Windows 2016 is now Generally Available for SAP

Windows 2016 has been released by Microsoft and is now Generally Available for any SAP NetWeaver 7.0 or higher components. Release information can be found in SAP Note 2384179 – SAP Systems on Windows Server 2016

This blog discusses the relevant SAP Notes and release information. For the official release status of individual SAP applications can be found in the SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM).

Windows 2016 includes many features deeply integrated into the Azure public cloud platform. SAP on Windows 2016 is simultaneously released for on-premises deployments and on Azure cloud deployments

1. Windows 2016 Long Term Servicing Branch

Starting as of Windows Server 2016 the Server product offers two deployment models: Long Term Servicing Branch and Current Branch for Business.

SAP only supports Windows Server 2016 64bit LTSB with full GUI (Desktop Experience). More information about LTSB vs. CBB and the different versions can be found here.

Datacenter and Standard Edition are both supported for SAP applications. The differences between Standard Edition and Data Center Edition do not impact a SAP NetWeaver Application server. Both versions support 640 Logical processors and 24TB of RAM. The most significant technical difference between Datacenter and Standard Edition is the virtualization features and related capabilities in the network and storage area. Some information about licensing is here

2. Required SAP Kernels

SAP Kernels 7.21_EXT, 7.22_EXT and 7.49 Kernels or higher are the only kernels supported on Windows 2016. It is recommended to run either 7.22_EXT or 7.49 as these are the latest generation kernels. 7.22_EXT is fully downward compatible to SAP_BASIS 7.00. This means any NetWeaver 7.00 to 7.31 application can run on the latest 7.22_EXT kernel. Customers are generally advised not to use old kernels such as 7.00, 7.01, 7.21, 7.40 or 7.42 as this impacts supportability of a system.

SAP Java based components that require the SAP JVM 4.1 are not supported on Windows 2016 at this time. The SAP JVM 4.1 is now end of life and will likely not be validated on Windows 2016. Java based systems must be 7.30 or higher to be supported on Windows 2016.

The screenshot below shows the SAP PAM selection screen and supported 7.2x based kernels that are supported on Windows 2016.

3. Supported Databases and SAP Standalone Engines

Windows 2016 supports:

SQL Server 2012, 2014, 2016 or later

DB2 11.1 or later

Sybase 16 SP2 or later

MaxDB 7.9

Hana 1.0 SP12 and Hana 2.0 SP00 Client Components

This allows SAP customers to leverage the security and high availability features built into Windows for Suite on Hana, BW on Hana and S4 Hana deployments.

Oracle 12c to be supported later. Please check Note 2384179 – SAP Systems on Windows Server 2016 and the SAP Product Availability Matrix

4. Windows 2016 Hyper-V Support

As at March 2017 Windows 2016 Hyper-V scenarios are not supported.  Due to changes in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V SAP cannot support SAP applications on Hyper-V 2016. Therefore, support of Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V has been postponed until a suitable solution is provided by Microsoft. Note 1409608 – Virtualization on Windows will be updated when this process is complete

5. Benefits of Windows 2016

Azure Cloud WitnessCluster File Share Witness must be in a 3rd location with diverse network connections can now be on Azure cloud

Storage Spaces Direct
(S2D) – new generation storage solution. Datacenter SKU only.

Storage Replica
– Async or Sync replication. Works with Hyper-V, Dedup, ReFS improvements

Powershell 5.0 Many new PowerShell cmdlets for Networking and Hyper-V

6. Required SAP Notes for Windows 2016

It is required to read the following OSS Notes before installing SAP applications on Windows 2016:

2356977 – Error during connection of JDBC Driver to SQL Server: This error will prevent Java based systems on SQL Server from installing on Windows 2016

2424617 – Correction of OS version detection for Windows Server 2012R2 and higher

2287140 – Support of Failover Cluster Continuous Availability feature (CA)

1869038 – SAP support for ReFs filesystem: It is supported to use ReFS instead of NTFS as of Windows 2016 (only for SAP application server and SQL Server at this time)

2055981 – Removing Internet Explorer & Remotely Managing Windows Servers: It is recommended to remove any non-essential software from Windows servers. This procedure works on Windows 2016

1928533 – SAP Applications on Azure: Supported Products and Azure VM types

2325651 – Required Windows Patches for SAP Operations

2419847 – Support of Windows in-place upgrade in Failover Cluster environments

Important Links

Windows Server 2016 Evaluation Edition Download

Windows Server 2016 documentation getting started

Cloud Witness documentation and blog

Windows 2016 on Channel9