Blog posts related to Dell Technologies Solutions for SAP
On-prem vs. Public Cloud: Understanding the true cost of running steady-state workloads in the public cloud
Thu, 15 Apr 2021 13:19:54 -0000|
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Organizations have found value with their investments in Public Cloud; however, we've also heard the stories about some workloads or use cases that were moved to the public cloud that led to buyer’s remorse as their public cloud infrastructure costs were demonstrably higher than on-premises. The initial allure of the public cloud was quickly offset by higher costs, but also hidden costs that many don’t realize until they make significant investments that include systems integrators and consultants.
Software licenses for many popular business applications are not cost-optimized for public cloud environments. In addition to potentially high cloud infrastructure costs, they may also face software true-ups in cases of resource inefficiency. One way to solve for this is to abandon traditional software licenses in favor of a new software subscription with a new metering method that is more conducive to cloud environments. However, this has the potential for a higher overall software TCO, the license conversion exercise may be confusing because metering methods are typically different, usage forecasting may not be as predictable, and there are hidden depreciation costs of the old licensing which may further drive the TCO upside down.
To better understand the costs of running a steady-state workload such as SAP in the public cloud vs. on-premises, Dell Technologies commissioned Krystallize Technologies to conduct an evaluation. Many studies have already been carried out on Private vs. Public cloud costs as well as data egress charges, cloud support, and staff retraining. Instead, Krystallize focused on comparing the hardware costs depreciated over 3 years to the 3 year cost of public cloud IaaS services, even though the useful on-premises server lifespan is 5 years.
The full report: Krystallize Technologies SAP HANA PowerEdge Whitepaper
While the cost savings in infrastructure between public cloud and on-premises is significant enough to attract any CFO's attention, consider also license efficiency. Many customers have invested significant CAPEX dollars into enterprise applications that are licensed by the core and, as a result, need to be deployed efficiently.
Krystallize Technologies found that with a similar amount of memory, a 72 vCPU (36 core) PowerEdge server and a 96 vCPU compute instance from a public cloud provider were able to accomplish the same amount of work1. This finding could illustrate that the cost of running comparable workloads licensed by core, such as SQL Server, Oracle and in some cases SAP, may require 33% to 167% more software licenses to run in the public cloud.2
Take for instance, an Oracle Enterprise Edition workload deployed on the PowerEdge server - it would cost $521,550 USD for acquisition and first year support. The same workload deployed on the 96 vCPU instance would require potentially spending up to 2.6 times as much, $1,390,800 USD for the acquisition and first year support!3
Public Cloud may be the right choice for organizations looking for temporary capacity, whether it’s an unexpected computing demand or an unproven DevOps environment; however, to steal a phrase I heard a colleague use, it is cheap to fail in the cloud but expensive to succeed.
When an organization has a workload that has moved past the POC phase and is in production, that workload provides a valuable outcome or business function and must run 24/7/365. Workloads, such as SAP or Oracle, that are always-on and have a steady state performance profile no longer benefit from the elasticity of public cloud.
Organizations that have invested considerable capital in software licenses may find they cannot be efficiently deployed in the Public Cloud. The good news is that there are multiple avenues, such as hybrid cloud, for organizations to explore in order to maintain applications and associated licensing where they can keep costs low, while using public cloud for the right workloads. Customers seeking a pay-for-use model can achieve this on-premises with Dell Technologies on Demand and will soon benefit from Dell Technologies Project Apex as well.
To Learn More
1 Based on the Krystallize Technologies whitepaper commissioned by Dell Technologies, “Krystallize Technologies SAP HANA PowerEdge Whitepaper”, comparing cost-performance of SAP HANA running a benchmark load on a physical and cloud provider environment over a 3-year period, Nov. 2019. Actual results may vary.
2 Based on Dell analysis, January 2021, comparing the number of licenses required to run the same SAP and Oracle load with similar resources on-premises on a Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 vs a Cloud Service Provider. Actual results will vary based on configuration, environment, and other variable factors.
3 Based on Dell cost analysis, January 2021, comparing the number of licenses required to run the same workload with similar resources on-premises on a Dell EMC PowerEdge server vs a Cloud Service Provider. Oracle Enterprise Edition licensing costs are in US dollars obtained from a publicly available price list. Actual costs will vary based on configuration, environment, and other variable factors.
Automate and standardize SAP operations using Dell EMC ESI for storage integration
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 15:24:50 -0000|
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Enterprise SAP landscapes can have dozens of interrelated instances when you include all the nonproduction systems that are used for development, testing, training, and sandbox experimentation. SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) software combined with the Dell EMC Enterprise Storage Integrator (ESI) for SAP LaMa simplifies management of these complex SAP environments by using advanced storage-based local and remote replication services that are integrated into Dell EMC storage systems.
