SAP HANA is one of the most critical enterprise applications out there, and if you have worked with it, you know it likely runs part, if not all, of a business. In Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4, we are pleased to now have native, certified SAP support for backups and recoveries directly via backint.
What problem does it solve?
SAP HANA’s in-memory database platform also requires that a backup solution be integrated and aware of the platform. This SAP HANA support helps you to have certified solutions for SAP HANA backups, reduce impact of doing backups, ensure operational consistency for backups, and leverage all of the additional capabilities that Veeam Availability Suite has to offer. This also includes point-in-time restores, database integrity checks, storage efficiencies such as compression and deduplication as well.
This milestone comes after years of organizations wanting Veeam backups with their SAP installations. We spent many years advocating on backing up SAP with BRTOOLS and leveraging image-based backups as well to prepare for tests. Now, the story becomes even stronger with support for Veeam to drive backint backups from SAP and store them in a Veeam repository. Specifically, this means that a backint backup can happen for SAP HANA and Veeam can manage the storage of that backup. It is important to note now that the Veeam SAP Plug-In, which makes this native support work, is also supported for use with SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure.
How does it work?
The Veeam Plug-In for SAP HANA becomes a target available for native backups with SAP HANA Studio for backups of a few types: file-based backups, snapshots and backint backups. When backups are performed in SAP HANA Studio, a number of different types and targets can be selected. This is all native within the SAP HANA application and SAP HANA tools like SAP HANA Studio, SAP HANA Cockpit or SQL based command line entries. These include file backups (plain copies of files) and complete data backups using backint. Backint is an API framework that allows 3rd-party tools (such as Veeam) to directly connect the backup infrastructure to the SAP HANA database. The backint backup is configured to have a backup interval set in SAP HANA Studio, and that interval can be very small – such as 5 minutes. It is also recommended to do the backup with log backups (again, configured in SAP HANA Studio) to enable more granular restores which will be covered a bit later on.
SAP HANA can also call snapshots to its own application, while it does not have consistency or corruption checks – snapshots are a great addition to the overall backup strategy. By most common perspectives, backint is the best approach for backing up SAP HANA systems but using the snapshots can also add more options for recovery. The plug-in data flow for a backint backup as implemented in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 is shown in the figure below:
One of the key benefits of doing a backint backup of SAP HANA is that you can do direct restores to a specific point in time – either from snapshots or from the backint backups with point-in-time recovery. This is very important when considering how critical SAP HANA is to many organizations. So, when it comes to how often a backup is done, select the interval that works for your organization’s requirements and make sure the option to enable automatic log backup is selected as well.
Bring on the Enterprise applications!
Application support is a recent trend here at Veeam, and I do not expect this to slow down any time soon! The SAP HANA Plug-In support, along with the Oracle RMAN plug-in, are two big steps in bringing application support to Veeam for critical, enterprise applications. You can find more information on Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 here.