This post was written by Thorsten Stärk, a SAP Alliances Engineer at Dell

When I started working for Dell in the SAP LinuxLab I got – as a newcomer – the easiest task of all: Answering customer messages about their system’s support state. Dell writes SAP note 300900 (Linux: available Dell hardware) that contains all Dell servers certified for SAP on Linux. So, if the customer is asking about a PowerEdge R910, look it up in note 300900. If you find it, it’s a supported Linux configuration, if not, not.

Work instructions like this never survive their first reality check. What about the storage? Must it also be certified? I asked someone who knew. Florenz, Achim, Alex, Helge, Hannes, Uwe… you know who you are. I will never forget your patience. If you didn’t know, storage does not get an SAP-certification and it does not need one. However when you buy an SAP solution from Dell, our sizing experts will make sure that its storage has enough power.

As time went by I was asked to take a look over some of our quotes before they went to the customer. Now if you say that knowing about hardware should suffice, you have never corresponded with the people behind sap_sizing@dell.com. What you get from these experts is more than a hardware quote. It is a detailed analysis of your needs using sophisticated tools like SAP’s quicksizer and our internal sizing tools. The outcome is a solution design. When I helped with this I made sure there were no binary only drivers needed because they are not allowed as of SAP note 784391.

I started calling myself a certification lawyer because I developed the ambition to answer every possible question in this field. What about SAP NetWeaver 7 on Red Hat Linux without binary only modules on a Dell PowerEdge R910, will it be supported with a 32bit SAP kernel?

The question is already incomplete. You have to read SAP's Product Availability Matrix to know how to ask the question. So – go to https://service.sap.com/PAM. Log in with your S-user. Click on SAP NetWeaver 7.0. Click on “Database Platforms”. Now, which Database are you going to use? Let’s assume it is MaxDB. Are we talking about the ABAP Stack or the JAVA Stack? Let’s assume it is the ABAP Stack. And indeed we find some NetWeaver 32bit kernels on the list. For example Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 32bit. But this is only true for the non-Unicode SAP kernel. So in this special case the next question to the customer would be about his localization requirements – is there one (non-unicode) Charset that contains all characters they need in their system? Depending on the answer they might want to go with quite another configuration.

The deeper you dig into it, the more fun it is.

Indeed there are more operating systems than Linux and more SAP products than NetWeaver. To visualize this, I drew a little map:

This map is still not complete. I neglected proprietary operating systems (as I work for Dell I can do this \o/ ), Adaptive Computing Controller is being renamed to LVM and I might just have forgotten about another nifty aspect (benchmarks for example, oh yes, they are also being certified yet do not contain any hardware). Also this only regards the SAP Business Suite.

At the beginning I wrote that storage is not being SAP-certified and this is true. However in the above diagram all validated appliances and all tested ACC configurations contain storage. In both cases it is not possible to exchange this storage for another one without losing your support status.

Working with Dell’s excellent web site team, we could get the “certifications” information consolidated for our customers: No matter if it is Windows or Linux, just visit http://www.dell.com/sapcertifiedservers and you will find our certified hardware there. If you want to know about the software side, visit https://service.sap.com/pam and select the SAP product of your choice. If you want to find out about the HANA appliance, also visit https://service.sap.com/pam and search for HANA. For BWA, search for BW Accelerator. For ESH, search for Enterprise Search. For Adaptive Computing Controller Compliance Tests, go to http://service.sap.com/adaptive.

For any other questions you might have, feel free to contact sap_sizing@dell.com.

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