What’s New in SAP HANA Cockpit SP 15

SAP HANA cockpit SP 15 continues its tradition of delivering new innovations in the areas of SAP HANA administration & monitoring, user management & security, and backup & recovery, as well as introducing new functionality in the SAP HANA database explorer tool. The complete list of SAP HANA cockpit SP 15 features is available in the What’s New in the SAP HANA Cockpit 2.0 section of the SAP Help Portal. This blog entry highlights and demonstrates the key new functionality delivered in that version of the SAP HANA cockpit.

I’d like to acknowledge the following colleagues who also contributed content and video demos to this post: Abbey Israel, Gurvick Ghai and Dan van Leeuwen.

New Card to Manage SAP HANA Native Storage Extension Operations

All SAP HANA Native Storage Extension (NSE) administrative tasks are moved to a dedicated card in the SAP HANA cockpit Overview page. A dedicated NSE card simplifies administration and improves the user experience by enabling cockpit users to manage all NSE operations from a centralized application. The new NSE card provides the following functionality:

  • Display the host count
  • Monitor the total data size on disk of all column store tables and the total page loadable data size on disk that could be loaded into buffer cache
  • Monitor the buffer cache size information of the selected host
  • Display the NSE Advisor configuration status

Clicking on specific sections in the NSE card and/or using the meatballs menu (…) navigates to other applications that manage aspects of your NSE deployment, such as buffer cache monitoring, table load monitoring, load unit configuration and NSE Advisor configuration.

NSE%20Card%20in%20Database%20Overview%20Page

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Statement Thread Limit Support for Hierarchical Workload Classes

The upcoming SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 07 plans to support statement thread limit on hierarchical workload classes. SAP HANA Cloud already does it and you can define such a limit in the SAP HANA cockpit when creating a workload class. Administrators can take advantage of this functionality to improve resource management, remove limitations in hierarchical workload classes for more efficient implementation, and reduce the total cost of ownership. In the cockpit, when creating a new workload class, you can specify a value for the statement thread limit (in addition to the statement memory limit). Further, when creating workload class, the cockpit displays warning messages when users enter invalid entries in an effort to reduce human error.

Create Parent Workload Class   Create Child Workload Class
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Import Workload Classes to Multiple Databases

The SAP HANA cockpit SP 15 enables administrators to import workload classes to one or more databases at the same time. This feature greatly improves management of large-scale SAP HANA deployments by reducing the number of operations needed to perform this task against multiple databases. Prior to importing the workload class to one or more databases, you are presented with a preview dialog indicating the before and after result of the operation. After importing, a dialog displays whether the operation succeeded or failed. If the import fails, you’ll see the appropriate error message for the database(s) affected.

Import%20Workload%20Class

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Manage Parameter Comments in Configuration Templates

Parameter comments are now viewable and editable when managing configuration templates. Database administrators who wish to leverage parameter comments for documenting the reasoning behind a configuration change can now do so when applying configuration templates against one or more databases. Editing a parameter comment in an existing configuration template is also useful for documenting the result of applying that parameter; for example, if that result was not expected but didn’t cause any issues.

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Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Compare Configurations Between Multiple Databases

The feature to compare configurations now allows users to compare configurations between the source database and one or more target databases. Previously, you could only compare configurations between the source and one target database. This feature can be extremely useful to quickly check a large number of SAP HANA databases for specific configuration parameters, as doing so one database at a time would be very time consuming. Also, it’s possible to compare configurations between the source databases and all databases inside a cockpit group, resulting in improved management of SAP HANA databases inside key groups such as ‘production’.

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When comparing configurations against many databases, a new dialog is presented to show the differences between the source and target databases.

Compare%20Configuration%20Results

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

PMEM and TMPFS Monitor Enhancements

The applications to monitor Persistent Memory (PMEM) and the SAP HANA Fast Restart Option (TMPFS) now have three tabs to display PMEM and TMPFS table and volume usage, as well as PMEM and TMPFS statistics. Previously, only table usage was displayed. The volume usage tab shows the historical capacity and usage of PMEM or TMPFS volumes, while the statistics tab shows the historical statistics of physical lifecycle events of blocks managed by SAP HANA services on PMEM or TMPFS volumes. SAP HANA cockpit users can select a specific date or time range to examine, as well as customizing the KPIs displayed on the time graph.

TMPFS%20Monitor

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Table Distribution Enhancements

When monitoring the current table distribution, you can now view the memory size when examining a specific table. If the SAP HANA system is configured with Persistent Memory (PMEM) or the SAP HANA Fast Restart Option (TMPFS), then the size for these types of memory is also included. This allows database administrators to quickly view the relevant data providing insight into memory utilization.

Table%20Advanced%20Options

When reviewing a table redistribution plan, additional ‘precondition’ information is now shown when dependencies between individual steps may exist. These preconditions are useful when rebalancing systems in a scale-out landscape, such as SAP S4/HANA, where you want to avoid cross-node communication that may result in performance degradation.

Plan%20Generator

After generating a table distribution plan, you now have the option to export the plan in CSV format or to a temporary table. That plan can then be executed subsequently or re-used in other systems, thus minimizing the administrative operations required for table distribution. Additionally, a new import plan option is added to the Table Redistribution Plan Generator application to import a saved plan as the basis for a new plan.

