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SAP HANA

SAP HANA provides native tools to back up the SAP HANA database. These tools are available for SAP HANA users and backup vendors to use to take SAP HANA backup as per SAP standards.

Veeam provides following options to protect SAP HANA in a consistent way:

Type Veeam Solution
Virtual Machine running SAP HANA Database Veeam Agentless Virtual Machine Image Level Backup with pre/post scripts
Physical Server running SAP HANA Database Veeam Agent based backup with pre/post scripts
SAP HANA database Backup with backint Veeam Plugin for SAP HANA

Backup Options and Tools

SAP HANA provides native tools to backup and restore SAP HANA databases:

  • Backint API
  • File System Backup
  • HANA Snapshot (Storage Snapshot)

Backint API

The Backint method is an API-based method — it’s generally referred to as SAP HANA backup using a third-party utility. It enables 3rd party tool vendors to directly connect their backup agents to the SAP HANA database. Backups are transferred via pipe from the SAP HANA database to the 3rd party backup agent, which runs on the SAP HANA database server and then sends the backups to the 3rd party backup server.

3rd party backup tools can be fully integrated with SAP HANA:

  • Execution of backup and recovery from the SAP HANA cockpit, SAP HANA studio and via SAP HANA SQL commands
  • Configuration of tool-specific parameters

The Backint backup can be configured through these options:

  • Third-party backup application
  • Manually at HANA Studio
  • SQL Script (manual/external)
  • SAP DB Cockpit (external scheduler)

The diagram below visualized the backup operations:

  1. SAP HANA database stores the in-memory data into persistence storage
  2. From the persistence storage, the third-party agent creates backup streams to the third-party backup target.
  3. Store the backup on third-part backup Storage

BackintBackupDiagram

File System Backup

File System Backups write all data to files (for example an NFS share that is available for all nodes).

You must remember to monitor file system fill level during the backup.

The File System Backups can be configured through these options:

  • Manually at HANA Studio
  • SQL Script (manual/external scheduler)
  • SAP DBA Cockpit (external scheduler)
  • Log backup can be configured to automatically

The diagram below visualized the backup operations:

  1. SAP HANA database store the in-memory data into persistence storage
  2. From persistence storage File System Backup store the backup file to external storage

FileBackupHana

HANA Storage Snapshot

Storage snapshots are the fastest option to safeguard the SAP HANA database without any performance overhead. The SAP HANA database must be online for storage snapshot backup. The diagram below visualized the backup operations:

  1. SAP HANA database stores the in-memory data into persistence storage
  2. Prepare for a storage snapshot by initiating the SAP HANA Snapshot. During this process, the internal database snapshot is created, and reflects a consistent database state at the point in time it is created in the file system.
  3. The storage snapshot is created based on the internal database snapshot
  4. Confirm the SAP HANA Snapshot

Note The method is not supported on multi-tenant environment

HANAStorageSnap

Advantages and Disadvantages

Backint Backup

Advantages Disadvantages
Integrity checks at block level Additional network load
Uses present Veeam backup infrastructure  
Additional backup tool features (e.g. compression, copies)  
Backups are immediately available for recovery  
Certified by SAP (Veeam Plug-In for SAP HANA)  
  • Backup Size: Payload only
  • Backup Duration: I/O (disk read and write) and network bound

File System Backup

Advantages Disadvantages
Integrity checks at block level Additional network load
  Requires additional storage in production environment
  Requires file system fill-monitoring
  Additional time required to make backups available for recovery
  • Backup Size: Payload only
  • Backup Duration: I/O (disk read and write) and network bound

Storage Snapshot

Advantages Disadvantages
Fast No integrity checks at block level
Negligible network load  
Encryption (if data volume encryption is active)  
  • Backup Size: Size of data area (but usually compressed or de-duped by storage pool)
  • Backup Duration: Negligible

Veeam SAP HANA Backup & Restore

In this section we will focus on the options Veeam provides to protect SAP HANA databases.

How the Veeam Plugin for SAP HANA works

Veeam Plug-in integrates with SAP HANA’s Backint. Backint is an API that allows third-party backup tools like Veeam to integrate their backup targets into the SAP HANA own backup process.

When you launch a backup with the Backint selection in a SAP HANA client, Veeam Plug-in for SAP HANA will create an application pipeline stream and transfer database files to Veeam backup repository in Veeam’s proprietary format: .VAB (Veeam application backup).

The following diagram will show the backup operations:

  1. HANA starts the backup.

  2. Veeam Plugin for SAP HANA assigned multiple streams to backup target.

  3. Data is stored in the Veeam backup repository

SAP HANA Plugin Overview

How application backups work in Veeam Backup & Replication

Image-level backups can be created agentless (VM-based) or with the Veeam Agent for Linux. To bring the HANA database to a consistent state within the backup image you have to use pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts.

The provided SAP HANA pre/post freeze scripts are available on GitHub and do also support optional transaction log purging.

The backup process is as follows:

  1. Veeam will start the configurd pre-freeze script on the HANA system.
  2. The script will prepare the HANA database by requesting a database snapshot. All HANA data is consistently written to disk
  3. When the pre-script ran successful, Veeam will snapshot the machine to save that consistent state on disk.
  4. Veeam starts backing up from the snapshot (read only data)
  5. Meanwhile the post-thaw script is called to remove the HANA database snapshot from the live system. Logs are purged when configured.
  6. When all data is moved to the Veeam repositories (backup done) the volume level or hypervisor level snapshot is deleted.

For reading the volume/disks, Veeam will use Change Block Tracking wherever possible. This speeds up incremental backups for even very large databases, when there was only little change.

Verify Configuration of Backint for Veeam Plug-In

When you finish the plug-in configuration wizard, the plug-in creates a soft link in /hana/shared/<SID>/global/hdb/opt.

To verify the Backint configuration, do the following:

  1. Connect to the database using SAP HANA Studio or Cockpit.

  2. Go to Backup/Configuration.

  3. In the Backint Agent field, make sure that the specified path leads to /opt/VeeamPluginforSAPHANA/hdbbackint.

SAP HANA Backint Settings

It is important to emphasize that:

Veeam does not use any Backint parameter files. Leave these fields empty. If you were running something else before, delete the entries.

Log Backup Settings: This allows you to have the logs either on your filesystem or use Backint to forward all new logs directly to Veeam Backup & Replication Repository. We recommend to back them up via Backint, but please discuss this with your SAP Basis engineer. If you change this, do not forget to save your settings by clicking on the disk symbol (see screenshot above).


References


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