SAP HANA operations guide

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This guide provides instructions for operating SAP HANA systems deployed on Google Cloud by following the SAP HANA on Google Cloud deployment guide. Note that this guide is not intended to replace any of the standard SAP documentation.

Administering an SAP HANA system on Google Cloud

This section shows how to perform administrative tasks typically required to operate an SAP HANA system, including information about starting, stopping, and cloning systems.

Starting and stopping instances

You can stop one or multiple SAP HANA hosts at any time; stopping an instance shuts down the instance. If the shutdown doesn't complete within 2 minutes, the instance is forced to halt. As a best practice, you should first stop SAP HANA running on the instance before you stop the instance.

Stopping a VM

Stopping a virtual machine (VM) instance causes Compute Engine to send the ACPI power-off signal to the instance. You are not billed for the Compute Engine instance after the instance is stopped. If you have persistent disks attached to the instance, the disks are not deleted and you will be charged for them.

If the data on the persistent disk is important, you can either keep the disk or create a snapshot of the persistent disk and delete the disk to save on costs. You can create another disk from the snapshot when you need the data again.

To stop an instance:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page.

    Go to VM Instances page

  2. Select one or more instances that you want to stop.

  3. At the top of the VM instances page, click STOP.

For more information, see Stopping an instance.

Restarting a VM

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page.

    Go to VM Instances page

  2. Select the instances that you want to restart.

  3. At the top right-hand of the page, click START to restart the instances.

For more information, see Restarting an instance.

Modifying a VM

You can change various attributes of a VM, including the VM type, after the VM is deployed. Some changes might require you to restore your SAP system from backups, while others only require you to restart the VM.

For more information, see Modifying VM configurations for SAP systems.

Creating a snapshot of SAP HANA

To generate a point-in-time backup of your persistent disk, you can create a snapshot. Compute Engine redundantly stores multiple copies of each snapshot across multiple locations with automatic checksums to ensure the integrity of your data.

To create a snapshot, follow the Compute Engine instructions for creating snapshots. Pay careful attention to the preparation steps before creating a consistent snapshot, such as flushing the disk buffers to disk, to make sure that the snapshot is consistent.

Snapshots are useful for the following use cases:

Use case Details
Provide an easy, software-independent, and cost-effective data backup solution. Backup your data, log, backup and shared disks with snapshots. Schedule a daily backup of these disks for point in time backups of your entire dataset. After the first snapshot, only the incremental block changes are stored in subsequent snapshots. This helps save costs.
Migrate to a different storage type. Compute Engine offers different types of persistent disks, including types backed by standard (magnetic) storage and types backed by solid-state drive storage (SSD-based persistent disks). Each has different cost and performance characteristics. For example, use a standard type for your backup volume and use an SSD-based type for the /hana/log and /hana/data volumes, because they require higher performance. To migrate between storage types, use the volume snapshot, then create a new volume using the snapshot and select a different storage type.
Migrate SAP HANA to another region or zone. Use snapshots to move your SAP HANA system from one zone to another zone in the same region or even to another region. Snapshots can be used globally within Google Cloud to create disks in another zone or region. To move to another region or zone, create a snapshot of your disks including the root disk, and then create the virtual machines in your desired zone or region with disks created from those snapshots.

Cloning your SAP HANA system

You can create snapshots of an existing SAP HANA system on Google Cloud to create an exact clone of the system.

To clone a single-host SAP HANA system:

  1. Create a snapshot of your data and backup disks.

  2. Create new disks using the snapshots.

  3. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page.

    Go to VM Instances page

  4. Click the instance to clone to open the instance detail page, and then click Clone.

  5. Attach the disks that were created from the snapshots.

To clone a multi-host SAP HANA system:

  1. Provision a new SAP HANA system with the same configuration as the SAP HANA system you want to clone.

  2. Perform a data backup of the original system.

  3. Restore the backup of the original system into the new system.

Installing and updating the gcloud CLI

After a VM is deployed for SAP HANA and the operating system is installed, an up-to-date Google Cloud CLI is required for various purposes, such as transferring files to and from Cloud Storage, interacting with network services, and so forth.

If you follow the instructions in the SAP HANA deployment guide, the gcloud CLI is installed automatically for you.

However, if you bring your own operating system to Google Cloud as a custom image or you are using an older public image provided by Google Cloud, you might need to install or update the gcloud CLI yourself.