Export Plan   Import Plan
Export%20Table%20Redistribution%20Plan Import%20Table%20Redistribution%20Plan

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Managing the Password Lifetime Check

The User Management application in the cockpit is enhanced to allow administrators to enable/disable the password lifetime check for a given database user.  Previously, this operation could only be done via SQL.  Disabling the password lifetime check is useful for technical users to prevent their password from expiring, which can result in an application that needs such a user to stop working.

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Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Assign Role to Creator

In SAP HANA, database administrators can create roles with the option NO GRANT TO CREATOR, resulting in the role not being automatically granted to the user creating it.  This ability can be useful when distinguishing between SAP HANA administrator users (who create roles) and application users (who need the roles), where you may not want a user to automatically get all the privileges assigned to the role in a later point in time.  Starting with SAP HANA cockpit SP 15, it is possible to create a new role with this option.  The user interface provides an information button that cockpit users can click to display the consequences of creating a role without granting it to oneself.

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Include Configuration Files (INI) in Backups

When performing a data backup (complete, differential or incremental), database administrators can now choose to include the configuration files (*.ini) in the backup. Note that an SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 06 or higher monitored database is required for this feature to appear in the cockpit.

In the system-wide Backup Configuration application of the cockpit, you’ll now see a new toggle switch in the Data Backup section for the option to include the configuration files in data backups.

Backup%20Configuration%20%28Systemwide%29

Important: if you open the Backup Configuration application from the Overview page (via the link on the Backup card or from the backup catalog of a database), the value of this option is only displayed and you are not able to change it.

When the cockpit user creates a new backup, that same option is available for SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 06 or higher databases.

Backup%20-%20Include%20Configuration%20Files

A new column “Configuration Included” is added to the Backup Catalog and the Backup Details applications indicating whether the configuration is included and which backup file contains that configuration.

Backup%20Catalog

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

UI/UX Updates

The previous “About” and “Help” menus have been changed to icons. A new icon to show the currently logged in XSA user has been added.

About%20Box%20-%20Before%20and%20After About%20Box%20-%20User%20Icon

In the SQL console, there has also been an update in the icon used to add an item to the statement library.

Statement%20Library%20New%20Icon

In the statement library, a new column has been added which shows when the last time the saved statement has been modified.

Last%20Modified%20Column

Delete Enhancements

When deleting items in the SAP HANA database explorer, multiple improvements have been made. To start, you can now select multiple instances to delete in the new Remove Instances dialog. Click the remove icon above the instances to open the remove instances dialog.

Additionally, when removing a group, you can specify what happens to the connections in the group. After selecting to remove a group, you have the option to move connections to the group’s parent or remove all connections.

Remove%20Group

Lastly there is a new option in the UI to truncate a table. When opening the delete dialog for a specific table, you can select the truncate option, which is faster than deleting all rows but cannot be rolled back.

Truncate%20Table

Import and Export Additions

There is a new functionality to import to and export from cloud storage providers. The cloud storage providers are Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Alibaba Cloud OSS, and Google Cloud Storage. These options are available for importing/exporting data and catalog objects.

Import%20and%20Export%20from%20Cloud%20Storage%20Providers

When importing a table, you can now map the source and target columns in the table mapping section. The source column names are pre-populated if the CSV file contains a header row.

Table%20Mappings

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

There is also a new functionality to import ESRI shapefiles from cloud storage providers. Previously only local imports were supported, but now there is support for Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Alibaba Cloud OSS, and Google Cloud Storage imports.

Import%20ESRI%20Shapefiles%20from%20Cloud%20Service%20Providers

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Visualizing Spatial Data

A spatial data viewer is now available in the SAP HANA database explorer. When right clicking a column of type ST_Geometry, select view data. The spatial data viewer will open with the point or geometry plotted on a blank canvas. The map canvas is currently available in SAP HANA Cloud.

Spatial%20Data%20Viewer

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Download SQL Results for Background Activities

When you run a query in the background or on multiple databases, you can view these results in the Background Activities Monitor. There is now an option to download one or more query results as a JSON file.

Download%20Query%20Results

Here’s a short demonstration of this feature:

Create Tabular Virtual Functions from SDA Remote Sources

Using the remote source editor, you can now create tabular virtual functions. Tabular functions return a table whereas scalar functions return one or more single values.

Create%20Tabular%20Function

Authenticate with Single Sign-on (SSO)

Instances added using the Add Instance dialog can now be configured to use single sign-on.

Add%20Instance Authenticate%20Using%20SSO

In the example below the XSA user COCKPIT_ADMIN has been mapped to the database user USER1.

SSO%20User%20Mapping

When creating or editing a cockpit database, “Enable SSO” will need to be checked in the Cockpit Manager to use this functionality.

Enable%20SSO%20in%20Cockpit%20Manager

In the User Management card in the SAP HANA cockpit, under the JWT section, a mapping can be created to associate the XSA user with a database user. Detailed instructions are specified in Configuring Single Sign-On for the SAP HANA Cockpit.

SSO%20Authentication

We hope this blog post gives you a good understanding of the new features introduced in the SAP HANA cockpit SP 15. A lot of work was done in the areas of administration and monitoring, user management and security, backup and recovery, and the SAP HANA database explorer, and we hope you are able to leverage the new functionality in your day-to-day operational activities. Please visit the SAP Help Portal for more information about the SAP HANA cockpit and the SAP HANA database explorer.