Consider all of your systems that need to use the Cloud Interconnect connection. This includes all network traffic to the internet, which first passes through the Google Cloud network.

Each active SAP HANA instance needs approximately 10 Gbps of bandwidth. If you have two active SAP HANA instances running independently, you need approximately 20 Gbps. A high-availability cluster with only one active SAP HANA instance counts as a single active instance.

Your application server architecture affects the amount of bandwidth you need.

If you use an all-metal architecture, where your application servers run on Bare Metal Solution with SAP HANA, your backups and integrations with Google Cloud services are your primary considerations when estimating bandwidth requirements.

If you are using a hybrid architecture, in addition to your backups and service integrations, you also need to account for the communication between SAP HANA and the application servers on Google Cloud.

Network interfaces

Google Cloud provisions your Bare Metal Solution machines for SAP HANA with multiple hardware network interfaces that are bonded together by using bonding mode 4 (also known as 802.3ad LACP) to create a redundant, load-balanced configuration.

The bonds provide the following virtual LANs, each configured with a static IP address range:

  • Public network (bond0), which is accessible within the BMS deployment environment and your Google Cloud project.
  • Private network (bond1), which is accessible only within the BMS deployment environment.
  • Heartbeat network (bond2), which is accessible only within the BMS deployment environment for high-availability configurations.

To view your active network interface configuration, you can use the following commands after you SSH into your Bare Metal Solution server:

$ sudo ip a

You can view your bonded interfaces for a specific bond via the command:

$ sudo cat /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-bond0

Similarly, you can view the configuration of a virtual LAN associated with a bond via the command:

$ sudo cat /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-bond0.VLAN-ID

Where VLAN-ID is the number associated with your allocated VLAN in the output if the ip a command.

DNS

You are responsible for setting up your own domain name system (DNS) server in your Bare Metal Solution environment.

NTP

You are responsible for setting up access to a network time protocol (NTP) server for your Bare Metal Solution servers to synchronize time across your SAP landscape.

Time synchronization is especially important for hybrid architectures in which the SAP HANA instance runs on Bare Metal Solution and the application servers run on Google Cloud.

You can use the Google Cloud NTP server or you can use an NTP server of your choosing.

The steps for configuring access to the Google Cloud NTP server for Bare Metal Solution machines are similar to those for Compute Engine, but you need to set up private access to the Google Cloud APIs first.

For the Compute Engine procedure for setting up access to the Google Cloud NTP server, see Set up network time protocol (NTP) for instances.

IAM service accounts

Before an application that runs on a Bare Metal Solution machine can access Google Cloud products or services, you need to create an Identity and Access Management (IAM) service account in your Google Cloud project for authentication and access management.

When you create the service account, you create a key for authentication and you grant roles to the service account to manage access to Google Cloud resources.

If you use any of the following agents in the Bare Metal Solution environment, you need to create a service account:

You store the service account key on your Bare Metal Solution machine and specify the path to the key when you configure the agent.

Each of the preceding agents requires access to different Google Cloud resources, so needs different IAM permissions. For the highest security and most granular control, create a separate service account for each agent.

For more information about authenticating applications and managing their access to Google Cloud resources, see the information about service accounts, roles, and permissions in IAM overview.

Monitoring

As a new offering, the Bare Metal Solution servers are not yet fully integrated into the Google Cloud Console.

You can monitor the use of Bare Metal Solution resources by SAP HANA by installing the Google Cloud monitoring agent for SAP HANA.

For more information, see the Monitoring agent for SAP HANA planning guide.

Maintenance

Google Cloud coordinates the scheduling of planned maintenance on your Bare Metal Solution machines with you and does not proceed without your approval.

If any unplanned maintenance is urgently required, Google Cloud notifies you as soon as reasonably possible to avoid or minimize any disruption to your SAP applications.

High availability

Google Cloud highly recommends that you deploy SAP HANA in a high-availability cluster when you run SAP HANA on the Bare Metal Solution memory-optimized machines.

