Why Pure Storage for SAP HANA?

[ NOTE: machine translation with the help of DeepL translator without additional proofreading and spell checking ]


As the industry drives SAP modernization and migration to SAP HANA platforms, it's even more important that you have a storage platform you can trust. As one of the first providers of certified all-flash storage, Pure Storage delivers a valid foundation for improving SAP environments. As a certified storage solution, Pure is designed to deliver customers the performance acceleration needed in SAP HANA environments. In addition, users can expect improved resiliency and consistency, as well as ease of management.


"SAP HANA is increasingly being used by customers who face both high transaction rates and complex search queries on one platform. What matters in these environments is performance. SAP-certified solutions like those from Pure Storage allow customers to deploy high-performance flash arrays with the confidence they need." - Eric Burgener, Research Director at IDC

SAP certification also enables Pure Storage to participate in SAP's Tailored Datacenter Integration program as a certified data center integration solution. This gives customers the advantage of using existing hardware and infrastructure components in SAP HANA environments.


Constant efficiency


All-Flash Performance


Eliminates bottlenecks now with DirectFlash Fabric technology. Pure Storage uses NVMe flash instead of disk, eliminating the performance latency caused by disk storage. By eliminating latency, Pure Storage can help you run OLTP and OLAP solutions in parallel on the same all-flash storage platform - even for multiple SAP nodes. You can run software 10x faster than on disk storage.


"I never have to use a physical host again for maximum performance. With Pure Storage, I can virtualize everything without compromise." - David Comben, CIO, Investec Asset Management

SAP HANA native storage extension (NSE)


Pure is the first company to support SAP HANA NSE with DirectMemory storage of this storage class, delivering up to 90% of the performance of in-memory SAP HANA with up to 70% savings.


Maximum data reduction


Faster performance due to data reduction compared to other all-flash providers. Although SAP HANA is highly compressed, Pure still achieves a data reduction of about 2:1 - on top.


Always Simple


FlashStack and TDI


With TDI = Tailored Datacenter Integration, as mentioned, Pure Storage is certified for SAP. Paired with the Cisco solution "FlashStack" as converged infrastructure (CI), Pure Storage and Cisco offer the simplicity and user experience of an appliance, with the scalability comparable to a cloud.


Snapshots, automation and deep API integration


Pure's snapshots take up no space and the APIs enable automation of complex business processes. For example: automating SAP copy/clone processes could save up to 90% of your time for copy, clone and update tasks!


"Pure saves us a lot of money, a lot of energy, and a lot of complexity." - Sasha Kipervarg, Senior Manager, Workday

Easy Cloud Scaling


Cloud Block Store and CloudSnap for a data backup help you build your cloud, run SAP HANA and SAP applications anywhere, and protect your data everywhere.


Maximale Flexibilität


With Pure-as-a-Service, you eliminate speculation and variables in capacity planning and transform capital expenditures (CapEx) into operating expenses (OpEx) with on-demand cloud scalability.


Permanente Verfügbarkeit


Real-time data replication at 99.9999% availability with FlashArray with no unplanned downtime. Named a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader six years in a row. Above-average satisfied customer base: 86.6 Net Promoter Score (NPS). Customers see an average three-year return on investment (ROI) of 472% for their SAP storage.

As more customers prefer or already use multi-cloud environments, there is an increasing need to protect and manage complex SAP environments more easily, quickly. If you want to implement changes in your business-critical applications like SAP, the key is to reduce impact and risk as much as possible. Pure Storage has proven to be a reliable and trusted provider. Pure Storage has been and continues to be an innovator in efficient data management of diverse SAP infrastructures.


SAP Dynamic Tiering - Tests with Pure


The following is a practical reference of a HANA environment with Cisco and Pure Storage. Excerpt (edited) from "Want to use SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering on Pure Storage? Check out a reference architecture tested at SAP Co-innovation Lab" by Kevin Liu, SAP:

The test environment


It's no secret, some storage vendors are certified for HANA.

Each storage vendor may have a set of best practices for setting up dynamic HANA tiering. To demonstrate the benefits of using Pure Storage, the team at COILsv built a complete HANA system consisting of a stack (FlashStack) of hardware (storage, network and compute) and software (Cisco UCS Manager, SAP HANA SPS11 and SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering; SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio; SAP HANA Cloud Platform, intelligent data streaming; SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, server version for teams; and Pure Purity).


