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At a certain point in time not only SAP was talking about HANA, everybody in the datawarehouse market seemed to be talking about it. After SAPs announcement to offer a free trial on the Amazon EC2 cloud at SAPPHIRE / ASUG conference we couldnt wait to get started! Typically with enterprise software vendors, nothing seems to be free and easy, but in this case, our expectations were even exceeded by SAPs offering in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

All steps were listed in a comprehensive tutorial here in the SDN at http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-28294. As we already had an Amazon EC2 account in place, we just fired up a 17GB HANA instance and we were ready to start our evaluation during a 3 months trial license period. SAP charged no fees for this at all, so we only had to pay the Amazon fees, which was about 500$ per month of continuous usage. When you only run the image as long as you are working with it, this will be much cheaper. Turning off and on the image just takes a few seconds, so this makes sense, if you are the only developer that is using the system.

The entire selection, sizing and startup of this private HANA trial instance took me approximately 10 minutes. This was even faster than the download of the corresponding client software, which was available for free download from SAP and took me another 20 minutes. I used the Eclipse based HANA Studio as a database management front-end. The installation of this software took just a few seconds and also connecting HANA Studio to the AWS instance was straight forward. After a quick search in the internet, I found out, that the default password for the SYSTEM user was manager and the instance number was 00. The remaining connection details were displayed during the setup wizard of the Amazon instance already.

When I created my first test user, it automatically created and assigned a dedicated schema to the user. The SYSTEM user had no access to the schema , so I just logged in with the new test user and granted access to its schema objects to SYSTEM. In total, the setup of a test user took me another 20 minutes.

All in all, the setup, start, configuration, download of client software, remote connection, test user setup took me less than one hour!

Read also my next blog post about how we migrated an existing application from a traditional disk based database to HANA: http://scn.sap.com/blogs/josef/2012/10/30/how-we-adapted-our-existing-application-to-use-hana-instead-of-standard-databases

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