To check if the gcloud CLI is installed and whether updates are available, open a terminal or command prompt and enter:

 gcloud version

If the command is not recognized, the gcloud CLI is not installed.

To install the gcloud CLI, follow the instructions in Installing the gcloud CLI.

To replace version 140 or earlier of the SLES-integrated gcloud CLI:

  1. Log into the VM by using ssh.

  2. Switch to the super user:

     sudo su
  3. Enter the following commands:

     bash <(curl -s --disable-prompts --install-dir=/usr/local
     update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gsutil gsutil /usr/local/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gsutil 1 --force
     update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcloud gcloud /usr/local/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud 1 --force
     gcloud --quiet compute instances list

Setting up your SAP support channel with SAProuter

If you need to allow an SAP support engineer to access your SAP HANA systems on Google Cloud, you can do so using SAProuter. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Compute Engine VM instance that the SAProuter software will be installed on, and assign an external IP address so the instance has internet access.

  2. Create a new, static external IP address and then assign this IP address to the instance.

  3. Create and configure a specific SAProuter firewall rule in your network. In this rule, allow only the required inbound and outbound access to the SAP support network, for the SAProuter instance.

    Limit the inbound and outbound access to a specific IP address that SAP provides for you to connect to, along with TCP port 3299. Add a target tag to your firewall rule and enter your instance name. This ensures that the firewall rule applies only to the new instance. See the firewall rules documentation for additional details about creating and configuring firewall rules.

  4. Install the SAProuter software, following SAP Note 1628296, and create a saprouttab file that allows access from SAP to your SAP HANA systems on Google Cloud.

  5. Set up the connection with SAP. For your internet connection, use Secure Network Communication. For more information, see SAP Remote Support – Help.

Configuring your network

You are provisioning your SAP HANA system by using VMs with the Google Cloud virtual network. Google Cloud uses state-of-the-art, software-defined networking and distributed-systems technologies to host and deliver your services around the world.

For SAP HANA, create a non-default subnet network with non-overlapping CIDR IP address ranges for each subnetwork in the network. Note that each subnetwork and its internal IP address ranges are mapped to a single region.

A subnetwork spans all of the zones in the region where it is created. However, when you create a VM instance, you specify a zone and a subnetwork for the VM. For example, you can create one set of instances in subnetwork1 and in zone1 of region1 and another set of instances in subnetwork2 and in zone2 of region1, depending on your needs.

A new network has no firewall rules and hence no network access. You should create firewall rules that open access to your SAP HANA instances based on a minimum privilege model. The firewall rules apply to the entire network and can also be configured to apply to specific target instances by using the tagging mechanism.

Routes are global, not regional, resources that are attached to a single network. User-created routes apply to all instances in a network. This means you can add a route that forwards traffic from instance to instance within the same network, even across subnetworks, without requiring external IP addresses.

For your SAP HANA instance, launch the instance with no external IP address and configure another VM as a NAT gateway for external access. This configuration requires you to add your NAT gateway as a route for your SAP HANA instance. This procedure is described in the deployment guide.


The following sections discuss security operations.

Minimum privilege model

Your first line of defense is to restrict who can reach the instance by using firewalls. By creating firewall rules, you can restrict all traffic to a network or target machines on a given set of ports to specific source IP addresses. You should follow the minimum-privilege model to restrict access to the specific IP addresses, protocols, and ports that need access. For example, you should always set up a bastion host, and allow SSH into your SAP HANA system only from that host.

Configuration changes

You should configure your SAP HANA system and the operating system with recommended security settings. For example, make sure that only relevant network ports are listed to allow access, harden the operating system you are running SAP HANA, and so on.

Refer to the following SAP notes (SAP user account required):

Disabling unneeded SAP HANA Services

If you do not require SAP HANA Extended Application Services (SAP HANA XS), disable the service. Refer to SAP note 1697613: Removing the SAP HANA XS Classic Engine service from the topology.

After the service has been disabled, remove all the TCP ports that were opened for the service. In Google Cloud, this means editing your firewall rules for your network to remove these ports from the access list.

Audit logging

Cloud Audit Logs consists of two log streams, admin activity and data access, both of which are automatically generated by Google Cloud. These can help you answer the questions, "Who did what, where, and when?" in your Google Cloud project.

