SAP HANA on vSphere – Support Status and Best Practices Summary

Since SAPHIRE 2016, SAP supports now also SAP HANA on vSphere 6 deployments for production workloads, see SAP Note 2315348 for details.

The support for vSphere 6 allows customers to increase the RAM to up to 4 TB (4080 GB) of existing virtual SAP HANA systems when migrated to vSphere 6 and allows to react on increased memory needs due to data growth or newly deployed SAP HANA scenarios and solutions.

Beside increased RAM sizes vSphere 6 supports also more vCPUs. Up to 128 vCPUs can now get configured and used by a single SAP HANA VM.

Supporting more physical compute resources inside a VM ultimately provides more “power” to a virtualized SAP HANA system – this alone is worth upgrading from a vSphere 5.5 to a vSphere 6.0 based SAP HANA environment. Beside this, all vSphere 6.0 features can get used as before with vSphere version 5.5.

Since SAP HANA requires a specific sizing method, and as of today not all deployment options are yet available for vSphere 6 deployed SAP HANA systems, I will provide a series of blogs to provide some details to allow you a smooth start with SAP HANA on vSphere. This is the first blog of this series.

This blog contains information on:

  • What’s supported
  • Which deployment options can get used with which vSphere version
  • A summary of the best practices, like minimal vCPU count for non-prod SAP HANA VMs

In other blogs you will read about:

  • VMware SAP HANA virtualized sizing
  • Guidelines on how to migrate form vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6 and interoperability of vSphere 5.5 and 6 host systems for SAP HANA.
  • SAP HANA on non-production environments
  • Business Case for virtualizing SAP HANA

Stay also tuned for the soon available 140 page “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP® HANA® on VMware vSphere®”, which will available on

SAP HANA Deployment Options and Support Status on vSphere

Please follow, till the new “Architecture Guidelines and Best Practices for Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphereguide will be available, the best practices and especially the configuration settings as described in the Best Practices and Recommendations for Scale-Out Deployments of SAP HANA on VMware vSphere document (page 71-73).

Beside the configuration settings as described in this above document, please ensure that following two parameters get added to the VM .VMX file and that the third parameter changed if you want to achieve optimal performance for SAP HANA:

  1. halt_in_monitor = “TRUE”
  2. idleLoopSpinBeforeHalt = “TRUE”
  3. Lat. Sensitivity – normal

When deploying SAP HANA on vSphere, the main consideration is if the SAP HANA virtual machine will get used for production or non-production workloads. The table below summarizes the capabilities, supported deployment options and best practices, like minimal vCPU count or maximal vRAM sizes for SAP HANA VMs on VMware vSphere.

This table is based on the support status as of May 2016. For a complete overview what is supported in detail please visit our SAP SCN page SAP HANA on VMware.

Capability / Option

vSphere 5.5

vSphere 6.0

Supported in Production

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

Supported in Production

No SAP Support, VMware best effort support

SAP HANA Scale-Up VM ≤ 1024 GB Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Up VM ≤ 4080 GB No No Yes Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Out VM ≤ 1024 GB1 Yes Yes No Yes
SAP HANA Scale-Out VM ≤ 4080 GB1 No No No Yes
SAP HANA Multi-VM2 Yes Yes Yes3 Yes
SAP HANA Version SPS07 and above SPS11 and above SPS09 and above
Supported HW Configurations4
Supported SAP HANA Systems for VMware virtualization Only SAP HANA and VMware certified Intel E7 v2 (Ivy Bridge) and later based server systems and Intel Xeon E5 v2 and later based SAP HANA entry level systems with a minimum of eight cores per CPU are supported for SAP approved  SAP HANA scenarios and Support Package Stack (SPS) releases.
Physical RAM installed in server (SoH)5 3 TB 6 TB
Physical RAM installed in server (BWoH)5 2 TB 4 TB
SAP HANA Virtual Machine Configuration6
Max. VM size #vCPU 64 64 128 128
Max. VM size #vRAM 1024 GB 1024 GB 4080 GB 4080 GB
Minimal VM size #vCPU All threads of a single CPU socket 8 CPU cores or 16 hyper threads half-socket / NUMA-node sharing 8 CPU cores or 16 hyper threads
Minimal VM size #vRAM7
As sized As sized As sized As sized

1SAP support for SAP HANA scale-out deployments of SAP Business Warehouse (BW), powered by SAP HANA, on VMware vSphere as outlined in SAP Note 215787.
2The defined KPIs for Data Throughput and Latency for production SAP HANA systems has to be fulfilled for each VM, see SAP Note 1943937.
3vSphere 6 supports as of February 17, 2017 the deployment of multiple SAP HANA VMs on a single SAP HANA certified server system. Beside this two SAP HANA production level VMs can share a single NUMA node (CPU socket). Please refer to SAP note 2315348 – SAP HANA on VMware vSphere 6 in production.
4Both SAP HANA appliance and SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) delivery methods are supported.
5maximal RAM installed in physical server as specified by SAP, in the Certified SAP HANA Hardware Directory. The listed memory figures are the maximal memory configurations of Haswell based server systems and SPS11. Older SPS levels or hardware supports smaller memory configurations!
6The maximum size of a virtual SAP HANA instance is limited by the maximum size a virtual machine can get with the different VMware vSphere releases. Each SAP HANA instance / virtual machine is sized according to the existing sizing guidelines and VMware recommendations. CPU and Memory overcommitting must not be used. The maximal usable memory for virtualized BWoH systems may be lower as the vSphere memory maxima, as the vSphere 6 128 vCPU support may limit the usable RAM size of a BW instance to around 3.2 TB. For details please refer to the SAP HANA on VMware architecture guide.
7Try to use as less NUMA nodes for the RAM as possible to optimize memory latency (local vs. remote RAM access).


By getting SAP support for vSphere 6 virtualized SAP HANA systems on very large servers, like 8-socket servers with up to 6 TB RAM installed, customers can now not only virtualize their bigger SAP HANA systems, but can also be assured that their most critical systems, their SAP HANA systems run stable, performant and secure on vSphere 6.

Please also check out the other blogs around SAP HANA on vSphere to learn for instance how to size a SAP HANA VM for the usage in production or non production environments.

For more information on SAP applications on VMware please visit our SAP SCN pages SAP on VMware or SAP HANA on VMware. Please also check out the soon available new SAP HANA on vSphere architecture guide.