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In my recent blog Post SAP HANA: Inside the Tornado I was referring to the very fast growth of this new platform for in-memory computing which is simply amazing to me. I am very happy to see that SAP has made a very smart move on the pricing for the SoH and BW edition of HANA which will for sure add a lot more momentum to it.

Really SAP HANA is changing the game which we all got used to play in many different ways.

  • SAP as set the scene for in-memory computing (not only in-memory database!) and forces others to follow
  • Whilst in the past SAP solutions ran on a vast variety of OS and thus HW platforms today customers have only a choice of HW and to be precise HW vendors since the underlying Chipset and Memory are defined
  • Services companies will need to focus more on the tremendous added value customers will get when they are on HANA. Migrations need to be mainstreemed

Interesting enough to see how all Database vendors are announcing now their own In-Memory DB. It will be interesting to see how they will be performing vs SAP HANA but as well it will be interesting to see this new competition which has not been there before. I can see that the incumbent Database Vendors are starting to fight, remains to be seen who will win and at what price.

Running on certified appliances with the Intel Westmere Chipset only (Ivy Bridge in the future) provides a good advantage to SAP since customers can relatively easily make a comparison of vendors and choose the one who fits them best. Yet it also is a move which has a certain impact on the larger infrastructure partners of SAP since they were used to sell, especially in the larger enterprises their own UNIX platforms. With more and more customers moving to SAP HANA the vendors will see their margins decrease as customers move away from the UNIX platforms to the Intel-Linux. In conversations with customers I have heard already quite frequently arguments in favor of changing current storage for more high-end solutions or even Flash in order to achieve the same result.

The good news is that there is a large number of vendors with certified SAP HANA appliances in the market already and some of them are moving really fast since they see the opportunity.

Actually this might also be a good opportunity for consultants to help customers on their decision process for the right infrastructure for their SAP Projects today and tomorrow, especially since it will almost sure involve SAP HANA.

I have talked about the consulting focus already in previous posts. