The Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions

The Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
An Oracle White Paper
August 2017
Oracle Database: The Database of Choice for
Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Executive Overview ............................................................................................... ............ 4
Introduction .......................................................................................................... ............. 5
Database market share for Enterprise Applications .................................................... .... . 6
Oracle-SAP Technology Relationship ..................................................................... ........ . 7
Oracle Database 12c for SAP Certification Status ................................................... ..... ... 7
SAP Core Data Services for Oracle Database ................................................ ............. 9
Oracle Exadata Database Machine for SAP Customers .............................................. .. 10
Extreme System Scalability and Growth with Elastic Configurations .................... ................. 10
Exadata for SAP source of information ............................................................... ..... 11
Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) for SAP ............................................................ ....... 11
Running SAP NetWeaver with Oracle Database Appliance .................................. ............ . 12
Oracle Database Private Compute Appliance (PCA) ................................................ .... . 12
Oracle MiniCluster ............................................................................................... ........... 13
Oracle MiniCluster S7-2 Supported with SAP .................................................... ............ 13
Oracle Advanced Compression ........................................................................... ........ ... 14
Advanced Row Compression ............................................................................. ..... 14
Minimal Performance Overhead ................................................................... ......... .. 15
Advanced Index Compression .......................................................................... ............. . 16
SecureFiles Compression .................................................................................. ............ 17
Advanced Network Compression ....................................................................... ............ 18
Data Guard Redo Transport Compression ........................................................... .......... 18
Recovery Manager (RMAN) Compression .......................................................... ........... 19
Data Pump Compression ................................................................................... ............ 19
Compression for Network Traffic ....................................................................... ............. 20
Automatic Storage Management ............................................................................ ........ 20
ASM Overview ................................................................................................ ...... 20
Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System ................................. ....... 22
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Real Application Clusters for SAP (RAC for SAP) .......................................................... 23
High Availability for SAP Resources (through SAPCTL) ................................... ........... .. 24
Data Guard for SAP ........................................................................................................ 24
Real Application Testing ...................................................................................... ........... 29
Database Replay .............................................................................................. ............................... 30
Faster deployment ........................................................................................ .......... 30
SQL Performance Analyzer ............................................................................... ............. 30
Real Application Testing to validate Advanced Compression for SAP ................... ........ 31
Conclusion .................................................................................................. ........... 32
Oracle Advanced Security ..................................................................................... ......... 32
Tablespace Encryption ...................................................................................... ............. 32
RMAN Backup Encryption (Oracle Secure Backup)............................................. ........... 32
Data Guard Secure Transmission of Redo Data .................................................... ........ 33
Secure Database exports with Encryption ............................................................ ......... 33
SecureFiles Encryption ..................................................................................... .............. 34
Database Vault ................................................................................................ ............... 34
Oracle Expertise in the SAP environmentThe Solution Center SAP Support and Service
offers SAP customers the following services: ........................................... ...................... 36
Conclusion ........................................................................................................ ..... .. 36
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Executive Overview
SAP and Oracle would like to announce that they have agreed to a long-term extension of
SAP's global reseller and technical support relationship (May 24, 2017). For more than twenty
years, SAP and Oracle have worked together to provide customers with a supported
SAP/Oracle environment, running SAP applications and an Oracle database. During this
extension new and existing SAP customers can continue to acquire Oracle licenses from SAP
or Oracle to support their SAP business applications, and SAP and Oracle will continue to offer
technical support for the combined Oracle/SAP offering.
Since 1988, Oracle has been the database of choice as one of the development platform for
SAP applications. Today, many customers use the Oracle database to power their mission
critical SAP applications. Deploying Oracle Database, within their IT architecture, SAP
customers can leverage the power of the world's leading database to reduce their server and
storage costs, eliminate idle redundancy and improve quality of service. All SAP customers
can enjoy a very large number of features and options already released with the Oracle
Database 12c certification completed by SAP.
In less than eighteen Months, SAP certified Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Exalogic,
SPARC SuperCluster and more recently Oracle Database Appliance (ODA), Oracle Privat
Virtual Machine (OVM) and Oracle Private Cloud Appliance (OPCA) in August 2014. Since
June 10 2011, SAP customers can use Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle
SuperCluster, Exalogic, ODA, OPCA and Oracle MiniCluster for their SAP applications. In this
paper we’ll focus more on Exadata for SAP which is an easy to deploy solution for hosting the
Oracle database that delivers the highest level of database performance available, runs SAP
unchanged, allows better support, provides fast and online migration, and can be used as an
Oracle database consolidation platform for SAP and non-SAP applications.
Oracle Cloud IaaS is an attractive – based on value, security and performance – Enterprise
Cloud platform which provides SAP customers a choice to run their SAP infrastructure on
premise, or in the Cloud, including private, public, and mixed cloud scenarios. This initial
certification is planned to be completed during CY 2017.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle and SAP continue to satisfy the tens of thousands mutual SAP on Oracle database
customers. The joint effort has always been characterized by a constant desire to provide
mutual customers with efficient service and support solutions for their SAP application needs,
in order to bring additional benefit to their businesses and to offer optimum protection of their
investments. The Oracle database is always optimized for SAP Applications and with each
new database release many new features are provided like just done with Oracle Exadata
Database Machine that help customers cope with constant challenges such as, reducing
storage costs, improving performance, minimizing downtime etc.
This paper will describe the most important technology and features supported by SAP and
show the main identified differentiators which explain in detail why Oracle Database is the first
choice for running SAP applications. Many features, such as Oracle Real Application Clusters
(RAC), Data Guard, Table Partitioning etc. have been available in earlier Oracle database
Releases, enhanced in the current Oracle Database version 12c Release 1, and can be used
with Oracle Exadata Database Machine, SuperCluster, etc. There are even more new features
and options certified with 12cR1 for SAP like Oracle Database In-Memory, Advanced Index
Compression, ACFS Support on Oracle Exadata platform, Storage Snapshot Optimization,
Active Data Guard Far Sync, Database Vault, etc. In December 2015, we certified two major
features (Hybrid Columnar Compression, and Information Lifecycle Management) which can
help reduce the cost of managing large amount of data, while also improving application and
database performance. Last but not least, we certified Oracle Multitenant and Flat Cubes for
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Database market share for Enterprise Applications
SAP and Oracle would like to announce that they have agreed to a long term extension of SAP's global
Reseller and Technical Support relationship. For more than twenty years, SAP and Oracle have worked
together to provide customers with a supported SAP/Oracle environment, running SAP applications
and an Oracle database. During this extension new and existing SAP customers can continue to acquire
Oracle licenses from SAP or Oracle to support their SAP business applications, and SAP and Oracle
will continue to offer Technical Support for the combined Oracle/SAP offering.
SAP and Oracle will continue to provide customers with additional information and details concerning
the Oracle/SAP relationship at and
Analysts are unanimous in saying that the Oracle Database enjoys dominant market share for
enterprise applications, including SAP.
More than two-thirds of all mid-size to large enterprise SAP customers in every industry entrust their
application deployments to Oracle databases, and companies are running SAP applications with Oracle
databases on all major operating systems.
Note that the larger the system (i.e. more users, more data) the higher the requirements in regards to
storage saving, performance, security and high availability. Very large systems are almost exclusively
based on Oracle.
Oracle dominates the SAP database market share across operating systems platforms including, the
various flavors of Unix and Linux as well as Windows.
Oracle’s market position has real advantages for customers considering database choices for their SAP
system. A large installed base indicates that Oracle is able to meet the database needs of SAP
customers across many industries and geographies.
It also means that a large group of customers have tested the SAP-Oracle combination in situations
that no QA group at SAP could ever recreate. Both Oracle and SAP have learned from this experience
in the field, and both products have been enhanced as a result. Customers now choosing Oracle for
SAP will get the accumulated benefits of years of product testing in the real world. The impressively
large customer base translates into several advantages:
 Proven technology
 Widest choice of solutions and systems from Oracle and partners
 Highest consulting expertise on the market
 Best cooperation with hardware and tool vendors
 Largest labor pool of people with combined Oracle – SAP skills
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle-SAP Technology Relationship
Figure 1: Milestones in SAP-Oracle Technology Relationship
Oracle has dedicated teams working with SAP in many different areas, including joint software
development, pre-sales and technology evangelism, customer technical support and professional
services. The long Oracle-SAP technology relationship started in 1988 when SAP R/3 development
The Oracle development team working at SAP HQ in Walldorf, Germany assists SAP in:
 Performance testing of each release with the Oracle database to ensure there is no degradation of
response time, throughput and scalability between SAP versions.
