SUSE SLES 11 for SAP HANA install fails with rebootException

This document applies to the the custom SLES image built for easier SAP HANA deployments located here: www.suse.com/slesb1hana. At the time of writing the link pointed to: sles11_sp4_b1.x86_64-0.0.10.preload.iso. My first problem with using this image is that there is no checksum to validate your dowload. Here is my md5sum: 8b5e4a223b85a7b144b55b86676938e3

I had to do a fresh load on a Dell R620 using iDRAC. As you will soon discover with SAP HANA, the hardware requirements are pretty strict and often don’t make sense (well to me at least). This particular installation had 8 x 300GB SAS, which the SAP documentation allocates to 6 x 300GB in RAID5 and 2 x RAID0 volumes for the remaining disks which it then puts into a software RAID0 for logs (why not just use the HW RAID you spent $$$ on and mirror them?). Anyway the tip for creating multiple RAID volumes on this platform is to use the Ctrl+R option at boot rather than the Wizard in the life cycle controller.

So I used iDRAC to mount the ISO as virtual CD/DVD ROM and set it to boot from there. The installation is pretty simple, you boot, select a disk, it writes out the image file and asks a few post install questions. In my case however I was presented with the target disks, but regardless of which key I pressed the installation would crash to console:

The keywords here are:

  • System Installation cancelled
  • rebootException: reboot in 120sec…

If you go digging in part 2 of the “How to install SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Business One products on SAP HANA” you will find a small section under troubleshooting that mentions a similar error. The “solution” isn’t really a solution, just prevents the auto reboot so you can troubleshoot.

So I fed back to the SAP consultant who was patiently waiting for the OS load that I was having this issue and we initially thought the ISO might be corrupt (hey wouldn’t a md5sum be handy right about now?). We downloaded a second copy each and all three matched, so that wasn’t it. He then thought about it some more and mentioned that someone had once powered the server off before getting it to work. So I used the cold boot function in iDRAC and that didn’t work either. I dug around a bit more for clues with this power thing in the back of my head and without really thinking it would make any difference whatsoever I used iDRAC to power the server down and then power it up. Would you believe it this time round I could select a disk and the installation continued successfully!

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