Workload based sizing with SAP HANA on VMware Cloud Foundation

SAP HANA on VMware customers now have a choice of two sizing methods for SAP HANA on vSphere.  vSphere is a key component of VMware Cloud Foundation that also includes vSAN and NSX.

When designing and sizing virtual infrastructure for SAP HANA, customers can choose between the traditional appliance based sizing or can use the new Workload Based Sizing that has been enabled in TDIv5.

Background on Tailored Datacenter Integration for SAP HANA

Let’s start with some brief background and explanation of TDIv5 and WBS. TDI is the short name for Tailored Datacenter Integration for SAP HANA. TDI allows a customer to design and build their own purpose-built servers for HANA by mixing and matching different components such as servers, storage and networking from different vendors instead of purchasing a complete appliance from one single vendor. This typically provides the customer additional flexibility and, in some cases, better TCO.

SAP strongly recommends that customers run the Hardware Configuration Check tool on their new infrastructure as part of their SAP go live check.  SAP does not offer any formal certification of TDI infrastructure for SAP HANA. However, SAP does certify the server hardware for the HANA compute nodes and the storage products.  These components are listed on SAP’s Certified HANA Hardware Directory .

TDI has had several versions. For TDI versions 1 -4, SAP requires a specific core to memory ratio.  Simply stated, this ratio is up to 1.5TB per socket.  Starting with version TDIv5, SAP made the decision to allow the customer to customize the core to memory ratio to reduce cost.  SAP now allows it’s hypervisor partners to run a special validation test in order to get support for Workload Based Sizing for virtual HANA.  VMware recently completed three validation tests on vSphere 6.7u2 (part of VMware Cloud Foundation) and is the first to achieve support for WBS on Intel’s Broadwell, Skylake, and Cascade Lake CPU’s (SAP Support Note: 2779240 “Workload-based sizing for virtualized environments”).  This note establishes the lower and upper limits for both OLTP, OLAP, and Mixed workloads like S/4 HANA.

Supported Configurations

Here is a summary of the supported configurations:

  • Broadwell: 8 vcpu – 192 vcpu, up to 6TB RAM, per VM
  • Skylake: 8 vcpu – 224 vcpu, up to 6TB of RAM, per VM
  • Cascade Lake: 8 vcpu – 224 vpcu, up to 6TB of RAM, per VM

In conclusion, let’s recap the sizing options that are available for customers designing and sizing virtual SAP HANA on VMware Cloud Foundation.

  • Traditional “Appliance based sizing”
    • Core to memory ratio must be followed of up to 1.5TB per socket
    • Requires certified HANA appliance
    • Requires validated vSphere version appropriate for the CPU type.
  • Workload based sizing using TDIv5
    • Quicksizer based
    • Hardware must be certified
    • HWWCT strongly recommended
    • Requires vSphere 6.7u2


By using Workload Based Sizing, customers can customize their sizing requirements that better fit the needs that the business requires, and can reduce TCO for the HANA infrastructure.  Customers will no longer have to purchase and run oversized servers and virtual machines that consume excess capacity.  By utilizing TDIv5 and WBS, customers have a choice in right sizing their virtual HANA environment.