SAP HANA HCI Powered by VMware and Partner Solutions

VMware is virtualizing x86 server hardware for over a decade and since the last 10 years, SAP provides production support for VMware virtualized SAP applications. In 2014 this support got extended to virtualized SAP HANA. The next logical step for VMware was to virtualize storage and to work with SAP to get SAP HANA support for VMware vSAN.

VMware has worked with its partners to provide reliable, performant and fully SAP HANA supported hyperconverged Infrastructure solutions. These HCI solutions have been certified by the SAP ICC, to ensure these solutions meet the high demand of SAP HANA on compute, network and storage. This certification also ensures that only fully SAP and VMware supported components and server systems get used.

These co-engineered solutions use the latest Intel CPU technologies like Skylake and Cascade Lake CPU’s and as well as Intel NVMe SSD or standard SSD devices. All used hardware components are VMware vSAN certified and are listed as vSAN Ready Components or pre-configured vSAN ReadyNode™ on the VMware vSAN HCL. These components are the fundamental hardware components of a SAP HANA HCI solution, which also includes following VMware software solutions:

  • VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus 6.5 update 2,  6.7 or 6.7 update 2/3, and 7.0 U1 see SAP note 2393917 for details.
  • VMware vSAN Enterprise 6.6, 6.7 and 7.0 U1 see SAP note 2718982 for details or a vendor specific SDS solution, which works with vSphere as the hypervisor.
  • VMware vCenter 6.5 and later.

The result of this joint work is a tightly integrated, pre-tested, validated and SAP HANA certified turn-key solution, which allows fast, risk mitigated and easy integration into a customer datacenter, without changing the standard IT processes or operation.

What is Supported?

HANA on vSAN SAP supported and validated options:

  • CPU architecture:
    • Any supported Intel Skylake or Cascade Lake processors with 2,4 & 8 socket servers with existing VMware vSphere virtualization boundaries, e.g.:
      • max. 6 TB RAM and 256 vCPUs per SAP HANA Scale-Up VM, see SAP Note 2393917 for details. Also beware, that the actual usable vCPUs depend on the used CPU type. 256 vCPUs represent the current vSphere maximum.
    • Certified Hardware for HCI solutions can be found on the Certified Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions [1]
  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5, 6.7, 6.7 U2/U3 and 7.0 U1
    • SAP HANA SPS 12 Rev. 122.19 (or later releases) for production single-VM and multi-VM use cases. See SAP Note 2393917 [2] for detailed information and constraints. SAP HANA on vSAN has additional constraints, see next section.
  • VMware vSAN 6.6, 6.7 (incl. U1, U2/U3) and 7.0 U1
    • vSAN 6.6, 6.7, 6.7 U1, 6.7 U2, 6.7 U3, 7.0 U1: Maximum 4 SAP HANA VMs on 2, 4, and 8 socket servers
    • Starting from above vSAN versions, the HCI vendor can select the appropriate vSAN version for their HCI solution.
    • The vSAN versions 6.6 and 6.7 [3] are included in vSphere version [4] 6.5 U2 and vSphere version 6.7 / 6.7 U2/U3 and 7.0 U1 respectively.
    • Minimal 3, maximal 64 nodes per SAP HANA HCI vSAN cluster.
      • 4 or more nodes are recommended for optimal failure resilience, even during maintenance and for cross DC wide HA solutions required.
    • No CPU sockets need to get reserved for vSAN. Please note that vSAN will need, just like ESXi, system resources. Please refer to VMware KB 2113954 for information on resource needs of vSAN.
  • SAP HANA Scale-Up:
    • OLTP or Mixed type workload up to 6 TB RAM and up to 256* vCPUs per VM
    • OLAP type workload:
      • SAP sizing Class** L: up to 3 TB RAM and up to 256* vCPUs per VM
      • SAP sizing Class** M: up to 6 TB RAM and up to 256* vCPUs per VM
  • SAP HANA Scale-Out:
    • Up to 1 master and 7 worker nodes are possible, plus HA node(s). HA nodes should be added according to the cluster size.FAQ: SAP HANA High Availability
    • SAP HANA Scale-Out system max. 16 TB memory with SAP HANA Class** L type sizing:
      • Up to 2 TB of RAM and up to 256* vCPUs per Scale-Out node (VM), sizing up to SAP HANA CPU Sizing Class** L type workloads
    • SAP HANA Scale-Out system max. 24 TB memory with SAP HANA M-Class* CPU sizing:
      • Up to 3 TB of RAM and up to 256* vCPUs per Scale-Out node (VM), sizing up to SAP HANA CPU Sizing Class** M*** type workloads
    • Additional requirements:
      • Scale-Out is only support by SAP with 4 or 8 socket servers and minimal 4-socket wide VMs that use all available CPU threads.
      • Only vSAN 6.7 U2/U3 is supported for SAP HANA Scale-Out
      • Only Cascade Lake based servers got SAP HANA Scale-Out validated and are therefore required.
1 Please note that vSAN will need, just like ESXi, system resources. Please refer to VMware KB 2113954 for information on memory resource needs of vSAN.

SAP HANA HCI VMware Solution Partners

As of June 2020, seven VMware partners are SAP HANA HCI certified and offer 17 different solutions that use VMware software for their SAP HANA HCI solutions.

Most of these solution partners, namely DellEMC, Fujitsu, Supermicro, HPE, Hitachi and Lenovo using beside vSphere also vSAN. A benefit using vSAN is, that with vSAN, all available SAP HANA HCI hosts resources can get used for SAP HANA and up to 4 VMs per host can get deployed. Check the below listed specific HCI vendor SAP support note to learn how many VMs are supported on a specific HCI vendor solution.

As of today, the largest SAP HANA system, which can get virtualized as Scale-Up is a 6 TB instance on the Lenovo, HPE, Fujitsu and Dell certified 4-socket server HCI solutions.

Please check out the SAP HANA Certified Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions web page for details and the latest certified solutions and vendors.

Partner specific documentation:

Additional References:

VMware Blogs:

VMware Technical Documents: