Friday May 06, 2016

Best Practices Using ZFS For SAP ASE Database

SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database 16.0 and 15.7 are certified to run on Oracle Solaris 11 systems using ZFS as data storage and logs. Recent testing with OLTP workloads on Oracle SPARC systems with Solaris 11 show better or on-par performance with ZFS compared to UFS or raw devices.  

Oracle Solaris ZFS is a powerful file system that combines file system capabilities with storage features that are traditionally offered by a volume manager. ZFS is the default file system in Oracle Solaris 11 and includes integrated data services, such as compression, encryption, and snapshot and cloning. Oracle Solaris and ZFS are also the foundation of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.  

ZFS Best Practices For SAP ASE Database:

  • Create separate zpools for data and the transaction log.
  • Create zpool for data using multiple LUNs for better I/O bandwidth.
  • ZFS record size for data is one of key parameters for optimal performance. The default  value of 128K is too large and causes page overhead.  For Solaris SPARC systems with the DB page size of 8K or less, a ZFS record size of 32K provides  the best performance for both file system block and raw zvol.
  • Place ZIL (ZFS Intent Log) on SSDs for improved latency of both data and transaction log.
For more details see SAP Note  2300958 : ZFS Certification of SAP ASE 16.0 and Sybase ASE 15.7 on Oracle Solaris 11 (requires SAP login).

Monday Apr 25, 2016

Unbeatable Scalability of SAP ASE on Oracle M7

The Oracle SPARC M7 platform has incredible performance and some examples of it can be found in this blog. One very interesting customer example is with SAP ASE performance and scalability. SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (Sybase) database is used by University hospitals Leuven (UZ Leuven). UZ Leuven is one of the largest healthcare providers in Europe and provides cloud services to 16 other Belgian hospitals, sharing patient records supported by the same IT infrastructure and systems. 

UZ Leuven was looking to increase the scale capacity of its SAP ASE platform to accommodate an anticipated 50% business growth in user transactions, along with added functionality of the application as more hospitals join the network. Their current load was about 80 million transactions per day for a 5 TB database.

420 vs 48 on Intel

The SPARC M7 platform proved to be the only platform that could linearly scale up to 420 SAP ASE clients, while their Intel E7-8857v2 platform scaled to only 48 clients.

The SPARC M7 platform also delivered better performance and response times while ensuring data availability and information security, critical needs for UZ Leuven’s patients. 

“Today, SPARC is the only suitable platform that meets our application needs. We selected SPARC servers over IBM and x86-based solutions because scalability and performance are essential for our mission-critical SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise database infrastructure. With the SPARC M7 servers, we can expand our business and grow at the speed of our customers,” said Jan Demey, Team Leader for IT Infrastructure, University Hospitals Leuven.

You can read the full story here.

In the next blog, we will discuss best practices for using Oracle Solaris ZFS file system for your SAP ASE database.

Sunday Mar 13, 2016

Increasing Security for SAP Installations with Immutable Zones

In recent blogs we have talked about various aspects of end-to-end application security with Oracle Solaris 11, SPARC M7 and the ISV Ecosystem. We also talked about a white paper that provides best practices for using the Oracle Solaris compliance tool for SAP installations. Another way to increase the security of an SAP installation is to use Oracle Solaris Immutable Zones. 

A Solaris zone is a virtualized operating system environment created within a single instance of the Solaris OS. Within a zone, the operating system is represented to the applications as virtual operating system environments that are isolated and secure. Immutable Zones are Solaris zones with read-only roots. Both global and non-global zones can be Immutable Zones.

Using Immutable Zones is one technique that can protect applications and the system from malicious attacks by applying read-only protection to the host global zone, kernel zones and non-global zones. Oracle Solaris Zones technology is the recommended approach for deploying application workloads in an isolated environment—no process in one zone can monitor or affect processes running in another zone. Immutable Zones extend this level of isolation and protection by enabling a read-only file system, preventing any modification to the system or system configuration.

As an SAP system requires write access to some directories, it is not possible to install SAP inside an Immutable Zone without further configuration. A new paper provides instructions and best practices on how to create and manage an SAP installation on an Oracle Solaris Immutable Zone. Read the white paper for details or see SAP Note 2260420 (requires SAP login).

Tuesday Jan 12, 2016

Best Practices Using Oracle Solaris Compliance Tool for SAP

In a recent blogs we talked about end-to-end security with Oracle Solaris 11, SPARC M7 and the ISV Ecosystem  and one of the main elements: the built-in Solaris 11 compliance tools.

Organizations such as banks, hospitals, and governments have specialized compliance requirements. Auditors, who are unfamiliar with an operating system, can struggle to match security controls with requirements. Therefore, tools that map security controls to requirements can reduce time and costs by assisting auditors.

