Customers today expect cloud solutions to provide continuous availability, saving them the inconvenience of having to wait for scheduled maintenance events. They would prefer that software deployments no longer interfere with company operations. To do this, SAP S/4HANA Cloud uses the Blue-Green deployment process.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud aspires for 5 minutes or less of downtime with the current Blue-Green deployment supported updates (hotfix) and upgrades (release) for ABAP based cloud systems. It is intended to lower this number all the way to zero.
This blog post intends to introduce you to the blue-green deployment approach used in SAP S/4HANA Cloud updates and upgrades and to go over all the features and functionalities that are made available to users even when the update or upgrade is in progress. So let’s start!
Blue-Green Deployment: What is it?
The terms “Blue” and “Green” just designate two runtime on various versions. The production runtime that is now in use is depicted in blue in the diagram below, while the updated or upgraded version, Green, will eventually take the place of Blue.
The blue runtime is used by the consumer, and a green runtime is deployed concurrently in blue-green deployment. The blue runtime is then dropped and the consumers are transferred to the green runtime. The Update/Upgrade phase is represented by the stages “Preparing V2” and “Switching to V2” in the above diagram.
Just like that!
This means that all of the updates or upgrades are implemented without significantly interfering with the user’s experience. The system simply switches to the new runtime and the updated system becomes available after finishing the majority of the update/upgrade-related operations in the background. Consequently, Blue-Green deployment reduces the user’s downtime, during which logging into the system is not permitted.
At the moment, Blue-Green Deployment is being used to update/upgrade all Production 3SL (3 System Landscape) systems as well as Production 2SL (2 System Landscape) systems in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Why Blue-Green Deployment?
Zero downtime deployment is made possible through blue-green deployment. This facilitates a number of benefits, including:
business operations continue because update/upgrade modifications are implemented immediately. Because to the absence of downtime, innovations can be implemented more regularly in tiny doses.
The risk of change is very low. When an update or upgrade fails, it is generally simpler to revert to the previous version. The update or upgrade can then be initiated again after it has been rectified.
What exactly are uptime and downtime?
When a business user is unable to enter onto their SAP S/4HANA system during an update or upgrade, this is known as downtime. Because of this, downtime are regarded as disruptive. Contrarily, Blue-Green deployment completes the majority of its update/upgrade-related work during Uptime, which is the time when a business user can log in to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system and use any permitted functions.
Although restricted, uptime is not disruptive, unlike downtime. This indicates that a business user may log in and access certain services even when an update or upgrade is taking place in the background, subject to specified limitations (more on that in further sections).
For 2SL Production system updates, uptime starts about 12 hours before maintenance period mentioned in 2SL Maintenance Schedule.
For 3SL Starter and Development system updates, uptime starts about 6 hours before maintenance period mentioned in 3SL Maintenance Schedule.
For 3SL Test and Production system updates, uptime starts about 12 hours before maintenance period mentioned in 3SL Maintenance Schedule.
For 2SL Production and all 3SL systems upgrades, uptime starts about 32 hours before maintenance period mentioned in 3SL Maintenance Schedule.
What does Uptime allow or restrict?
Which functionalities are allowed and which are banned during blue green deployment uptime is the logical next question.
It is essential to set some limitations on which capabilities are accessible during blue-green uptime in order to preserve consistency across the systems. For instance, during blue-green uptime, some system-specific functionalities and business transactions, such as running current workflows and maintaining current settings, are accessible; however, other functionalities, such as release transports and data migration, which may affect system consistency, are blocked.
According to the customer landscape, the following detailed information is provided regarding the availability of key functionalities during blue-green deployment uptime of a new update or upgrade:
Role Creation and Assignments
This refers to role creation via Manage Business Roles app; and role assignment via Manage Business Users app.
Workflows and Attachments
This includes creation of new workflows, and execution of existing workflows/attachment functionalities.
This refers to those configurations done via CBC Activities (or Implementation Activities app in 3SL) that can be captured in a Transport Request and pushed to further systems. This includes all configurations which are not ‘Current Settings’.
Number Range Current Settings
These are the number range related current settings done in the SAP S/4HANA system.
Non-Number Range Current Settings
These are the current settings that are not number-ranges and cannot be captured in a transport request and need to be redone in Production System.
This refers to Custom Development that can be done in 3SL systems via ABAP Development Tool.
Central Business Configuration (CBC) Project
Access to the projects created in CBC system.
Creation of a new change project by initiating a change in the project.
Add New Country/Scope Extension
This functionality refers to initiating a change in project to add a new country to the scope or additional scope items.
Organizational Structure creation and changes
This functionality refers to initiating a change in project to create or edit the organizational structure.
In-App and Side-by-Side extensibility done in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Test Automation Tool
Test Automation Tool is used in SAP S/4HANA Cloud to automate business process testing in the Quality/Test system.
Transport release and import in SAP S/4HANA systems during blue-green deployment uptime.
Forms creation and editing in SAP S/4HANA Output Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems.
This refers to any changes made to General Ledger.
Data Migration done via Data Migration Cockpit application.
Customers of SAP S/4HANA Cloud are protected from service interruptions during updates and upgrades thanks to the Blue-Green deployment method. It will be clear to customers what activities they may continue with even during updates and upgrades if they are aware of the constraints in place during Blue-Green uptime. Also, this would result in a better overall experience for SAP S/4HANA Cloud users.
This blog post should have helped you better understand Blue-Green Deployment in the context of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and how it could affect you as a user during updates and upgrades.
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