Simplify and Automate Your SAP Landscape
SAP LaMa software simplifies managing several SAP systms at once.
By Wolfgang Reichert09/03/2019
Q: How do I simplify and automate the management of an SAP landscape, including SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems?
Simplification, automation and quick response to business needs are required for most of our clients. Typically, clients run several SAP systems. Each system consists of one or more SAP HANA (or other) database instances and several SAP NetWeaver application servers.
Why do clients need multiple SAP systems? One reason is that clients deploy different business applications like customer relationship management, supply chain management, business warehouse, S/4HANA, etc.—each in its own SAP system. Furthermore, an SAP landscape consists of a production system plus additional test and development systems. A complex landscape can easily include tens or even hundreds of SAP instances.
Does the right platform choice help reduce the total cost of ownership? Definitely. It must be said that they IBM Power Systems* platform is the optimal platform for SAP software because of its flexibility and scalability. Small and large SAP systems, production and nonproduction systems, NetWeaver and HANA instances—all can be deployed side by side in LPARs on POWER*. The LPARs can be sliced as needed and system resources are shared. Indeed, we observe that particularly large enterprises and MSPs run SAP on POWER.
How to automate management operations and keep track of such a complex environment? Back in 2011, SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) software was released. Over the years, the product has been enhanced with new technologies and additional scenarios. The use cases address the needs of an SAP Basis Administrator covering three basic areas:
Visibility—centralized monitoring, visualization, alerts
Centralized, automated operations—starting, stopping, moving of virtual servers and SAP instances
Provisioning—copy, clone, refresh of SAP systems and provisioning of virtual servers
The product is quite extensible; it allows the addition of custom operations, custom hooks before/after standard tasks, custom links, custom workflows, etc.
Has SAP LaMa software been specifically tailored for IBM Power Systems? Yes, it has. For infrastructure monitoring and management, LaMa connects to IBM PowerVC* software, which is designed to build private clouds on Power Systems servers. Our development team, located at the SAP headquarters in Germany, has implemented respective LaMa plugins for server, virtualization and storage management. We work closely with the SAP LaMa team, the PowerVC team and the IBM Storage team to ensure smooth and reliable integration. The plugins are shipped as integral part of the SAP product and are fully supported through the standard SAP support process.
How is this related to SAP HANA? At the beginning we supported IBM Db2* and Oracle on AIX*. Later, with the introduction of HANA on Power, we added this new database to our support matrix. Furthermore, the SAP LaMa team extended capabilities to simplify and automate HANA management. They call this collection of features LaMa4HANA. SAP HANA offers a variety of high availability scenarios, multitarget replication, transparent failover for rolling maintenance, snapshot backups—all of it can be monitored, operated and automated with LaMa. It’s worth noting that SAP manages its internal development cloud as well as the HANA Enterprise Cloud using LaMa.
What’s next on the roadmap? We see the trend to cloud-native applications also in the SAP space. New products are implemented as microservices and delivered as docker images. New skills are required to operate such environments, especially when business processes span traditional and cloud-native components. The goal is to help our joint IBM SAP clients easily manage their hybrid SAP environments.
Wolfgang Reichert is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and the CTO for SAP on IBM Systems.