For SAP administrators, the constant pursuit of improved performance and security stands out as one of the topmost priorities to ensure system reliability and data integrity. Recognizing the dynamic nature of technology and constant security threats, SAP regularly releases updates and patches for the SAP kernel, the heart of an SAP system. These updates play a vital role in maintaining the efficiency and stability of SAP landscapes.
However, the process of updating the SAP kernel, as crucial as it is, often comes with some challenges including performance and memory-related issues if not done properly. Moreover, updating the SAP kernel requires stopping the application server instances, leading to unavoidable system downtime. If this downtime extends beyond the allotted change window, it can drastically impact business operations. To relieve SAP administrators from these unexpected issues and disruptions, the implementation of SAP kernel update automation emerges as a solution.
As we delve further into this solution, it's important to lay the groundwork for the next sections and understand the concept of the SAP kernel and the SAP kernel update operation.
What is SAP Kernel?
The SAP kernel is a core component of an SAP system, functioning as the runtime environment for SAP applications that handle critical tasks like memory management and process control. It also operates as an executable program responsible for handling Input/Output (I/O) requests originating from software components interacting with end-users, and converting them into instructions for the central processing unit (CPU), memory, and other components within a computer system.
What is SAP Kernel Update Operation?
The SAP kernel update operation is a custom process that updates the kernel version of the SAP system. It involves mounting the SAP kernel update release configuration, backing up the current kernel, extracting and copying the content of the SAP kernel, and stopping and restarting the SAP system.
Why Automate SAP Kernel Update?
It’s widely recognized that the maintenance of SAP landscapes can be exceptionally labor-intensive and time-consuming. This challenge becomes particularly apparent when dealing with SAP kernel updates, a process that demands a substantial amount of manual effort and time investment.
SAP administrators find themselves engaged in a multitude of painstaking tasks, including establishing connections to the SAP server(s), downloading files, meticulously organizing required packages within specific folders, checking whether or not users are still using the system, ensuring there are no running jobs and that all permissions are configured properly, and verifying all risks and dependencies to ensure the business impact is minimized, among other responsibilities.
In light of these complexities, the question arises — what can we do to simplify, if not totally eliminate, these complexities?
SAP Kernel Update Automation
The SAP kernel update automation is a solution developed to relieve SAP administrators from performing time-consuming tasks, such as establishing connections to the SAP server(s) for patch deployment and the manual stopping and restarting of the SAP system.
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As shown in Figure 1 below, you only need to provide the following:
SAP Kernel Patch Level
SAP IGS Kernel Patch Level
Note: The kernels, the IGS for the kernel, and the hostagent must be downloaded and mounted to the server prior to the execution of the automation.
Now, you may be wondering about the following and how your systems will show up in the selection menu:
SAP Linux System
To answer your curiosities, it is required to have your systems registered in IT-Conductor prior to implementing this automation solution. Doing so streamlines the management of multiple systems during patching/updating activities, aligning with the rationale behind adopting an automation solution for this administrative task.
After setting up these mandatory fields in the Input Parameters, you're already halfway through the automation process, and all that remains is to kick it off and await its completion.
Figure 2a: SAP Kernel Patch/Update Automation (Starting)
Figure 2b: SAP Kernel Patch/Update Automation (In Progress)
Figure 2c: SAP Kernel Patch/Update Automation (Completing)
Figure 2d: SAP Kernel Patch/Update Automation (Succeded)
Learn more about the entire process in the IT-Conductor Knowledge Base.
You also have the option to view the recorded demonstration below and watch it at your most convenient time.
Taking the Step Further
In a nutshell, the decision to automate SAP kernel updates proves to be a game-changer in managing SAP systems. The automation solution presented not only simplifies the intricate and time-consuming process of updating the SAP kernel but also contributes significant advantages in terms of security compliance.
By automating these updates, organizations can ensure regular and timely application of security patches. This not only enhances the security posture of SAP systems but also ensures compliance with evolving security standards and regulations. In a landscape where security threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, this level of consistency and vigilance is crucial.
With IT-Conductor's SAP Kernel update automation, organizations can confidently embrace the future, knowing that their SAP systems are not only efficiently managed but also fortified against emerging security threats.