 Fixing database bugs found during SAP functional testing, and including SAP enhancement requests
in the database product roadmap
 Incorporating new Oracle features in SAP releases
 Optimize each new release of the DBMS and new versions of SAP applications
 Responding to escalated customer problems, when related to database issues
Oracle Database 12c for SAP Certification Status
Oracle Database 12c (including Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12c and Oracle Real Application Clusters
12c) is certified for NetWeaver-based SAP products.
To ensure sufficient overlap with Oracle Database 11g, which is available to SAP customers as a fully
supported version ( where Oracle Extended Support will available without additional costs
until May 2017, SAP has certified Oracle Database, thereby breaking the "terminal release"
custom (certification of Oracle Database release x.2, no certification of release x.1) valid to date.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
New features included in phase 1 (base certification):
Advanced Index Compression – Automatic Prefix Computation (higher compression rate, ease of use)
Client-Server Network Compression (less network load between Application Servers and Database
ACO Table Compression -- Support for > 255 columns
Concurrent Execution of Union and Union All Branches (improves SAP BW performance)
ACFS Support on Oracle Exadata (for SAP shared file system support [/sapmnt, etc.])
Oracle RAC -- HA-NFS support with ACFS (complete SAP HA solution for shared file system)
RMAN: Cross Platform Backup and Restore (faster and easier heterogeneous platform migration)
Storage Snapshot Optimization (no more begin/end backup for certain snapshot technologies)
Active Data Guard Far Sync (high performance, zero data loss across large distance WAN)
Online Reorganization Operations (Online Move Partition, Move Datafile Online, Rebuild IndexOrganized Tables)
Windows -- Support for Standard User for Services, Database Instances and Oracle Net Services
Phase 2: Oracle Database In-Memory certified on June 30, 2015
Oracle Database 12c Release 1 ( was released and it included a new option called Oracle
Database In-Memory (Database In-Memory), which accelerates analytics by orders of magnitude while
simultaneously speeding up mixed-workload OLTP. This Oracle database release including Oracle
Database In-Memory has been certified by SAP for use with SAP® solutions based on the SAP
NetWeaver® 7.x technology platform.
Database In-Memory leverages a unique “dual-format” architecture that enables tables to be in
memory simultaneously in a traditional row format and a new in-memory column format. The Oracle
SQL Optimizer automatically routes analytic queries to the column format and OLTP queries to the
row format, transparently delivering best-of-both-worlds performance. Oracle Database 12c
automatically maintains full transactional consistency between the row and the column formats, just as
it maintains consistency between tables and indexes today. For more information, see:
Benchmark Results Reveal the Benefits of Oracle Database In-Memory for SAP Applications:
SAP note: 2178980 - Using Oracle Database In-Memory with SAP NetWeaver based Products
White paper: Using SAP NetWeaver with Oracle Database In-Memory
Oracle Database In-Memory
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
The new SAP BW Flat Cube design for BW InfoCubes is now available for Oracle Database 12c
Release 1 with Oracle Database In-Memory as of SAP BW 7.40 SP15. For more details see SAP note
Benefits for SAP BW customers:
Cost saving through higher performance and optimized integration of SAP BW and
Oracle Database 12c technologies
Simplified data modeling and remodeling
Faster data loads
Performance improvements for queries accessing large amounts of data
Oracle Exalogic or Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is a combined hardware and software offering. It
includes multiple Intel Xeon based servers (up to 30) and an integrated storage appliance using flash
memory all connected through fully-redundant Infiniband connectivity with Oracle's operating systems
to provide an pre-tested, pre-installed, tuned, optimized and factory assembled platform. Oracle
Exalogic Elastic Cloud (physical and virtual deployment) was certified by SAP in March 2016. For
more information, see SAP note “1617188 - SAP Software and Oracle Exalogic”.
Phase 3 – Oracle Database 12c Automatic Data Optimization certified on December 24, 2015
Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) for Oracle Exadata and Oracle SuperCluster
Using SAP NetWeaver with Oracle Database 12c Automatic Data Optimization and Information
Lifecycle Management (PDF)
This white paper shows implementation scenarios of Hybrid Columnar Compression for SAP BW
and the migration of existing systems to HCC based on SAP tools.
Phase 4 – February 2017:
Oracle Multitenant – an Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition option – introduces a new
architecture that enables customers to easily consolidate multiple databases, without changing their
applications. This new architecture delivers all the benefits of managing many databases as one, yet
retains the isolation and resource prioritization of separate databases. In addition, Oracle Multitenant
enables rapid provisioning and upgrades, and fully complements other options including Oracle Real
Application Clusters and Active Data Guard. See SAP note 2336881.
SAP Core Data Services for Oracle Database
With the most recent SAP NetWeaver version released in September 2014 and in accordance with
SAP's "commitment to openness and innovation," SAP has begun to provide an Oracle-specific
implementation of SAP's Core Data Services (CDS). This will allow SAP applications and application
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
developers to push application functionality down to the database, i.e. to call procedures stored in the
Oracle Database.
Oracle Exadata Database Machine for SAP Customers
Oracle Exadata Database Machine version X5-2 and earlier is certified by SAP and can be used with
SAP NetWeaver 7.x or higher including all SAP products which are based on SAP NetWeaver 7.x like
SAP ERP 6.0, SAP BW 7.x, SAP CRM 7.x etc. (for a complete list check the SAP Product Availability
The Oracle Exadata Database Machine is an easy to deploy solution for hosting the Oracle Database
that delivers the highest levels of database performance available. The Exadata Database Machine is a
“cloud in a box” composed of database servers, Oracle Exadata Storage Servers, an InfiniBand fabric
for storage networking and all the other components required to host an Oracle Database. It delivers
outstanding I/O and SQL processing performance for SAP Business Suite (i.e. SAP ERP 6.0, CRM
7.x), Business Warehouse (i.e. SAP BW 7.x) and consolidation of mixed workloads. Extreme
performance is delivered for all types of database applications by leveraging a massively parallel grid
architecture using Real Application Clusters and Exadata storage. Database Machine and Exadata
storage delivers breakthrough performance with linear I/O scalability, is simple to use and manage,
and delivers mission-critical availability and reliability.
The Exadata Storage Server is an integral component of the Exadata Database Machine. Several
features of the product deliver extreme performance. Exadata storage provides database aware storage
services, such as the ability to offload database processing from the database server to storage, and
provides this while being transparent to SQL processing and database applications. Hence just the data
requested by the application is returned rather than all the data in the queried tables. Exadata Smart
Flash Cache dramatically accelerates Oracle Database processing by speeding I/O operations. The
Flash provides intelligent caching of database objects to avoid physical I/O operations. The Oracle
Database on the Database Machine is the first Flash enabled database. Exadata storage provides an
advanced compression technology), Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, that typically provides up
to 10x and higher levels of data compression (planned to be supported by SAP with 12c). Exadata
compression boosts the effective data transfer by an order of magnitude. The Oracle Exadata Database
Machine is the world's most secure database machine. Building on the superior security capabilities of
the Oracle Database, the Exadata storage provides the ability to query fully encrypted databases with
near zero overhead at hundreds of gigabytes per second. The combination of these, and many other,
features of the product are the basis of the outstanding performance of the Exadata Database Machine.
