Keep your SAP systems rolling with SUSE Live Patching

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I recently saw a Facebook post showing a motorized toy train on a wooden track made up of four interlocking arcs that formed a semi-circle. Over the track was a robotic arm that repeatedly assessed the location of the train and then moved a section of the track in front of it. The train ran continuously and never fell off the end of the track. You can see it here on YouTube. I’ll wait.

Are you back?

This is a great analogy for how you can avoid taking down your SAP Business Process Management and Enterprise Resource Planning applications, or SAP HANA systems when there’s a security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. Anytime something like that happens you’re faced with two bad options. You can keep your SAP systems running until there’s a convenient maintenance window and hope that the security problem doesn’t affect your operations, OR you can stop everything and take the systems down to patch the kernel which you know will impact your operations. Either way, you risk losing productivity, revenue, time and possibly much more. Plus your IT staff has to stop whatever they were doing to go focus on taking down the affected systems, installing the patch and bringing the systems back online. What could go wrong? Even in the best case, a really large SAP HANA database can take several hours to reload after a planned outage. Do you have time for that?

Let’s go back to the little toy train for a moment. It just kept rolling along, never stopping or slowing down even though the track appeared to be at its end. Why? Because that robot arm built a path to avoid the problem. That’s how SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching works. You can install the kernel patch using your favorite deployment tool like YaST, Zypper, SUSE Manager and others while the SAP systems are running. Your internal business units, customers, and partners can keep right on executing those supply chain and financial transactions or running that data analysis without losing anything or seeing a slow-down in performance. Oh, and there’s no need to worry about the next compliance audit. SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching makes sure that the vital product data (VPD) shows a patched system without the security problem. You just need to restart the systems sometime in the next 12 months after the patch is applied. You’ll certainly have a maintenance window before then.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching makes a great complement to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications with its many built-in features to reduce downtime of SAP applications and in-memory databases. See the SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching overview video for more information or check out our music video for a lighter take on live kernel patching.

 

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