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Author's profile photo Muthuraman Chidambaram

Downsizing a HANA Instance on Azure VM

This is my first blog in the SAP Community.

Short Intro about me I’m a Basis Consultant with 10 years of experience in Support/Migration & Implementation Projects.

Basis is a vast topic because all modules in SAP are under the RADAR of Basis . It has a lot of changing concepts to be learnt in today’s dynamic SAP products & their versions.

Every blog on Basis must be descriptive enough with detailed steps and should explain about the technical terms used in the blog at least to a certain extent, so that it will serve the purpose it has been written for.

I’m a person who look for & admire such kind of blogs.

Hope my blog will also be in such a way. Please read and share your feedback for improvements guys.


Description about the activity performed:

This document provides detailed information on how to downsize an existing Hana VM built on Azure to a VM which has lower hardware configuration. While reducing VM size in Azure is relatively easy, Hana being an in-memory database, the disks are usually proportional to the VM memory size.This document outlines how to right-size the VM and disks.

High level steps: 

  • Gathering File System Information from Hana Database
  • Gathering Memory Statistics from Hana Database
  • Data Footprint Calculation
  • Cost Calculation for New Hardware
  • Adding New disks to VM


Gathering File System Information from Hana Database:

Check the current File system layout at the OS level.

This is to get detailed information of the type of FS used, current usage level of all the FS associated to Hana Application & also the existing level of sizes allocated to each FS.


Below are the FS that must be considered when you downsize a Hana VM.




The below table is an output of collective information from the below commands.


df -h  --> list the FS in the VM
lvdisplay  --> Logical Volumes available in the VM
vgdisplay  --> Volume groups available in the VM
pvdisplay  --> Physical Volumes available in the system
lsscsi  --> Display LUN numbers to disk name mapping
lsblk  --> Display disk names to xxx mapping


Gathering Memory Statistics from Hana Database:


To downsize the current VM it is more important to collect the information on the current memory usage of the Hana application.

Read through the below terminologies to understand the different memory concepts used by Hana application before you proceed.


Resident Memory à the physical memory in operational use by a process.


Pool Memoryà When SAP HANA started, a significant number of memory is requested from OS to this memory pool to store all the in memory data and system tables, thread stacks, temporary computation and other structures that need for managing HANA Database.

only part of pool memory is used initially. When more memory is required for table growth or temporary computations, SAP HANA Manager obtain it from this pool. When the pool cannot satisfy the request, the memory manage will increase the pool size by requesting more memory from the OS, up to the pre-defined Allocation Limit.  Once computations completed or table dropped, freed memory is returned to the memory manager, who recycles it to its pool.


SAP HANA Used Memory à total amount of memory currently used by SAP HANA processes, including the currently allocated Pool Memory. The value will be dropped when freed memory after each temporary computation and increase when more memory is needed and requested from Pool.


To collect the memory statistics, you can collect it initially at the OS level to collect the information on the RAM size of the server and then into Hana Studio to collect the memory statistics for individual System & Tenant Database level.


free -g to collect info at OS level.


Hana Resident memory occupied by System DB


Hana Resident memory occupied by Tenant DB


Data Footprint Calculation:


The actual data occupied at the FS level by Hana application level is the non-defragmented data. Data footprint calculation on your Hana DB will give you the actual data occupied at OS level. To calculate this, we need to follow the below procedure.

Before we defragment the /hana/data disk it is always good to take a complete data backup of both System & Tenant DB. Make sure the application is stopped at this stage.


Use the below command to defragment the disk. We must defragment the index server so make sure you provide the hostname and port number of the index server.

Port number of the index server can be obtained from the landscape tab by Right clicking the Configuration & Administration tab of the SYSTEMDB entry in the landscape panel of your Hana studio.


Link to details on Defragmentation command


alter system reclaim datavolume ’hostname:portnumber’ 120 defragment


Now use the below command to calculate the data footprint.

select sum(allocated_page_size)/1024/1024/1024 from m_converter_statistics


To calculate the RAM size for the new Hardware below formula has been suggested by SAP.


1.5 * 345 = 518GB

In our current scenario the new system is going to be used only by 10 concurrent users and load on the system will be very less, so we have decided to move go with RAM size of 256GB for the new server. Otherwise you can go to the nearest highest value of the output from the formula


As per SAP’s recommendation below is the proportion in which the above mentioned diskspace must be decided.

/hana/data --> 1.2 * RAM Application specific,  1 * RAM no application specific
/hana/log --> systems <= 512GB ½ of RAM, systems > 512GB minimum 512GB
/hana/shared --> 1*RAM max 1TB (single node)
/backup --> datasize + logsize
Root file system --> 60GB btrfs file system BTREE filesystem developed in 2011.
/usr/sap --> 50GB (10GB min recommended)
Swap space 2GB


Link to SAP FS Recommendation


Cost Calculation for New Hardware:

Initially used VM & disks before downsizing

M128s (128 vcpus, 2048 GiB memory)

1024GB Premium SSD Disk --> /backup
64GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /usr/sap/SID
2048GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /hana/data
2048GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /hana/data
2048GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /hana/data
512GB Premium SSD Disk --> /hana/log
512GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /hana/log
2048GB Premium SSD Disk  --> /hana/shared
30GB Premium SSD Disk --> /root


You may see there are three disks for data & two for logs these are called Striped disks.

In azure there is an option to combine three disks to get IOPS & throughput of three disks into one that functionality is named as Striped disks.

For eg:

If there is disk P10 which has a Throughput & IOPS of 5000 & 60 & 512GB it may cost $400 a month.