Oracle Solaris 11 lowers the cost and effort of compliance management by designing security features to easily meet worldwide compliance obligations; documenting and mapping technical security controls for common requirements like PCI-DSS to Oracle Solaris technologies. The simple-to-use tool Oracle Solaris compliance tool provides users with not only reporting but also simple instructions on how to mitigate any compliance test failure. It also provides compliance report templates.

Available since release 11.2, Oracle Solaris provides scripts that assess and report the compliance of Oracle Solaris to two security benchmarks:

  • Oracle Solaris Security Benchmark and
  • Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

The new command, compliance (1M), is used to run system assessments against security/compliance benchmarks and to generate HTML reports from those assessments. The reports indicate which system tests failed and which passed, and they provide any corresponding remediation steps.

A new whitepaper introduces the compliance report on Oracle Solaris and provides information and best practices on how to assess and report the compliance of an Oracle Solaris system to security standards for SAP Installations. The procedure in this whitepaper was tested on an Oracle Solaris global zone, non-global zone, kernel zone, Oracle SuperCluster, Oracle Solaris Cluster, as well as various SAP Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) and Java releases with Oracle Database 11g and 12g. The document concludes with information on an additional new SAP benchmark for SAP applications with special security requirements. Read the whitepaper for details. There is also a related SAP note 2114056  "Solaris compliance tool for SAP installation" published (requires SAP login).

Monday Oct 26, 2015

New SAP-SD 2-Tier 1-node Benchmark Record on SPARC T7-2

Today Oracle announced an all-new family of SPARC systems with new dramatic advancements in memory protection, encryption acceleration, and in-memory database processing.

A new record result of 30,800 SAP-SD users for the SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application benchmark has been published for one of the small servers in this family, the SPARC T7-2 server with 2 processors / 64 cores / 512 threads, SPARC M7 4.133 GHz, 16 KB (D) and 16 KB (I) L1 cache per core, 256 KB (D) L2 cache per 2 cores and 256KB (I) per 4 cores, 64 MB L3 cache per processor, and 1024 GB main memory. 

Comparing this result to other SAP SD results* shows the new SPARC M7 to be:

  • SPARC M7 1.9x faster per chip than x86 E5 v3 (Haswell)
  • 2-chip SPARC M7 nearly same performance as 4-chip x68 E7 v3
  • SPARC M7 2.9x faster per chip than IBM Power8 (6c)

The SAP SD benchmark results can be found here.    

* Results as of Oct. 26, 2015. Source: SAP, www.sap.com/benchmark.  The following two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) application benchmarks have been certified with SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0: SPARC T7-2, 2 processors / 64 cores / 512 threads, SPARC M7 4.133 GHz, 30,800 SD users, 168,600 SAPS, Solaris 11, Oracle 12c, 1 TB main memory. Certification Number: 2015050. Dell PowerEdge R730, 2 Processors / 36 Cores / 72 Threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2699 v3, 2.3 GHz, 16500 SD Users, 90120 SAPS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, SAP ASE 16, 262 GByte main memory. Certification Number: 2014033. IBM Power System S824, 4 Processors / 24 Cores / 192 Threads, POWER8, 3.52 GHz, 21212 SD Users, 115870 SAPS, AIX 7.1, DB2 10.5, 524 Gbyte main memory. Certification Number: 2014045


Monday May 11, 2015

Oracle for SAP Technology Update

Oracle and SAP have had an ongoing commitment to tens of thousands of joint customers for over 27 years. Deploying SAP applications on Oracle platforms delivers end-to-end SAP infrastructure solutions that improve productivity and performance, increase system utilization, and create an eco-friendly data center. The two companies recently renewed their longstanding reseller and support agreements to provide enhanced access to Oracle Database technology and world class customer support.

The Oracle for SAP Technology Update is an annual publication that provides updates and information about Oracle products and services for SAP customers. The latest update was published this month.  Example topics covered are:

  • Oracle Database 12c for SAP: Roadmap and Base Certification Features 
  • Implementing a Data Management Infrastructure for SAP with Oracle Database Options and Packs
  • Why Oracle Database and Engineered Systems for SAP
  • Oracle Mission-Critical Support Services for SAP Customers
  • Oracle DB and Oracle Solaris related Notes for SAP
  • Why more and more SAP customers are migrating to Solaris
  • Oracle Security Solutions for SAP environments
  • Customer Examples

You can get the full report here: Oracle for SAP Technology Update #24

Friday Aug 01, 2014

Solaris 11.2 Kernel Zones on SAP


As the same time as Oracle Solaris 11.2 was released on July 31st, ISV Engineering is happy to report that Oracle Solaris 11.2 has been tested and is fully supported to run SAP applications.