For a high-availability cluster on Bare Metal Solution, you use two identical machines in the same Bare Metal Solution regional extension, synchronous SAP HANA system replication, and a cluster resource manager.

Google Cloud recommends Pacemaker clustering, which is provided by your Linux OS distributor.

High-availability cluster configuration for SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution

With the following requirements and recommendations, use the instructions for configuring Linux Pacemaker that are provided by the distributor of your Linux operating system to configure high-availability clusters on Bare Metal Solution machines:

  • For the floating virtual IP address, you can use the standard Pacemaker IPaddr2 cluster resource, which uses address resolution updates in combination with Bare Metal Solution networking.
  • For the required fencing device, you have two options in the Bare Metal Solution environment, both of which are included with your Linux operating system: SBD with shared storage or, in later distributions of RHEL and SUSE, the fence_gce agent.

    Google Cloud recommends SBD fencing, but Bare Metal Solution requires a software-based watchdog with SBD, which isn't supported by all operating systems. Bare Metal Solution supports the following fencing device and operating system combinations:

    • SLES and either SBD or fence_gce
    • RHEL with fence_gce only
  • For isolation and resilience, SAP HANA high-availability configurations on Bare Metal Solution do not use shared storage volumes. Instead, they use SAP HANA System Replication for synchronization of data between servers in both high-availability and disaster-recovery configurations. Configure SAP HANA System Replication according to the SAP HANA documentation and the recommendations of your OS vendor.

Fencing with SBD and shared block storage

For fencing in high-availability clusters for SAP HANA in Bare Metal Solution, Google Cloud recommends using SBD with shared block storage for communication.

Software watchdog requirement for SBD fencing

Currently, Bare Metal Solution requires SBD fencing mechanisms to use a software-based watchdog.

Not all operating systems support a software-based watchdog in cloud environments.

For example, Red Hat does not support a software watchdog in cloud environments. For more information, see Support Policies for RHEL High Availability Clusters - sbd and fence_sbd.

SUSE supports a software-based watchdog (softdog) with SBD fencing. For more information, see the SUSE documentation for your version of SLES. For example, for SLES 15 SP3, see Using the Software Watchdog (softdog).

Request shared block storage for SBD fencing when you place your Bare Metal Solution order

To ensure that your shared block storage is properly configured to support SBD fencing, inform your Google Cloud sales representative when you place your order for Bare Metal Solution servers, that you intend to configure a high-availability cluster with SBD fencing. When your servers are provisioned, three 50 GB volumes are added for the SBD message exchange between the servers. These volumes are used exclusively by the SBD service.

Configuration instructions for SBD fencing

To configure an SBD fencing mechanism, follow the configuration guide provided by your operating system vendor.

Google Cloud provides guidance only for identifying and validating the storage devices that are required for SBD fencing. For more information, see Validate the block storage devices for SBD fencing.

Fencing with the fence_gce agent

Your RHEL or SLES operating system includes the fence_gce agent, which you can use if your operating system does not support a software-based watchdog with SBD fencing.

If your operating system supports a software watchdog with SBD fencing, use SBD fencing instead of the fence_gce agent. SBD fencing is recommended for SAP HANA HA clusters in Bare Metal Solution environment.

IAM permissions that are required by the fence_gce agent

When the fence_gce fencing agent initiates a failover, the agent calls the Bare Metal Solution API to reset the failed Bare Metal Solution server.

For authentication and authorization when the agent accesses the API, you need to provide an IAM service account for the agent in your Google Cloud project and you need to store the key for the service account on the Bare Metal Solution server.

The service account must include the baremetalsolution.service.resetInstance permission, which is included in the predefined IAM roles roles/baremetalsolution.editor and roles/baremetalsolution.admin.

For more information about the Bare Metal Solution API and its associated IAM roles, see the Bare Metal Solution API reference.

Configuring the fence_gce agent

You enable and configure the fence_gce agent when you define the resources for a high-availability cluster.

