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Author's profile photo Zora Caklovic

TechEd 2015 Lecture of the Week: Virtualization and Multi-tenancy for SAP HANA

This session gives an overview of different technologies customers can leverage to run multiple SAP HANA database instances and workloads on the same physical server, thus increasing the utilization of IT resources and lowering TCO.

In the first part of the session we introduce SAP HANA virtualization and multi-tenancy concepts. We talk about the grouping of virtualization technologies into hardware partitioning and software virtualization and discuss which technologies are supported with SAP HANA along with their status. Specific requirements for running SAP HANA in a virtual environment are also discussed, as well as what customers should keep in mind when deciding on their virtualization/partitioning approach.

The focus of the second part of the session is on native SAP HANA multi-tenant capabilities: Multiple Components, one Database (MCOD), Multiple Components, one System (MCOS), and the most recent Multi-tenant Database Containers (MDC) capability that was introduced with SPS 9. The main focus here is on the built-in SAP HANA MDC capability which enables users to run multiple workloads on the same host server. We describe in detail the MDC concept of having a single system database that contains system-wide landscape information and many tenant databases with separate schemas/workloads that are strictly isolated from each other. The role of the central database in administrating and monitoring, individual tenant-based capabilities, as well as user and administration layers and HA-DR settings are also discussed.

We end the session by going over main considerations and trade-offs between virtualization technologies and the native SAP HANA MDC capability. We also discuss what users should keep in mind when deciding on their virtualization or multi-tenancy approach for SAP HANA.

SAP HANA continued innovation includes work on enabling the latest partitioning/virtualization technologies (such as VMware vSphere 6.0, Huawei FusionSphere 5.1), as well as further enhancing native SAP HANA MDC capability. Here is a list of the planned MDC enhancements in the upcoming SPS12 release:

  • System replication techniques used for tenant database move or copy with near-zero downtime
  • Enhanced monitoring information to increase transparency on status of tenant databases
  • Audit logging for cross-tenant access for increased governance
  • Choice of GUI or command line interface to simplify conversion of single database to multi-tenant database

For more details and to learn about many new capabilities coming with the SAP HANA SPS12 release in the areas of virtualization, multi-tenancy, and other topics – make sure to sign up for  the upcoming iFG Webinar Series: Get Ready for SAP HANA SPS12! scheduled to start on May 12th. In case you were not available to attend these sessions, check the SAP HANA iFG Jam group where all session recordings and materials will be stored for later use.

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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Zors,

      nice blog and sesson.

      I can confirm, it really works ! At our company we are running a Hana System setup as MDC and with the full security, high isolation and data volume encryption, secure internal communication.

      We have two Productive Tenants, the BW Database Tenant and the BiJava Database Tenant.

      I will be doing some blogs on the  challenges we have had to solve, and the concepts we have put in place, for example we are planning for a future world of Tenant Mobility where we can move Tenants from one Hana System to another and therefore we carefully plan for usage of DB Ports so that at any layer of the SAP Landscape there are not two Hana MDC systems with Tenants with the same Ports.

      The most recent challenge was setting up the XS Engines for the Tenants, as you know each Tenant on each Hana Host needs a unique Alias, and then an External Web Dispatcher is required with specific configurations to load balance the Tenant XS Engines requests towards the Hana Internal Web Dispatcher - useful references - OSS Note 1855097 and the Hana Security Guide and Hana Admin Guide.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Zora Caklovic
      Zora Caklovic
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks so much for the feedback 🙂

      I'd love to learn more about your use case and lessons learned, would you be open for a quick call to discuss this?

      Thanks in advance-

      All the best,