Today’s disasters can range from localized hardware failures to natural disasters. When it comes to your high performing SAP HANA® system do not take any chances with your critical data. Be sure to keep your enterprise applications and business protected.
When considering native HANA replication options, customers are usually looking at two scenarios, HA and DR. High availability (HA) is achieved by eliminating single points of failure and providing an “always available” environment. Disaster recovery (DR) is the process of recovering operations after an outage due to a prolonged data center or site failure. Although often times intertwined, the general difference between HA and DR is location. High availability is generally within the same location while disaster recovery is designed for spanning considerable distances. Fortunately, SAP HANA is fully designed for high availability and disaster recovery. It supports recovery measures ranging from hardware failure or malfunctions, to natural or man-made disasters that can decommission an entire data center.
Why it’s important to have a replicated SAP HANA environment
In many instances your SAP HANA environment will be handling the majority of your business functions. From up-to-the-minute order entry to historical data, SAP HANA is possibly the most critical IT system within your organization. If your SAP HANA system goes down, orders don’t process, product can’t ship, payments can’t be made. This all translates to lost revenue. Therefore backups are a must, however, they only protect your environment to a certain degree. While backups can get your business running again, they lack in RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective). A restore of a system could take a day depending upon the cause of an outage, and the recovery point is only as good as your last backup. Again, depending upon the cause of the outage, the recovery point could be days. Now translate that to your business – could you cope with losing several days’ worth of data? You might have to manually discover and enter orders, determine product stock and materials, and ship product by hand. Even if this was feasible, the inefficiencies and room for error can lead to mistakes and even worse revenue loss. With the significant reliance in technology in today’s world, disaster recovery and high availability should be a must.
This is where HANA system replication comes into play. The SAP HANA solution offers options for both HA and DR. These approaches can even be chained together with multi-tier system replication to provide a robust insurance policy. In these cases, replication not only helps make sure you can get back and running fast in case of a local fault or storage corruption, it can also be your DR solution.
While we’re mostly focusing on disaster scenarios, it’s important to mention that replication is also useful for reducing downtime maintenance such as database patching and upgrades, hardware maintenance, and custom development and enhancements. This is because you can failover the secondary system, while performing maintenance on the primary, and vice versa. HANA also offers zero downtime maintenance together with HANA system replication for upgrades, as the secondary system can run with a higher version than the primary.
The best options for SAP HANA replication
Best options always depend on what you’re trying to achieve. When you’re dealing with HA and DR with HANA, most of your cost is going to be the time required to setup and maintain the configuration and the hardware required to replicate to. Redundancy is key. This means redundant hardware, network, and even data center redundancy. All these things cost time and money to achieve. Your replication options include system replication and storage replication, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Storage replication is the mirroring of HANA disk areas controlled by storage technology. Several SAP HANA hardware partners offer a storage-level replication solution. This is normally used for DR solutions.
- System replication is usually set up so that a secondary standby system is configured as an exact copy of the primary server. System replication can be used in both HA and DR solutions. The switch over is faster than storage replication because memory is continuously loaded on a secondary site. However, the hardware on the secondary site is actively used all the time for the standby/shadow process, which means you require more active hardware for your overall solution.
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Senior SAP Basis Consultant
As a senior basis consultant for Managecore's delivering team Chad is on the front lines with clients' critical systems providing technical daily monitoring support, project leadership, and implementing SAP® best practices for Managecore's valued customers. With 10 years of experience with SAP, Chad's core strengths include his sound technical knowledge and ability to go above and beyond to provide the best in expert customer support. Chad is continuously learning new SAP trends, to advise clients of new technologies that will optimize their business needs. Most notably as a SAP HANA® certified consultant, Chad provides expert technical support and gets clients running faster than ever before on the SAP HANA platform. Chad's infectious smile and 'can do attitude' embodies Managecore's foundational principles to provide Trust/Transparency and Communication/Collaboration.