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The use of in-memory technology marks an inflection point for enterprise applications. The capacity per dollar and the availability of main memory has increased markedly in the last few years. This hassled to a rethinking of how mass data should be stored as well computed.

 This blog would be divided into two parts :

Part 1 :comprises of what is HANA and what has brought HANA into the Big-picture .

Part 2 :comprises of more of a deeper technical understanding of in-memory data management and how does it help the customers.

What is In-Memory Solution ?What are its immediate benefits as Industry solution?

In-memory computing is a technology that moves data from disk to local memory so that the results of complex analyses and transactions are available at your fingertips – and business decisions can be executed without delay. 

With in-memory technology integrated in your business, you’ll see immediate benefits

  • Immediate answers – with 3600x faster analytics
  • Real-time access – when it happens, you know it
  • Deeper insight – interrogate more granular data
  • Simpler and more cost-effective – manage large data volumes while reducing IT complexity

What is the rational and history leading up to HANA?How does it help the customer to transform his business without changing its existing model?

HANA is not the first product in in-memory technology by SAP.TREX and SAP Enterprise search and BWA were the first solutions to use this concept. Building on the strength of these early products, SAP then released the very successful SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA).

The high performance in-memory computation engine of HANA is the next generation of BWA.Customers who leverage BWA to accelerate BW can deploy HANA (with its BAE component) in HANA (with its BAE, Data Services, security and client runtime components) can be deployed in place of the prior BWA based engine to provide Explorer accelerated version the in-memory acceleration it requires.

HANA is the key foundational component for SAP’s next-generation application platform for delivering analytics, planning, and transactional applications.

Sybase IQ will be a foundational component of SAP’s data management platform i.e for building a data warehouse or data mart solutions and which is not already running the SAP BusinessSuite or SAP Business Warehouse. HANA, on the other hand, is the preferred solution for customers with the SAP BusinessSuite and SAP Business Warehouse.

How is HANA different from other In-memory solutions?

As the industry moves fromafter event driven analysis to real-time decision making’ SAP co-innovates with its partner(eg. Intel, EMC, Cisco, VMWare )  to leverage in-memory capabilities in a non-disruptive manner to deliver solutions of today and tomorrow. On a competetive basis HANA is an answer to Oracles In-Memory Product Exadata. 

The next generation high performance in-memory  computing engine(HANA)  will leverage SAP ‘s latest in-memory technologies such as  columnar databases, massively parallel processing (MPP), in-memory computing, and data compression techniques. HANA enables organizations to analyze  business operations based on large volumes of detailed information in real-time – as it happens.

The ‘Heart’ of HANA is :

  • a powerful and flexible data calculation engine
  • supports access via SQL and MDX for clients like SAP BusinessObjects and Excel
  • access data from virtually any data source, including SAP BW
  • unified information modeling design environment 
  • a data repository to persist views of business information

However ,the value proposition that is derived by the customers from HANA is that  Delivered without disruption

  • No need to change IT roadmaps
  • Preserve investment as new versions of applications are in-memory enabled

For example if customer has built a Oracle based data warehouse or staging area .HANA shall be process a large sample data from multiple sources at real tome without disrupting any of the systems.

A Few offerings that are available by HANA are

Available Today

  • SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (BWA)
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, accelerated
  • SAP CRM Customer Segmentation
  • SAP Business ByDesign analytics
  • SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer
  • SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Search

Thus HANA is a ground-breaking solution to accelerate sustainable trough timely and granular insights through faster response .The next blog would provide an in depth understanding of technical nitty-gritty  of in-memory computing .

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5 Comments

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  1. Witalij Rudnicki
    … I actually found some pieces of your blog rather confusing, even if what you are trying to describe is indeed Vision and not Reality.
    1/ You are still referencing to BAE – components that has been renamed twice since. Please have a look at my recent post on the HANA names.
    2/ What is the role of EMC and VMWare as SAP in-memory partners?
    3/ It is certainly not the “heart” of HANA that access data from any source, but it is BO DataServices, which is a part of HANA’s extended architecture.
    4/ I am looking for your promised next tech deep-dive post to understand how HANA leverages MPP.
    5/ As this blogoshpere is rather technical, I would certainly appreciate some proof data points from you as an SAP to claims you maid in this post.
    Thanks,
    -Vitaliy
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  2. Lars Breddemann
    I know, there isn’t much experience with HANA yet. There can’t be.

    So, what could you write about?
    Restating the marketing slogans is not really adding to the discussion, if you ask me.

    What I’m way more interested in:

    Where are the concepts that ensure better decisions based on the faster grasp of data?

    Where is the idea to prevent mistakes by oversimplified models and reprots?`

    Where is the real application to the ‘groundbreaking, new’ technology that really changes the rules of the game?

    Instead of focussing how much faster everything is going to be (which must yet to be prooved to be a stable factor), the discussion should move away from the technology and move to the usage of it.
    Certain aspects are becoming more and more difficult to handle with IT systems:

    – How can you trust what you cannot understand?
    – How do you check/validate your technology?
    – How do you handle mistakes and faults?
    – How do you feedback the effect of decisions you made based on the systems data/information?
    – How does your organisation learn about it’s usage and dependence of its IT systems?

    One major benefit of the in-memory-technology should be the – now possible – shift of attention. Away from mastering system operations (up to some arbitrarily defined 99.999% availability standards) over to understanding what, how and why stuff is done the way it is done in your company.

    Just my two pence on this…

    regards,
    Lars

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    1. Alistair McEwan
      Lars,
      completely agree. I’m getting pissed by this type of HANA marketing. By now, there should be solid proof points. The absence of the latter and the ongoing, inflationary marketing leaves me with a terrible taste. I’m starting to believe that this is pure demo ware and thus a hoax.
      Alistair
      (0) 

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