What to Expect in the Renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central
SAP HANA Cloud administration and monitoring tools enable users to manage multiple SAP HANA Cloud instances (both SAP HANA Cloud, SAP HANA database and SAP HANA Cloud, data lake) in an efficient and comprehensive manner. As SAP strives to continuously improve SAP HANA Cloud database management capabilities, the SAP HANA Cloud tooling team is pleased to inform that as of SAP HANA Cloud QRC4 2022, the SAP HANA Cloud Central tool has undergone an exciting and multifaceted renovation to improve its user experience, boost its performance, and simplify SAP HANA Cloud administration tasks. This article introduces you to the changes and new features you can expect in SAP HANA Cloud Central.
Note: A “teaser” blog entry announcing the renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central tool is posted here.
SAP HANA Cloud currently offers the SAP HANA cockpit, the SAP HANA database explorer and the SAP HANA Cloud Central tools to manage individual and multiple SAP HANA Cloud instances. However, rather than leveraging separate tools for administration purposes, what if users could manage their instances in one centralized location? Well, that is exactly what the recent SAP HANA Cloud Central renovation seeks to bring forth. We are thrilled to announce that SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer are being integrated into SAP HANA Cloud Central to enable database operators to perform administrative tasks from a single tool.
The initial version of this renovation integrates the following selected features of SAP HANA cockpit into SAP HANA Cloud Central:
- User, privilege, and role management
- Performance monitoring
- SAP HANA native storage extension monitoring and administration
- Data replication
- Table distribution administration
- Services management
- Admission control monitoring
- SQL statements, SQL sessions and user transactions monitoring
- Version and plug-in information
The remaining SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer features will be introduced in subsequent versions of SAP HANA Cloud Central. The previous behaviour of SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer, namely the ability to open each tool in a separate browser, will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. This will aid in the transition to the renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central and allows users to resume administration tasks in the SAP HANA database explorer as we gradually integrate more components.
Note: Multi-environment SAP HANA Cloud tooling must be enabled to access these changes. Please see SAP HANA Cloud Help Portal for guidance on subscribing and configuring the SAP HANA Cloud Service.
We want to emphasize that this is not a tool rebuilding, but simply a renovation. In essence, SAP HANA Cloud Central will continue to behave as it has previously, with the additional benefit of having SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer integrated into its user interface. While the principal functionality is not changing, SAP HANA Cloud continues to advance its administration and monitoring capabilities and design. Thus, we have introduced the following additional features and enhancements in the renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central.
SAP HANA Cloud Central empowers administrators to manage multiple database and data lake instances in one location. In doing so, there are several actions that can be taken from the SAP HANA Cloud Central page such as searching and filtering for a specific instance, starting or stopping an instance, creating a new instance, and many more. While it is beneficial to have a myriad of available actions, this generates the need for an efficient pursuit to perform an action with ease. To simplify this process, SAP HANA Cloud Central has introduced a new feature; the global command palette.
The command palette can be found in the header bar in the top right corner of SAP HANA Cloud Central, making it easily accessible from anywhere in the application. By clicking on the search button, the command palette appears and displays a comprehensive list of the available commands an administrator can perform on any of their database and/or data lake instance. When applicable, the command palette presents a list of recent commands to enable operators to select frequently performed tasks. It also provides a list of SAP HANA Cloud Central global commands, followed by the actions available for each instance in alphabetical order.
For convenience, the command palette allows searching according to a specific action or instance. This feature is very useful when you have several instances to manage, or the exact spelling of an instance is unknown. As you begin to enter text in the search bar, the actions are filtered based on the instance you are managing, as well as its status. This serves to enable you to navigate through SAP HANA Cloud Central more efficiently and provides a centralized location to perform your administrative tasks.
The following video provides a demonstration of the new command palette feature that is introduced in SAP HANA Cloud Central, and provides insight into how it can be used to improve instance administration.
Integrating SAP HANA Cockpit Functionality
As previously mentioned, selected functionality from the SAP HANA cockpit is integrated into SAP HANA Cloud Central. Additional features from the cockpit, as well as from SAP HANA database explorer will be made available in future releases of SAP HANA Cloud Central.
