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*** Update: with SAP HANA SP6 the HANA Lifecycle Manager (HLM) should be used. Please see my other blog on how to get HLM:

The blog is valid for SAP HANA SP5 and earlier (SP6 started with Revision 60):

Which tool should you use to update SAP HANA on the appliance? It is a common question with customers and partners. SAP made some changes over the past years and not everyone has stayed up to date on the latest recommendations regarding the Software Update Manager for HANA (SUM for HANA). For example the "Manual Update Guide" for SAP HANA was removed with SAP HANA SP5, and only the Master Update Guide and the "Automated Update Guide" are still available on

Let's be clear: SUM for HANA is the recommended tool for all customers and partners to update SAP HANA! The old tool, called hdbupd, is still available but there are some drawbacks. Many customer and partner still use hdbupd since it is easy to use, however only part of SAP HANA does get updated with hdbupd and this can lead to issues down the road.

Let's look back how we got here:

  • Older SAP HANA installations were performed with hdbinst
  • Later SAP recommended to the hardware partners that the Unified Installer should be used to install SAP HANA

The correct update tool for HANA instances installed with hdbinst is hdbupd, while SUM for HANA is the correct update tool for HANA instances installed with the Unified Installer. The problem we see is that many customers and partners use hdbupd for installations performed by the Unified Installer leading to partial updates. For example: lm_structure is not updated (this is also used by, saphostagent is not updated, and content has to be updated manually. SUM for HANA detects which components need to be updated and ensures the components make a consistent SAP HANA instance.

So how do you recognize if your SAP HANA instance was installed with hdbinst or Unified Installer? It is really simple, if the directories /usr/sap/<SID>/SUM and /usr/sap/<SID>/lm_structure exist then the Unified Installer was used and you should apply Support Package Stacks and Revisions with SUM for HANA. If you do not have these directories, the recommendation is to bring your instance up-to-date and install SUM for HANA and lm_structure using SAP Note 1793303. After following this note you can use SUM for HANA to apply revisions and SP Stacks.

This blog is a summary of a detailed call on SUM for SAP HANA recorded in early May 2013. For more details, please listen to the recording here: You can find the slides here:

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any feedback, good or bad!