How to troubleshoot and monitor SAP HANA (large instances) on Azure

Monitoring in SAP HANA on Azure (Large Instances)

SAP HANA on Azure (Large Instances) is no different from any other IaaS deployment — you need to monitor what the OS and the application is doing and how these consume the following resources:

  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Network bandwidth
  • Disk space

As with Azure Virtual Machines you need to figure out whether the resource classes named above are sufficient, or whether these get depleted. Here is more detail on each of the different classes:

CPU resource consumption: The ratio that SAP defined for certain workload against HANA is enforced to make sure that there should be enough CPU resources available to work through the data that is stored in memory. Nevertheless, there might be cases where HANA consumes a lot of CPU executing queries due to missing indexes or similar issues. This means you should monitor CPU resource consumption of the HANA large instance unit as well as CPU resources consumed by the specific HANA services.

Memory consumption: Is important to monitor from within HANA, as well as outside of HANA on the unit. Within HANA, monitor how the data is consuming HANA allocated memory in order to stay within the required sizing guidelines of SAP. You also want to monitor memory consumption on the Large Instance level to make sure that additional installed non-HANA software does not consume too much memory, and therefore compete with HANA for memory.

Network bandwidth: The Azure VNet gateway is limited in bandwidth of data moving into the Azure VNet, so it is helpful to monitor the data received by all the Azure VMs within a VNet to figure out how close you are to the limits of the Azure gateway SKU you selected. On the HANA Large Instance unit, it does make sense to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic as well, and to keep track of the volumes that are handled over time.

Disk space: Disk space consumption usually increases over time. There are many reasons for this, but most of all are: data volume increases, execution of transaction log backups, storing trace files, and performing storage snapshots. Therefore, it is important to monitor disk space usage and manage the disk space associated with the HANA Large Instance unit.

For the Type II SKUs of the HANA Large Instances, the server comes with the preloaded system diagnostic tools. You can utilize these diagnostic tools to perform the system health check. Run the following command to generates the health check log file at /var/log/health_check.

/opt/sgi/health_check/microsoft_tdi.sh

When you work with the Microsoft Support team to troubleshoot an issue, you may also be asked to provide the log files by using these diagnostic tool. You can zip the file using the following command.

tar  -czvf health_check_logs.tar.gz /var/log/health_check

Monitoring and troubleshooting from HANA side

In order to effectively analyze problems related to SAP HANA on Azure (Large Instances), it is useful to narrow down the root cause of a problem. SAP has published a large amount of documentation to help you.

Applicable FAQs related to SAP HANA performance can be found in the following SAP Notes:

SAP HANA Alerts

As a first step, check the current SAP HANA alert logs. In SAP HANA Studio, go to Administration Console: Alerts: Show: all alerts. This tab will show all SAP HANA alerts for specific values (free physical memory, CPU utilization, etc.) that fall outside of the set minimum and maximum thresholds. By default, checks are auto-refreshed every 15 minutes.

In SAP HANA Studio, go to Administration Console: Alerts: Show: all alerts

CPU

For an alert triggered due to improper threshold setting, a resolution is to reset to the default value or a more reasonable threshold value.

Reset to the default value or a more reasonable threshold value

The following alerts may indicate CPU resource problems:

  • Host CPU Usage (Alert 5)
  • Most recent savepoint operation (Alert 28)
  • Savepoint duration (Alert 54)

You may notice high CPU consumption on your SAP HANA database from one of the following:

  • Alert 5 (Host CPU usage) is raised for current or past CPU usage
  • The displayed CPU usage on the overview screen

Displayed CPU usage on the overview screen

The Load graph might show high CPU consumption, or high consumption in the past:

The Load graph might show high CPU consumption, or high consumption in the past

An alert triggered due to high CPU utilization could be caused by several reasons, including, but not limited to: execution of certain transactions, data loading, hanging of jobs, long running SQL statements, and bad query performance (for example, with BW on HANA cubes).

Refer to the SAP HANA Troubleshooting: CPU Related Causes and Solutions site for detailed troubleshooting steps.

Operating System

One of the most important checks for SAP HANA on Linux is to make sure that Transparent Huge Pages are disabled, see SAP Note #2131662 – Transparent Huge Pages (THP) on SAP HANA Servers.

