License keys for the SAP HANA Database


In this article we will discus about the license keys for SAP HANA database, their types, and concept of system lockdown.

The license key for an SAP HANA database is based on the system ID and the hardware ID. 
There are two types of license keys:

Temporary License key:

Temporary License key is installed automatically to SYSTEM DB and it’s effective tenant databases.
However it is valid only for the 90 days.
Within this timeline, we must request and install the permanent license key.

Permanent License Keys:

Under the ‘Launch the license key’ application on SAP support portal
( ), permanent license key can be requested.
It is valid till the predefined next expiration date.

If the permanent license key has expired in the system database, temporary license key is installed automatically and it is valid only for 28 days.

Here, we need to specify the amount of the memory licensed to the target SAP HANA database.

License Keys for Tenant Databases:

The SAP HANA license key can be installed in the individual tenant databases which is valid for that database only.

It has preference over license key installed on system database, meaning if there is no valid tenant specific database license key available, automatically system database specific key is effective.

Tenant admins can use system view SYS.M_LICENSE  to provides information about licenses.
System admins can use view SYS_DATABASES.M_LICENSE to get the same information.

Permanent License Keys are further divided into Unenforced and Enforced License Keys.

Unenforced License keys:

If unenforced license key is installed, operation of SAP HANA is not affected even if it’s memory consumption exceeds the licensed amount of memory.

Enforced License keys:

When this license key is installed and if the SAP HANA exceeds licensed amount of memory, database lockdown situation will occur.
In such cases, DB/SAP bounce is required, or the permanent license key must be installed.

global_allocation_limit is a parameter which is used to define the memory amount limit which can be used by the database .

System lockdown:

System lockdown occurs if,

  1. We have manually deleted all licenses
  2. Temporary license has expired & we didn’t renew license within 28 days.
  3. Amount of licensed memory has exceeded of the enforced license.
  4. We have changed the hardware and new key wasn’t requested.

The database cannot be backed up in lockdown mode nor any query to DB is possible.
Only users with LICENSE ADMIN privilege can connect to database and execute license related queries.