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BURA solutions deep dive: SAP HANA Backup and Recovery with HP StoreOnce Backup


Srik copy.jpgBy Srikanth Venkata Seshu, Worldwide Solutions Marketing Manager, BURA, HP Storage


We are living in a highly competitive world where access to information – and more importantly the ability to perform rapid decisions based on real-time data – can be the difference between a successful business or otherwise. Imagine walking into a retail store and as soon as the store clerk rings up your purchase, the system automatically makes recommendations in real-time on other items you may be interested in purchasing based on your current and previous buying patterns. Wouldn’t that be cool!! 


This is just one example of how organizations of all sizes are leveraging the power of real-time analytics to gain big business advantage. In this BURA Sunday blog, we’ll look at why protecting Big Data platforms such as SAP HANA is important and how HP StoreOnce solutions deliver comprehensive data protection.


What is SAP HANA?

SAP HANA (for High-Performance Analytic Appliance) is an in-memory database architecture that allows enterprises to perform real-time analytics, operational reporting and forecasting very rapidly/ This would not be possible using relational databases technology. HANA has evolved into a database for OLTP workloads as well, as companies migrate business applications such as ERP or CRM to run on HANA – which is also brining data protection to the forefront


Unlike traditional databases, HANA overcomes the disk I/O limitation by loading entire database into memory (RAM) which provides low-latency data access for all its computations making real-time analysis possible. At regular intervals, data is automatically saved to persistent storage (disk) along with log files so database can be restarted and returned to its last consistent state in case of a failure. If you are interested in HANA, read this Converged Infrastructure blog offering a HANA 101 primer. If you are interested in preconfigured appliances to run SAP HANA workloads, check out HP Converged Systems for SAP HANA.


Challenges with HANA backups

While save points and logs can protect from power failure, you still need to back up the data to protect against failure of persistent storage. With HANA being such a new technology in the market, data protection is simply not as mature as provided by Oracle or SQL Server.Often, IT staff does not have a standard practice or necessary tools for backing up HANA databases and the process can be very scattered. In talking with numerous customers about your backup strategy for HANA, it’s clear some help is needed.


Most customers followed a two-stage backup process where a HANA database admin created a database dump of HANA on the primary storage array (persistent storage that also hosted HANA database). Once a dump is staged on the primary storage, the backup admin would copy it to a NAS share on a file server or a tape either using backup software or using some homegrown tools. For offsite protection, the dump files were copied over to a remote location via electronic replication using rsync or backup software OR if using tapes, physically transporting them to a safety vault. The data recovery followed all these steps in the reverse order. The drawbacks of this approach:

  • Expensive – Storing backup dump on primary storage is expensive.
  • Complex – Too many manual processes are prone to human errors. IT staff is spending too much time coordinating backups between HANA database admin and backup admin, which simply raises OPEX costs.
  • Slow – Two-stage recovery is slow and doesn’t satisfy RTO/RPO SLAs.

Here comes “BackInt”

To circumvent issues related to error prone manual backups, HANA recently introduced “BackInt” – an API to manage and automate backups directly from HANA Studio (management console). This new approach allows third-party vendors to integrate their software (agents) to greatly simplify the backup and recovery process. HP Data Protector (v7.x and 8.x) was one of the very first vendor to be “certified” with HANA BackInt to enable customers simplify data protection.



HP Backup and Recovery Solution for HANAStoreOnce_308x220_tcm245_1534335_tcm245_1515474_tcm245-1534335.jpg

The BackInt based approach removes the need to have a two-stage backup process.
You simply install HP Data Protector (DP) “BackInt” agent on the HANA node(s) and start streaming the backups directly to a target system such as HP StoreOnce Backup – a disk based deduplication and backup system. The end result? Faster backup and speedy recoveries.


Centralized administration

An SAP administrator can define backup policies and initiate recoveries without leaving the HANA Studio. This lowers OPEX, saves a ton of time for database administrator plus provides greater control over data protection. That’s power for any SAP administrator.


Reducing backup storage costs

HANA only supports full back up, and with at least one backup a day, you would be consuming a lot of backup storage. Therefore, deduplication is key to lower backup footprint while increasing storage utilization. With a DP agent on HANA nodes, you can either choose to deduplicate data either at the source on the HANA node(s) or on the StoreOnce backup target since DP uses the same StoreOnce deduplication technology. Once the data is deduplicated, it can be stored and replicated across geographies without rehydrating data. The result? Lower storage costs, network bandwidth savings and more restore points for faster recovery.


High availability and streamlined disaster recovery

Faster recovery reduces downtime. One of the benefits of using HP StoreOnce backup for HANA is that our multi-node scale-out systems are highly available. Not only does your backup continue uninterrupted in the event of hardware failure on StoreOnce but you can also continue to recover data that is key to reducing any unplanned downtime. In case of a disaster, you can recover data from any of the StoreOnce appliance at any of the surviving site with just a few clicks. That’s streamlined disaster recovery for you.


Interested to know more?

Read these whitepapers:

Watch this video configuring SAP HANA data protection with HP Data Protector:










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