  • You can check if Transparent Huge Pages are enabled through the following Linux command: cat /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled
  • If always is enclosed in brackets as below, it means that the Transparent Huge Pages are enabled: [always] madvise never; if never is enclosed in brackets as below, it means that the Transparent Huge Pages are disabled: always madvise [never]

The following Linux command should return nothing: rpm -qa | grep ulimit. If it appears ulimit is installed, uninstall it immediately.

Memory

You may observe that the amount of memory allocated by the SAP HANA database is higher than expected. The following alerts indicate issues with high memory usage:

  • Host physical memory usage (Alert 1)
  • Memory usage of name server (Alert 12)
  • Total memory usage of Column Store tables (Alert 40)
  • Memory usage of services (Alert 43)
  • Memory usage of main storage of Column Store tables (Alert 45)
  • Runtime dump files (Alert 46)

Refer to the SAP HANA Troubleshooting: Memory Problems site for detailed troubleshooting steps.

Network

Refer to SAP Note #2081065 – Troubleshooting SAP HANA Network and perform the network troubleshooting steps in this SAP Note.

  1. Analyzing round-trip time between server and client. A. Run the SQL script HANA_Network_Clients.

  2. Analyze internode communication. A. Run SQL script HANA_Network_Services.

  3. Run Linux command ifconfig (the output shows if any packet losses are occurring).

  4. Run Linux command tcpdump.

Also, use the open source IPERF tool (or similar) to measure real application network performance.

Refer to the SAP HANA Troubleshooting: Networking Performance and Connectivity Problems site for detailed troubleshooting steps.

Storage

From an end-user perspective, an application (or the system as a whole) runs sluggishly, is unresponsive, or can even seem to hang if there are issues with I/O performance. In the Volumes tab in SAP HANA Studio, you can see the attached volumes, and what volumes are used by each service.

In the Volumes tab in SAP HANA Studio, you can see the attached volumes, and what volumes are used by each service

Attached volumes in the lower part of the screen you can see details of the volumes, such as files and I/O statistics.

Attached volumes in the lower part of the screen you can see details of the volumes, such as files and I/O statistics

Refer to the SAP HANA Troubleshooting: I/O Related Root Causes and Solutions and SAP HANA Troubleshooting: Disk Related Root Causes and Solutions site for detailed troubleshooting steps.

Diagnostic Tools

Perform an SAP HANA Health Check through HANA_Configuration_Minichecks. This tool returns potentially critical technical issues that should have already been raised as alerts in SAP HANA Studio.

Refer to SAP Note #1969700 – SQL statement collection for SAP HANA and download the SQL Statements.zip file attached to that note. Store this .zip file on the local hard drive.

In SAP HANA Studio, on the System Information tab, right-click in the Name column and select Import SQL Statements.

In SAP HANA Studio, on the System Information tab, right-click in the Name column and select Import SQL Statements

Select the SQL Statements.zip file stored locally, and a folder with the corresponding SQL statements will be imported. At this point, the many different diagnostic checks can be run with these SQL statements.

For example, to test SAP HANA System Replication bandwidth requirements, right-click the Bandwidth statement under Replication: Bandwidth and select Open in SQL Console.

The complete SQL statement opens allowing input parameters (modification section) to be changed and then executed.

The complete SQL statement opens allowing input parameters (modification section) to be changed and then executed

Another example is right-clicking on the statements under Replication: Overview. Select Execute from the context menu:

Another example is right-clicking on the statements under Replication: Overview. Select Execute from the context menu

This results in information that helps with troubleshooting:

This will result in information that will help with troubleshooting

Do the same for HANA_Configuration_Minichecks and check for any X marks in the C (Critical) column.

Sample outputs:

HANA_Configuration_MiniChecks_Rev102.01+1 for general SAP HANA checks.

HANA_Configuration_MiniChecks_Rev102.01+1 for general SAP HANA checks

HANA_Services_Overview for an overview of what SAP HANA services are currently running.

HANA_Services_Overview for an overview of what SAP HANA services are currently running

HANA_Services_Statistics for SAP HANA service information (CPU, memory, etc.).

HANA_Services_Statistics for SAP HANA service information

HANA_Configuration_Overview_Rev110+ for general information on the SAP HANA instance.

HANA_Configuration_Overview_Rev110+ for general information on the SAP HANA instance

HANA_Configuration_Parameters_Rev70+ to check SAP HANA parameters.

HANA_Configuration_Parameters_Rev70+ to check SAP HANA parameters