SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering – Supported on VMware

After a validation effort, I am happy to announce that SAP now supports SAP HANA dynamic tiering on VMware vSphere 6.x.  Please see the following SAP knowledge base article for the official statement and details:  2555629 – SAP HANA 2.0 Dynamic Tiering – Hypervisor and Cloud Support (requires SAP Service Marketplace login). The SAP on VMware support is applicable to SAP HANA dynamic tiering 2.0 SP 02 and higher running on a separate virtual machine from the SAP HANA database.

SAP HANA dynamic tiering is an option where SAP HANA has the ability to keep data in either memory or on  disk in a columnar format. Data is not duplicated. It enables users to choose memory for hot data and disk for warm data, helping to achieve the right price/performance balance.   The warm data is on a separate dedicated host called the dynamic tiering server which does not need to run on SAP HANA certified hardware.  It can run on commodity hardware. The following diagram shows the logical architecture.

My colleague  covered the virtualization benefits in this earlier blog. The Dynamic Tiering (DT) virtual machine  can be protected against hardware outages with VMware High Availability (HA). Enabling VMware HA allows the DT  virtual machine to be restarted on any vSphere hosts within the vSphere cluster without the need for a dedicated standby server. Also vMotion can be used to perform workload management or zero downtime maintenance via live migration of the DT virtual machine between ESXi hosts. Since the DT node can run on both HANA certified and standard x86 hardware, you  can  migrate the DT virtual machines as required to other vSphere hosts within the cluster in order to maximize performance and availability.

For more technical background on Dynamic Tiering please see the following SAP guide SAP HANA 2 Dynamic tiering Best Practices Guide .