To update an SAP HANA system, you can either use resident HDBLCM or the version from the installation media.
The difference is minimal because when using the resident version, we’re prompted first to provide the path to the location of the installation media (installation kit in the web interface) after which control is passed to the update tool, as shown in the figure below. The dialog is the same for the command-line and graphical interfaces.
Note that you can request the tool to verify the authenticity of the installation kit and do a validation of the checksums to make sure that the software download (copy) is identical to the source files and hasn’t been tampered with during transportation.
Next, we’re prompted to add software locations, select the components to update, provide passwords, and confirm your selections, as shown below. Depending on the choices made, additional dialogs might be presented.
Specific to the web interface of the SAP HANA PLM tool is the Advanced Parameters Configuration dialog in which to configure general parameters and component-specific parameters. For SAP HANA Database Update Parameters, for example, as shown in the next figure, you can specify whether to change the initial SSFS key, the communication mode for the services, whether to use a single database user password for the system database user, and other options.
Under General Parameters, you can configure the update execution mode as either standard or optimized, as shown below. Standard updates the components in sequence; optimized updates the components in one go, minimizing system restarts. This setting is relevant if add-on components such as SAP HANA dynamic tiering are updated together with the database. With this setting, multiple system restarts are avoided.
The Stop update before software version switch, resumable parameter enables what in the documentation is called a phased system update. This separates the update into an online phase where all the prerequisites are performed and a downtime phase when system access is closed, and the update is executed. With a phased system update, all the preliminary work is performed when the system is still up and running. This includes extracting components and verifying dependencies. Any issues detected can be investigated and corrected before any downtime is required. The command-line equivalent is hdblcm --action=update -- prepare_update.
For the actual update, run HDBLCM again (any UI), and this time just click the Update button. In unattended mode, this is passed as a parameter.
Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book SAP HANA 2.0 Certification Guide: Technology Associate Exam by Denys van Kempen.