Extreme System Scalability and Growth with Elastic Configurations
The Exadata Database Machine uses a scale-out architecture for both database servers and storage
servers.. As an Exadata Database Machine grows, database CPUs, storage, and networking can be
added in a balanced fashion ensuring scalability without bottlenecks. The scale-out architecture
accommodates any size workload and allows seamless expansion from small to extremely large
configurations while avoiding performance bottlenecks and single points of failure. A high-bandwidth
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
low-latency 40 Gb/second InfiniBand network connects all the components inside an Exadata
Database Machine. Specialized database networking protocols run over the InfiniBand network and
provide much lower latency and higher bandwidth communication than is possible using generic
communication protocols. This enables both faster response time for OLTP operations, and higher
throughput for Analytic workloads. External connectivity to the Exadata Database Machine is
provided using standard 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Elastic configurations provide an extremely flexible and
efficient mechanism to expand computing power and/or storage capacity of any given Exadata system.
The starting configuration of an Exadata Database Machine consists of 2 database servers and 3
storage servers, which can be further elastically expanded by adding more database or storage severs as
requirements grow.
Exadata Database Machine is the most versatile database platform. With Elastic Configurations, the
system can be custom configured to meet any business use case. In addition to upgrading within a rack,
multiple racks can be connected using the integrated InfiniBand fabric to form even larger
Exadata for SAP source of information
For detailed information, possible configuration and size:
Information about the prerequisites, minimum requirements and all the necessary steps to setup an
SAP system on Oracle Exadata can be found in the SAP note 1590515 - SAP Software and Oracle
Exadata and the Best Practices Guide “SAP NetWeaver and Oracle Exadata Database Machine”
Excerpt of Customer stories:
 ICT at Swiss Post now More Efficient Thanks to Oracle Exadata Database Machine (PDF)
 Granarolo: Oracle Exadata Database Machine Meets the Many Stringent Requirements (PDF)
 Oracle Exadata Database Machine at Wumart (PDF)
 Oracle Exadata Database Machine Helps AmerisourceBergen Run its Business at Peak Levels
with SAP (PDF)
 Oracle Exadata Database Machine at Nagase (PDF)
 Lion Corporation Maximizes Revenue Opportunity and Supports Global Growth with Oracle
(PDF)Raiffeisen Informatik Center Steiermark
Send an email to [email protected] for more information
Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) for SAP
The Oracle Database Appliance is a complete plug-n-go highly available clustered database system.
Pre-installed with Oracle Linux and Oracle appliance manager software, this appliance saves time and
money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of a highly available database solution.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
The Oracle Database Appliance is a 4U rack-mountable system specifically designed to run Oracle
database Enterprise Edition, with redundant and hot swappable components built-in to meet the high
availability requirements. Each system has redundant server nodes, internal interconnects, storage
controllers, power supply units and cooling fans. In addition, disk and flash storage are triple-mirrored
and shared to ensure data availability and to provide accelerated database performance.
Combining high availability and simplicity, the Oracle Database Appliance is the perfect clustered
database solution for rapid deployment and maximum uptime.
Running SAP NetWeaver with Oracle Database Appliance
Oracle Database Appliance is now certified by SAP. All SAP products based on SAP NetWeaver 7.x
that are also certified for Oracle Database 11g Release 2 can now be used with the Oracle Database
The Oracle Database Appliance provides the following capabilities for an SAP environment:
• Highly available active-active clustered database server for SAP Applications
• Highly available file server for SAP required shared file systems such as /sapmnt
• Complete clustering solution for SAP High Availability Resources such as Central Services for both
ABAP and JAVA stack.
For more information on the Oracle Database Appliance, see SAP Note 1760737 and the Oracle
White Paper.
Oracle Database Private Compute Appliance (PCA)
Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is an integrated, “wire once”, software-defined converged
infrastructure system designed for rapid deployment of both infrastructure hardware and application
software. Whether running any Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Microsoft Windows, Oracle Virtual Compute
Appliance supports a large range of OS versions hosted in a converged server, network, and storage
environment to enable general purpose, business-, and mission-critical application deployments in
medium-to-large data centers. High-performance, low-latency Oracle Fabric Interconnect with Oracle
SDN—two products in the Oracle Virtual Networking family—allow automated configuration of the
server and storage networks. The embedded Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance controller software
automates the installation, configuration, and management of all the infrastructure components at the
push of a button. The users need only to enter basic configuration parameters and then create virtual
machines (VMs) manually or by leveraging Oracle VM Templates and Assembly Builder to get a full
application up and running in as little as a couple of hours. With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c,
Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is transformed into a powerful Cloud Services delivery platform.
Oracle PCA is now certified for SAP and extends the list of Engineered Systems available for SAP
customers. For more information check the SAP note 2052912
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle MiniCluster
Oracle MiniCluster is a simple and efficient engineered system designed to run SAP databases and
applications with uncompromising security. Its simplicity, out-of-the-box performance and reliability,
and small form factor make it an excellent choice for remote offices, small offices, and agile software
development (DevOps) environments.
It is ideal for highly security-sensitive applications, such as managing patient medical records,
processing financial transactions, handling secure communications, running mission-critical enterprise
resource planning applications such as SAP, and hosting security-related services. The system integrates
and automates hundreds of unique security technologies and controls, including memory-intrusion
protection, comprehensive data protection, defense-in-depth access controls for compute, storage, and
networks, and full-visibility monitoring and auditing of user and system activities. Oracle MiniCluster
S7-2 incorporates fully redundant, high-performance, shared flash storage and active/active
independent compute nodes with redundant network connectivity for a highly available architecture
that is appropriate for extremely performance-sensitive, mission-critical applications.
Oracle MiniCluster S7-2 Supported with SAP
Oracle MiniCluster is certified for SAP environments. It can be used to run SAP applications as well as
Oracle Database Server.
Supported SAP solutions and products:
All SAP products supported on Oracle Solaris 11 SPARC are supported on Oracle MiniCluster.
Please check the SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM) for details regarding supported SAP product
releases. The PAM also provides information about supported operating system releases and
Unicode/non-Unicode configurations.
Third-party databases and applications available on Solaris 11 are supported in the Application VMs.
Supported Oracle Database versions, features and options:
Oracle Database 11g ( with SAP Bundle Patch according to SAP Note 1974327.
Oracle Database 12c ( or higher) with SAP Bundle Patch according to SAP Note 2145628.
The Database VMs support multi-node Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and single instance
Oracle Database In-Memory is supported with SAP NetWeaver based products. See SAP Note
2178980 for more details.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Supported Cluster Solution for SAP instances: Oracle Clusterware for the Enqueue Service
(SCS/ASCS) and its related Replication Service (ERS) in the database VMs by using SAPCTL. See SAP
Note 1496927 for more details.
Limitations when running Oracle Database 12c. See SAP Note 1914631 for details.
Minimum Oracle Client release See SAP Note 819829 for choosing the supported Oracle
Client depending on the Oracle Database release.
Central Instance (CI) / Primary Application Server (PAS) installations in Oracle Database VMs are not
MiniCluster and installation requirements:
Minimum MiniCluster Configuration Utility version:
Role-separated authentication is not supported. Same OS user oracle:oinstall is required for both Grid
Infrastructure (GI) and RDBMS software.
Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) is not supported.
Featured Resource:
White paper: Configuring Oracle MiniCluster for SAP (PDF)
For more information on Oracle MiniCluster for SAP see SAP Note 2384855.
Oracle Advanced Compression
Advanced Compression Customers running SAP applications on Oracle Database 11g can already
choose from a variety of compression features: Index Key Compression and Compressed IndexOrganized Tables (IOTs) are standard database features. OLTP Compression for structured data and
SecureFiles Compression for unstructured data are provided by Oracle Database 11g Advanced
Compression. Oracle Database 12c Advanced Compression comes with many new features. Some of
them are related to information lifecycle management support, which will be available for SAP
customers as of certification wave 2.
Advanced Row Compression
Oracle’s OLTP Table Compression uses a unique compression algorithm specifically designed to work
with OLTP applications. The algorithm works by eliminating duplicate values within a database block,
even across multiple columns. Compressed blocks contain a structure called a symbol table that
maintains compression metadata. When a block is compressed, duplicate values are eliminated by first
adding a single copy of the duplicate value to the symbol table. Each duplicate value is then replaced by
a short reference to the appropriate entry in the symbol table. Through this innovative design,
compressed data is self-contained within the database block as the metadata used to translate
compressed data into its original state is stored in the block. When compared with competing
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
compression algorithms that maintain a global database symbol table, Oracle’s unique approach offers
significant performance benefits by not introducing additional I/O when accessing compressed data.
