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SAP HANA 2.0: Upgrade Guide

During the last two months I had the opportunity of performing several upgrades to SAP HANA 2.0. The process itself is quite easy but there are some important topics to review before and after the upgrade. I write this post for those of you who plan to upgrade your HANA databases to the latest available. I hope it will server you well!

The work plan is the following one:

  1. Check both upgrade guide and important SAP Notes.
  2. Check consistency in the current SAP HANA database.
  3. Review OS parameters and requirements for the new version. Also review the requirements related to virtualization in case your HANA is running on VMware or similar.
  4. Check current version of SAP HANA and all its components and update to the latest version of HANA 1.0 if needed.
  5. Check the current mode of the SAP HANA database and see if it is running currently as MDC.
  6. Backup of the HANA database. Both SYSTEMDB and tenants.
  7. Upgrade of both SAP HANA database and all its components to SAP HANA 2.0.
  8. Upgrade of the HANA Client used to connect to the database. Check the client of the SAP systems using the database.
  9. Upgrade HANA Studio to latest version (not mandatory but recommended).
  10. Check consistency of the database running on SAP HANA 2.0 as we did on point 2.
  11. Execute SAP HANA Mini Checks.
  12. Backup of SYSTEMDB and tenants.
  13. Technical and functional test of HANA content (calculation views, SDA, etc).
  14. Technical and functional test on the SAP systems using the HANA database.

Important SAP Notes for SAP HANA 2.0 Upgrade

The first thing you should do before starting with the technical part is to check both upgrade guide and the SAP Notes related to the version. You can find the upgrade guide in the SAP Help Portal: SAP HANA Server Installation and Update Guide. Here it is a list with the notes I found that can be really useful during the whole process:

Consistency Check in SAP HANA

This part describes steps to be done for points 2 and 10. For checking the consistency in the database you can follow the steps described in the SAP Note 1977584 – Technical Consistency Checks for SAP HANA Databases. Basically you want to perform the following consistency checks:

  • Metadata consistency: CHECK_CATALOG procedure.
  • Row and column store consistency: CHECK_TABLE_CONSISTENCY procedure.
  • Column store consistency: Python script uniqueChecker.py.
  • Row store consistency: Python script checkRowStore.py.
  • Persistence check: Basically check if the backups are finishing correctly. If you have a problem in the persistence pages the backups will fail.
  • Topology consistency: This step only if your current SAP HANA database version is lower than HANA 1.0 SP08.
  • SAP HANA Installation consistency: Use hdblcm for checking it.

OS and Virtualization parameters for SAP HANA 2.0

Check and adjust the OS parameters described in the SAP Note 2205917 – SAP HANA DB: Recommended OS settings for SLES 12 / SLES for SAP Applications 12. In that note you can find the parameters and requirements for each SLES 12 suppot package. In case your SAP HANA is running on Red Hat you can check the SAP Note SAP HANA DB: Recommended OS settings for RHEL 7. If you are running on a lower SO version consider upgrading it to one of the versions described in those SAP Notes.

About the SAP Notes related to HANA virtualization, check the SAP Support portal for the virtualization solution you are currently use on your SAP HANA systems. Please keep in mind that depending of the version you are using you will need to use different SAP Notes. Just saying this because for VMware there are SAP Notes related to version 5.5, 6, 6.5, etc…

Current SAP HANA 1.0 version

The SAP Notes 1948334 – SAP HANA Database Update Paths for SAP HANA Maintenance Revisions describes the base version you need in order to upgrade to SAP HANA 2.0:

Upgrade paths to SAP HANA 2.0 described in SAP Note 194
Upgrade paths to SAP HANA 2.0 described in SAP Note 194

Basically you want to upgrade to the latest SP and Rev available for SAP HANA 1.0 and from there upgrade to SAP HANA 2.0 SP3. Please remember to update previously all the components running on your SAP HANA 1.0 database.

