Explaining the Infrastructure Integration

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the infrastructure integration

Infrastructure Concepts

Introduction

To manage your SAP landscape with SAP Landscape Management, some preparations need to be made on the landscape components to make them manageable. The following activities are essential to establish standardized and automated SAP operations with SAP Landscape Management across your whole SAP landscape.

The figure How It All Began shows that the infrastructure consists of client server technology and an infrastructure stack with hardware, an application and database, and an operating system.

The figure External Storage shows that external disk arrays are used to store application data. At this point (non-shared) storage connectivity is still assumed.

The figure Multiple Applications shows that you can have additional applications on dedicated hosts, and that independent disk arrays can be attached to individual hosts.

The figure Centralized Shared Storage shows how the back end storage systems increasingly abstract or virtualize what is presented to the hosts where applications are running. You can see the abstraction between servers and disks and how storage resources are now shared by multiple hosts.

The figure Consolidation (Application Stacking) reviews the consolidation trend of stacking multiple applications onto a single OS on a large host. In this case the different applications can easily become tightly coupled to the OS and therefore each other. This leads to an inflexible landscape where single applications cannot easily be separated for movement to another host or individually analyzed for troubleshooting purposes.

The figure Virtualization shows how virtualization divides a computing resource into logical units, and how the abstraction layer isolates you from the hardware, computing power, and disk space. Virtualization also describes a method to divide the resources of a computer into multiple execution units and the method to integrate multiple units.

Infrastructure Integration

To run an SAP system, you need several resources from your infrastructure. It starts with a hostname or even a multiple of them which you need from your network layer. You can receive them from your network team or can integrate it into SAP Landscape Management. The integration of your DNS into SAP Landscape Management is purely optional for all use cases and for all scenarios. The only prerequisite is to have the hostnames ready if needed, which means they should be enabled in your DNS and have a working name resolution. Don’t forget to have reverse lookup working as well, because SAP Landscape Management will check both reverse and forth name resolution. SAP Landscape Management requires to resolve both, the virtual and the physical hostname.

The following setups will provoke a lot of validation errors or even make it impossible to manage the system properly:

  • The virtual hostname has its own interface instead of being attached to one.

  • The physical hostname is not routed or blocked for SAP Landscape Management.

Hosts, no matter if virtualized or not must be reachable by SAP Landscape Management.

Every SAP system needs to store data onto a disk. In most cases it is provided by central storage. The idea within SAP Landscape Management is to use the storage functionalities to speed up provisioning processes. The storage integration is mandatory, of course, when using storage-based Clone/Copy/Refresh, but also for SAP HANA System Replication, to avoid a full synchronization of SAP HANA. SAP HANA System Replication can also be set up without any storage integration but needs to have SAP HANA already installed on the replication nodes and will require an initial full replication. To use the storage variant, it is necessary to store all SAP data on to volumes provided from your central storage. Local data will not be moved.

On-premise, the estimate is to have physical hosts or VMs these days. If customers have physical hosts, provisioning can be handled by storage or non-infrastructure use cases, which are also available within SAP Landscape Management. If VMs are used, SAP Landscape Management can leverage from Hypervisor integration to provision hosts as target hosts or by cloning the complete VM(s) to provision a new SAP system. If storage and virtualization adapters are used in parallel, customers can deploy target hosts through virtualization integration while the actual data copy is still using storage mechanisms, as long as the SAP volumes are directly attached to these VM(s).

If customers want to manage SAP systems in a public cloud, they can use the available cloud integrations. Performing provisioning in a public cloud is basically a storage-based approach. Even then we can create new VMs, when Clone/Copy/Refresh SAP Landscape Management will only copy the disks attached to that VM. As of SP19, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure are supported. Google Cloud Platform is also supported in later versions. Refer to this site for the latest information on Cloud Adapter - https://community.sap.com/topics/landscape-management/integration

For most of the infrastructure integration, SAP’s partners provide an adapter-based connection. Inside SAP Landscape Management, an API is available to build such kind of adapter. That means SAP Landscape Management has no direct connection to the infrastructure. As SAP’s partners provide the adapter themselves, it might have some special requirements from the partner itself, something like a special version, or a special kind of storage/virtualization and so on.

Adaptive Design

Virtual host names are based on domain name server (DNS) entries resolved to virtual internet provider addresses (VIPs). VIPs can be bonded to any network interface. You can perform matching forward and reverse virtual IP DNS lookups.

A forward VIP DNS lookup enables you to use a known domain name during a name query and looks up the IP address based on the domain name. For this process, the DNS requires A (address) records. You cannot use CNAME records.

A reverse VIP DNS lookup enables you to use a known IP address during a name query and looks up the domain name based on the IP address.

To set up virtual host names you need the following:

  • Installation guide of the application.

  • Software provisioning manager documentation.

  • SAP Landscape Management online help:
    • Unix:

      Landscape PreparationInstalling SAP Application Instances with Virtual Host Names on UNIX.

    • Windows:

      Landscape PreparationInstalling SAP Application Instances with Virtual Host Names on Windows.

To change an existing setup the system copy is the only officially supported way to change a productive system. This is done using the Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM).

The figure, The Adaptive Design - Relocate in Detail, shows an example landscape consisting of SAP ERP, SAP CRM, and an additional application server, D01 of SAP ERP. They all have their own virtual host names and their own storage volumes.

The figure The Adaptive Design - Relocate in Detail II shows how D01 will be stopped.