In general, customers can expect to reduce their storage space consumption by a factor of 2 to 3 by
using the OLTP Table Compression feature. That is, the amount of space consumed by uncompressed
data will be two to three times larger than that of the compressed data. The benefits of OLTP Table
Compression go beyond just on-disk storage savings. One significant advantage is Oracle’s ability to
read compressed blocks directly without having to first uncompress the block. Therefore, there is no
measurable performance degradation for accessing compressed data. In fact, in many cases
performance may improve due to the reduction in I/O since Oracle will have to access fewer blocks.
Further, the buffer cache will become more efficient by storing more data without having to add
The results achieved using OLTP compression in real world SAP BW customers are depicted in figure
2 that shows space saving up to 86% at table level.
Figure 2: OLTP Table compression within SAP BW
Minimal Performance Overhead
As stated above, OLTP Table Compression has no adverse impact on read operations. There is
additional work performed while writing data, making it impossible to eliminate performance overhead
for write operations. However, Oracle has put in a significant amount of work to minimize this
overhead for OLTP Table Compression. Oracle compresses blocks in batch mode rather than
compressing data every time a write operation takes place. A newly initialized block remains
uncompressed until data in the block reaches an internally controlled threshold. When a transaction
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
causes the data in the block to reach this threshold, all contents of the block are compressed.
Subsequently, as more data is added to the block and the threshold is again reached, the entire block is
recompressed to achieve the highest level of compression. This process repeats until Oracle determines
that the block can no longer benefit from further compression. Only transactions that trigger the
compression of the block will experience the slight compression overhead. Therefore, a majority of
OLTP transactions on compressed blocks will have the exact same performance as they would with
uncompressed blocks.
Figure 3: OLTP Table compression Process
In Oracle Database 11g, structured table data compression (OLTP compression) is not supported for tables
with more than 255 columns. In Oracle Database 12c Advanced Compression, the 255-columns limit is
removed. On the surface this seems to be a minor improvement, how-ever tables having more than 255
columns are commonly found in almost all SAP systems.
Advanced Index Compression
Indexes are used extensively inside OLTP databases since they are capable of efficiently supporting a
wide variety of access paths to the data stored in relational tables. It is very common to find a large
number of indexes being created on a single table to support the multitude of access paths for OLTP
applications, this can cause indexes to contribute a greater share to the overall storage of a database
when compared to the size of the base tables alone.
Advanced Index compression is a new form of index block compression. Creating an index using
Advanced Index Compression reduces the size of all supported unique and non-unique indexes --
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
while still providing efficient access to the indexes. Advanced Index Compression works well on all
supported indexes, including those indexes that are not good candidates (indexes with no duplicate
values, or few duplicate values, for given number of leading columns of the index) with the existing
index Prefix Compression feature (see below).
Advanced Index Compression works at the block level to provide the best compression for each block,
this means that users don’t need knowledge of data characteristics – Advanced Index Compression
automatically chooses the right compression per block. The use of Advanced Index Compression
requires the Oracle Advanced Compression option.
SecureFiles Compression
SecureFiles was a new feature in Oracle Database 11g that introduced a completely reengineered large
object (LOB) data type to dramatically improve performance, manageability, and ease of application
SecureFile data is compressed using industry standard compression algorithms. Compression not only
results in significant savings in storage but also improved performance by reducing IO, buffer cache
requirements, redo generation and encryption overhead. If the compression does not yield any savings
or if the data is already compressed, SecureFiles will automatically turn off compression for such
columns. Compression is performed on the server-side and allows for random reads and writes to
SecureFile data. SecureFiles compression provides significant storage savings for unstructured data
depending on the degree of compression: LOW, MEDIUM (default) and HIGH, which represent a
tradeoff between storage savings and latency.
SecureFiles compression handles in-line and out-of-line LOB data which are getting more and more
important in SAP applications and are widely used in SAP products such as SAP CRM, SAP XI, SAP
NetWeaver Portal, and even in SAP ERP. Almost all non-cluster tables in SAP ERP use out-of-line
LOBS that are unique to Oracle database.
OLTP compression and SecureFiles compression lead Oracle to be able to compress each type of data
related to SAP applications such as tables, indexes, and unstructured data. Using all 11g space
optimizations the database size can be reduced up to a factor of 3.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Figure 4: Space savings achieved with 11.2 Compression and other space optimizations
Advanced Network Compression
Advanced Network Compression, also referred to as SQL Network Data Compression, can be used to
compress the network data to be transmitted at the sending side and then uncompress it at the
receiving side to reduce the network traffic. Advanced Network Compression reduces the size of the
session data unit (SDU) transmitted over a data connection. Reducing the size of data reduces the time
required to transmit the SDU. The benefits of Advanced Network Compression include:
Increased effective network throughput: Compression allows transmission of large data in less time.
SQL query response becomes faster due to the reduced transmission time. Constrained bandwidth
environments can utilize this to reduce query response time.
Reduced bandwidth utilization: Compression saves bandwidth by reducing the data to be
transmitted, allowing other applications to use the freed-up bandwidth. This also helps in reducing the
cost of providing network bandwidth.
Advanced Network Compression not only makes SQL query responses faster but also saves
bandwidth. On narrow bandwidth connections, with faster CPU, it could significantly improve
performance. The compression is transparent to client applications.
Data Guard Redo Transport Compression
Oracle Data Guard provides the management, monitoring and automation software infrastructure to
create, maintain, and monitor one or more standby databases to protect enterprise data from failures,
disasters, errors and data corruptions. Data Guard maintains synchronization of primary and standby
databases using redo data (the information required to recover a transaction). As transactions occur in
the primary database, redo data is generated and written to the local redo log files.
Data Guard Redo Transport Services are used to transfer this redo data to the standby site(s). With
Advanced Compression, redo data may be transmitted in a compressed format to reduce network
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
bandwidth consumption and in some cases reduce transmission time of redo data. Redo data can be
transmitted in a compressed format when the Oracle Data Guard configuration uses either
synchronous redo transport (SYNC) or asynchronous redo transport (ASYNC).
For more information about Oracle Data Guard, please visit
Recovery Manager (RMAN) Compression
The continuous growth in enterprise databases creates an enormous challenge to database
administrators. The storage requirements for maintaining database backups and the performance of the
backup procedures are directly impacted by database size. Advanced Compression includes RMAN
compression technology that can dramatically reduce the storage requirements for backup data.
Due to RMAN’s tight integration with Oracle Database, backup data is compressed before it is written
to disk or tape and doesn’t need to be uncompressed before recovery – providing an enormous
reduction in storage costs and a potentially large reduction in backup and restore times.
There are three levels of RMAN Compression: LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH. The amount of storage
savings increases from LOW to HIGH, while potentially consuming more CPU resources.
Data Pump Compression
The ability to compress the metadata associated with a Data Pump job was first provided in Oracle
Database 10g Release 2. In Oracle Database 11g, this compression capability has been extended so that
table data can be compressed on export. Data Pump compression is an inline operation, so the reduced
dump file size means a significant savings in disk space. Unlike operating system or file system
compression utilities, Data Pump compression is fully inline on the import side as well, so there is no
need to uncompress a dump file before importing it. The compressed dump file sets are automatically
decompressed during import without any additional steps by the Database Administrator.
In the following compression example from the Oracle sample database, the OE and SH schemas were
exported while simultaneously compressing all data and metadata. The dump file size was reduced by
Three versions of the gzip (GNU zip) utility and one UNIX compress utility were used to compress
the 6.0 MB dump file set. The reduction in dump file size was comparable to Data Pump compression.
Note that the reduction in dump file size will vary based on data types and other factors.
Full Data Pump functionality is available using a compressed file. Any command that is used on a
regular file will also work on a compressed file. Users have the following options to determine which
parts of a dump file set should be compressed:
ALL enables compression for the entire export operation.
DATA-ONLY results in all data being written to the dump file in compressed format.
