VCE Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA Architecture Overview

VCE Vblock

Vblock Specialized systems are designed to extend the benefits of VCE’s converged infrastructure to the most demanding enterprise applications. These systems are architected to support specific application workloads, and are pre-engineered and pre-integrated to deliver faster time to value with the highest level availability and application performance. Customers can choose from the Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA.

VCE Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA software delivers faster time–to-value and the highest levels of availability and application performance. Incorporating best-of-breed compute, network, and storage components from Cisco and EMC, this Vblock Specialized System is optimized for SAP HANA software and certified by SAP.

The optimization of the VCE Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA software brings together all of the necessary components  for  SAP  HANA into a single, standardized, converged infrastructure system. This ensures maximum performance at scale, even with high data volumes. This allows you to deploy SAP HANA into production with trusted and predictable performance, one-stop customer support, security and pain-free deployment.


VCE, formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel, accelerates the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models that dramatically reduce the cost of IT while improving time to market for our customers.

VCE, through Vblock Systems, delivers the industry’s only fully integrated and fully virtualized cloud infrastructure system. VCE solutions are available through an extensive partner network, and cover horizontal applications, vertical industry offerings, and application development environments, allowing customers to focus on business innovation instead of integrating, validating and managing IT infrastructure.

Vblock Systems

VCE Vblock Systems have revolutionized the IT infrastructure by providing a datacenter in a rack.

By consolidating all the components into a single system, Vblock Systems improve efficiency, speed, and reliability — all while driving down costs. Sprawling, complex hardware is replaced by a smaller footprint x86-based Vblock System.


Figure 1: A Vblock System with three cabinets

With Vblock Systems, IT staff no longer needs to spend an average of 70% of their time maintaining infrastructure, they can focus on activities that add real value to the business. Business continuity is a key requirement for companies whose success relies on robust operations. VCE solutions enable high availability and rapid recovery, ensuring mission-critical applications are there when you need them.

All Vblock Systems are built the same based on validated best practices. This is why they have a shorter time to deployment and deployment provides less room for human errors. All are built to lower facilities costs. Vblock Systems provide reduced complexity with standardized infrastructure, are pre-integrated, pre-tested and pre-validated. As a result, you do not have to worry about firmware releases, management tools, configuration settings and if they will integrate with each other — VCE’s engineering team will.

Building a Vblock System

Each Vblock System is designed, engineered, built, and installed by a global team. This team, brought together by VCE, brings their specialist expertise to ensure a robust and optimally engineered solution. When the system arrives for installation at your facility, it has been configured for your environment including configuration for your network.

Figure 2 illustrates the process for building a Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA Software. Each Vblock System is sized, built (both physically and logically), installed, and validated to ensure optimal performance.


Figure 2: Creating a Vblock System from request to final installation and testing

      The first step in the process is sizing. At this stage, the amount of memory required is determined. For an SAP HANA appliance, the  number of servers and amount of storage required is determined based on the memory requirements.

   Once a Project Manager has been assigned, the Logical configuration  survey is completed. Examples of the extensive logical configuration requirements are IP addresses and  VLANs.

     The Site survey addresses issues, related to the physical space into which the Vblock System will be installed. This survey includes items such as door heights and available power supply.

     The survey process allows you to benefit from VCE’s extensive experience.

    Once onsite, VCE specialists will complete any physical installation tasks, connect it into your network and execute an onsite test plan to ensure that your Vblock System is operating optimally.


VCE has developed the Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA, a scale-out appliance that has undergone SAP’s rigorous performance and stability tests and is an SAP-certified solution.

The VCE datacenter in a rack brings together servers, network, storage and virtualization into a well-defined package.

The architecture of the Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA is shown in the diagram below:


Figure 3: Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA architecture

The Vblock System provides a highly scalable and available infrastructure, leveraging the EMC VNX Storage and Cisco UCS to help organizations better utilize the big data analytics capabilities in SAP HANA and make better real-time business decisions. The built-in fault tolerance of Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC VNX  ensures the infrastructure will be available through hardware failures.

Each Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA has one  hot-standby node for High Availability. The SAP HANA scale-out design incorporates high availability that is managed and operated at the application level. Each system includes a standby node that provides failover capability.

Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA delivers the server and storage infrastructure needed across the block or file data access and allows seamless growth to enable real time data analytics. The data storage requirement determines which Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA configuration is applicable in a given situation.

Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA leverages advantages in server technology, in-memory databases, and cloud computing. In the scale-out scenario, the SAP HANA database instance is distributed over multiple servers allowing you to incrementally add Cisco B440 M2 blade servers, each with 512 GB memory with four Intel® Xeon® Processors.


Figure 4: Connectivity for Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA with four nodes

Thoroughly tested and certified by SAP and VCE, key components and features of the Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA include:

  • Pre-integrated and pre-validated Vblock System infrastructure that simplifies and optimizes deployment and management
  • Pre-installed and configured SAP HANA appliance hardware, operating system (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), and SAP HANA Platform Edition software.
  • Pre-configured storage platform, EMC VNX, with centralized management for file and block data services.
  • High availability is provided to ensure that a node failure does not cause the system to fail
  • Scales up to sixteen blades across one to four EMC VNX platforms
  • Common power solution across cabinets with domestic and international options
  • Single-purpose environment with all server resources dedicated to the SAP HANA appliance

Easy maintenance

Choosing the Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA significantly reduces your maintenance overhead. Supporting an SAP HANA environment requires management of these components:

  • Firmware patches
  • Operating system patches
  • Patches for the SAP HANA platform components
  • Patches for peripheral components

By choosing VCE, you gain access to a solution that assists you with this management through support or extended support offerings. This  aligned  with VCE’s proven methodology of delivering and supporting converged Infrastructure throughout its lifecycle makes VCE a safe choice for your SAP HANA project.

Seamless Support

It can be difficult to determine if your issue is caused by your hardware platform or SAP HANA. VCE provides a single point of contact support to take responsibility for all issues.

With VCE, if you are an existing SAP customer, you can submit issues using the SAP Service Marketplace exactly as you do now. The ticket is reviewed by SAP who conducts initial analysis on the issue. If at any point during their analysis the issue appears to relate to the Vblock System, SAP contacts VCE. The VCE Support team will convert it to a standard service request and follow standard support processes and B2B processes to engage partner support, for example from SUSE, EMC or Cisco, as needed.


VCE offers a comprehensive suite of professional services to accelerate your IT transformation. Select from a full spectrum of service options, available through both VCE and our extensive ecosystem of worldwide partners. Get the expertise you need, at any phase of your journey, to transform your infrastructure, lower their costs, and achieve greater flexibility and agility.




All VCE Professional Services leverage the combined expertise of ecosystem technology experts in networking, compute, information management, virtualization, and cloud computing.

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