You have a disk P6 which has Throughput & IOPS of 2000 & 20 & 512GB it may cost $100 a month.

P6 + P6 + P6 = 6000 + 60 Throughput & IOPS with same 512GB in that way we can save $100 a month by striping the disks together.

SAP suggests striped disks only for /hana/data & /hana/log for improved performance.

You can stripe the data disk at 256K & log disk at 32K as of now.

Link to SAP Hana Azure vm Storage Configuration

So decide the resources according to you target servers.

Link for Pricing of Azure VMs

Link for Pricing of Azure Disks


Adding New disks to VM:


Below is the RAM of the new VM.


LUNS has been assigned like below from the AZURE portal to the VM.


hostname_1a, 256G, LUN: 8

hostname_3a, 512G, LUN: 9
hostname_4a, 512G, LUN: 10
hostname_5a, 512G, LUN: 11

hostname_6a, 256G, LUN: 12
hostname_7a, 256G, LUN: 13

hostname_8a, 512G, LUN: 14


Below command can be used to check the LUNS mapped to Physical volume.


hostname:~ # lsscsi
[2:0:0:0]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sda
[3:0:1:0]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdb
[5:0:0:1]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sde
[5:0:0:8]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdc
[5:0:0:9]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdg
[5:0:0:10]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdd
[5:0:0:11]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdi
[5:0:0:12]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdf
[5:0:0:13]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdj
[5:0:0:14]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdh


Command to create Physical volume

pvcreate /dev/sdp 


pvcreate Command
/dev/sdp Name of Physical Volume


Command to create volume group

vgcreate vg_log_new /dev/sdm /dev/sdp 


vgcreate Command
vg_log_new Name of the volume group
/dev/sdm /dev/sdp Space delimited list of disk names


Command to create logical volume

lvcreate -i2 -I32K -L256G -n lv_log_new vg_log_new 


lvcreate Command
-i2 Create a stripe set of two
-I32K Strip size is 32K
-L256G Final size of volume in GB
-n lv_log_new Name of new logical volume
vg_log_new Source volume group


Once the logical volume is created use the below command to make an FS entry.

mkfs.xfs /dev/vg_log_new/lv_log_new 


mkfs.xfs Command
/dev/vg_log_new/lv_log_new Complete path of Logical volume to be added to fs


Now Rename the old File system entries from /etc/fstab file, provide the new File system entries and mount them.

Copy the files through cp or rsync command under respective directories.


Now we are good to start the downsized VM.


I have provided all the info to the best of my knowledge, please share your feedback to improvise folks 🙂


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      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki

      Hi and welcome to SCN bloggers!

      Friendly advise: to make your post more readable it is good to format code blocks using "Insert/Edit Code", like

      hostname:~ # lsscsi
      [2:0:0:0]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sda
      [3:0:1:0]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdb
      [5:0:0:1]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sde
      [5:0:0:8]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdc
      [5:0:0:9]    disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdg
      [5:0:0:10]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdd
      [5:0:0:11]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdi
      [5:0:0:12]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdf
      [5:0:0:13]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdj
      [5:0:0:14]   disk    Msft     Virtual Disk     1.0   /dev/sdh

      and individual commands by putting into back-ticks, like `lvcreate -i2 -I32K -L256G -n lv_log_new vg_log_new` that will format it

      lvcreate -i2 -I32K -L256G -n lv_log_new vg_log_new

      Best regards.

      Author's profile photo Muthuraman Chidambaram
      Muthuraman Chidambaram
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Witalij,

      Thanks for the feedback, updated them as you insisted.

      Looks cool now 🙂

      Thanks, MC

      Author's profile photo Sumit Jaiswal
      Sumit Jaiswal

      Thanks for the post !

      Thought to mention – What’s the point of all the calculations for required memory after defragmentation when you finally opted for 256G instance instead of calculated 518G ? ?

      Also,  Striping  of the disks can be done even in on premise servers. Shouldn’t credit Azure or any cloud vendor for it ?


      Author's profile photo Muthuraman Chidambaram
      Muthuraman Chidambaram
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sumit,


      I have mentioned in the blog clearly that we are not going to have much load on this system hence we decided to go only with 256GB RAM. Calculation is for people who will have equal load in the reduced Instance as well 🙂

      No credits to azure 🙂 just a mention that azure managed disks also have those capabilities.


      Thanks, MC




      Author's profile photo Rahul Shankar
      Rahul Shankar

      This blog was much needed and will be very helpful to refer while performing the downsizing of HANA VM. You have written it in a user-friendly and easily understandable style. Excellent post.

      Thank you!

      Author's profile photo Thomas Nitzsche
      Thomas Nitzsche

      Thanks for the article!

      Which source do you have for the
      "As per SAP’s recommendation below is the proportion in which the above mentioned diskspace must be decided."
      And which source of SAP recommendation especially for the "minimum" in "/hana/log --> systems <= 512GB ½ of RAM, systems > 512GB minimum 512GB"

      SAP names a whitepaper here: Sizing SAP HANA | SAP Help Portal
      The actual whitepaper is attached to this SAP note and is of 2017: 1900823 - SAP HANA Storage Connector API - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

      Did you use a more recent SAP recommendation source? In the SAP whitepaper, there is no "minimum" 512GB for /hana/log, but 512GB as the maximum for /hana/log

      Yet, Microsoft/Azure as of today recommends 3x256GB= 768GB for /hana/log - this is contrary to SAP recommendation:
      SAP HANA Azure virtual machine storage configurations - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
      Just to reach the throughput needed? Or to sell 150% of the needed storage in order to increase business?