Dell Technologies offers the SAP enabled enterprise one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of storage array options. All the storage systems that are listed in this blog post are supported by Dell EMC ESI for SAP LaMa software for simplifying landscape management. Customers can choose a solution from any of the Unity, Unity XT, VMAX3, and PowerMax storage array models and get integration with SAP LaMa to improve management of their SAP systems. Unity XT arrays are midrange storage platforms that are designed for performance, efficiency, and data protection. PowerMax arrays are larger storage platforms that accelerate applications with end-to-end NVMe flash storage, global deduplication and compression, and data protection. The following table shows the storage arrays that ESI supports:
Table 1: ESI supported storage systems
Unified SAN and NAS
SAP LaMa is an automation and orchestration solution that replaces manual or scripted processes for creating clones, copies, and related refresh activities. Simplified landscape management provides key business benefits, including improved service quality and the capability to new drive business innovation. SAP LaMa combined with Dell EMC ESI provides a single pane of glass for operations such as SAP system relocation, snapshots, provisioning processes, and more. These capabilities increase manageability and promote business agility by enabling administration teams to address rapidly changing organizational demands. Dell EMC supports SAP LaMa in physical, virtual, and cloud technologies, providing a single pathway to manage most landscape configurations.
Examples of improved operational capabilities include:
Figure 1: Dell EMC ESI integration with SAP Landscape Management
In addition to the preceding scenarios, customers can streamline operations such as monitoring and data protection by enabling Dell EMC integration with SAP LaMa. For example, with data protection integration, you can perform on-demand and scheduled backups of the SAP system. By using Unity, Unity XT, VMAX3, and PowerMax ESI integration, customers can automate most system operations for SAP. Further, the opportunity for increased storage savings through efficient storage snapshots means that SAP customers can have a greater number of SAP systems consuming less overall space on their Dell EMC storage systems.
The Dell Technologies SAP site is the place to start learning about the features and capabilities that both Dell EMC storage and PowerEdge servers offer. If you are interested in more technical material, see the Enterprise Storage Integrator for SAP Landscape Management End-user Guide 8.0 on the Dell Technologies support site.
SAP HANA Tiering: The Pressures of Data Growth
Fri, 01 May 2020 14:24:20 -0000|
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SAP HANA with NSE offers the functionality of tiering data using different storage solutions based on the age of the data. The NSE data management policy categorizes data into three classes: hot, warm, or cold. This blog post focuses on the hot and warm data tiers. Hot data can use both volatile and nonvolatile memory, as follows:
SAP HANA on-premises Native Storage Extension
If you are interested in learning more about maximizing your data management investment strategy, the SAP HANA TDI on Dell EMC PowerEdge Servers Validation Guide provides detailed configurations. The hot data tier both drives the fastest performance and is the most expensive tier (hardware + SAP HANA licensing + annual support). Maximizing the performance-to-cost trade-off of hot data placement requires consideration of two factors:
The first consideration is a performance guideline for when the responsiveness of the database and applications is at a premium for the business. Data that is less frequently used can be placed in the warm tier to minimize the impact on queries on the hot data tier. Another benefit is related to SAP HANA restarts. For example, planned maintenance events involving Linux operating system or SAP HANA database updates can require a restart. An SAP HANA system with NSE could have less data in the hot tier compared to the same SAP HANA system without NSE, thus improving restart times.
NOTE: SAP HANA also has a Fast Restart Option that uses file storage to speed up restarts. Fast Restart leverages PMEM to accelerate file storage access, significantly reducing the start time of the database. SAP HANA Fast Restart applies to scenarios in which only SAP HANA is restarted and not the operating system.
The second consideration is an avoidance guideline that sustains existing investments while mitigating additional ones. Success could be defined as a strategy in which performance increases with each new server generation while SAP HANA costs remain constant if the size of the hot data tier remains the same. The business impact is a continual increase in performance combined with efficiently maximizing the bottom line.
The warm data tier is for less frequently accessed data that occasionally resides in SAP HANA memory. If kept in memory, warm data accelerates costs, mainly through the additional licensing that is needed to increase the memory size. To mitigate the impact of rapid data growth, maximize the usage of the warm data tier. Keep in mind that the warm data tier is limited to four times the size of the hot data tier. For example, a hot data tier of 1 TB means the warm data tier can be up to 4 TB. The warm data tier also cannot exceed 10 TB in size. The 10 TB maximum is a first-release restriction.
Data in the warm tier is transactionally consistent with the hot data tier. This means that the warm data tier must be protected in conjunction with the hot data tier so that the entire database backup is consistent. While the hot and warm data tiers are transactionally consistent, they differ in how data is loaded into memory. The hot data tier is ”column loadable,” meaning the columnar tables are loaded into memory. In contrast, the warm data tier is “page loadable,” meaning granular portions of data are loaded into memory or partially in memory. The page-loadable design has two key benefits for the warm data tier:
Use of the warm data tier depends on the SAP HANA NSE buffer cache. This buffer cache is enabled by default and is initially sized as 10 percent of SAP HANA memory (for the sizing reference, see the SAP HANA Administration Guide for SAP HANA Platform 2.0 SPS 04). For example, the NSE buffer size is recommended to be at least 12.5 percent of the total size of the warm data tier. You can modify the NSE buffer cache size by using the ALTER SYSTEM ALTER CONFIGURATION command.
Warm Data Tier
Overall, use of the warm data tier enables customers to balance fast performance with increased data volumes while minimizing cost, thus achieving greater value. Customers have the flexibility to design an amazingly fast warm data tier with storage I/O latencies measured in microseconds, narrowing the difference between the hot and warm data tiers in terms of performance.
Dell Technologies has a team of experienced SAP HANA experts that can assist with accurate sizing and design of an infrastructure solution for your databases. Our goal is to work closely with you to maximize the value of NSE and create an extremely fast warm data tier that narrows the performance gap with the hot data tier. Your Dell Technologies representative can put you in contact with one of our SAP HANA experts.