The HANA structure can be visualized as follows:

Network: Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Fabric Interconnect 6120XP for external and internal connectivity of the IP and Fibre Channel (FC) network.

Storage: FlashArray//m20 with Fibre Channel connectivity.

Compute: Cisco UCS B250 M2 server


Shown in the figure below, the main components of the hardware used:


The test scenarios


IoT solutions often involve a large amount of data that needs to be collected and analyzed. The team implemented a simple IoT application for a coal mining company that uses IoT applications for a ground-based warning system. Coal mines are hazardous work environments where worker safety is a top priority. A number of precautions must be taken to prevent incidents/disasters. To ensure this process, a wide variety of networked sensors monitor the environment and report any deviation.


As shown in the figure below, sensor data is collected and sent to HANA, which is regularly monitored using web applications and servlets. Alerts are triggered when the system detects smoke, fire, earthquake, equipment failure, etc.


Why Pure Storage and SAP?


HANA is an in-memory system. The power of in-memory computing is indisputable. Knowing that RAM is an expensive resource, HANA provides tools that help customers reduce costs by moving data to external storage depending on data accesses. There is no question that hot data must be additionally stored in persistent storage. Otherwise, data loss would be the result in the event of a system failure. If the persistent storage here is a high-performance storage system (like Pure), hot and cold data can be moved to different storage devices without affecting performance. Users don't notice the relocations.


By using SAP's on-boarding tools to offload warm data from HANA, dynamic tiering allows administrators to define rules for data aging (reactive) and automatically execute them (proactive) at scheduled intervals.

DirectMemory Cache


Despite the fast performance of flash media and also NVM Express

there are applications, such as SAP HANA, which require even more performance. Maximum performance is achieved with volatile server memories (DRAM). Storage Class Memory (SCM) is a new class of storage technology that has a huge performance difference between DRAM and Flash Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSD latency is microseconds, where SCM latency is a few hundred nanoseconds.

SCM is persistent, has a higher memory density and is less expensive than DRAM.

Pure Storage's SCM technology is called DirectMemory Cache. It is a non-volatile, read-only memory cache within FlashArray. Intel Optane DC-SSDs technology thus DirectMemory-Cache delivers exceptional performance for warm data (worm data) with SAP HANA native storage extension and forms the basis for configuring SAP HANA extension nodes for scale-out configurations.


With the SAP HANA extension, there is no need to manually move data: warm data is accessed from Pure, not from host storage directly. This approach can reduce your memory footprint in SAP hosts, which helps reduce costs (DRAM).


Pure's cache provides a powerful combination to unlock the potential of data tiering in the SAP HANA platform. A critical function within SAP HANA is the transfer of data from write-optimized storage (DRAM) to the main storage (Pure), which is optimized for read performance and memory consumption. Query performance drops dramatically if the storage is not able to perform the merge quickly and efficiently. Unlike disk-based storage, there is no bottleneck in these operations with Pure storage, which means SAP HANA can operate at maximum efficiency and grow your business responsiveness and agility.


Examples


It's the end of a quarter and you need to analyze 3 to 4 months of data that you haven't touched in a while. Do this with slow storage systems (legacy storage based on SSD-only flash) and the system may have trouble servicing these requests during quarter-end or year-end step operations.


Perhaps your data set has outgrown your system's actual available host memory (DRAM) and you would need to expand, but you can't shut down the system or expand its memory without interruption. You could use the SAP HANA extension to move some data out of memory. It also curbs exponential linear cost growth as data grows.


With DirectMemory Cache, Pure Storage handles slowdowns and data explosions. That means you can focus on what's important to you, and you don't have to buy all that expensive storage - you get that performance with Pure and DirectMemory.


More technical information


DirectMemory Cache you can read in depth in my already published article: "FlashArray: What's new for //X ? DirectMemory Cache with Intel Optane - Reduce Your SAP HANA costs".


Conclusion


As an SAP HANA administrator, you have a choice:

You can spend a significant amount on host storage for a large system, or implement data tiering to manage warm data, reducing the cost of ever-growing data. DirectMemory enables:

  • Up to 8x reduction in host storage space

  • Savings on storage-based SAP HANA licenses

  • Reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)

  • Achieve extremely low latency for warm data

StorageClassMemory (SCM) and Pure Storage DirectMemory open up new possibilities to use your application cost-saving and effectively. Definitely worth considering! SAP cries out for performance ...


"Pure just made everything so much easier." - Justin Stottlemyer, Shutterfly


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