METADATA-ONLY results in all metadata being written to the dump file in compressed format.
This is the default.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
NONE disables compression for the entire export operation.
Compression for Network Traffic
Data Guard provides the management, monitoring, and automation software infrastructure to create,
maintain, and monitor one or more standby databases to protect enterprise data from failures,
disasters, errors, and data corruptions. Data Guard maintains synchronization of primary and standby
databases using redo data (the information required to recover a transaction). As transactions occur in
the primary database, redo data is generated and written to the local redo log files. Data Guard Redo
Transport Services are used to transfer this redo data to the standby site(s). With Advanced
Compression, redo data may be transmitted in a compressed format to reduce network bandwidth
consumption and in some cases reduce transmission time of redo data when the Oracle Data Guard
configuration uses either synchronous redo transport (SYNC) or asynchronous redo transport
Automatic Storage Management
Automatic Storage Management (ASM) was first released with Oracle Database 10g. For Oracle
databases, ASM provided a significant simplification for file system and volume management. In
addition to enhancing storage automation, ASM improved file system scalability, performance, and
database availability. These benefits hold for both single-instance Oracle databases as well as for Oracle
Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) database environments. Oracle Database 12c introduces
several new capabilities in ASM.
ASM Overview
ASM is a feature of Oracle database providing an integrated cluster file system and volume manager at
no additional cost. ASM lowers the Oracle database storage total cost of ownership and increases
storage utilization while improving performance and availability as compared with traditional file
system and volume management solutions. With ASM, less effort is required for managing your
database storage environment.
ASM is easier to manage than conventional file systems, it optimizes the performance of your storage
hardware, and is tightly integrated with the Oracle Database. Additionally, ASM eliminates the need for
3rd-party volume managers and file systems for managing the Oracle database files.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
ASM brings significant key values to Oracle Database platforms. ASM improves manageability by
simplifying storage provisioning, storage array migration, and storage consolidation. ASM provides
flexible interfaces for management including the SQL*Plus, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and a UNIXlike command line interface called ASMCMD.
In addition to providing ease of management, ASM provides sustained best in class performance
because of its innovative rebalancing feature. ASM distributes data evenly across all storage resources
after storage configuration changes, providing an even distribution of IO and optimal performance.
ASM scales to very large databases efficiently without compromising functionality or performance.
ASM is built to maximize database availability. ASM provides self-healing automatic mirror
reconstruction and resynchronization, rolling upgrades and patching. ASM also supports dynamic and
on-line storage reconfigurations in both single instance and Oracle RAC database configurations. ASM
customers realize significant cost savings and achieve lower total cost of ownership because of features
such as just-in-time provisioning, and clustered pool of storage making it ideal for database
consolidation. ASM provides all of this without additional license or licensing fees.
In summation, ASM is a file system and volume manager optimized for Oracle database files
Simplified and automated storage management
Increased storage utilization, uptime, and agility
Delivering predictable performance and availability service levels
Oracle ASM has proven to be one of the fastest and most reliable storage platforms to run the Oracle
Database. This makes Oracle Automatic Storage Management the preferred storage platform for SAP
running on Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) as well as for SAP systems running on a single
instance Oracle Database.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
See for “Installation and Configuration Requirements for Oracle
ASM with SAP” and “Best Practices for Migration of an SAP Database to Oracle ASM” white papers.
SAP systems running on Oracle RAC or single instance can now move their databases to ASM.
Customers can smoothly migrate their current file system based databases to ASM/ACFS.
The migration to ASM can also be done through SAPInst. Based on SAPInst customers can either
install a new SAP system and immediately create the database on ASM (single instance or RAC), or
even use SAPInst to migrate the file system to ASM and at the same time migrate to RAC etc. For
more information check the SAP note 1550133 – Oracle –Automatic Storage Management (ASM).
Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System
Oracle ACFS is designed as a general-purpose, standalone server and clusterwide file system that
delivers support for all customer files. Users and applications can access and manage Oracle ACFS
using native operating system file system application programming interfaces (APIs) and command-line
interface (CLI) tools. Users can also manage Oracle ACFS with Oracle ASM Configuration Assistant
Oracle ACFS supports large files with 64-bit file and file system data structure sizes leading to exabyte
capable file and file system capacities on 64 bit platforms. Variable extent-based storage allocation and
high-performance directories contribute to fast performance and shared disk configurations that
provide direct storage paths to Oracle ACFS file data from each cluster member. File system integrity
and fast recovery is achieved with Oracle ACFS metadata checksums and journaling. Oracle ACFS is
designed as a multi-node, shared file system model that delivers coherent, cached, direct storage paths
to Oracle ACFS file data from each cluster member.
Oracle ACFS files systems are typically configured for clusterwide access. File systems, files, and
directories are visible and accessible from all cluster members and can be referenced by users and
applications using the same path names from any cluster member. This design enables simplified
application deployments across cluster members and facilitates both multiple instance cluster
applications and high availability (HA) failover of unmodified standalone server applications.
Oracle ACFS presents single system file access semantics across cluster configurations. Applications
and users on all cluster members are always presented with the same view of shared Oracle ACFS file
data, supported by the Oracle ACFS clusterwide user and metadata cache coherency mechanism.
Oracle ACFS now supports the Oracle Exadata servers as well and can be used for /sapmnt,
/usr/sap/trans etc.
Starting with Oracle Database 12c, Oracle ACFS supports Oracle database files in addition to general
purpose files. This means that entire Oracle databases can be stored inside an ACFS file system. Oracle
ACFS implements direct I/O bypassing the OS buffer cache to deliver high performance, similar to
raw, for database files. However, general purpose files are still provided cached I/O suitable for nondatabase files that provide fast response time and high performance.
All databases stored on Oracle ACFS can now leverage the Advanced Data Services. Snapshots may be
used for backup as well as provisioning sparse copies of databases for testing and other purposes.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Snapshots can also be used to create read-write snapshots of Oracle Database Homes to simplify outof-place patching. Oracle ACFS Replication compliments Oracle Data Guard and provides disaster
recovery for non- database files. The Tagging feature may be used to simplify aggregate operations
based on assigned tags. And, the Security, Encryption and Auditing feature may be used for more
granular access control and security overall.
Real Application Clusters for SAP (RAC for SAP)
Oracle Database 10g comes with an integrated set of High Availability (HA) capabilities that help
organizations ensure business continuity by minimizing the various kinds of downtime that can affect
their businesses. These capabilities take care of most scenarios that might lead to data unavailability,
such as system failures, data failures, disasters, human errors, system maintenance operations and data
maintenance operations
The cornerstone of Oracle’s high availability solutions that protects from system failures is Oracle Real
Application Clusters (RAC). Oracle RAC is a cluster database with a shared cache architecture that
overcomes the limitations of traditional shared-nothing and shared-disk approaches, to provide a
highly scalable and available database solution for SAP applications.
RAC supports the transparent deployment of a single database across a cluster of active servers,
providing fault tolerance from hardware failures or planned outages. RAC supports mainstream
business applications of all kinds – these include popular packaged products such as SAP, as well as
custom applications. RAC provides a very high availability for these applications by removing the
single point of failure with a single server. In a RAC configuration, all nodes are active and serve
production workload. If a node in the cluster fails, the Oracle Database continues running on the
remaining nodes. Individual nodes can also be shutdown for maintenance while application users
continue to work.
A RAC configuration can be built from standardized, commodity-priced processing, storage, and
network components. RAC also enables a flexible way to scale applications, using a simple scale-out
model. When more processing power is needed by a particular application service, another server can
be added easily and dynamically, without taking any of the active users offline. Based on customer
configurations, SAP Dialog instances and connected users can be routed to dedicated nodes in the
RAC cluster.