For more information about configuring the fence_gce agent, including how to confirm that your agent supports Bare Metal Solution, see Configure the fence_gce agent.

Non-shared LUN requirement

Except when SBD fencing is used, high-availability configurations for SAP HANA on Bare Metal Solution servers need to use a non-shared LUNs approach for the primary storage for SAP HANA (/hana/data, /hana/log, and /hana/shared), because LUNs are dedicated to a particular host.

When you use SBD fencing, three 50 GB LUNs are shared between the two servers.

Disaster recovery

A disaster recovery setup for an SAP HANA system that is running in the Bare Metal Solution environment requires two Bare Metal Solution server configurations, each in a different Bare Metal Solution regional extension that supports the memory-optimized servers for SAP HANA.

You keep the backup SAP HANA system at the recovery site in sync with the active system by using asynchronous SAP HANA system replication.

Test your disaster recovery readiness regularly.

For system refreshes, use a backup and restore method. Snapshots are not supported.

You can use the backup machine in a cost-optimized configuration if you request enough storage to accommodate another SAP HANA instance on the host.

Selecting a recovery site

The availability of a Bare Metal Solution regional extension that supports SAP HANA might affect not only the location that you select for your disaster recovery site, but the location you select for your primary site, as well.

Select a Google Cloud region for your recovery site that:

  • Includes a Bare Metal Solution regional extension that supports SAP HANA.
  • Is as close to the primary site as possible.
  • Is different from the region of the primary site.

For the availability of Bare Metal Solution regional extensions, see Regional availability.

Disaster recovery solutions

Bare Metal Solution supports database log shipping and SAP HANA asynchronous system replication for SAP disaster recovery solutions.

Ordering

Because of their specialized purpose and size, Bare Metal Solution servers for SAP HANA are special order items that must be ordered well before you need them.

Unlike Compute Engine virtual machines, the Bare Metal Solution servers for SAP HANA cannot be ordered or provisioned through the Google Cloud Console. You need to contact Google Cloud Sales.

Preparing to order

Before you place your order, you need to determine the requirements of your SAP workload for the Bare Metal Solution environment. The Google Cloud Sales representative that takes your order can help you do this.

The main SAP requirements that you need to determine are:

  • The version of SAP HANA that you need to run. The Bare Metal Solution machines might require a different configuration depending on the version.
  • The size of the Bare Metal Solution machines that you need for SAP HANA.
  • The capacity and bandwidth that your workload requires on the Cloud Interconnect connection to Google Cloud.
  • The amount of extra storage you need, if any.

Receiving your order

When your servers are ready, Google Cloud notifies you. The notification includes the IP address and credentials that you need to SSH into the servers and log on.

The servers are configured both to your order specifications and to SAP certification requirements, including:

  • The operating system that you requested is installed and configured with the recommended settings for SAP HANA.
  • The network configurations are ready for use with SAP HANA.

As soon as you log on, confirm that your order is correct and that everything, including the machine, operating system, and storage, is configured correctly. If everything is correct, you can install SAP HANA.

For more information about ordering a Bare Metal Solution server for SAP HANA, contact Google Cloud Sales.

For additional networking information that your order will require, see Required networking information for your Bare Metal Solution order.

Support

For issues with Bare Metal Solution infrastructure or services, contact Customer Care. You can find contact information on the Support Overview page in the Google Cloud Console. If Customer Care determines that a problem resides in your SAP systems, you are referred to SAP Support.

For SAP product-related issues, log your support request with SAP support. SAP evaluates the support ticket and, if it appears to be a Bare Metal Solution infrastructure issue, transfers the ticket to the Google Cloud component BC-OP-LNX-GOOGLE or BC-OP-NT-GOOGLE.

Support requirements

Before you can receive support for SAP systems and the Bare Metal Solution infrastructure and services that they use, you must meet the minimum support plan requirements.

For more information about the minimum support requirements for SAP on Google Cloud, see:

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