The figure The Adaptive Design - Relocate in Detail III shows how D01 will be unprepared. This means the unbinding of the virtual host name from the Network Interface Card (NIC) and unmounting the file systems configured.

The figure The Adaptive Design - Relocate in Detail IV shows how D01 will be prepared on target host (host02 in the figure). This means binding the virtual IP addresses to the NIC and mounting the file systems configured.

The figure The Adaptive Design - Relocate in Detail V shows how D01 is started on host02.

The figure The Adaptive Design - Types of Relocate shows the different types of relocates:

  • P2P = Physical-to-Physical.

  • P2V = Physical-to-Virtual.

  • V2P = Virtual-to-Physical.

  • V2V = Virtual-to-Virtual (i.e. relocate from VM to another VM, not the same as "migrate").

The figure, The Difference to Virtual Machines - VM-Migration (V2V), shows the difference in virtual machines (VMs).

VM-migration is a generic term to describe a hypervisor based movement of a VM. Each hypervisor vendor has their own naming such as VMware Vmotion, IBM Partition Mobility, Hyper-V live migration. A VM-migration should not be confused with an SAP System (OS/DB) migration or an Adaptive Design Relocate.

The figure The Difference to Virtual Machines - VM-Migration (V2V) II shows how D01 is migrated to a different host. SAP Landscape Management triggers the virtualization manager via a so called adapter to migrate the system to a different VM host.

The figure, The Difference to Virtual Machines - VM-Migration (V2V) III, shows the difference in VMs.

The adaptive design concept relies on shared connectivity to storage devices and makes file systems visible on different hosts within the landscape.

SAP Landscape Management can be integrated with Network Attached Storage (NAS) technologies that can be shared on multiple hosts at the same time, and Storage Area Networks (SAN) technologies that can be attached to only one host at a given point in time.

It is important to understand the differences between NAS and SAN when designing and configuring an adaptive or SAP Landscape Management managed SAP landscape.

There are two possible ways of setting up your SAP system database, depending on your OS and database:

  • Your database software runs together with your database files and is adaptively installed as a whole unit.

  • Your database files are adaptive and enabled and SAP Landscape Management moves your database around. In this case, you need to ensure that the software is installed on all eligible hosts.

Understanding NAS — File Based Storage

NAS Technology
  • Communicates via the network stack of the OS.

  • SAP Landscape Management uses Network File Protocol (NFS).

NAS and hypervisors
Network based communication makes the integration with VMs easier.
NAS Connections
  • Do not have to share the same network ports and backbone as normal network traffic.

  • Using dedicated network ports is supported by SAP Landscape Management via multiple VIPs.

Key Properties of NAS
Enables exported volumes to be simultaneously mounted on multiple hosts to provide shared access to the same file system which can dramatically simplify the configuration of an adaptive design.

The figure, NAS, shows how NAS provides so called NFS exports, which are directly mountable.

The figure Mount Point Setup — NFS Example shows an example of a mount point setup for NFS. Row L (gray) shows the local mount point. For mount points you must always distinguish between the local part and the mounted part.

Typically, a database spans multiple storage volumes. /sybase/<SID> is just a placeholder. Even though it is possible to share the complete /usr/sap/<SID> mount point between hosts, it is recommended to use separate mount points for all instances, for example /usr/sap/<SID>/<instance name>, to avoid potential conflicts.

Understanding SAN — Block Based Storage

SAN technology
Is about simple block devices made visible to the OS.
SAN and Hypervisors
  • The connectivity of fiber channel devices into VMs can require extra configuration, for example, VMWare Raw Device Mapping.

  • The integration of block storage with hypervisors is handled transparently by several SAP Landscape Management storage integrations.

SAN Connectivity Options
  • Fibre channel is the most common.

  • Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) use or share the network stack.

Block Devices
  • May directly contain a file system.

  • Are typically part of an OS Volume Manager on Unix or Linux.

Key Properties of SAN
  • Landscapes do not share file systems simultaneously between hosts in general.

  • Non-shared file systems have a significant impact on the adaptive design.

  • Landscapes usually require at least some shared access file systems (for example, NAS or NFS) for directories such as sapmnt and trans.

Please notice the difference between SAN (non-shared file systems) and NFS (shared file systems). Even in the SAN environment some directories need to be shared between instances. This can be accomplished using NFS shares. Selected instances (such as Central Services and Dialog Instance) were selected as examples. Instance directories might be different according to your system setup. Instances may not span storage volumes or volume groups (if used). Symbolic links can be used but require extra maintenance. Typically, a database would span multiple storage volumes. /sybase/<SID> is just a placeholder.

Hint
You can manage OS and DB users and groups in a central identity management system, for instance in an adaptively enabled landscape (for example, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP] or Active Directory).

If you do not use a central identity management system, ensure that OS and DB users and groups are consistently available on the OS.

Central identity management is preferred as it makes it much more comfortable and easier to handle the user management.

SAP NetWeaver for SAP Landscape Management provides the following main integration points for SAP Partner Technologies:

  • Virtualization and Cloud
    • Integration into a VM or Cloud management infrastructure.

    • Manage, migrate, visualize, and perform a VM-based clone.

  • Storage
    • Integration into shared or centralized storage management infrastructure.

    • To relocate adaptively installed SAP systems and perform a storage-based clone.

The integration of SAP Partner Technologies is handled via so-called adapters provided by our partners.

SAP Landscape Management can integrate partner solutions for example to trigger a clone of a VM or cloning of storage volumes.

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