Skip to Content

Linux as SAP DB Server established

Linux opinion leaders must take note: An increasing number of large and major companies, who for years used Unix, are making the switch towards Linux. It is a simple fact that Linux is in the fast lane for SAP operating system platforms – including in the database server environment.

There are probably only still very few Unix users in the SAP community who are not in some way, directly or indirectly, involved with a migration to Linux. This certainly has to do with the fact that the Linux operating system platform in conjunction with x86 computing architectures has developed into a kind of mainstream.

However, discussions with customers reveal that the approach to a Unix-Suse-Linux migration is not uncommonly characterized by the following migration philosophy: We will migrate the SAP application server to Linux, and we’ll leave the database or database server on Unix for now.

As a general rule, users are therefore “testing the water” in the Linux environment, or getting to know what will and won’t work in Linux. Linux is apparently not so well trusted as a database server platform compared to Unix. Concerns still exist, particularly in relation to usable database sizes, DB I/O behavior, or performance. 

Study: No limits

to Linux DB implementation

Many of those questioned were simply not aware of the dynamic development of the Linux operating system platform that has taken place in recent years, including with regard to the use of Linux in the SAP database server environment. According to SAP, Linux is currently used in over 12,000 installations, and Suse can report productive database sizes beyond the 10 TB mark.

Many SAP customers are also greatly surprised at the achievable SAP output (Linux and the various databases for SAP). Linux has long expanded into the dimensions of Unix.

But this is not enough. The following result of a current study by Realtech ( speaks volumes and should dispel general concerns over Linux in the database server environment: “There is no real limit in terms of system size or database volume in an SAP Linux implementation.” The fact that Suse Linux has been proven as a database server platform demonstrates the confidence of SAP in HANA. SLES for SAP applications is currently the only platform approved for SAP HANA.

And how does this work with


While it is possible to dispel general concerns in a range of customer discussions, there nevertheless still exists a certain degree of skepticism toward the use of Linux as a database server platform. And legends are often nurtured: specifically when it comes to the topic of virtualization. Although companies want to migrate, and they virtualize the SAP application server(s), they continue to run the database server(s) as a native implementation.

Perhaps users should take a more detailed look at the wide-ranging virtualization possibilities of VMWare VSphere 5, or use it in a concrete application to put their minds at rest. If they do so seriously and with an open mind, they will come to the conclusion that the majority of application scenarios can be virtualized in the SAP environment. In short, many Linux-native database server implementations are superfluous. 

Another point frequently cited as a reason for postponing or canceling Unix-Linux migrations, especially in the database server environment (for whatever reasons), is the subject of high availability. Are there any HA features? Or rather, are they comparable with those of UNIX? Answer: Linux has high availability thanks to the Suse HA Extension, which is SAP-certified for implementations on a physical level or virtualized with VMware. In other words, a high-availability fully virtualized SAP landscape has long been feasible with Suse Linux.

The AND brings more –
no half measures

Conclusion: Suse Linux is an SAP platform for SAP application servers AND SAP database servers. The use of VSphere 5 means that this is fully virtualized and highly available using the Suse HA extension, from a single source, in the form of a supported package, and usable via the SAP Solution Manager. There are certainly enough success stories.

Incidentally, Suse, in cooperation with SAP, VMware, and the consultancy firm/software company Realtech, also organizes regular workshops on the topic of “SAP on Linux” in the Partner Port located next to SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf. Current information can be found at:

Be the first to leave a comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.