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Customers dealing with large volume of data are embarking on best possible solution which can provide the ability to analyse the large volume of data.  For example in the currently prevailing scenario among Utility Industries there will be an explosion of data as a result of the planned rollout of Smart Meters across various countries.

This blog aims to provide the overview of the best solution that will suit the most complex requirements among existing SAP In-memory analytics products ‘BW on HANA’ Vs ‘SAP HANA as a data mart’ that would have the ability to analyse the data rapidly and would give a significant advantage of quicker implementation of standalone instance and look at consolidating the existing BW and the fresh BW instance later.

Factors which would influence this decision are:

1. Does not want to upgrade the existing BW 7.0 system.


2. Customers are clear on what data to put into HANA, so that the HANA memory sizing shall be limited which is a decisive factor.


3. Time constraint to report on the regulatory and analytics reports to business – so the decision to go alone for stand alone data mart – with SAP HANA or SAP BW on HANA for a faster implementation.


                                 Fig 1: SAP HANA as Datamart

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                                  Fig 2: BW on HANA as Datamart


Pros and Cons of using SAP HANA as a Data Mart

Even though SAP HANA as a data mart has been powered with In-memory processing, only the reporting part of it is accelerated not ETL. In addition to that it also requires skills in HANA modelling, SQLScript, IMC Studio etc along with this there is a requirement of additional skills for appliance administration.

  • Additional administration & Skill sets requirements

For customers already running SAP BW, there arises an overhead on skill requirements on development, admin & maintenance for both the existing SAP BW instance and an instance for SAP HANA as data mart.

  • Complex Reporting requirements

Requirement of data level security options is limited. For customers with complex reporting requirements such as time dependant master data, dynamic hierarchy and it will be difficult to handle these requirements using the SAP HANA as Stand alone data mart

Competitive advantage of BW on HANA as Data Mart

Features of SAP NetWeaver BW can be leveraged with the power of SAP HANA as a database. Data warehousing solution would also be flexible & scalable with SAP BW + HANA as its Database collaborated. This is the most cost effective way of introducing the power of SAP HANA into the Data warehousing Landscape in an organisation. Also it has highly integrated tools for data modeling, monitoring and reporting resulting into low development and maintenance efforts leveraging on existing BW team’s skills

Value Proposition addressing key Technical / Business drivers

Basic business scenarios such as dynamic layered hierarchy solution and other general time dependency requirements can be easily modeled using the standard features of SAP BW.

Organizations spend reduced by adapting to BW on HANA as it provides almost double the memory for the same price of HANA as data mart.

Another dimension to consider with customers having planning application requirements

With BW on HANA reporting performance is also accelerated along with Performance boost for ETL processes with fewer materialized layers. In case of planning requirements, Planning Logic has been pushed down to SAP HANA layer.

Traditional Planning runs the planning functions in the Application Server whereas In-memory Planning runs all planning functions in the SAP HANA platform.

Data warehouse with Agile modelling and Reporting

          HANA optimized Info providers provides the ability to design simplified schema for optimizing data loads. For e.g. using HANA optimized DSOs, delta calculations is completely integrated in HANA.

In-memory optimized data structures provides faster access without any roundtrips to application server and also the advantage of redundant data storage, simplified administration and optimized infrastructure. There is considerable reduction in Layers on column based storage with high compression rates and significantly less data to be materialized. It gives the greater Modeling flexibility and reduction in materialized layers.

BW on HANA as Data Mart – Additional Capabilities enabled with In-memory!

Customers adapting to a unified Instance of DB and BW merging in one instance has simplified administration via one set of admin tools e.g. for Data Recovery and High Availability.

          With the BW on HANA architecture, it would be simpler for integrating a Near Line Storage option as the volume increases over the years. And also potentially easier to consolidate the landscape in the near future to migrate existing BW investments across into BW on HANA solution.

Preserving existing Investment without disruption in the Future

SAP indicates that there would be 20% Reduction in Admin & Maintenance FTE as the existing skills can be leveraged to the project and re-deploying the skills to an integrated SAP BW instance. With the existing vision from SAP where the entire business suite will be running on SAP HANA, hence it gives better prospective for customers to deploy BW on HANA.

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