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Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016 & Hyper-V

I just was aware of a new version of the Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016 which has been published by Microsoft.

It contains an amazing set of documentation that you can use to tune the server settings in Windows Server 2016, but also to configure and troubleshoot Hyper-V on Windows Server.

Where to find the Guidelines

Check the following entry point for an overview on hardware, Hyper-V and PowerShell tuning:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/performance-tuning/

Some Comments…

With recent Windows Server versions, Microsoft changed the default settings for the Windows Power Plan from ‘High Performance’ to ‘Balanced’ mode. This allows customers to benefit from lower power costs during times when CPU resources are on light load levels, however it brings additional latency during these times until “sleeping” CPU resources have been “waken up” to higher frequencies again.

Therefore, the ‘Balanced’ power plan setting and recommendations of section Recommended Balanced Power Plan Parameters for Workloads Requiring Quick Response Times might be sufficient for applications where low response times are not a critical issue, however it is a no go for enterprise applications like SAP.

For SAP applications, we observed very volatile response times in single threaded processes that are executed during low processor load times when the Windows Power Plan stays with its default ‘Balanced’.

Run times of for example SAP batch jobs vary extremely, because these jobs often don’t bring sufficient load on processor resources to wake them up to highest frequency and processor frequency stays still reduced. Running these jobs, you observe quicker response times when your VM has a ‘noisy neighbor’ which keeps the CPU on higher frequency level. During night times when CPU resource consumers mostly sleep, response times of lower load applications get worst.
Just the other way round you would have expected!

Therefore, make sure to adapt the Power Plan of your Windows servers to ‘High Performance’ mode when running SAP applications.

Support of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016

In section Detecting bottlenecks in a virtualized environment Microsoft explains the metrics needed when it comes to support of applications in Hyper-V environments.

At May 4th 2018, we released SAP applications on Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016. As a prerequisite for SAP support, make sure that Microsoft kb4093120 is installed. This patch is part of the April update package delivered by Microsoft.

5 Comments
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  • Hi Claudia,

    We are planning to migrate our SAP systems into Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V environment,

    We have been reviewing below wiki, and SAP notes, 1492000 and 1409608 to keep ourselves updated with SAP pre-requisite and Support guideline.

    https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/VIRTUALIZATION/SAP+on+Microsoft+Hyper-V

    In the SAP Note, 1409608 , SAP confirms Hyper-v support for Windows server 2016 with Microsoft KB 4093120

    Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016, only with Microsoft KB 4093120 (Datacenter and Standard Edition; GUI and Windows Server Core) with guest operating system Windows Server 2008 (R2), Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows Server 2016.

    For support of SAP applications with Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016, make sure that Microsoft KB 4093120 is installed on hypervisor level!
    For Microsoft’s restrictions in guest OS support of this Hyper-V version, see https://docs.microsoft.com/de-de/windows-server/virtualization/hyper-v/supported-windows-guest-operating-systems-for-hyper-v-on-windows.  ”

    Since, the blog mentions SAP support has been postponed for this environment until a resolution provided by Microsoft. I like to confirm what would be the current guideline we should follow  ?

    Thanks
    -Irfan

    •  

      hi Irfan,

      thank you for making me aware of my post. The statement of my SAP Note 1409608 which states support of SAP applications on Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016 is correct. The hotfix I mentioned in the note, Microsoft KB 4093120, contains the resolution provided by Microsoft in its recent April update for Windows Server 2016. I just changed the note last Friday to state that SAP support with this patch works fine and I updated the post to be correct now…

      Thanks and best regards,

      Claudia Baur

      Virtualization & Cloud on Microsoft Platforms

  • Hi Claudia,

     

    I was wondering if you can help me answer this..(sorry if this message is too long)

    I am often getting confused between windows 2016 LTSB and Windows 2016 standarad.

    We were on SQL 2008R2/Windows 2008 R2,

    As a test migration we did in place upgrade for Windows 2008 R2 to 2012 R 2.

    However we want to move to 2016 Windows …Windows we were looking to upgrade from  Win 2012 R2 to Windows 2016.

    Now the concern came SAP blogs say only Windows 2016 LTSB is supported…Does this  mean we cant run SAP ON WINDOWS 2016 STANDARAD?

    Which editions of Windows Server 2016 are supported?

     

    This is what I found below on sap site:

    “SAP supports the Standard Edition and Data Center Edition for its main products.”

     

    what do they mean by main products?

    “Please keep in mind that only the Windows Server 2016 Long Term Servicing Branch will be supported.The “Current Branch for Business” (CPP) and the Nano Server won’t be supported.”

     

    Does it mean I cant run SAP ON Windows 2016 standrad?

     

    https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/ATopics/FAQs+-+SAP+on+Windows+Server+2016

     

     

     

    • Hi Prasad,

      I am answering on behalf of Claudia.

      sure, you can run SAP products on Windows Server 2016 Standard. If you check SAP Note 234179 – “SAP Systems on Windows Server 2016” section 7 you find there the statement:

      Only Windows Server 2016 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) is supported (Standard and DataCenter Editions). As for the installation only the full GUI option “Server with Desktop Experience” is supported. Nano Server and the “Current Branch for Business (CBB)” are not supported.

      That means Standard and Datacenter Editions are supported. The term Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) refers to the support model. Microsoft releases long term and short term versions of its operating systems. The long term version (LTSB or LTSC – Long Term Servicing Channel, how they call it today) has the well known mainstream support of 5 years with additional 5 years extended support. The short term version (SAC – Semi Annual Channel) gets just 18 months support from Microsoft. With this SAC version you can get innovations much faster than with the LTSC version but, as you can imagine, it is not feasible for business critical Server Applications like SAP Netweaver. Thus, only the LTSC (or LTSB) versions are supported by SAP.
      You can read about this here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started-19/servicing-channels-19

      Concerning the term “main products”: I admit this is somewhat unspecific and means mainly products based on SAP Netweaver. It is impossible to give a full overview of all SAP products that are supported on Windows Server 2016. For the full overview the single source of truth is is the Product Availability Matrix.

      I hope this explanation helps you and I was able to bring some clarity to this topic.

      Best Regards,
      Frank Hildenbrand