Quite a few years ago here at SDN, I mentioned a new database concept called “c-store” that had been pioneered by the great Michael Stonebraker (among others) and was being developed as a practical BW/BI product by a start-up company called Vertica in Cambridge MA.
I learned of “c-store” from my friend Bill Mann, who was (and is) a lead developer for Vertica, and has a long history of being associated with breakthru database products, from his earliest days at Lincoln Labs in the 60’s, thru his involvment with CCA’s Model 204 DB (the only US DBMS product supporting inverted-file access like ADABAS), to his later involvment in the Oracle parallelization project at Kendall Square Research, etc.
And I knew that if: 1) a giant like Stonebraker was involved in the conceptual birth of “c-store”, and 2) a pro like Bill was willing to become actively involved in developing it, then “c-store” was a technology to watch.
Well, lo and behold!
In particular, “lo and behold” two very recent events involving the “c-store” concept:
1) SAP has implemented some version of it in HANA. (Unless I’m badly mistaken, “c-store” is essentially what SAP bills as “columnar storage”.)
2) After teaming with Vertica on an analytics appliance, HP has decided to go ahead and just acquire Vertica outright.
So, it seems to me that one obvious question for both SAP marketeers and SAP’s customers is going to be:
why HANA and not the HP/Vertica appliance?
And it seems to me that SAP is going to be able to come up with only one basic answer to this question (apart from price-point related answers, of course):
because HANA is eventually going to be fully-integrated with existing SAP tools that SAP customers have come to respect and revere.
So, unless I’m misreading the tea leaves completely, HANA accessibility via ABAP will be SAP’s chief argument in what is sure to be an epic struggle between the two appliances.
But if anyone has any other ideas about how SAP can position HANA against its natural competitor, I’d be interested in hearing them.
And I’m sure SAP will be also … heh heh heh.