After the overview about the fantastic vLab capabilities in one of my last post let’s have a closer look at our SAP LVM lab that I designed and implemented together with a great international team. Besides the introduction of the different use cases I want to highlight the cooperation between SAP and storage admins, then show how SAP admins can gain a deep insight into the technical infrastructure and finally report from a customer where we were able to speed up the SAP system copy process from 6 weeks to just a few hours.
SAP Netweaver Landscape Virtualization Manager (SAP LVM) provides application virtualization and management of SAP systems through a single user interface. This powerful management tool simplifies and optimizes provisioning, deployment, and management of SAP Systems through the use of virtualization and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud technology, providing the following benefits:
- Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
- Increased flexibility and agility to respond to business demands
EMC Storage Integrator for SAP LVM is EMC’s integration that completes SAP’s vision to simplify management and operations of SAP systems and landscapes running on traditional or cloud infrastructures. ESI for SAP LVM provides SAP application virtualization and the ability to automate mass operations and manage SAP system clone, copy, and refresh processes.
This vLab demonstrates EMC integration with SAP LVM and the functionality most related to those integration points. The focus is on NAS/VNX File storage. All integrations and features are also fully supported for SAN VNX/VMAX storage environments.
Lab Module Highlights
This lab is fully functional with a demo guide providing labs for the following:
- LVM Overview: Exploring the LVM User Interface.
- EHAC Administration Console: Trust, security and teamwork between SAP and storage admins, granting access to storage pools.
- Provisioning: Online clone of the productive SAP ERP System for non productive / sandbox use.
- Operations: Relocating of an SAP System to a spare host.
- Automation: Schedule tasks, mass stop all systems, mass start all systems.
- Dashboards, landscape visualization, reporting, custom tabs: Customizing dashboards, visualizing landscapes, creating reports, tool integration.
Cooperation between storage and SAP admins
ESI for SAP NetWeaver LVM has two main components: an LVM adapter and a web service called the EMC High-level Storage Library Administration Console (EHAC). EHAC provides a single point of management for storage administrators to manage user accounts, manage VMware vCenter servers, assign storage systems to users, and provide a gateway for the ESI adapter to access storage systems.
With EHAC, you can manage storage space assigned to individual users by controlling read/write access to the storage pools for each storage system (VNX, VMAX, VBLOCK).
In this Lab, you will
- Logon to EHAC Admin Console and test connection to storage.
- Create a lvm user.
- Grant user access to storage pools.
- Configure and test the LVM storage manager with the new user.
Make me see
For many SAP admins it’s not funny to have the full responsibility for an SAP landscape without enough insights into the infrastructure. Integrated cloud management and performance analysis enables SAP and infrastructure administrators to gain full transparency about what is happening at all layers. The graph below presents an overview of the monitoring and root cause analysis strategy by integrating tools which can be reached by SAP admins via cutom tabs/links in SAP LVM.
The SAP administrator monitors the application performance and availability through SAP LVM and can integrate to SAP Solution Manager. The SAP administrator can also log in to vCenter Operations Manager and EMC SRM with read-only authorization to monitor the virtualization and storage layer and to speed up any root cause analysis process. For more Information on private cloud infrastructure for SAP you can follow this link.
Speed-up process time for SAP system copies
SAP LVM is about process optimization and automation. As and example, the customer I’ve mentioned in the beginning of this architecture needed 6 weeks to do an SAP system copy for a 14 TB system (and this several times a year…). Main reason for this long time is not the size of the system – it is because many people from different organizations need to be involved and still a lot of manual work is done. With the help of SAP LVM the customer has overcome this mess and can now do a system copy within hours instead of 6 weeks and with minimal human intervention.
Process Optimization – the ultimate book tip
One of my favorite books is “The Goal” from Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It is a very inspiring and entertaining novel about process optimization. I’d say it is a must read, very eye-opening and a wonder weapon against the “8 types of waste” I have described in one of my first posts in this blog.