Contrary to Failover Cluster, where every SAP instance is connected to a single database instance, with
an Oracle RAC cluster one or more SAP instances can be connected to one dedicated Oracle RAC
instance from within the available instances. If one RAC node crashes, the users connected to the
other nodes will not be affected since they are connected to a different database instance. The SAP
dialog instances that were connected to the crashed database instance (node1) will be automatically
reconnected to a surviving database instance (node2) within seconds. In case more than one SAP
instance were connected to the crashed database instance, then the SAP instances concerned can be
reconnected either to only one available RAC instance or to different RAC instances in order to split
the workload.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Figure 7: SAP workload distribution with RAC
High Availability for SAP Resources (through SAPCTL)
Oracle Clusterware can provide high availability for SAP resources just as it does for Oracle resources.
Oracle has created an Oracle Clusterware tool, SAP Control (SAPCTL), to enable customers to easily
manage SAP high availability resources. SAPCTL provides an easy-to-use interface to administer the
resources, scripts, and dependencies of Oracle Clusterware and SAP high availability components.
SAPCTL consolidates the functionality of the Oracle command-line tools by enabling SAP customers
to easily manage the SAP Enqueue Service for ABAP and JAVA, the SAP Replication Service for
ABAP and JAVA, and the additional virtual IP addresses used by the SAP Enqueue Service for ABAP
and/or JAVA. In addition to the critical SAP high availability components, namely the SAP Enqueue
and SAP Replication Service, SAPCTL provides an interface for the protection of arbitrary number of
SAP application instances. The SAP Central Instance (CI) or SAP application instances (DV) are
possible candidates to run under SAPCTL supervision. The SAPCTL tool supports SAP Standalone
Gateway (GW) and SAP WebDispatcher (W) as independent SAP instances as well. For more
information check SAP Note 1496927 - Protection of SAP instances through Oracle Clusterware.
Data Guard for SAP
Successful high availability (HA) architectures prevent downtime and data loss by using redundant
systems and software to eliminate single points of failure. The same principle applies to mission critical
databases. Administrator error, data corruption caused by system or software faults, or complete site
failure can impact the availability of a database thus SAP applications. Even a clustered database i.e.
Real Application Clusters (RAC) running on multiple servers is exposed to single points of failure if
not adequately protected. While a clustered database can provide excellent server HA, it is ultimately a
tightly coupled system running a single database on shared storage.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
The only way to prevent being impacted by (database related) single points of failure is to have a
completely independent copy of a production database already running on a different system and
ideally deployed at a second location, which can be quickly accessed if the production database
becomes unavailable for any reason.
Oracle Data Guard ensures high availability, data protection, and disaster recovery for enterprise data.
Oracle Data Guard provides a comprehensive set of services that create, maintain, manage, and
monitor one or more standby databases to enable production Oracle databases to survive disasters and
data corruptions. Oracle Data Guard maintains these standby databases as copies of the production
database. Then, if the production database becomes unavailable because of a planned or an unplanned
outage, Oracle Data Guard can switch any standby database to the production role, minimizing the
downtime associated with the outage. Oracle Data Guard can be used with traditional backup,
restoration, and cluster techniques to provide a high level of data protection and data availability.
Oracle Data Guard transport services are also used by other Oracle features such as Oracle Streams
and Oracle GoldenGate for efficient and reliable transmission of redo from a source database to one
or more remote destinations.
Oracle Active Data Guard (licensed option for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition) eliminates the
high cost of idle redundancy by allowing reporting applications, ad-hoc queries, and data extract to be
offloaded to read-only copies of the production database, but this feature cannot be used by SAP
applications since the latter always need a database opened in read-write mode). SAP customers are
used to offload for example reporting of SAP BW by using Snapshot Standby by converting a physical
standby (recovery mode) into a read-write database through a single command. There are even more
scenarios when to use Snapshot Standby to for example make a training system available within
minutes etc. (Active) Data Guard’s deep integration with Oracle Database and complete focus on realtime data protection and availability avoids compromises found in storage remote mirroring or other
host-based replication solutions. Beyond reporting on read-only database, Active Data Guard offers:
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Physical block corruptions are repaired automatically wherever they occur, at either the primary or
standby, preventing any interruption in service to users and eliminating manual intervention by
Zero Data Loss protection can be implemented in configurations where primary and standby databases
are separated by thousands of miles, without impacting primary database performance or requiring
added complexity or high-cost proprietary storage or network devices. There is no longer a
requirement to trade performance for data protection.
Planned downtime is minimized and the risk of introducing many types of change to a production
database environment is reduced using new automation that makes it much simpler and more reliable
to perform database rolling upgrades.
Data Guard offers two choices of transport services: synchronous and asynchronous.
Synchronous redo transport requires a primary database to wait for confirmation from the standby
that redo has been received and written to disk (a standby redo log file) before commit success is
signaled to the application. Synchronous transport combined with the deep understanding of
transaction semantics by Data Guard apply services provides a guarantee of zero data loss if the
primary database suddenly fails.
Although there is no physical limit to the distance between primary and standby sites, there is a
practical limit to the distance that can be supported. As distance increases, the amount of time that the
primary must wait to receive standby acknowledgement also increases, directly impacting application
response time and throughput. There are two new synchronous transport options available in Oracle
Database 12c designed to address this performance concern:
Fast Sync provides an easy way of improving performance in synchronous zero data loss
configurations. Fast Sync allows a standby to acknowledge the primary database as soon as it receives
redo in memory, without waiting for disk I/O to a standby redo log file. This reduces the impact of
synchronous transport on primary database performance by shortening the total round-trip time
between primary and standby. Fast Sync can introduce a very small exposure to data loss should
simultaneous failures impact both primary and standby databases before the standby I/O completes.
The time interval, however, is so brief (both failures must occur within milliseconds of each other) and
the circumstances so unique that there is a very low likelihood that this would occur. Fast Sync is
included with Data Guard.
Far Sync enables a zero data loss failover to a remote standby database even if it is located thousands
of miles away, without affecting primary database performance or materially increasing cost or
complexity. Far Sync is included with Active Data Guard.
Asynchronous redo transport avoids any impact to primary database performance by acknowledging
commit success to the application as soon as the local log-file write is complete; it never waits for the
standby database to acknowledge receipt. This performance benefit comes with the potential for a
small amount of data loss because can be no guarantee that at any moment in time all redo for
committed transactions has been received by the standby.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Far Sync - Zero Data Loss Protection at any Distance
The impact that synchronous zero data loss protection has on database performance can lead to
undesirable compromises. Customers with large distance between sites must compromise on
protection and use asynchronous transport, accepting data loss in return for acceptable performance.
Customers who absolutely require zero data loss must compromise on geo-protection and locate all
sites within the same metropolitan area. Before Oracle Database 12c, the only viable option to achieve
zero data loss across long distances is a 3-site architecture characterized by one or more of: expensive
proprietary storage arrays, special purpose network devices, multiple Data Guard standby databases
(local and remote), and complex administrative procedures.
Active Data Guard Far Sync, a new capability for Oracle Database 12c, eliminates compromise by
extending zero data loss protection to any standby database located at any distance from a primary
database, and doing so at minimal expense and without additional complexity.
Far Sync is a new type of Active Data Guard transport destination, referred to as a far sync instance,
that receives redo synchronously from a primary database and forwards that redo asynchronously to as
many as 29 remote destinations. A far sync instance is a light-weight entity that manages only a control
file and log files. It requires a fraction of the CPU, memory, and I/O of a standby database. It does not
have user data files, nor does it run Redo Apply. Its only purpose is to transparently offload the
primary database of the overhead of transmitting redo to remote destinations. Far Sync can also save
network bandwidth by offloading the primary database of overhead from redo transport compression
incurred when using Oracle Advanced Compression.
Take for example an existing Data Guard configuration that uses asynchronous transport between a
primary in New York, and a standby in London. Upgrade to Active Data Guard and implement zero
data loss by simply deploying a far sync instance at a third location within synchronous replication
distance (estimated at 30-150 miles) of New York, (see figure 3). Any server that is compatible with the
primary will suffice. No proprietary storage, no special network devices, no additional licensing, and no
complex management are required. If the primary fails, the same failover command used in any Data
Guard configuration or automatic failover using Fast-Start Failover will quickly transition the database
in London to the primary role, with zero data loss.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle Data Validation: One of the significant advantages of Data Guard is its ability to use Oracle
processes to validate redo before it is applied to the standby database. Data Guard is a loosely coupled
architecture where standby databases are kept synchronized by applying redo blocks, completely
detached from possible data file corruptions that can occur at the primary database. Redo is also
shipped directly from memory (system global area), and thus is completely detached from I/O
corruptions on the primary. Corruption-detection checks occur at a number of key interfaces during
redo transport and apply.
