Actifio Transforms SAP HANA Data Protection

SAP HANA database is an in memory database used by enterprises for high performance online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP). Enterprises expect enterprise grade backup, disaster recovery, and database cloning solutions for mission critical HANA environments.

Common SAP HANA Challenges

Large Backup Window

Most enterprise backup products backup using SAP backint APIs, which leads to recurring FULL backups and hence large backup window

Large RPO

Large backup windows lead to large RPOs which often exceed 24 hours

Large RTO

Recovering from most enterprise backup products leads to large RTOs because data has to be converted from SAP backint backup format to SAP HANA format

Slow & Expensive DB Cloning

Too much time and storage is consumed to create physical clones for development, test, UAT

No Effective Cloud Leverage

Traditional backup formats make it too complex, slow, and cumbersome to leverage on-demand cloud data warehouse services

Actifio Sky for SAP HANA

Enterprises deploy SAP HANA in one of the two following models:

  1. SAP HANA Appliance: It combines software components from SAP with optimized hardware provided by SAP’s partners resulting in a bundled appliance. 
  2. SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI): SAP HANA TDI allows enterprises to use their existing hardware and infrastructure components (from a certified list) in their local  or remote data center.  It also offers the option of running HANA in a public cloud.

For both the models, Actifio Sky provides:
1) Backup & Disaster Recovery and
2) Database Cloning. Additionally, Actifio Sky integrates with SAP HANA studio.

The Ideal Solution:

An incremental forever backup solution that backs up only changed blocks

An incremental forever backup solution that can lower the RPO to 1 hour, and capture transaction logs every 15 minutes

An instant mount of the backup will lower RTO by up to 10x. The RTO will depend on SAP HANA startup time

Instant virtual mounts to multiple test environments will reduce time and storage by up to 10x

Instant mount of SAP HANA data in native format will accelerate analytics using ETL to AWS Redshift or Google BigQuery

Fast Incremental Forever Backups in Minutes

Actifio leverages APIs (hdbsql BACKUP DATA CREATE SNAPSHOT) provided by SAP HANA to to take incremental forever application consistent database snapshots.

actifio for sap hana

Actifio connector uses its changed block bitmap to transfer the changed blocks from Data Area to Actifio Sky. This process ensures that the backups are small and fast which enables high frequency backups such as every hour.  Transaction logs can also be protected with a frequency as low as every 15 minutes. By comparison, traditional backup applications mandate compute and network intensive full and incremental backups which result in lengthy backup windows and recovery times.

Low RTO Recoveries in Minutes

Actifio Sky virtual machine appliance can use any secondary storage to retain backup data. The appliance synthesizes a point in time virtual full, within minutes, after each incremental backup is completed.

Actifio sky for SAP Hana

SAP HANA database recoveries can be completely rapidly and efficiently. Actifio Sky enables the creation of instant mounts of database images from any previous point-in-time copy within minutes. No data is copied to the recovery server when images are presented. After the instant mount, the Actifio connector orchestrates and brings up the SAP HANA database using SAP HANA API (recoverSys.py). Instant mounts are so quick that the majority of time require to restart the database can be attributed to starting SAP HANA database and application.

Compared to traditional approaches that require lengthy restore times and compute intensive data conversion from backup formats, Actifio’s instant mount technology minimizes downtime and delivers immediate data access.

Recoveries can be initiated from any point in time, even between backup points, by relying on log recoveries.

Efficient & Flexible Data Retention

Administrators can configure SLAs to specify how often to backup, how long to retain data and how often to replicate to a remote DR site. Long term data retention needs can be satisfied by using Actifio’s unique software deduplication. Actifio also offers the option of storing data in object storage located on-premises, in the cloud or at an MSP site for multi-year data retention needs

Clone Multi-Terabyte Databases in Minutes for DevOps

Backup data stored by an Actifio Sky software appliance can also be leveraged to provision multiple virtual copies to Dev, QA, UAT, Analytics, and other test environments. The platform incorporates self-service enabling Dev and QA users to provision databases on-demand.

Actifio sky for HANA

Actifio virtual copies are space efficient and do not use any extra storage. Integrated workflows enable complete orchestration of creating and mounting of virtual database copies to test machines, and then starting SAP HANA on each test machine. Typically the longest process when provisioning a new SAP HANA database is the startup of HANA database itself.

Compare this with other products that could take hours or days to create physical copies with 10x more storage.

Replicate to any Public Cloud for On-Demand DR & DB Cloning

Both SAP HANA and Actifio Sky can be deployed to many public clouds including AWS, Google, Azure, IBM, and MSPs. Actifio Sky can be used to protect data in one cloud region or data center and replicate to another.

In a public cloud, enterprises can use Actifio Sky to mount backup images instantly for on-demand DR and database cloning purposes. The on-demand consumption of SAP HANA instances in a public cloud with agile delivery of HANA data (using Actifio Sky) makes for compelling ROI for enterprises.

Compare this approach to traditional practices where it takes days or even weeks to recover data from backup images to then present to test environments.  This lengthy and I/O and compute intensive process defeats the agility benefit that is so important for cloud adoption.

Secure Data with Encryption & Satisfy Compliance Needs

All data at rest and replication is encrypted using AES 256.  Additionally, Actifio provides role based access control and audit trails to track operations from each user. Individual cloud or MSP providers can provide further enhanced compliance benefits based on their SLAs. For example, Google cloud has the following certifications – ISO 27001, SSAE-16, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3

Supported SAP HANA Configurations

SAP can be deployed in the following supported configurations:

  1. Single host configuration (scale-up)
    1. One instance and single container – supported by Actifio
    2. Multiple instances and single container – supported by Actifio
  2. Multi node cluster configuration (scale-out)
    1. Multiple host one instance and single container – supported by Actifio
    2. Multiple instances – not supported by Actifio
    3. Multiple containers – not supported by Actifio

Supported SAP HANA Platform

  1. SAP HANA database version: SAP HANA SPS 10, SAP HANA SPS 11, SAP HANA SPS 12
  2. SAP Supported RHEL/SLES version (Intel-Based Hardware Platforms)
    1. RHEL 7.2 (SAP Note: 2013638, 2136965, 2247020, 2292690)
    2. SLES 11, SLES 12 (SAP Note: 1824819, 1954788, 2240716, 2205917)
  3. Actifio Linux Change Block Tracking (CBT) technology requires Linux LVM
  4. Storage: CERTIFIED SAP HANA® HARDWARE

Learn More

Want to learn more about how Actifio integrates with SAP to transform data management?

Download the Solution Brief