This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

HowTo: Script ASE Configuration Check

Maybe you have lots of ASE database instances and you would like to ensure that they are all in alignment with regards to configuration.

In this post I show how to output a generic line of text for each configuration line in the ASE <SID>.cfg file.
The line includes the following items:

  • The filename (e.g. <SID>.cfg)
  • The section name of the file (e.g. [somesection])
  • The name of a parameter within the section.
  • The value of the parameter.

The output is in this format:
<filename>:<section>~<parameter> = <value>

This allows you to combine multiple ASE instance configuration files into a single log file, which can then either be downloaded into Excel for value comparison across the landscape or you can use tools such as “grep” to compare individual parameters.

The Process

First you need to gather up all the configuration files from across your landscape and place them all in one directory:


For the above, I can recommend a custom operation via HostAgent and either a website with upload capability, an FTP site, SCP script, shared NFS location or some other common shared area where you can upload the files from each server.

Now we execute the code against the directory where the configuration files have been collected.

Switch to bash or ksh:


Run the code (change “your_dir” for your config files location):

ls -1 /your_dir/???.cfg | while read file 
   awk '/^\[/ { print $0 }' $file | sort | while read line 
      awk -v input="$line" '{ if ( $0 == input ) { getline; while ( $0 !~ /^\[/ ) { if(match($0,/\t(.*)$/,aval)) { if (length(lval)>0){ lval=lval"\n" }; lval=lval""FILENAME":"input"~"aval[1] }; if (! getline) break; }}}END{if (lval) print lval}' $file 

This will list all output to the screen.
To make it go to a new file, append “ > newfile.log” to the very end like this:

done > newfile.log

You will see inside the newfile.log, that you have a great file format for use with “grep“, and can query the value of parameters like so:

NOTE: Replace “<section>” and “<parameter>” with your query values.

grep ':<section>~<parameter> ='  newfile.log

The above will list all matching parameters in a specific section, for each of the ASE instances, for comparison on the screen.
You can use this information to align parameters across your landscape or just as a configuration check.

Checking Azure Disk Cache Settings on a Linux VM in Shell

In a previous blog post, I ended the post by showing how you can use the Azure Enhanced Monitoring for Linux to obtain the disk cache settings.
Except, as we found, it doesn’t easily allow you to relate the Linux O/S disk device names and volume groups, to the Azure data disk names.

You can read the previous post here: Listing Azure VM DataDisks and Cache Settings Using Azure Portal JMESPATH & Bash

In this short post, I pick up where I left off and outline a method that will allow you to correlate the O/S volume group name, with the Linux O/S disk devices and correlate those Linux disk devices with the Azure data disk names, and finally, the Azure data disks with their disk cache settings.

Using the method I will show you, you will see how easily you can verify that the disk cache settings are consistent for all disks that make up a single volume group (very important), and also be able to easily associate those volume groups with the type of usage of the underlying Azure disks (e.g. is it for database data, logs or executable binaries).

1. Check If AEM Is Installed

Our first step is to check if the Azure Enhanced Monitoring for Linux (AEM) extension is installed on the Azure VM.
This extension is required, for your VM to be supported by SAP.

We use standard Linux command line to check for the extension on the VM:

ls -1 /var/lib/waagent/Microsoft.OSTCExtensions.AzureEnhancedMonitorForLinux-*/config/0.settings

The listing should return at least 1 file called “0.settings”.
If you don’t have this and you don’t have a directory starting with “Microsoft.OSTCExtensions.AzureEnhancedMonitorForLinux-“, then you don’t have AEM and you should get it installed following standard Microsoft documentation.

2. Get the Number of Disks Known to AEM

We need to know how many disks AEM knows about:

grep -c 'disk;Caching;' /var/lib/AzureEnhancedMonitor/PerfCounters

3. Get the Number of SCSI Disks Known to Linux

We need to know how many disks Linux knows about (we exclude the root disk /dev/sda):

lsscsi --size --size | grep -cv '/dev/sda'

4. Compare Disk Counts

Compare the disks quantity from AEM and from Linux.  They should be the same.  This is the number of data disks attached to the VM.

If you have a lower number from the AEM PerfCounters file, then you may be suffering the effects of an Azure bug in the AEM extension which is unable to handle more than 9 data disks.
Do you have more than 9 data disks?

At this point if you do not have matching numbers, then you will not be able to continue, as the AEM output is vital in the next steps.

