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SAP Installation on VMware - Tips & Tricks - Part 1

Since there isn't much information on the web I will post our experience to give back to the SAP Community Network. This should not be seen as an installation guide, but merely as a pointer to get you started in the right direction.

Our company is a solution developer start-up company and so we needed a development environment that would allow us to develop, test and certify our solution with SAP.

Therefore we came up with the following requirements:

- 1 Solution Manager server

- 2 ECC 6.0 servers

- 1 temporary import ECC 6.0 server to do a test import for AAK packages (optional)

- 1 domain server (optional; see below)

These requirements left us with up to 5 servers. For various reasons (cost, space, etc.) we quickly started looking into virtualization. After reviewing the main competitors (VMware, Xen and Hyper-V) we found VMware to be the most powerful and accessible solution. We especially liked VMware ESXi which has minimum hardware requirements resulting in the lowest overall overhead.

In a next step we need to find hardware. In our case we didn't see a need for major brand hardware, but we also wanted to be compatible and, most importantly, being able to grow.

After some research we settled on the Super Micro SuperServer 6026T-NTR+ for the following reasons:

- VMware certified (very important!)

- Up to 192GB of RAM in almost any combination (18 slots; great for future growth)

- 2U => can handle low height PCIe cards

- 8 hard drive bays (hot swap)

- redundant power supply with reasonable power consumption

- Dual Xeon support (2x 5xxx)

For larger environments you probably want to get a 4U server.

For our initial installation we added the following hardware:

- 32 GB of RAM (8 * 4GB; IMPORTANT: make sure to get single rank!)

- Adaptec 5805 SAS/SATA RAID Controller (IMPORTANT: VMware is NOT compatible with on-board RAID controllers; do NOT forget to order the controller battery for the write cache)

- 6 * 2 TB hard drives (SAS is better, but more expensive)

- 1 TB hard drive

- 2 x E5520 (We are planning to eventually replace this with two six core processors from the E56xx series)

Add more memory if you need more performance to handle additional users (>5 users?).

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  • May 12, 2010 at 07:15 PM

    For our initial installation we added the following hardware:

    - 32 GB of RAM (8 * 4GB; IMPORTANT: make sure to get single rank!)

    - Adaptec 5805 SAS/SATA RAID Controller (IMPORTANT: VMware is NOT compatible with on-board RAID controllers; do NOT forget to order the controller battery for the write cache)

    - 6 * 2 TB hard drives (SAS is better, but more expensive)

    - 1 TB hard drive

    - 2 x E5520 (We are planning to eventually replace this with two six core processors [E56xx])

    Add more memory if you need more performance to handle additional users (>5 users?).

    We installed ESXi on the 1 TB hard drive. All other drives are setup as 2gb RAID 10 array members. We chose RAID 10 for performance reasons. It is also important to know that VMware currently does not support partitions bigger than 2gb. If you should need a bigger drive we found it to be easiest to create a dynamic disk under windows. There are other options, but each option has more or less risks. Hopefully, VMware can fix this in a future release.

    OS and data base:

    We also reviewed multiple OS and data bases.

    In the end we opted for Windows 2008 (IMPORTANT: You can purchase Windows 2008 R2 Server, but SAP won't be compatible with this version until later on this year. However, MS entitles you to use Windows 2008 Server with the keys of Windows 2008 R2 Server) because we didn't have sufficient in-house experience with Linux (2nd choice). Check http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/windows?rid=/webcontent/uuid/901004e6-15ce-2c10-afa4-ec948139a17c [original link is broken]

    On the db side we found that Oracle is not supported in virtual environments. That left us with Max DB and MS SQL. In our case we opted for MS SQL since we have in-house knowledge for this db.

    VMware architecture:

    - We opted to have a new domain controller installed in the VMware environment to keep the environment separate from our existing environment. As a domain name we opted for sap.<your domain>.com. For simplicity we used the 3 digit SAP system id as the host name (e.g. ecd.sap.<your domain>.com. Please note that you don't need to have a new domain controller.

    - System allocation

    Solution Manager - 2 vCPU - 8GB

    ECD - 4 vCPU - 12GB

    ECQ - 4 vCPU - 12GB

    Domain Controller - 2 vCPU - 4GB

    As you can see we did some "over commitment" on memory, but we did not over commit on CPUs (2 * quad core = 8 cores = 8 vCPUs).

    Check SAP Note 1056052

    - Disk space

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