Admin activity logs contain log entries for API calls or administrative actions that modify the configuration or metadata of a service or project. This log is always enabled and is visible by all project members.

Data access logs contain log entries for API calls that create, modify, or read user-provided data managed by a service, such as data stored in a database service. This type of logging is enabled by default in your project and is accessible to you through Cloud Logging, or through your activity feed.

Securing a Cloud Storage bucket

If you use Cloud Storage to host your backups for your data and log, make sure you use TLS (HTTPS) while sending data to Cloud Storage from your instances to protect data in transit. Cloud Storage automatically encrypts data at rest. You can specify your own encryption keys if you have your own key-management system.

Refer to the following additional security resources for your SAP HANA environment on Google Cloud:

High availability for SAP HANA on Google Cloud

Google Cloud provides a variety of options for ensuring high availability for your SAP HANA system, including the Compute Engine live migration and automatic restart features. These features, along with the high monthly uptime percentage of Compute Engine VMs, might make paying for and maintaining standby systems unnecessary.

However, if required, you can deploy a multi-host scale-out system that includes standby hosts for SAP HANA Host Auto-failover, or you can deploy a scale-up system with a standby SAP HANA instance in a high-availability Linux cluster.

For more information about the high availability options for SAP HANA on Google Cloud, see the SAP HANA high-availability planning guide.

Disaster recovery

The SAP HANA system provides several high availability features to make sure that your SAP HANA database can withstand failures at the software or infrastructure level. Among these features is SAP HANA System replication and SAP HANA backups, both of which Google Cloud supports.

For more information about SAP HANA backups, see Backup and recovery.

For more information about system replication, see the SAP HANA disaster recovery planning guide.

Backup and recovery

Backups are vital for protecting your system of record (your database). Because SAP HANA is an in-memory database, you should create regular backups so you can recover from instances of data corruption. SAP HANA system provides native backup and recovery features to help you do this. You can use Google Cloud services such as Cloud Storage to serve as the backup destination for SAP HANA backup.

You can also install the Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA so that you can use Cloud Storage directly for backups and recoveries.

This document assumes you are familiar with SAP HANA backup and recovery, along with the following SAP service Notes:

Using Compute Engine persistent disks and Cloud Storage for backups

If you followed the deployment instructions, you have an SAP HANA installation with a /hanabackup directory. This is backed by using a standard persistent disk. You use the standard SAP tools to create your online database backups to /hanabackup directory. Finally, you save the completed backup by uploading it to a Cloud Storage bucket, from which you can download the backup, when you need to recover.

Using Compute Engine to create backups and disk snapshots

You can use Compute Engine for SAP HANA backups, and you also have the option of backing up the entire disk hosting your data and log using persistent-disk snapshots.

If you followed the instructions in the deployment guide, you have an SAP HANA installation with a /hanabackup directory for your online database backups. You can use that same directory to store snapshots of the backup volume and maintain a point-in-time backup of your data and log.

An advantage of snapshots is that they are incremental, where each subsequent backup only stores incremental block changes instead of creating an entirely new backup. Compute Engine redundantly stores multiple copies of each snapshot across multiple locations with automatic checksums to ensure the integrity of your data.

Here is an illustration of the incremental backups:

Snapshot diagram

Cloud Storage as your backup destination

Cloud Storage is a good choice to use as your backup destination for SAP HANA because it provides high durability and availability of data.

Cloud Storage is an object store for files of any type or format. It has virtually unlimited storage and you do not have to worry about provisioning it or adding more capacity to it. An object in Cloud Storage consists of file data and its associated metadata, and can be up to 5 TB in size. A Cloud Storage bucket can store any number of objects.

With Cloud Storage, your data is stored in multiple locations, which provides high durability and high availability. When you upload your data to Cloud Storage or copy your data within it, Cloud Storage reports the action as successful only if object redundancy is achieved.

The following table shows the different storage options you have if you use Cloud Storage:

Data access needed Cloud Storage options recommended
Frequent access Choose the Standard [storage class](/storage/docs/storage-classes) for backups accessed multiple times in a month.
Infrequent access Choose Nearline or Coldline storage for infrequently accessed data. Nearline is a good choice for backed-up data you plan to access at most once a month, while Coldline is better for data that has very low probability of access, perhaps once a year at most.
Archival data Choose Archive storage for your long-term archival data. Archive is a good choice for data you need to retain a copy of for an extended period of time, but which you don't intend to access more than once a year. Consider replacing your tape-based backup solution with Archive.

