Hopefully you have enjoyed the SAP HANA Career Guide so far. This piece focusses in on the SAP HANA Operations Consultant – which would have been called SAP Basis for regular SAP systems. I’ve always hated this term, and thought it was time for a new one, and Operations is all about getting things running and keeping them running – efficiently.
Where do SAP HANA Operations Consultants come from?
I think the reality is that may of them will come from SAP Basis but there are some important things to note. First, is that SAP HANA only runs on SuSe Linux, so knowledge of other platforms (Windows, UNIX) is only tangentially relevant.
What is relevant is design of technical architecture – although SAP HANA solutions are created from building-block principles and so there are a limited number of possible configurations. Knowledge of High Availability and Disaster Recovery principles are a must, as most SAP HANA implementations require this.
To add to this, a working knowledge of Linux administration, script writing (bash, awk, Python), X-Windows, ELILO as well as networks: all High Availability SAP HANA appliances must have 10 Gigabit Ethernet, for example. Plus, if you have IBM hardware, a knowledge of the GPFS clustered filesystem is a must.
What does day-to-day administration of SAP HANA look like?
Once SAP HANA is set up, it requires remarkably little attention. New nodes are installed with a single command. If you add or remove hardware, one thing you do need to do is redistribute tables between nodes, but this is also quite straightforward.
No optimisation, re-indexing, indexes, aggregates or other elements are required in regular operations so the DBA overhead is much lower than other databases.
How do I find out more about SAP HANA Operations?
To be honest, the SAP HANA Master Guide provides all you need to know and there is a Technical Operations Manual available. If you are already a DBA or SAP Basis consultant with the skills listed above, I recommend you dive right in.
One challenge is getting the SAP HANA software for testing purposes and I hope to have some good news on that this year! If you are a SAP Services Partner then you are able to get the software at a good price as a Test & Demo license.
What Classroom Education is available for SAP HANA Operations?
There is a specific SAP HANA Operations course called TZH200, which may be worth taking if you enjoy learning in a classroom environment. This leads to a certification qualification possible called SAP HANA Certified Technology Associate.
What about running SAP on HANA?
If you run SAP on HANA then you will also need to know SAP Basis – the fundamentals of which are well documented.
In this case, you are probably interested in migrating SAP systems from some other database like Oracle onto HANA, and in this case you do need some special experience. SAP mandate (and I also recommend wholeheartedly) becoming a SAP Migration Certified Consultant, which is a significant investment. If you do not have this certificate then the systems you migrate will not be fully supported by SAP.
If you are migration certified and you have learnt the above material and familiarised yourself with SAP HANA, table partitioning, row- and columnar-stores, the way that HANA manages deltas etc. then you are ready to do SAP HANA Migrations and could call yourself a SAP HANA Migration Consultant. I haven’t created a separate page for that because I believe it is the same core type of person.
Where can I go to ask questions?
As before, here are two great places for this. First there are the SCN SAP HANA and in-Memory forums, where you can ask technical questions about all things SAP HANA. Response times are excellent.
Second, you can go to the Experience SAP HANA Discussion area, where there is a similar focus on assistance.