Managing a Data Guard Configuration: Primary and standby databases and their various interactions
may be managed by using SQL*Plus. Data Guard also offers a distributed management framework
called the Data Guard Broker, which automates and centralizes the creation, maintenance, and
monitoring of a Data Guard configuration. Administrators may interact with the Broker using either
Enterprise Manager Grid Control or the Broker’s command-line interface (DGMGRL).
Role Management Services: Data Guard Role Management Services quickly transition a designated
standby database to the primary role. A switchover is a planned operation used to reduce downtime
during planned maintenance, such as operating system or hardware upgrades. Regardless of the
transport service (SYNC or ASYNC) or protection mode utilized, a switchover is always a zero data
loss operation.
A failover brings a standby database online as the new primary database during an unplanned outage
of the primary database. A failover operation does not require the standby database to be restarted in
order to assume the primary role. Also, as long as the database files on the original primary database
are intact and the database can be mounted, the original primary can be reinstated and
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
resynchronized as a standby database for the new primary using Flashback Database – it does not
have to be restored from a backup.
Fast-Start Failover: Fast-Start Failover allows Data Guard to automatically fail over to a previously
chosen, standby database without requiring manual intervention to invoke the failover. A Data Guard
Observer process continuously monitors the status of a Fast-Start Failover configuration. If both the
Observer and the standby database lose connectivity to the primary database, the Observer attempts to
reconnect to the primary database for a configurable amount of time before initiating a fast-start
failover. Fast-start failover is designed to ensure that out of the three fast-start failover members - the
primary, the standby and the Observer - at least two members agree to major state transitions to
prevent split-brain scenarios from occurring. Once the failed primary is repaired and mounted, it must
establish connection with the Observer process before it can open. When it does, it will be informed
that a failover has already occurred and the original primary is automatically reinstated as a standby of
the new primary database. The simple, yet elegant architecture of fast-start failover makes it excellent
for use when both high availability and data protection is required.
Automating Client Failover: The ability to quickly perform a database failover is only the first
requirement for high availability. SAP Applications must also be able to quickly drop their connections
from a failed primary database, and quickly reconnect to the new primary database.
Effective SAP failover in a Data Guard context has three components:
Fast database failover
Fast start of database services on the new primary database
Fast notification of clients and fast reconnection to the new primary database
In previous Oracle releases, one or more user-written database triggers were required to automate
client failover, depending upon configuration. Data Guard 11g Release 2 simplifies configuration
significantly by eliminating the need for user-written triggers to automate client failover. Role
transitions managed by the Data Guard broker can automatically failover the database, start the
appropriate services on the new primary database, disconnect clients from the failed database and
redirect them to the new primary database – no manual intervention is required.
Easy conversion of a physical standby database to a reporting database – A physical standby database
can be opened read/write for reporting purposes, and then flashed back to a point in the past to be
easily converted back to a physical standby database. At this point, Data Guard automatically
synchronizes the standby database with the primary database. This allows the physical standby database
to be utilized for read/write reporting activities for SAP applications e.g. NetWeaver BI.
Real Application Testing
Today, enterprises have to make sizeable investments in hardware and software to roll out
infrastructure changes. For example, a data center may have an initiative to move databases to a low
cost computing platform, such as Linux. Traditionally, this would require the enterprise to invest in
duplicate hardware for the entire application stack, including web server, application server and
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
database, to test their production applications. Organizations therefore find it very expensive to
evaluate and implement changes to their data center infrastructure. In spite of the extensive testing
performed, unexpected problems are frequently encountered when a change is finally made in the
production system. This is because test workloads are typically simulated and are not accurate or
complete representations of true production workloads. Data center managers are therefore reluctant
to adopt new technologies and adapt their businesses to the rapidly changing competitive pressures.
Oracle Database 11g’s Real Application Testing addresses these issues head-on with the introduction
of two new solutions, Database Replay and SQL Performance Analyzer.
Database Replay
Database Replay provides DBAs and system administrators with the ability to faithfully, accurately and
realistically rerun actual production workloads, including online user and batch workloads, in test
environments. By capturing the full database workload from production systems, including all
concurrency, dependencies and timing, Database Replay enables you to realistically test system changes
by essentially recreating production workloads on the test system something that a set of scripts can
never duplicate. With Database Replay, DBAs and system administrators can test:
Database upgrades, patches, parameter, schema changes, etc.
Configuration changes such as conversion from a single instance to RAC, ASM, etc.
Storage, network, interconnect changes
Operating system, hardware migrations, patches, upgrades, parameter changes
Faster deployment
Another major advantage of Database Replay is that it does not require the DBA to spend months
getting a functional knowledge of the application and developing test scripts. With a few point and
clicks, DBAs have a full production workload available at their fingertips to test and rollout any
change. This cuts down testing cycles from many months to days or weeks and brings significant cost
savings to businesses as a result.
Database Replay consists of four three main steps:
Capture workload in production including critical concurrency
Replay workload in test with production timing
Analyze and fix issues before production
SQL Performance Analyzer
Changes that affect SQL execution plans can severely impact application performance and availability.
As a result, DBAs spend enormous amounts of time identifying and fixing SQL statements that have
regressed due to the system changes. SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) can predict and prevent SQL
execution performance problems caused by environment changes. SQL Performance Analyzer
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
provides a granular view of the impact of environment changes on SQL execution plans and statistics
by running the SQL statements serially before and after the changes. SQL Performance Analyzer
generates a report outlining the net benefit on the workload due to the system change as well as the set
of regressed SQL statements. For regressed SQL statements, appropriate executions plan details along
with recommendations to tune them are provided. SQL Performance Analyzer is well integrated with
existing SQL Tuning Set (STS), SQL Tuning Advisor and SQL Plan Management functionality. SQL
Performance Analyzer completely automates and simplifies the manual and time-consuming process of
assessing the impact of change on extremely large SQL workloads (thousands of SQL statements).
DBAs can use SQL Tuning Advisor to fix the regressed SQL statements in test environments and
generate new plans. These plans are then seeded in SQL Plan Management baselines and exported
back into production. Thus, using SQL Performance Analyzer, businesses can validate with a high
degree of confidence that a system change to a production environment in fact results in net positive
improvement at a significantly lower cost. Examples of common system changes for which you can use
the SQL Performance Analyzer include:
Database upgrade, patches, initialization parameter changes
Configuration changes to the operating system, hardware, or database
Schema changes such as adding new indexes, partitioning or materialized views
Gathering optimizer statistics.
SQL tuning actions, for example, creating SQL profiles
Using SQL Performance Analyzer involves the following main steps:
Capture SQL workload in production including statistics and bind variables
Re-execute SQL queries in test environment
Tune regressed SQL and seed SQL plans for production
Real Application Testing to validate Advanced Compression for SAP
The Oracle/SAP Development Team recently concluded comprehensive testing of SAP applications
using both SQL Performance Analyzer and Database Replay. The testing consisted of SAP ERP and
BW workloads running in-house on the ABAP stack. Further testing was undertaken at a large utilities
customer running the SAP IS-U (Industry Specific Utilities) module. The objective was to use Real
Application Testing to measure the effects of Advanced Compression for OLTP and SecureFiles on
DML operations for SAP ERP. The testing activity consisted of using Database Replay to capture a
production workload from a SAP database. This workload was then replayed multiple times
against both compressed and non-compressed Oracle Database 11g Release 2 databases.
Overall the test results were very instructive. Key findings are described as follows (note: results will
vary according to your workload):
No significant overhead observed during capture process
Advanced Compression reduced database size by 50%
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Redo generated increased by ~25%
Physical reads reduced by 60%
CPU usage stayed flat
Real Application Testing proved a vital tool for validating upgrade from Oracle Database 10g Release
2 to 11g Release 2. The ability to test with production workloads and SQL statements is essential for
testing business critical applications like SAP and this feature will significantly mitigate upgrade and
change risk when used by experienced DBAs.
