Your SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system running on SAP HANA (either SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA) is most likely the crown jewel of IT assets within your organization. It controls the flow of your business and is integral in generating revenue.
When your SAP ERP system is down, orders can’t be taken, products can’t ship, and payments can’t be made. This all means lost revenue. So, given its importance, you want to make sure you have a solid solution for ensuring it’s highly available or protected in the event of a disaster.
Most SAP HANA customers today are using SAP HANA system replication (HSR) to ensure the high availability and disaster recovery systems remain in sync. It’s easy to set up and usually the SAP application or SAP BASIS team does the configuration and controls the failovers.
There are benefits to using HSR, especially for high availability scenarios. First, it can synchronously replicate at the memory layer, so, in the event of a failover, there’s no waiting for memory loads to happen before the system can be considered up. This will dramatically reduce how much time it will take for the full failover to happen. Also, SAP HANA system replication is fully integrated with SAP HANA Cockpit so configuration and failover tasks can be managed by a system application team in the same tool they’re using for other SAP HANA management tasks.
But when it comes to disaster recovery where a separate data center is usually part of the equation and RPO/RTO times can be a bit higher, storage replication can certainly play a role. This is where Pure Storage® ActiveDR™ is a perfect complement to SAP HANA system replication.
What Is ActiveDR?
ActiveDR is a continuous, near-real-time, replication solution between two Pure Storage FlashArray™ systems, either within or across data centers. This allows customers a near-zero RPO of data protection across their SAP HANA environment with minimal data loss for disaster recovery purposes. These writes are continuous, not synchronous. As a result, there’s no performance impact to the source system or any requirements for low roundtrip latency between data centers.
What Are the Advantages of Running ActiveDR as Compared to Just Using SAP HANA System Replication?
The biggest advantage is the ability to test your DR playbook without affecting your production system or the replication itself. DR testing is always a hard thing to accomplish in any IT organization. It requires coordination between many different groups—both IT and business—and usually multi-day downtime of your production system to swap over and ensure business continuity.
ActiveDR allows you to do just this without ever stopping production or replication. You can promote the volumes on your DR site, attach them to hosts, and start up the SAP HANA database and application layer. All this can be accomplished while production is still active and continuing to replicate to the DR site. This is where ActiveDR really shines—customers can be confident that their disaster recovery playbook will work because ActiveDR greatly simplifies the testing process.
And just like all of Pure’s innovations, ActiveDR is simple to set up and use. Simply put the volumes you want to replicate into a “pod” (think of this as a container of volumes) and tell the pod to start replicating to a FlashArray destination. Once the replication link is created, new read-only volumes will be created on the destination server. At any point, these volumes can be promoted to read-write for either testing or actual DR purposes—it’s really that simple!
Having confidence your business can continue in the event of a disaster helps IT professionals and business owners sleep easier. Pure ActiveDR is the perfect complement to SAP HANA system replication so you know your ERP is well protected in the event of a crisis.
Learn more about how Pure Storage can make your SAP implementation easier to manage.