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What is the kernel of an SAP system?
An ABAP or Java-based SAP system runs on top of the SAP Web Application Server. This software serves as an abstraction layer between the underlying Operating System and database system to the ABAP or Java applications. The applications can are coded and run in an OS and DB-independent manner. The execution environment of the applications is often referred to as a Runtime system. Thus, the kernel of an SAP system consists of all native programs and dynamic libraries that are required for launching the Runtime, executing ABAP or Java codes, communicating with the outside world of the application server like OS, DB and network. These native binaries can be categorized through different aspects:
DB-dependent vs. DB-independent: While all native binaries are OS-specific, they can be grouped in either database-dependent or independent manner. Mostly there are numerous database management systems available for a particular Operating System. The DB-dependent part – which is small in size – presents the abstraction layer to the particular database system and the DB-independent part – which makes up the vast majority of all native codes – presents the abstraction layer to the rest of the outside world.
Unicode vs. Non-Unicode: Depending on users’ requirement, an SAP system supports data encoding either as Unicode or as non-Unicode. Since the processing of Unicode data and non-Unicode data respectively are slightly different, the kernel binaries are compiled accordingly.
Primary vs. subsidiary: Some of the kernel binaries are permanently loaded in the memory when the system is running. We call them primary. In other words, without the primary codes, the system is not functioning. Contrary to the primary programs, the subsidiary programs provide tools and services which are used occasionally, no matter whether the system is running or not, in terms of OS and DB abstraction.
How to get the kernel patches?
You can download the latest versions of the kernel patches from the SAP Service Marketplace (http://service.sap.com), either as part of an SP Stack or separately. However, you have to take following facts into account: • What operating systems is your system running on? In some (although rare) cases, you need multiple variants of the kernel patches, because it’s possible to install a SAP system in a cluster with different operating systems.
Do you need a Unicode or non-Unicode kernel, or both of them? This question is especially relevant, if the system is ABAP-based. Java-based systems are always Unicode systems. A Double-Stack system runs both an ABAP and a Java engine, while the ABAP part runs with a non-Unicode kernel. Once these details have been determined, you can go on with selecting the appropriate packages on the SAP Service Marketplace. There are two packaged files for each OS-DB-combination, SAPEXE.SAR for the DB-independent part and SAPEXEDB.SAR for DB-dependent part. As mentioned, the first file is much larger than the latter one. These two packages together consist of updates of all kernel binaries needed to patch the system kernel to level in required. .SAR files are an SAP-specific archive format. You can extract this format with the tool SAPCAR which in turn is one of the kernel programs. Normally, the existing SAPCAR tool should be able to open the newer kernel package .SAR files with the existing SAPCAR. Occasionally it happens that you cannot open the newer .SAR files with the older SAPCAR, because the format has been enhanced. In this case, you can download SAPCAR alone from the SAP Service Marketplace. Other standalone tools are also available; SAPCPE which we will deal with in more detail later.
it copies them to instance’s executable directory. that the DIR_CT_RUN directory of some hosts are not linked to the global host because of file format compatibility. in a heterogeneous system landscape.x Kernel Updates Explained Normally each system has a so-called SAPGLOBALHOST which is shared by all instances system-wide.Binary distribution with SAPCPE Before we go on with the procedures of different system types. The system directory /usr/sap/SYS is shared by all instances on the host and maintain links to the global host so that all instances can access the global host via the links. In this way. The graphic below depicts the file system layout of a typical system installation on UNIX (It’s similar on other operating system like Windows). Each host in the system cluster mounts this global directory to its file system beside the instance-individual directories which are depicted with the left branch in the graphic. SAP Netweaver 7. Thus SAPCPE cannot copy the new version of the kernel files from the global host to the local executable directory. Each instance on the host points to a subdirectory beneath the system directory with the instance-specific parameter DIR_CT_RUN. When an instance starts. The job of SAPCPE is to compare the binaries in the localinstance executable directory with the DIR_CT_RUN. However. If new versions of the relevant files are available in DIR_CT_RUN. We will discuss the update process for this case later. The kernel files of all relevant platform combinations reside on this host under the directory ///exe. it is possible. where the instances run on hosts of different operating systems. new kernel updates are distributed to the instances. Standalone ABAP system . a bootstrap program called SAPCPE which itself is a kernel program comes into play first. it makes sense to have a closer look at how the kernel updates is distributed to the different instances of a Web Application Server.
For UNIX platforms. JSPM consider all platforms (OS and Unicode vs. This type of system is called double-stack system. non-Unicode) of a heterogeneous system as a whole.SAR and SAPEXEDB. why not just use JSPM? In this way. It does not matter that the non-Unicode kernel actually belongs to the ABAP part.sdn. You can find out the value of DIR_CT_RUN of a particular dialog instance using the transaction RZ11. if there are instances whose DIR_CT_RUN directory does not point to the system’s global host. you have to patch their DIR_CT_RUN separately like on the central instance host. JSPM does not take over all manual activities. it will also update the packages of all kernel parts available. When using JSPM to update the kernel. After you have stopped the system and all OS-level services of all instances.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/11219 I hope you now have a good grasp of the subject around SAP system kernel update.sap. Not only will it update all the kernels involved.Now let’s discuss the update of the kernel update of a standalone ABAP system. you also have to logon to the hosts of the system cluster and restart the instances manually once JSPM has finished the kernel update on the central host. Since you can perform JSPM (which is a central tool) only on the central instance host as the adm user. as long as some of the required update packages of the involved platforms are still missing. Logon as the adm user onto the central instance host. unpack the kernel patch files SAPEXE. All that needs to be done is to put the non-Unicode kernel into the JSPM inbox.sap. Another way is to use the kernel program SAPPFPAR which can be invoked for the Central Services Instances in a HA installation (ASCS) and idle dialog instances. For a homogeneous system with only the ABAP engine. JSPM will apply both parts of kernel. Nonetheless. LLC. . the updates will be distributed by SAPCPE when the instances start as explained. In the case that the ABAP engine works with a non-Unicode kernel. there is one thing you have to perform before you restart the system. the OS-level services of the instances have to be restarted. It is fairly common to run a Java engine along with an ABAP engine in the same system.sh once in order to assign all necessary root permissions to the newly copied files. (See my Video Blog: Patching the SAP Kernel with JSPMhttps://www. The command spells as follows: sappfpar pf= The instance profiles are located in the /usr/sap/SYS next to the DIR_CT_RUN. For kernel update to take effect to all instances.sdn. Unlike SPAM in ABAP. Although you can update the kernel of your system like in an ABAP system as discussed above. while the kernel of the Java engine is always Unicode. Therefore. JSPM is not able to restart the OS-level services of all instances situated on different hosts. https://www.SAR to the DIR_CT_RUN of the central instance. Due to the security implementation of UNIX. Storm Archer is an SAP Netweaver Product Manager for SAP Labs.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/11791) Please see my blog video on applying Applying Support Package Stacks using JSPM. you have to re-logon as a root user and execute the kernel script saproot. Execute the command as follows: sapcar -xvf -R Because DIR_CT_RUN of the central instance is linked to the corresponding directory on the global host which is accessible from all hosts in the cluster. Java and double-stack systems Applying kernel updates to a Java system is a little bit different. if the instance is running. the counterpart for Java systems (JSPM) is able to apply kernel updates too. you can combine the applications of the kernel update and Support Packages of standard Software Component in a single run. In a heterogeneous system landscape. it is rather straight forward. The JSPM won’t proceed with applying the updates.
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