Mapping Disks to the Cache Settings

Once we know our AEM PerfCounters file contains all our data disks, we are now ready to map the physical volumes (on our disk devices) to the cache settings. On the Linux VM:

pvs -o "pv_name,vg_name" --separator=' ' --noheadings

Your output should be a list of disks and their volume groups like so (based on our diagram earlier in the post):

/dev/sdc vg_data
/dev/sdd vg_data

Next we look for a line in the AEM PerfCounters file that contains that disk device name, to get the cache setting:

awk -F';' '/;disk;Caching;/ { sub(/\/dev\//,"",$4); printf "/dev/%s %s\n", tolower($4), tolower($6) }' /var/lib/AzureEnhancedMonitor/PerfCounters

The output will be the Linux disk device name and the Azure data disk cache setting:

/dev/sdc none
/dev/sdd none

For each line of disks from the cache setting, we can now see what volume group it belongs to.
Example: /dev/sdc is vg_data and the disk in Azure has a cache setting of “none”.

If there are multiple disks in the volume group, they all must have the same cache setting applied!

Finally, we look for the device name in the PerfCounters file again, to get the name of the Azure disk:

NOTE: Below is looking specifically for “sdc”.

awk -F';' '/;Phys. Disc to Storage Mapping;sdc;/ { print $6 }' /var/lib/AzureEnhancedMonitor/PerfCounters

The output will be like so:

None sapserver01-datadisk1
None sapserver01-datadisk2

We can ignore the first column output (“None”) in the above, it’s not needed.


If you package the AEM disk count check and the subsequent AEM PerfCounters AWK scripts into one neat script with the required loops, then you can get the output similar to this, in one call:

/dev/sdd none vg_data sapserver01-datadisk2
/dev/sdc none vg_data sapserver01-datadisk1
/dev/sda readwrite

Based on the above output, I can see that my vg_data volume group disks (sdc & sdd) all have the correct setting for Azure data disk caching in Azure for a HANA database data disk location.

Taking a step further, if you have intelligently named your volume group names, you then also check in your script, the cache setting based on the name of the volume group to determine if it is correct, or not.
You can then embed this validation script into a “custom validation” within SAP LaMa and it will alert you automatically if your VM disk cache settings are not correct.

You may be wondering, why not do all this from the Azure Portal?
Well, the answer to that is that you don’t know what Linux VM volume groups those Azure disks are used by, unless you have tagged them or named them intelligently in Azure.

Finding Your SAP F&R Version

The Forecasting & Replenishment offering from SAP runs on SAP SCM.
SAP originally bought the F&R binary calculation engine from a Swiss company called SAF.  This was integrated to the SCM platform and is called through an RFC connection.

If you’re planning an upgrade you need to easily identify which version you’re running.

There are two areas to check:
– The SAP SCM version.
– The SAF (FRP) binary version.

Check in SPAM (or in SAP GUI, System -> Status -> Component Version) for the SAP SCM Server version.

Note that:
SCM 7.02 (EHP 2) = F&R 5.2.
SCM 7.01 (EHP 1) = F&R 5.1.

Checking the SAF binary must be done at the operating system level.
The usual location is either “/usr/sap/<SID>/SYS/global/frp/bin” or “/usr/sap/<SID>/FRP/bin”.

As the <sid>adm user simply call the “safcnfg” binary with the “-version” command line option:

SAP F&R SAF binary version  

See SAP note 1487615 for details on where to find FRP binary patches.

Finally, you should note that SAP SCM is itself a Business Suite software package like SAP ERP.  Therefore, it is not classed as a HUB or Sidecar landscape pattern, but instead, a source business system.  This means that there is no real dependency link to the SAP ERP version (providing you’re on the same technology platform level e.g. 7.31). 
You do need to consider that the interface from ERP to F&R may need some notes applying, some of which may be better implemented through an SPS upgrade instead of notes upon notes. 

See application component SCM-FRE-ERP.

RMAN 10.2 Block Corruption Checking – Physical, Logicial or Both

It’s an old topic, so I won’t dwell on the actual requirements or the process.

However, what I was not certain about, was whether RMAN in 10.2 (10gR2) would perform both physical *and* logical corruption checking if you use the command:


I kept finding various documents with wording like that found here:

“For example, you can validate that all database files and archived redo logs can be backed up by running a command as follows:


This form of the command would check for physical corruption. To check for logical corruption,


It took a while, but I found the original document from Oracle here:

Right at the bottom, it confirms that ordinarily “BACKUP VALIDATE DATABASE;” would check for physical corruption.
The additional keywords “CHECK LOGICAL” will check for logical corruption *in addition* to physical corruption.

So RMAN doesn’t need running twice with each validate command combination.