A large government datacenter in Europe (client and location are confidential), that supports 28.000 users, needs to continuously optimize and streamline their infrastructure of more than 3.500 physical nodes to reduce downtime and guarantee a better SLA for the SAP HANA services.

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“We are the leading technology partner of the public sector. We use the most modern technologies for the further development of the administration. We offer our customers innovative, tailor-made products that meet the highest security criteria“, said the head of infrastructure, “for this special project, for one of our most important customers, performance and availability were key. Otherwise people would not be able to use the infrastructure” he continued.

the challenge

“Our comdivision team of architects has a long-standing relationship with this customer. Naturally, we were the first that the customer approached with this task” explained Fabian Lenz, comdivision’s lead architect on this project. “While the customer’s hardware wasn’t an issue, they had trouble with the SLAs when it came to maintenance windows on SAP HANA. We knew that virtualization was the key to success.” Lenz continued: “With this kind of user base and the size of the operation, the customer needed somebody with the right experience to plan the migration from physical systems to a virtualized infrastructure.”

the solution

Since Hyper-V was not supported by SAP HANA, the only choice for the Intel-based hardware platforms was VMware vSphere. Running  the high-performance  SAP HANA  database  virtualized can offer agility ,  hardware consolidation and ease system provisioning, reduce TCO, and offer additional options for planning and managing multiple systems landscapes . These options include vSphere HA as a choice for government agencies that require a better than average level of availability.    

“We verified beforehand if the hardware that was in use was indeed certified by both SAP HANA and VMware vSphere”, said Lenz, “together with the customer’s own infrastructure personnel and the help of the SAP HANA configuration check tool, our team analysed the existing infrastructure for compatibility” he explained. “We then planned for the customers’ performance needs and proposed to integrate VMware DRS groups to ensure, that virtual machines are running on their “assigned” host, because resources are planned per machine with different needs.”

the results

"For us, particularly the option to dynamically vacate hosts using vMotion was of importance” said the head of infrastructure, “we are now able to just move the workloads off one system, install the required updates and add the host back to the cluster, when hard or software updates are finished”.

“The performance is outstanding” he praised, “and because the comdivision team took our people along during the process, my operations team is now comfortable guaranteeing much better SLAs” he concluded.