When you plan your usage of these storage options, start with the frequently accessed tier and age your backup data through to the infrequent access tiers. Backups generally become rarely used as they become older. The probability of needing a backup that is 3 years old is extremely low and you can age this backup into the Archive tier to save on costs, which are currently as low as 12/100th of a cent per GB/month (equal to $1.20 per TB/month).

Cloud Storage compared to tape backup

The traditional, on-premises backup destination is tape. Cloud Storage has many benefits over tape, including the ability to automatically store backups "offsite" from the source system, since data in Cloud Storage is replicated across multiple facilities. This also means that the backups stored in Cloud Storage are highly available.

Another key difference is the speed of restoring backups when you need to use them. If you need to create a new SAP HANA system from backup or restore an existing system from backups, Cloud Storage provides faster access to your data and helps you build the system faster.

Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA

You can use Cloud Storage directly for backups and recoveries for both on-premises and cloud installations by using the SAP-certified Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA (Backint agent).

For more information, see Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA overview.

Managing identity and access to backups

When you use Cloud Storage or Compute Engine to back up your SAP HANA data, access to those backups is controlled by Identity and Access Management (IAM). This feature gives admins the ability to authorize who can take action on specific resources. IAM provides you with centralized, full control, and visibility for managing all of your Google Cloud resources, including your backups.

IAM also provides a full audit trail history of permissions authorization, removal, and delegation gets surfaced automatically for your admins. This lets you configure policies that monitor access to your data in the backups, allowing you to complete the full access-control cycle with your data. IAM provides a unified view into security policy across your entire organization, with built-in auditing to ease compliance processes.

To grant access to backups in Cloud Storage:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the IAM & Admin page:

    Go to the IAM & Admin page

  2. Specify the user you are granting access to, and assign the role Storage > Storage Object Creator:

    IAM screencap

How to make backups

SAP HANA systems provisioned on Google Cloud using the deployment guide are configured with a set of persistent disk volumes to be used as an NFS-mounted backup destination. SAP HANA backups are first stored on these local persistent disk volumes, and should then copied to Cloud Storage for long-term storage. You can either manually copy the backups over to Cloud Storage or schedule the copy to Cloud Storage in a crontab.

If you are using the Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA, you back up to and recover from a Cloud Storage bucket directly. Persistent disk storage is not required.

You can use SAP HANA Studio, SQL commands, or the DBA Cockpit to start or schedule SAP HANA data backups. Log backups are written automatically unless disabled. The following screenshot shows an example:

Backups screencap

Configuring SAP HANA global.ini

If you followed the deployment guide instructions, the SAP HANA global.ini configuration file is customized with database backups stored in /backup/data/ and automatic log archival files are stored in /backup/log/, as follows:

basepath_datavolumes = /hana/data
basepath_logvolumes = /hana/log
basepath_databackup = /hanabackup/data
basepath_logbackup = /hanabackup/log

usage = production

To customize the global.ini configuration file for the Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA, see the Cloud Storage Backint agent for SAP HANA deployment guide.

Notes for scale-out deployments

In a scale-out implementation, a high-availability solution that uses live migration and automatic restart works in the same way as in a single host setup. The main difference is that the /hana/shared volume is NFS-mounted to all the worker hosts and mastered in the HANA master. There is a brief period of inaccessibility on the NFS volume in the event of a master host's live migration or auto restart. When the master host has restarted, the NFS volume will soon function again on all hosts, and normal operation resumes automatically.

The backup volume, /hanabackup, must be available on all hosts during backup and recovery operations. In the event of failure, you should verify the /hanabackup is mounted on all hosts and remount any that are not. When you choose to copy the backup set to another volume or Cloud Storage, you should run the copy on the master host to achieve better IO performance and reduce network usage. To simplify the backup and recovery process, you can use Cloud Storage Fuse to mount the Cloud Storage bucket on each host.

The scale-out performance is only as good as your data distribution. The better the data is distributed, the better your query performance will be. This requires that you know your data well, understand how the data is being consumed, and design table distribution and partitioning accordingly. Please refer to SAP Note 2081591.

Gcloud Python

Gcloud Python is an idiomatic Python client that you can use to access Google Cloud services. This guide uses Gcloud Python to perform backup and restore operations to and from Cloud Storage for your SAP HANA database backups.