Applications certified for Oracle Solaris 11 do not need to be re-certified when updating to Oracle Solaris 11.2 or later updates, thanks to the Oracle Solaris Binary Compatibility Guarantee

The new Kernel Zones feature of Solaris 11.2 however has been certified for SAP applications and is recognized as a supported virtualization configuration.

You can find the details in SAP Note 2047465 - SAP Software in an Oracle Solaris 11.2 Kernel Zone.
This support is integrated with the SAP monitoring tool saposcol, as shown in the screenshot below.
The type of virtualization will be shown with the latest SAP host agent (7.20 SP188).







Friday Apr 04, 2014

New World Records for SAP SD benchmarks on Oracle SPARC/Solaris


Oracle SPARC Servers have produced amazing results setting a new 32-processor systems world record for the SAP SD benchmark. These results attest to the power of the SPARC architecture and the unique scalability of Oracle Solaris. Customers running SAP on Oracle servers can leverage such performance to consolidate workloads and dramatically reduce data center costs.

The SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark is a two-tier ERP business test that is indicative of full business workloads of complete order processing and invoice processing, and demonstrates the ability to run both the application and database software on a single system. It represents the critical tasks performed in real-world ERP business environments and it's the benchmark most widely used by SAP customers.

World Record for 32 processors:

Oracle's SPARC M6-32 server produced a world record result for 32 processors beating the IBM Power 795 32-chip system results.
  • The SPARC M6-32 server with 32 processors, 384 cores, and 3,072 threads achieved two-tier results of 793,390 SAPs with 140,000 users on the SAP Standard Application (SD) Benchmark using SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0 running on Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Database 11g.
  • 15% faster than the IBM Power 795 32-chip results (32/256/1024)
  • 14% more SAP users per chip than the Fujitsu M10-4s 40-chip results (40/640/1280)
  • Details here

For more information about SAP on Oracle SPARC/Solaris see:

Oracle IT infrastructure Solutions for SAP
SAP Community Network: SAP on Oracle Solaris

Disclosure Statement
Two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) standard application benchmarks, SAP Enhancement Package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0 as of 3/26/14:
SPARC M6-32 (32 processors, 384 cores, 3072 threads) 140,000 SAP SD users, 32 x 3.6 GHz SPARC M6, 16 TB memory, Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Solaris 11, Cert# 2014008.
Fujitsu SPARC M10-4S (40 processors, 640 cores, 1280 threads) 153,000 SAP SD users, 40 x 3.0 GHz SPARC65 X, 10 TB memory, Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Solaris 11, Cert# 2013014.
Two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) standard application benchmarks, SAP Enhancement Package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0:
IBM Power 795 (32 processors, 256 cores, 1024 threads) 126,063 SAP SD users, 32 x 4 GHz IBM POWER7, 4 TB memory, DB2 9.7, AIX7.1, Cert#2010046.
SAP, R/3, reg TM of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. More info www.sap.com/benchmark

Wednesday May 22, 2013

SAP Netweaver supports Solaris 10 Branded Zones on Solaris 11

SAP supports all SAP Netweaver products which are supported on Solaris 10 as well in Solaris 10 branded zones with Solaris 11. See SAP note 1824835 (authentication required, SAP customers only).

Monday Mar 25, 2013

Build Solaris Clouds with Oracle Storage Library for SAP Virtualization 1.0.0.0 for Solaris

Oracle released the first version of the SAP Storage Library for SAP Virtualization Version 1.0 . The virtualization library is available for the Solaris SPARC and x64 platform. The documentation explains how to build SAP virtualization landscape with the ZFS storage appliance and other SAN devices.

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

SAP releases Master Data Management (MDM) 7.1 on Solaris 11 (SPARC)

SAP released MDM 7.1 on Oracle Solaris 11 for SPARC. See SAP software requirements (SAP customer authentication is required). 

Friday Dec 23, 2011

SAP Netweaver 7.0, ERP 6.0, CRM 5.0, CRM 2007, SCM 5.0, SCM 5.1, SRM 5.0 are support for ABAP stack on Solaris 11

The SAP ABAP components for

  • SAP Netweaver 7.0 
  • SAP ERP 6.0 (including Enhancement Package 2 and 3) 
  • SAP CRM 5.0 
  • SAP CRM 2007(6.0) 
  • SAP SCM 5.0 (liveCache Server 7.6 is not supported) 
  • SAP SCM 5.1 (liveCache Server 7.7 is supported) 
  • SAP SRM 5.0
[Read More]

Sunday Jun 24, 2007

Zones, Resources, Solaris and SAP Systems (Second follow up of Code Camp)

This blog gives pointers to resource control under Solaris 10 and zones in conjunction with SAP systems. This is a follow up for an code camp being held June 19th 2007 in Germany.[Read More]
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Application tuning, sizing, monitoring, porting on Solaris 11

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