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Author's profile photo Manesh Ravindran

SAP HANA versus Oracle Exalytics

It all started in October 2010 with the launch of SAP HANA at the Sapphire conference. HANA(High-performance Analytics Appliance) an in-memory appliance for Business Intelligence was introduced to allow access to real-time analytics & transactional processing.

Then September 2012 saw the launch of another in-memory appliance from Oracle named Oracle Exalytics positioned by the vendor as a preconfigured clustered application server to use in building blocks in clouds with elastic computing abilities.

In short, both were same.

They had similar characteristics

  1. In-memory computing
  2. Processing of massive quantities of real-time data in main memory
  3. Mobile support for the iPad and iPhone and even Android too.

What is HANA & Exalogic ?

According to SAP ,”SAP HANA is an integrated database and calculation layer that allows the processing of massive quantities of real-time data in main memory to provide immediate results from analyses and transactions in a SAP MACHINE”.

Termed by ORACLE as, “EXALOGIC is the industry’s first in-memory BI machine that delivers the fastest performance for business intelligence and planning applications. Which reduces operational cost risk  and Delivers lightning-fast performance to the world’s fastest database machine”.

Price to purchase HANA or Exalogic

SAP has not publicly released specific pricing information regarding HANA, but early estimates indicate customers can initially have HANA up and running for under $300,000, including hardware, software, and services. Depending on scale, pricing levels can reach up to $2 million or more. HANA is not capable of storing petabyte-levels of data. However, due to its advanced compression capabilities, HANA deployments can store tens of terabytes of data or more, which is considered large data volumes in most current SAP customer environments.

The Exalytics appliance is $135,000, plus $29,700 per year for premier support and other fees, according to a price list published last month by Oracle. To this is added TimesTen license fees of $138,000 ($34,500 for each of the four processors,) plus $30,360 per year ($7,590 per processor) for premier support.

Hardware Involved on HANA

Various vendors(Dell,IBM,Cisco,HP,Fujitsu) are involved in selling of the HANA hardware with different bandwidths.

Numbers may differ below on each vendor.


PowerEdge R910

SAP HANA Size: Medium

4 Intel E7-4870 / 32 cores


System x3850 X5

SAP HANA size: Small+

4 Intel X7560 / 32 cores

256 GB RAM

C460 M2

SAP HANA size: Medium

4 Intel E7-4870 / 40 cores

512 GB RAM

ProLiant DL580 G7

SAP HANA size: Medium

4 Intel E7-4870 / 40 cores

512 GB RAM


SAP HANA size: Small

2 Intel E7-4870 / 20 cores

256 GB RAM

Hardware Involved on Exalytics

The Exalytics hardware is an Oracle Sun Fire server with 1 terabyte of RAM and four Intel Xeon E7-4800 processors with a total of 40 cores. High-speed (40-Gbps InfiniBand and 10-Gpbs Ethernet) connectivity is designed to work hand-in-hand with Oracle’s Exadata appliance, enabling the adaptive caching feature to move high-demand data out of that disk-based appliance and into Exalytics memory.

Customers using HANA & Exalytics

Here complete list is not involved and these numbers increase.


Nongfu Spring

Red bull




P&G ….and many more


Key Energy services

Polk, Inc.


BNP PARIBAS and many more…..

Should a customer invest on a HANA or Exalytic ?

Current SAP customers should strongly consider deploying SAP HANA to add real-time analytic and transactional processing capabilities on top of existing SAP ERP and other business systems deployments. Non-SAP customers unsatisfied with their current EDW environment should also evaluate HANA, weighing the benefits of adding near real-time analytic capabilities against the cost of migrating to a new system and new vendor. It is also important to evaluate where real-time analytics will most benefit your enterprise. Not all business problems can be solved via real-time analytics, and systems such as HANA should only be deployed where significant business value can be achieved.

Among the important differences compared to SAP HANA, Exalytics is designed to run on Sun-only hardware, it is a mash-up of various existing Oracle technologies, and there are few, if any, systems in production. As with all Oracle technologies, the risk of vendor lock-in is high, and the cost is significantly higher than comparable HANA deployments.


Obviously there is no love lost between these companies. The reason is not hard to guess. Each is aiming at a specialized market within the IT universe. In spite of SAP’s greater focus on transactional applications, both SAP and Oracle are looking at largely the same customers. These customers are firms that need high-horsepower appliances and are willing to spend into the millions on the hardware and software capable of meeting their needs.

Related Links

Oracle releases Exalytics to take on SAP’s HANA

Why SAP HANA is a Better Choice than Oracle Exalytics

Oracle’s Exalytics now available, set for showdown with SAP’s HANA

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Curiously you mentioned vendor lock-in only for the Exalytics; in fact HANA's not any different, tied to a previous SAP lock-in on the application side to either the ERP or BW.

      That's the way the industry is moving: SAP coming from the top down (application to database) and Oracle from the bottom up (database to application).

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      HANA is much more expensive than Exalitics, isn't it?

      Exalytics also include (in-memory optimized):

      • Oracle Business Intelligence
      • Oracle TimesTen
      • Oracle Essbase

      Author's profile photo Manesh Ravindran
      Manesh Ravindran
      Blog Post Author

      SAP is expensive than ORACLE , but better results comes with a price 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This blog has many inaccuracies in it, but first and foremost is the premise. HANA does not compete with Exalytics. Exalytics is a caching engine which provides caching of data from an Oracle (preferably Exadata) database, similar to how BW Accelerator provides caching of data from a BW application's database. HANA is a database platform that runs on optimized hardware configurations, which is similar to Exadata (but also different in many ways than Exadata).

      The question is not should a customer invest in Exalytics or HANA. Exalytics cannot do anything without an underlying database. The more appropriate question is should a customer invest in HANA or Exadata plus Exalytics?

      Author's profile photo Manesh Ravindran
      Manesh Ravindran
      Blog Post Author should be HANA vs Exadata plus Exalytics

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Right question is  half of answer. )  More actual for me now is HANA  vs IQ.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Interesting facts.

      Now the right question is

      HANA vs  Exadata+Exalytics

      Right ?