If you followed the deployment guide instructions, Gcloud Python libraries are already available in the Compute Engine instances.

The libraries are open source and allow you to operate on your Cloud Storage bucket to store and retrieve backup data.

You can run the following command to list objects in your Cloud Storage bucket. You can use it to list the backup objects available:

python 2>/dev/null - <<EOF
from import storage
storage_client = storage.Client()
bucket = storage_client.get_bucket("<bucket_name>")
blobs = bucket.list_blobs()
for fileblob in blobs:

For complete details about Gcloud Python, see the storage client library reference documentation.

Backup example

Here are the steps you might take for a typical backup task, using SAP HANA Studio as an example:

  1. In the SAP HANA Backup Editor, select Open Backup Wizard.

    Backup Wizard

    1. Select File as the destination type. This backs up the database to files in the specified file system.
    2. Specify the backup destination, /hanabackup/data/[SID], and the backup prefix. Replace [SID] with the proper SAP SID.
    3. Click Next.
  2. Click Finish in the confirmation form to start the backup.

  3. When the backup starts, a status window displays the progress of your backup. Wait for the backup to complete.

    Backup Progress

    When the backup is complete, the backup summary displays a "Finished" message.

  4. Sign in to your SAP HANA system and verify that the backups are available at the expected locations in the file system. For example:

    Backup List1 Backup List2

  5. Push or synchronize the backup files from the /hanabackup file system to Cloud Storage. The following sample Python script pushes the data from /hanabackup/data and /hanabackup/log to the bucket used for backups, in the form [NODENAME]/[DATA] or [LOG]/YYYY/MM/DD/HH/[BACKUP_FILE_NAME]. This allows you to identify backup files based on the time during which the backup was copied. Run this gcloud Python script on your operating system bash prompt:

    python 2>/dev/null - <<EOF
    import os
    import socket
    from datetime import datetime
    from import storage
    storage_client = storage.Client()
    today =
    current_hour = today.strftime('%Y/%m/%d/%H')
    hostname = socket.gethostname()
    bucket = storage_client.get_bucket("hanabackup")
    for subdir, dirs, files in os.walk('/hanabackup/data/H2D/'):
      for file in files:
          backupfilename = os.path.join(subdir, file)
          if 'COMPLETE_DATA_BACKUP' in backupfilename:
                only_filename = backupfilename.split('/')[-1]
                backup_file = hostname + '/data/' + current_hour + '/' + only_filename
                blob = bucket.blob(backup_file)
    for subdir, dirs, files in os.walk('/hanabackup/log/H2D/'):
      for file in files:
          backupfilename = os.path.join(subdir, file)
          if 'COMPLETE_DATA_BACKUP' in backupfilename:
              only_filename = backupfilename.split('/')[-1]
              backup_file = hostname + '/log/' + current_hour + '/' + only_filename
              blob = bucket.blob(backup_file)
  6. Use either the Gcloud Python libraries or Google Cloud console to list the backup data.

Restore example

To restore your SAP HANA database from a backup:

  1. If the backup files are not available already in the /hanabackup file system but are in Cloud Storage, download the files from Cloud Storage, by running the following script from your operating system bash prompt:

    python - <<EOF
    from import storage
    storage_client = storage.Client()
    bucket = storage_client.get_bucket("hanabackup")
    blobs = bucket.list_blobs()
    for fileblob in blobs:
      blob = bucket.blob(
      fname = str('/')[-1]
      if 'log' in fname:
          blob.download_to_filename('/hanabackup/log/H2D/' + fname)
          blob.download_to_filename('/hanabackup/data/H2D/' + fname)
  2. To recover the SAP HANA database, click Backup and Recovery > Recover System:

    Recover system

  3. Click Next.

  4. Specify the location of your backups in your local filesystem and click Add.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Select Recover without the backup catalog:

    Recover Nocat

  7. Click Next.

  8. Select File as the destination type, then specify the location of the backup files and the correct prefix for your backup. (In the backup example, remember that you used COMPLETE_DATA_BACKUP as the prefix.)

  9. Click Next twice.

  10. Click Finish to start the recovery.

  11. When recovery completes, resume normal operations and remove backup files from the /hanabackup/data/[SID]/* directories.

What's next

You might find the following standard SAP documents helpful:

You might also find the following Google Cloud documents useful: