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Automate and standardize SAP operations using Dell EMC ESI for Storage Integration

Enterprise SAP landscapes can have dozens of inter-related instances when you include all the non-production systems used for development, testing, training, and sandbox experimentation.  SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) software coupled with the Dell EMC Enterprise Storage Integrator (ESI) for SAP LaMa simplifies management of these complex SAP environments using advanced storage-based local and remote replication services built into Dell EMC storage systems.

Dell Technologies offers SAP enabled enterprise one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of storage array options.  All the storage systems listed below are supported by our Dell EMC ESI for SAP LaMa software for simplifying landscape management.  Customers can choose a solution from any of the Unity, Unity XT, VMAX3, and PowerMax storage array models and get integration with SAP LaMa to improve management of their SAP systems.  Unity XT arrays are midrange storage platforms designed for performance, efficiency, and data protection. The new PowerStore All-Flash Storage appliance provides a data-centric design and adaptable architecture.  Our PowerMax arrays are larger storage platforms that accelerate applications with end-to-end NVMe flash storage, global deduplication and compression, and data protection. Below is a table showing all the ESI supported storage arrays:

Table 1: Supported Storage Systems

NAS / NFS SAN / Fibre Channel Unified SAN & NAS
PowerMax eNAS
Unity
Unity XT
VMAX3

PowerStore

PowerMax
Unity
Unity XT
VMAX3
XtremIO

PowerStore

PowerMax
Unity
Unity XT
VMAX3

PowerStore

SAP LaMa is an automation and orchestration solution that replaces manual or scripted processes for creating clones, copies, and related refresh activities. Simplified landscape management provides key business benefits including improved service quality and the capability to new drive business innovation. SAP LaMa combine with Dell EMC ESI provides a single pane of glass for operations like SAP system relocation, snapshots, provisioning processes and other activities. This increases manageability and enables business agility by facilitating administration teams to address the rapidly changing company demands.  Dell EMC supports SAP LaMa in physical, virtual, and cloud technologies providing a single pathway to manage most landscape configurations.

Examples of improved operational capabilities include:

  • SAP LaMa System Relocation: This operation enables a SAP system to be relocated from the original host to another host that is recognized by SAP LaMa. System relocation operations are useful when the primary SAP server system needs scheduled maintenance or an upgrade. The entire relocation operation is automated with ESI enabling administrators to quickly move the running SAP system from one host to another.  All of the following  configurations are supported:
    • Physical-to-physical (P2P) bare-metal to bare-metal
    • Physical-to-virtual (P2V) bare-metal to VMware virtual using Raw Device Mapping (pRDMs)
    • Virtual-to-virtual (V2V) VMware VMDK disks from one VM to another
  • Managed SAP LaMa Managed snapshots: This operation enables all source volumes from an SAP system to be “snap copied” using a single API call to maintain storage consistency. Storage snapshots are a low overhead point-in-time image of source volumes on a storage array that can be used in place of full copies for many management tasks.  For example, PowerMax and VMAX arrays use SnapVX to create a consistent image of SAP system volumes. Snapshots are more efficient than full copies since only the data changes between the source volumes and the images is copied to the “snap copied” volumes.  For many SAP landscape management operations, PowerMax and VMAX snapshots will consume only a small fraction of the space used on the primary SAP system storage array.
  • SAP LaMa System Provisioning
    • System Clone: This operation duplicates a currently running system or previously created managed snapshot. The duplicated clone and source systems have identical system ID’s.  The clone is isolated on a dedicated network to prevent application users from connecting to the wrong system by mistake. The default configuration for System clones created on Dell EMC storage arrays is to use space-efficient snapshots of the source volumes (space saving copies).  There is also an option to create a full clone that will double the storage space consumed by check marking the ‘Full Copy’ checkbox.
    • System Copy: This operation crates a copy of an SAP system with a new unique SAP system ID (SID), host name and IP address. A system copy is useful when the business needs a copy of either a production or non-production system for quality assurance, development, and/or testing. The two key differences between a system clone and system copy is the creation of a new identity (SID) when using a copy operation and the copy uses new storage volumes and full space allocations.
    • System Refresh: This operation refreshes either a complete or used specified part of an existing system. There are three options enabled by system refresh procedures: refresh system, refresh database (DB only), and restore-based refresh. Restore-based system refresh integrates with the leading Dell EMC Data Protection solutions, such as PowerProtect Application Direct Database Agents and Data Domain with DDBoost.

Figure 1: Dell EMC ESI integration with SAP Landscape Management

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Dell EMC ESI integration with SAP Landscape Management

In addition to all the scenarios discussed above, there are additional operations that can be streamlined by enabling Dell EMC integration with SAP LaMa like monitoring and data protection. For example, with data protection integration customers can perform on-demand and scheduled backups of the SAP system. With Unity, Unity XT, VMAX3, and PowerMax ESI integration customers can automate most all system operations for SAP. In addition, the opportunity for increased storage savings via efficient storage snapshots means SAP customers can have more SAP systems consuming less overall space on their Dell EMC storage systems.

The Dell Technologies SAP site is the place to start learning about all the features and capabilities offered by both Dell EMC storage and PowerEdge servers. If you are interested in more technical material, the new Enterprise Storage Integrator for SAP Landscape Management Technical Overview Guide 8.0 was just released on the Dell Technologies support site.

The SAP Landscape Management website (https://community.sap.com/topics/landscape-management) is the ideal place to learn more about the benefits of automation and orchestration plus, you can post any questions.

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