Current SAP HANA mode: SDC or MDC

Since a couple of years ago SAP HANA support multi-tenant container as a database mode. This means that you can have several tenant databases running in the same SAP HANA database. Instead of having an schema for each SAP system using the database you will have a standalone tenant database. The problem is that SAP HANA 2.0 only works with MDC mode so if you are still running on SDC you need to convert the database to MDC.

Check and follow the steps described in the SAP Note 2372809 – Mandatory Preparation Steps for Upgrading a SAP HANA 1 to SAP HANA 2 System. For converting your HANA database from SDC to MDC use the script convertMDC.py as described in the SAP Note 2101244 – FAQ: SAP HANA Multitenant Database Containers (MDC).

HANA Backup

Not much to explain here. Just perform a database backup using your backup tool for SYSTEMDB and all the tenants running on the database server. I will recommend also performing a snapshot or clone in case you are running HANA on a virtual machine. The more the backups the better.

Also backup the configuration files of the SAP HANA database just in case. The SAP Note 1642148 – FAQ: SAP HANA Database Backup & Recovery describes how to backup the configuration files.

SAP HANA 2.0 server and client upgrade

The upgrade process is super easy and it is like patching HANA to a higher Support Package. Remember to upgrade all the HANA components like AFL at the same time during this phase. You should use hdblcm/hdblcmgui/hdblcmweb for starting the upgrade process and follow the steps described there. Again, this is the easy part so don’t worry.

Remember to upgrade the HANA clients use in all SAP systems, servers, applications, etc. that connect to the HANA database. Otherwise when you upgrade the database the applications won’t connect since the client need the SAP HANA 2.0 client version.

Execute SAP HANA Mini Checks.

It is interesting that a lot of people doesn’t know yet about SAP HANA Mini Checks… This scripts are described and available in the SAP Note 1969700 – SQL Statement Collection for SAP HANA and they provided an incredible amount of information of our SAP HANA database. The SAP Note 1999993 – How-To: Interpreting SAP HANA Mini Check Results describes how to interpret the results of each mini check.

I would recommend to execute the following SAP HANA Mini Checks to check if you need to change any parameters, fix security issues, etc:

  • SAP HANA parameter check.
  • General SAP HANA checks.
  • Security related check list.
  • Trace file mini checks.

For executing the script download the file SQLStatements.zip available in the first note:

Attachments in the SAP Note 1969700
Attachments in the SAP Note 1969700

After that open the administration for the HANA database in the HANA Studio. Select the option System Information:

System Information in SAP HANA Studio
System Information in SAP HANA Studio

Right click and select the option Import SQL Statements. Select the zip file downloaded and you will have all the scripts available. After that you can type on the filter box the name of the script and execute it directly from there:

SAP HANA Mini Checks available in SAP HANA Studio.
SAP HANA Mini Checks available in SAP HANA Studio.

Remember to fix any issue or problem that appears in the SAP HANA Minichecks.

Technical and Functional test

I’m not going to give a lot of details on this topic. What you want is to check that everything is working perfectly after the SAP HANA upgrade. Upgrading the database shouldn’t cause any major problems or issues but it is better to play safe and check that everything works as expected. Some of the elements I would check:

  • Developed content in the SAP HANA database as calculation views. Check also the SDA connections.
  • Perform functional test in the SAP system using the SAP HANA database. What we want to check if the performance of the most used transactions and see if there is any problem executing them.
  • Execute the Basis transactions in order to check if there is any problem within the system. Some of this transactions are ST22, SM21, SICK, ST04, etc.

Epilogue

As you can see there are a lot of steps to perform before starting the SAP HANA 2.0 Upgrade but if you know what to do is easier and less time consuming. I always try to explain to my team members that it is really important to check all the guides, SAP Notes and documents related to the new version that are available in the SAP Support Portal, SAP Help Portal and SAP SCN. The SAP Basis work is not only about doing technical stuff. It is really important to read before starting to perform any technical tasks, write the documentation during the technical upgrade and to document the technical and functional test.

Let me know if you have any question about the whole process, I always appreciate your comments!

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