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Tech Ed Barcelona 2016 is happening now this week from Nov 8 - 10, and an exciting announcement was made for SAP HANA 2. With the launch of the next generation platform SAP HANA 2, SAP is looking further to bring greater stability and agility for customers looking to build a solid foundation for innovation and digitalization.

A key feature announced is Active/Active Read-Enabled. Along with enhanced data encryption, workload management and the SAP HANA Cockpit, these new features look to help further simplify and Free up IT efforts to allow them to focus on innovation.

The SAP HANA database today offers the built-in high availability and disaster recovery features that support enterprise readiness in a cost-effective way. The existing “continuous log replay” operation mode already provides features such as fast takeovers, reduced need for bandwidth in continuous operation, and the support for existing replication modes, such as synchronous, synchronous in-memory, asynchronous, and a full synchronization option.

Optimizing existing asset performance
The new Active/Active read-enabled feature is simply an evolution of the “continuous log replay” feature from SAP HANA SPS11 release, which offers an integrated, consistent view of the data persisted on the secondary system. Previously idle hardware in the secondary system reserved for takeovers in the event of a power outage and to minimize recovery times, can now be used for read-intense tasks.

This improves the overall performance of the SAP HANA database with a better balance of workloads, as read-intense workloads can now instead read from the Secondary.

How it works
The Active/Active read-enabled feature, replays redo logs asynchronously on the secondary system. In the case of an outage, all functions simply take place on the secondary system as usual, with the system replication feature handling takeovers. Due to the asynchronous replay of the logs, the views of the data on that system may be slightly delayed depending on system latency.

To consume the Active/Active read-enabled feature, applications can be shaped to read from Secondary. In the near future, this can be done with the use of SQL Hints. Using an S/4HANA dashboard as an example, embedded analytics shown below in the tiles with historical data in the future can be instructed to read from the Secondary.

To further visualize this, a concept demo below shows conceptually the before and after effects of activating Active/Active read-enabled on the secondary system.

The example below shows the feature deactivated. Upon clicking “Refresh Analytics”, you can see the analytical workload (orange) spiking alongside the constant stream of transactional workload in the left tile. On the right, replicated sales transactions due to continuous log replay (SAP HANA System Replication) showcases the workload in green.

Upon activating HANA System Replication, the below example now shows analytical workloads being called from the right tile. As compared to the previous example, the combination of transaction and analytical workloads are now better balanced, with the analytical workloads being placed onto the secondary system instead of being fully on the primary system.

While still in its early stages, Active/Active read-enabled is looking to be an exciting incremental feature of SAP HANA for many customers looking to better optimize the performance of their SAP HANA systems. This feature is yet another example of the close collaboration SAP has with its customers, being built out of feedback from customers encountering challenges in their data centers and IT modernization projects.

Learn More: Attend Tech Ed Lecture ITM206
To learn more, be sure to check out the 2 hour lecture ITM206: "SAP HANA Platform HA/DR: Avoid Planned and Unplanned Downtimes" by Dr. Ralf Czekalla and Iwan Kostin, happening this Thursday, 16.45-18.45pm at L7. More details in the SAP Tech Ed Session Catalogue here.

To look at the overall show agenda and build your schedule, try out SAP TechEd Agenda Builder.

We will continue on this topic with a monthly blog series starting next month covering in detail each topic and phase of enterprise readiness for the next six months, so be sure to stay tuned to the SAP blogs community, with keywords: High Availability, Enterprise Readiness.

In the meantime, find out more on the topic of SAP HANA High Availability and Disaster Recovery at our SAP website here. A solution brief on HA/DR will also be ready at the end of November on this page.

To go deeper in detail, check out also the Open SAP courses on the general topic of "High Availability and Disaster Recovery with the SAP HANA Platform".

You can also check out our existing playlist on SAP HANA System Replication at the SAP HANA Academy here.

And last but not least, enjoy Tech Ed Barcelona 2016. Happy learning!