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Microsoft SQL Server

SAP NetWeaver and Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Microsoft released SQL Server 2012 in March 2012. This document introduces several new features of SQL Server 2012 that are helpful for SAP NetWeaver customers.

This document is only relevant for SAP applications based on SAP NetWeaver. It focuses on the features of SQL Server 2012 that benefit these applications. SAP applications that are not based on SAP NetWeaver might use SQL Server differently and follow a different release cycle.

Since there are some features that need adoption and changes by SAP, a prerequisite for SQL Server 2012 adoption on existing SAP releases is the installation of certain SAP Basis Support packages. For more information, see SAP Note 1651862 (SMP login required). Based on the pilot program mentioned in that SAP Note, we already have customers running productive SAP NetWeaver systems on SQL Server 2012.

New SQL Server 2012 Features Relevant for SAP NetWeaver

Here are some SQL Server 2012 features that are important for SAP NetWeaver customers:

  • Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux (Planned)
    Concurrent with the release of SQL Server 2012, Microsoft released the Microsoft® SQL Server® ODBC Driver 1.0 for Linux. This driver enables connections from Linux to SQL Server and supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 connecting to SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, and SQL Server 2012.This driver is important for SAP NetWeaver systems because at least one Windows instance was previously required in your SAP NetWeaver landscape if you wanted to connect to a remote SQL Server system from your SAP NetWeaver system. This scenario most often occurred with SAP Solution Manager when monitoring a remote SQL Server system. However, other use cases could include SAP Business Warehouse using this driver when extracting data from an external SQL Server database. With the new driver, a Windows instance is no longer necessary when your SAP NetWeaver landscape runs on a supported Linux release. Support for the driver by SAP NetWeaver systems requires coding changes from SAP. As soon as the driver and the LIB_DBSL component are available, we will inform you here.
  • AlwaysOn
    AlwaysOn is a collection of high-availability and disaster-recovery functionality. Its goal is to exceed previous Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). AlwaysOn offers methods and functions that either use shared storage infrastructures in combination with Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) or non-shared storage infrastructure to build out highly available SQL Server configurations. Our Microsoft partners have already published a series of blogs describing AlwaysOn and how to use it. This feature is transparent to the SAP NetWeaver system, so if you have questions about AlwaysOn, we recommend that  you contact your hardware partner or Microsoft.
  • Automatic Statistics Update Algorithm Change – Trace Flag 2371
    SQL Server has long been known as an enterprise-class RDBMS that is simpler to administer than its competitors. One of the most important features that enable simpler administration is the automatic statistics update feature. With this enabled, the database decides when to perform a statistics update for individual tables. No complex scripts are needed and you do not need to burden your system with unnecessary runs of update statistics. Usage of this feature has long been required for SAP NetWeaver systems on SQL Server. In recent years, the amount of data stored in SAP databases has significantly increased, often by a factor of three or four. Microsoft has implemented a new trace flag to alter the automatic statistics update algorithm for very large database systems. We have already seen significant benefits with this trace flag and recommend it for all SAP NetWeaver systems. Our Microsoft partners have written a detailed blog about the new trace flag, which is available with the RTM version of SQL Server 2012.
  • SQL Server Column Store Index
    SQL Server 2012 introduces a new optional storage format for data. In addition to the traditional row-oriented store, there is a column-oriented store as well. See the detailed blog entry on our Microsoft partners’ MSDN site for a description of the feature and the SAP NetWeaver Support Package prerequisites you must fulfill before using this feature.
  • Support for Windows 8
    SQL Server 2012 is well-positioned to benefit from new features in Windows 8. For example, SQL Server 2012 RTM supports the latest Windows 8 virtual machine hardware limits of 32 virtual processors and 1 TB memory.

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