While ‘resting between engagements’, I took the opportunity to install and configure a Solution Manager system on a cloud host local to Australia.  The main reason was for a demojam entry, but it’s always good to keep my skills up to date.  The target system provided was a Windows 2008 R2 system.

Windows   Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 only have functional differences; using the same SAP kernel version, the same service packs, and  the same hot fixes and security fixes.  By contrast, going from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2 requires an updated kernel (see SAP note 1383873 – Windows Server 2008 R2 Support).  Now, I could say I was using 2008 R2 for all the right reasons; for example, according to Frequently Asked Questions – SAP on Windows Server 2008 R2:

The main benefits of Windows 2008 R2 are

  • Scalability
    Windows Server 2008 R2 supports up to 256 logical processors.
  • Improved virtualization features
    On Hyper-V in Windows Server  2008 R2, the amount of cores supported by the hypervisor (up to 32) has  been enhanced. Another enhancement is Live Migration support by the  implementation of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). Virtual Machines can be  migrated without service interruption between the cluster members.
  • Power usage
    Windows Server 2008 R2 reduces processor power  consumption in server computers with multi-core processors using a  feature known as Core Parking. Core Parking allows Windows Server 2008  R2 to consolidate processing onto the minimum number of required  processor cores, and suspends inactive processor cores. The advantage of  Core Parking over traditional servers is 10-15 % energy saving for the  same workload.

For a complete list of features, see:

However the real reason was that Windows 2008 R2 was already installed on the server I was using.  This became a bit of an challenge, as the Install Kit I used wasn’t actually for 2008 R2 !!.  I found OSS Note 1383873 fairly quickly, but even after installing the appropriate kernel as suggested,  sapstartsrv.exe (used by the SAPxxx_NN service) would not start correctly.  I discovered via google that I needed to install an extra Microsoft c-runtime (vcredist) to run the  new SAP kernel.

The reason for posting this as a blog (I’ll also add it to the wiki) is that while I’ve since found out that this is ‘general knowledge’, it wasn’t described in OSS Nnote 1383873 – Windows Server 2008 R2 Support , and in fact, the only reference I found to my symptom was in one line in 1494740- SAP system migration from Windows 2003 to 2008 (R2) 64-bit AFTER I chased the error down through Google.

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  1. Tom Cenens
    Hello Martin

    Interesting blog, I did a combined unicode/upgrade conversion from 46C to ECC 6.0 on vmware in combination with Oracle10g for one of ours customers last year and Windows 2008 R1 as target since it was formally mentioned R2 was not yet supported.

    Any lack of official SAP support definitely keeps customers away from using certain products.

    The vmware wasn’t really officialy supported either but we have many productive instances running on vmware+windows 2008 r1 and the combination works fine, not just fine, great and smooth.

    I still think a lot of persons are reluctant to use windows as an operating system to place their SAP system on while it has grown a lot over the past few years and is actually a decent platform right now.

    Kind regards


  2. Steve Rumsby
    We’re just re-implementing Solution Manager 7 and so have gone through the exact same experience. Windows 2008 R2 is a supported OS, but we found, as you did, that the installation set doesn’t yet live up to that promise. Not only do you have to patch the kernel in the installation set *before* installation, there are problems with the Oracle installation too. That needs to be done in a non-standard way.

    If an OS is “supported” I’d expect the installation set to just work. The process of trying, failing, searching for relevant notes, and then throwing it all away and starting again wasted about a week for us. Very frustrating.

    Interestingly, I also found the easiest way to find solutions to these problems was through Google. Searching the service marketplace just wasn’t as helpful.

  3. Emre Ozkilic

    We are considering to migrate a set of systems from Windows 2003/2008 R1 to Windows 2008 R2 on Vmware. I believe a homogeneous system copy will be sufficient, do you have any tips for the switchover or any problems we should be aware of?

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the R2 platform,


    1. Martin English Post author
      Hi Emre,
        The usual consultants answer; it depends 🙂

      The ‘proper’ approach is to install the target systems via the sapinst System Copy, but the issue I’d have with that is the amount of work and time until you know whether its actually worked properly.

      Another approach is
      1) make a copy of the source VM,
      2) update the Operating System,
      3) add the VCREDIST dlls,
      4) update the ABAP kernel and Java SDM to the latest levels,
      5) and then start SAP.
      This would give you your current Support Stack levels, but withe the latest (inclusive of Windows 2008 R2 support) kernel and SDM.

      However, do note the last paragraph of Note 1383873 – Windows Server 2008 R2 Support ( http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1383873 ); just because the appropriate kernel can be installed doesn’t mean that particular product is supported on 2008 R2.

      Given the issues that both I and Steve have had, I’d certainly test each variation of product and source Operating System before handing over to support !!

      Good luck, and by all means let us know how you go !!


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