Oracle Advanced Security
Oracle Advanced Security helps customers address regulatory compliance requirements by protecting
sensitive data from unauthorized disclosure on the network, backup media, or within the database.
Oracle Advanced Security Transparent Data Encryption provides the industry’s most advanced
encryption capabilities for protecting sensitive information without requiring any changes to the
existing application.
Prior to 11g Release 2 SAP customers could implement security features such as Column Encryption
through Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Client Server Network Encryption, to secure the
data transfer between SAP instances and the database server.
Unlike most database encryption solutions, TDE is completely transparent to existing applications with
no triggers, views or other application changes required. Data is transparently encrypted when written
to disk and transparently decrypted after an application user has successfully authenticated, and passed
all authorization checks.
Tablespace Encryption
Starting with Oracle Database 11g it is possible to encrypt entire tablespaces. This makes it much easier
to ensure that all relevant data is encrypted because everything stored in the tablespace gets encrypted
automatically. Tablespace encryption means entire application tables can be transparently encrypted.
Data blocks will be transparently decrypted as they are accessed by the database.
RMAN Backup Encryption (Oracle Secure Backup)
Lost or stolen tapes are frequently the cause for losing sensitive data. Oracle Secure Backup encrypts
tapes and provides centralized tape backup management for the entire Oracle environment and
protects Oracle database.
Oracle Secure Backup protects heterogeneous UNIX, Linux, Windows and Network Attached Storage
(NAS) file system data and the Oracle database providing tape backup management for the entire
Oracle environment:
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle database to tape through integration with Recovery Manager (RMAN) supporting versions
Oracle9i to Oracle Database 11g.
Optimized Oracle database backups to tape provide unparalleled performance achieving 10-25% faster
backups than comparable media management utilities with up to 30% less CPU utilization
Backup encryption using AES128, AES192 or AES256 encryption algorithms
File system data protection of local and distributed servers
Policy-based tape backup management
Data Guard Secure Transmission of Redo Data
Because a lack of security can directly affect availability, Data Guard provides a secure environment
and prevents tampering with redo data as it is being transferred to the standby database. To enable
secure transmission of redo data, set up every database in the Data Guard configuration to use a
password file, and set the password for the SYS user identically on every system. The following is a
summary of steps needed for each database in the Data Guard configuration:
Create a password file for each database in the Data Guard configuration (Set the initialization
parameter on each instance):
orapwd file=$ORACLE_HOME/dbs/orapw password=<passwd> entries=10
After you have performed these steps to set up security on every database in the Data Guard
configuration, Data Guard transmits redo data only after the appropriate authentication checks using
SYS credentials are successful. This authentication can be performed even if Oracle Advanced Security
is not installed and provides some level of security when shipping redo data.
Secure Database exports with Encryption
For years Oracle customers have found the import / export utilities a convenient way to move small
amounts of data from one database to another. Oracle Data Pump 11g provides the ability to encrypt
data as it is written to the export file, providing additional protection for credit card numbers and other
sensitive business data.
Oracle Data Pump can easily encrypt an entire export file using one of these three methods:
Protected by the Transparent Data Encryption master encryption key
Protected by a passphrase
Protected by both passphrase and Oracle Transparent Data Encryption master encryption key
Using Oracle Transparent Data Encryption, Oracle Data Pump uses the Transparent Data Encryption
master encryption key either from the Oracle Wallet or a Hardware Security Module (HSM).
Using a passphrase, Oracle Data Pump uses the passphrase supplied on the command line as the key
for the encryption algorithm. This is beneficial if the export file is to be imported into another
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
database, where the matching master encryption key is not available, but the temporary passphrase can
be shared with the receiving site.
If using both passphrase and TDE master encryption key, the export file can be decrypted
transparently if the TDE master encryption key is available, or by providing a passphrase. This is
convenient when export files are to be imported back into the source database, and shipped off to
other locations where the matching TDE master encryption key is not available, but the temporary
passphrase can be shared with the receiving site.
Oracle Data Pump supports the AES encryption algorithm with key sizes ranging from 128 to 256.
Oracle Data Pump command line parameters can be used to specify the granularity of data encryption
in the export file. For example, Data Pump can be instructed to encrypt all information or only those
columns currently encrypted using Oracle Transparent Data Encryption.
SecureFiles Encryption
In 11g, Oracle has extended the encryption capability to SecureFiles and uses the Transparent Data
Encryption (TDE) syntax. The database supports automatic key management for all SecureFile
columns within a table and transparently encrypts/decrypts data, backups and redo log files.
Applications require no changes and can take advantage of 11g SecureFiles using TDE semantics.
SecureFiles supports the following encryption algorithms:
3DES168: Triple Data Encryption Standard with a 168-bit key size
AES128: Advanced Encryption Standard with a 128 bit key size
AES192: Advanced Encryption Standard with a 192-bit key size (default)
AES256: Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key size
Database Vault
Outsourcing, application consolidation, and increasing concerns over insider threats have resulted in an
almost mandatory requirement for strong controls on access to sensitive application data. In addition,
regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Payment Card Industry (PCI), and the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require strong internal controls to protect sensitive
information such as financial, healthcare, and credit cards records. Oracle Database Vault enforces
real-time preventive controls and separation-of-duty in the Oracle Database to secure the SAP
application data.
Oracle Database Vault Protection for SAP enables SAP customers to prevent access to application
data by privileged database users, enforce separation-of-duty, and provide stronger access control with
multi-factor authorization. Database Vault enforces security controls even when a database user
bypasses the application and connects directly to the database. Database Vault certification with SAP
applications benefits customers by:
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Preventing privileged user access to application data using protection realms for the SAP ABAP stack
and the SAP Java stack
Enforcing separation of duty in the Oracle Database while allowing SAP administrators to perform
their duties and protecting their SAP administration roles
Provides SAP specific Database Vault protection policies for SAP BR*Tools
Implements all Database Vault protections transparently and without any change to the SAP
application code
Preventing Privileged User Access: Database administrators hold highly trusted positions within the
enterprise. With Database Vault realms, enterprises increase security by preventing access to
application data even if the request is coming from privileged users. This is especially important when a
privileged account is compromised or accessed outside normal business hours or from an un-trusted
IP address. The regular tools used by administrators to help manage and tune the Oracle database
continue to work as before, but they can no longer be used to access SAP application data.
Enforcing Separation-of-Duty: Database Vault helps administrators manage operations more securely
by providing fine-grained controls on database operations such as creating accounts, and granting
privileges. For more information and White Paper see:
Please, check SAP note “2218115 - Oracle Database Vault 12c” for installation and configuration
details in SAP NetWeaver environment.
Oracle Database: the Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle Expertise in the SAP environmentThe Solution Center SAP Support and
Service offers SAP customers the following services:
 Advanced Customer Services (ACS)
 Advanced Customer Services (ACS) for Exadata SAP environments
 Performance Analysis and Tuning
 Development of concepts for Backup/Restore/Recovery, and High Availability, Administration
 Security concepts
 Optimizing of ABAP/4 programs (performance improvement)
 Migration service for customers, who want to use Oracle as the database for SAP applications (from
Informix, MaxDB, DB2, or SQL Server to Oracle).
 Online and Offline migration services from “Oracle to Oracle” (e.g. Tru64 to HP_UX)
 Integration Products and Services
 Oracle Database: The Database of Choice for Deploying SAP Solutions
Oracle has a large and growing share of the database market used to deploy SAP. This is not by
chance, both companies invest in making Oracle technology work well for SAP, and Oracle has a long
track record of delivering the de facto standard database for enterprise applications. SAP customers
continue to choose Oracle because of the Scalability, High Availability, Manageability and Security
benefits they obtain.
Oracle Database: The Database of Choice for
Copyright © 2017, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is provided for information purposes only and the
Deploying SAP Solutions
contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This document is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other
August 2017
warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or
Author: Albrecht Haug, Oracle Global
fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this document and no contractual obligations are
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