Get a health check for your SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems

We all know that seeing a doctor for regular checkups is important. Even if you aren’t having any problems, it’s always a good idea for your physical health. In some ways, a “health check” for your SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems is similar. You may be getting optimal availability and performance, but a regular review is very important.

IBM Power Systems technology for HANA has numerous advantages such as flexibility, efficient resource utilization, server consolidation, performance and reduction in cost. An SAP-certified person is required to install and configure HANA using the tailored data center integration (TDI) model. During deployment, a certified HANA engineer sets up the system following IBM Power server and SAP HANA best practices as per SAP notes and runs the SAP HANA Hardware and Cloud Measurement Tool (HCMT). This ensures the environment has been configured for HANA prerequisites and for hardware performance to meet HANA key performance indicators (KPIs).

After deployment, however, organizations will eventually need to make changes to their workloads and infrastructure. The monitoring tools you use might not capture deviations from best practices. Some components of your system might require periodic checks like firmware updates, patches, backups, cluster operations and so on.

The need thus arises for a periodic health check for SAP HANA on Power Systems. Without periodic health checks, you might not be getting the best availability and performance from your systems, and you could be at greater risk for an unplanned outage.

What is an SAP HANA on Power Systems health check?

A health check involves inspecting your system in several key areas. These include:

  • Ensuring up-to-date software levels
  • Examining the adequacy of hardware resources
  • Looking at system tuning based on your current workload pattern
  • Doing checks for best practices in virtualization
  • Checking for security hardening implementation as per your company security policy
  • Checking the feasibility of adopting newly released features in the Power server/OS/HANA

Your HANA configuration, error logs, high availability and backup policies are also validated.

Minimum checks that need to be carried out as a part of SAP HANA on Power Systems health check

Here is a list of the minimum checks that must be covered as a part of SAP HANA on Power Systems health check. This is only a high-level list. You might need additional checks based on your results.

1. Physical hardware installation checks

  • PCI adapter placement and memory dual inline memory module (DIMM) placement
  • Active/inactive core/memory distributions
  • Check for working links (link up status) for network and host bus adapters (HBAs)

2. Software-level checks

  • Check to see the support of all installed software levels and their compatibility

3. Availability and redundancy checks

  • “Working” redundancy at all levels such as I/O adapters, switches, storage, LPARs, frames and so on
  • Business expectation of recovery point objective (RPO), recovery time objective (RTO) and infrastructure readiness to meet these numbers

4. Operating system configuration checks

  • Checks to confirm OS installation as per best practices and as per SAP notes for SAP HANA on Power systems
  • Checks to see security hardening implementation

5. LPAR/Frame-level resource utilization checks and performance

  • Processor, memory, disk and network utilization and comparison with available capacity
  • Check to see the tunable values associated with processor, memory, disk I/O and network I/O are optimal for the current load

6. HANA checks

  • HANA file system checks
  • Review of HCMT results
  • HANA configuration verification
  • HANA backup checks
  • HANA resource utilization checks

Benefits of a HANA system health check

An SAP HANA on Power Systems health check offers numerous benefits:

  • Identify any single point of failure and fix it
  • Prepare you for handling unexpected downtime, if any
  • Demonstrate current hardware utilization and growth trends, thus helping you plan for future growth or release a portion of your hardware for other workloads, saving on budget for any additional workloads
  • Get better support by staying up to date with software versions
  • Better manage your IT budget by knowing growth trends
  • Identify new technologies that could be applied to your environment
  • Improve productivity, security and confidence. May reduce the cost of acquiring additional hardware for new workloads

Who can perform an SAP HANA on Power Systems health check?

Anyone who has good knowledge of IBM Power Systems, Linux and HANA can do an SAP HANA on Power Systems health check. You could do it yourself or engage a team of experienced consultants such as IBM Systems Lab Services. Lab Services helps organizations build and optimize SAP HANA solutions with Linux on Power Systems with a tailored data center infrastructure strategy. Health checks are among the many services we offer to help clients optimize their SAP HANA environments.

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