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SIOS looks to boost SAP HANA automated replication

New capabilities for LifeKeeper for Linux enables additional nodes for multitarget replication for high availability of SAP HANA databases both on premises and in the cloud.

SIOS Technology's latest release aims to maintain high availability for SAP HANA databases, even when backup database clusters are out of commission.

LifeKeeper for Linux version 9.7, the latest update of the company's high-availability software for database on Linux, adds multitarget replication capabilities of up to four nodes for SAP HANA databases. LifeKeeper previously offered support for multitarget replication of up to three nodes. Other databases supported by LifeKeeper include SAP's MaxDB, Microsoft's SQL Server and Oracle Database. The new version of LifeKeeper is now generally available.

Uptime through high availability failover and recovery applications is paramount to avoid downtime for enterprise applications built on SAP HANA, an in-memory database, said Peter Rutten, an analyst at IDC.

"These databases tend to be mission critical for the enterprises that run them. If it goes down, the business is severely affected," he said. "It became too complicated to a point as a lot of [disaster recovery features] are built in. SIOS is one of the few [vendors] that [delivers] high availability both on premises and in the cloud. SIOS is building atop the high availability within SAP HANA."

Existing SAP HANA recovery services assume the user is willing to connect their databases to a cloud service for managed recovery or engage with a more complicated preparation phase using scripting and open-source software, Rutten said. SIOS Technology brings automation to the scripting process.

Quatro clustering

The expansion to four nodes for multitarget replication through the new HANA multitarget feature enables high availability of increasingly complex systems of servers and storage to maintain HANA databases, according to SIOS spokespeople.

SIOS' LifeKeeper provides automated synchronous and asynchronous replication across databases along with no need to set up or implement failover scripts for disaster recovery, primarily using SAP HANA's own takeover with handshake feature. Other capabilities include monitoring tools for the health of the SAP HANA instance stack.

IT staff simply don't have the budget or -- especially these days -- the time.
Krista MacomberAnalyst, Evaluator Group

The update also expands the software's supported OSes to include IBM WebSphere MQ version 9.3 and IBM Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 9.0; SAP HANA on RHEL 8 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4; and S/4HANA 2022.

The software is sold with a perpetual or subscription license. Future updates for the software will include a web console for management, improvement integration of more public and private cloud vendors, and additional insights into the health and operations of customer clusters, according to SIOS.

Both SUSE and Red Hat have offered their own open-source variants of high availability for SAP HANA for years, Rutten said. But open source requires more IT intervention in setup and use over the automated capabilities sold by SIOS.

Standard data backup and disaster recovery factor in varying amounts of downtime as services are restored at another location, which can result in some extended outages, according to Krista Macomber, an analyst at Evaluator Group. High availability, however, demands more technology resources since a separate third data copy needs to be replicated simultaneously to another location alongside the primary and backup data stores through clustering.

Those quick recovery requirements and replication demands mean only pivotal databases are given the status. This means that enterprises typically must be selective in choosing the applications they implement high availability for, Macomber said.

"IT staff simply don't have the budget or -- especially these days -- the time," she said. "Another big challenge is that many implementations use a shared SAN to keep the backup and replica data copies up to date. This means, potentially, a single point of failure."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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