Use Cloud with Confidence: Maximize Uptime and Performance for SAP Applications in Microsoft Azure

Given the mission-critical nature of SAP applications, high availability, and performance for SAP environments is a primary focus for IT organizations. With several options that allow for a dynamic, resource optimized IT environment, organizations are increasingly expanding their SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA footprint in the public cloud. While cloud services offer attractive SLA's, it's important to understand that they are not application-aware, and running SAP applications in the public cloud doesn't eliminate the risk of downtime or data loss. Veritas InfoScale Enterprise helps minimize these risks and mitigates single points of failure in cloud environments, to keep your SAP applications up and running in the cloud all the time.

Veritas InfoScale is a software-defined optimization solution for mission-critical applications that abstracts applications from their underlying hardware and software resources. That abstraction enables enterprise-grade optimizations around business continuity, performance, and infrastructure agility across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

InfoScale has advanced integration with both Azure and SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA that is key to building a highly available SAP environment in Azure:

  • Business continuity – InfoScale provides complete high availability and recovery automation for the SAP landscape, with a similar user experience for both on-premises and Azure environments.  
  • Optimized resource utilization – InfoScale supports multiple high availability configurations that can be cost-optimized depending on the environment – production or development/testing. With Flexible Storage Sharing (FSS), you can build shared storage clusters using Azure native compute and storage infrastructure to increase application performance and data resiliency significantly
  • Geographic redundancy – SAP applications can be configured for high availability across Azure zones and regions and between on-premises data centers and Azure – minimizing the likelihood of downtime in the event of a local or regional outage.
  • Service level management –InfoScale's Virtual Business Service (VBS) feature is aware of the complete business service provided by the SAP Business Suite or S/4HANA applications. VBS manages high availability for all the application tiers as a single logical service. This means faster recovery and minimal downtime – with no manual intervention. Figure 1 will give you an idea of what this might look like in your Azure environment.

Figure 1. Example configuration of an InfoScale Virtual Business Service for SAP S/S4HANA in AzureFigure 1. Example configuration of an InfoScale Virtual Business Service for SAP S/S4HANA in Azure

How InfoScale works with SAP in Azure

Now that we know more about how InfoScale works, let's talk about how to implement a highly available SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA environment in Azure using InfoScale Enterprise.

InfoScale makes it easy to provide high availability and disaster recovery for SAP workloads with customized agents for Azure, NetWeaver, S/4HANA, and SAP HANA databases. InfoScale protects the SAP components that are critical for overall application availability in a distributed SAP environment:     

  • Databases (including SAP HANA, Oracle, SQL Server, and IBM DB2)
  • Central Services Instance
  • Enqueue Replication Service
  • Primary Application Server (Dialog)
  • Additional Application Servers (Dialog)

These SAP components are associated with your Azure disk, IP, and DNS resources. When a resource managed by InfoScale fails, InfoScale can detect the failure and initiate a failover operation to a secondary node or standby cluster in a different Azure zone or region. Figure 2 shows the typical deployment architecture of an SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA application server with an SAP supported database in Azure across Availability Zones. For more information on how InfoScale interacts with Azure, take a look at InfoScale on Azure: Integration and Implementation.

Figure 2. SAP NetWeaver deployed in Azure across Availability ZonesFigure 2. SAP NetWeaver deployed in Azure across Availability Zones

InfoScale supports several highly available deployment scenarios for SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA instances in Azure:

  • SAP application instances configured within an Azure Availability Set (local cluster)
  • SAP application instances running across Availability Zones (within the same Azure region)
  • Disaster Recovery between Availability Zones across regions
  • On-premises to Azure failover (disaster recovery)

Are you concerned about operating costs? InfoScale also helps manage and optimize costs in the cloud. In Azure, you can create and optimize SAP instances for development, testing, or production environments. If an SAP production application instance outage occurs, InfoScale manages the instance failover between the designated SAP systems without disrupting the client connections. This reduces the overall total cost of ownership in case of a disruption or outage of SAP instances in Azure. Figure 3 shows how this works.Figure 3. SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA failover process using InfoScale EnterpriseFigure 3. SAP NetWeaver / S/4HANA failover process using InfoScale Enterprise

So, we've talked about high availability and DR, but what about SAP application performance? The Flexible Storage Sharing (FSS) feature included with InfoScale Enterprise is a unique feature that provides high performance shared storage in Azure using storage services directly attached to Azure VM's. Figure 4 shows an example of how this works. FSS supports all Azure storage services. InfoScale's volume manager, file system, and FSS feature are proven options for maximizing application performance and can be used with S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver application servers as well as most database management systems (not currently supported with SAP HANA databases). More information on FSS can be found here.   Figure 4. InfoScale Enterprise 4 node SAP and Oracle cluster in Azure using FSSFigure 4. InfoScale Enterprise 4 node SAP and Oracle cluster in Azure using FSS

Take a look at our technical library for more information on how InfoScale works with SAP, including a detailed reference document on how to build highly available SAP environments in Microsoft Azure.

Summary

InfoScale's industry-leading data management and resiliency technology provides the foundation and confidence you need to run your SAP applications in Azure with the same high availability and performance as an on-premises deployment. InfoScale's high-availability agents for Azure and SAP are custom designed to provide maximum uptime and flexibility for SAP environments running in Azure. Some other key features: simplified service level recovery automation, optimized resource utilization, and flexible deployment options that enable multiple configuration scenarios – including hybrid-cloud. Available as a solution template in the Azure Marketplace, InfoScale is an SAP-certified solution that provides the tools needed to run SAP NetWeaver, S/S4HANA, and SAP HANA databases in Azure with maximum uptime and performance.

Please check out our SAP white papers in the InfoScale technical library.

Tags (3)
1 Comment

Excellent Article.