As the SUSE Product Marketing Manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, I’m always interested in what our competitors may be planning. So when a colleague forwarded these tweets, it really piqued my curiosity:
“Great and unique announcements from Red HAT (sic) regarding SAP HANA.” Was my job messaging and differentiating the SUSE solutions for SAP environments about to get much harder?
It turns out, not at all. When I looked at the actual announcement I experienced a range of emotions from relief to feeling a bit bewildered. Despite the big build up, there’s much less to this than meets the eye.
Basically Red Hat has taken their RHEL for SAP Applications and RHEL for SAP HANA products and combined them into one product called “Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions”. This new offering includes a high availability add-on that was included with the old RHEL for SAP HANA, but for some strange reason not with RHEL for SAP Applications. Seven years ago we introduced SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications which has been one solution for all SAP environments and includes our high availability extension. Red Hat extended the support lifecycle by bundling 4 years of Extended Update Support which (surprise-surprise) gives this new offering exactly a 4-1/2 year lifecycle … just like SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications when you include the free Extended Service Pack Overlap Support plus optional Long Term Service Pack Support. As with their previous offerings, Red Hat includes a Smart Management Add-On which does nothing unless you already have Red Hat Satellite. SUSE Manager already includes everything you need to manage SAP systems, including integrated SAP application installation and configuration support.
The one new feature I saw that we don’t have is a bundling of Red Hat Insights, which is a predictive analytics tool that can be used to identify potential problems with the SAP infrastructure, but isn’t specifically designed for it. However, what I was expecting to see and didn’t was support for the IBM POWER (ppc64le) processor-based servers, which is a platform that SUSE started supporting over 2 years ago. Nor did I see any of these capabilities that we currently deliver in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications:
- Security features like our SAP HANA Firewall and remote storage encryption management
- Page Cache Management to prioritize SAP application performance over that of the Linux filesystem
- Templates for quick deployment of SAP workloads in Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft public clouds
- Installation and configuration wizards that make it faster and easier to install the SAP application stack including high availability and failover
Red Hat does include the SAP configuration package, and the SAP HANA Resource Agents that SUSE developed and made available upstream to the open source community. But I expected that they would expand on that as we have to fully integrate them into installation and set-up of SAP HANA. But no, none of those features are available in RHEL for SAP Solutions.
I don’t see a product description on the Red Hat webpage so maybe there’s something I’m missing. Meanwhile, I guess this product marketing manager will rest easy just a little while longer. If you want to learn more about why SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is the preferred platform for SAP environments, check out our product page suse.com/products/sles-for-sap. If you’re thinking about making that transition from today’s SAP NetWeaver environment to the digital business world of SAP S/4HANA we can help you there too https://suse.com/programs/transitioningtosap/ .
And as always you can follow me on Twitter @MichaelDTabron.
Postscript: SAP Note 2235581 was issued two days after this blog post. It states that RHEL 7.3 is now validated for SAP HANA 2.0 for IBM Power servers.