Individual Instance Management
While the previous behaviour of opening SAP HANA cockpit in a separate browser tab continues to be available, you can now also monitor individual database health metrics and open management applications directly in SAP HANA Cloud Central. This offers a seamless transition to the new behaviour without leaving SAP HANA Cloud Central.
Opening the individual database management applications in SAP HANA Cloud Central is a simple process. From the Instances page in SAP HANA Cloud Central, navigate to the instance you would like to administer and select its row. After clicking the instance row, a window opens on the right side of the screen displaying all the administration and monitoring cards. This represents the functionality of the SAP HANA cockpit moved into SAP HANA Cloud Central.
Users can click on the different card containers to launch their corresponding application for further administration (just like the SAP HANA cockpit). The window screen size can be adjusted using the expansion and exit buttons in the top right corner of the tooling window. Viewing all the instance’s health metrics is significantly faster in the renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central, due to performance improvements such as reducing overhead, optimizing loading times and web requests, pre-loading of data, and better caching of data. In some cases, we have seen a 10x improvement factor, resulting in greater productivity.
Instance Compute Metrics
The user interface has been enhanced to display important compute metrics in the top header bar, as well as providing easily accessible tabs for certain information. The header bar consists of valuable measurements that an instance administrator would benefit from viewing frequently such as the instance status, total capacity units, or total backup size. Furthermore, as a way of simplifying the instance overview page, the number of required card containers has been reduced and the information has instead been included in tabs. For example, the previously existing Services and Database Information cards from the SAP HANA cockpit have now been replaced by the Services, Configuration, Plugins, and Version tabs.
Instance Overview Page
The instance Overview page (now displayed as a tab control) is refined to improve data visualization and streamline the administration process. The card containers now display important metrics according to a selected timeframe, which is determined using the “Show KPI Usage for” drop-down menu. The data displayed on each card will adjust according to the indicated term duration. This is helpful to analyze the change in data over time, while also allowing you to remain on the instance overview page rather than entering into each individual application.
The Usage Monitor application, previously called the Performance Monitor, is an application that presents and visualizes important instance metrics in one centralized application. You can access the Usage Monitor by selecting any one of the following card containers on the instance overview page: Memory, Compute, Storage, or Network.
Upon entering the Usage Monitor, there is a chart that displays the KPIs for each category in a graph: Alerts, Memory, Compute, Storage, Backup Storage, and Network Data Transfer. By distinguishing each key metric from one another in the form of rows and colour, database administrators can analyze the data with clarity and simplicity. The timeframe of data can be adjusted as desired by utilizing one of the preselected options (6 Hours, 24 Hours, or 7 Days) or customizing one of your own. Further, hovering over the graph will give rise to an information panel that contains a legend and value metric for the KPI as you move along the timeline.
For more information on the valuable changes and enhancements to SAP HANA cockpit as it is integrated into SAP HANA Cloud Central, please watch the video below.
Another exciting enhancement to the renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central is the implementation of the new Alerts application at the global level. The Alerts application presents a full list of instance alerts according to priority and offers the ability to search and filter for alerts as desired. This application was previously found in the SAP HANA cockpit from a card container, but is now integrated into SAP HANA Cloud Central to make this frequently used application more accessible for administrators.
There are a few different ways to navigate to the Alerts application within SAP HANA Cloud Central. The most efficient method would be to utilize the left navigation panel where an Alerts tab has been added for convenience. Expanding the panel and selecting ‘Alerts’ will bring you directly into the Alerts application. You can also access the Alerts application from the Usage Monitor app in by clicking the ‘See Alerts’ button in the top right corner.
The following video demonstrates the Alerts access points and available tasks you can perform within the application.
To assist in transitioning between different applications and pages, SAP HANA Cloud Central now includes a navigation path to display your journey throughout the tooling. This improves visibility for users to efficiently return to previously viewed pages. The navigation path also offers a drop-down menu to easily access instance metrics or enter into related applications.
The renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central tool has evidently experienced a great deal of improvements and will continue to develop as the remaining SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer features are integrated. With a comprehensive list of the changes, you are encouraged to explore the new interface and experience the benefits of managing your instances from one centralized location. For more information, please visit the Help Portal in the SAP HANA Cloud Central Reference Guide or FAQ document addressing many frequently asked questions.
You are encouraged to share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section, and to continue to monitor the SAP HANA page to learn about more exciting enhancements to SAP HANA Cloud Central in the future!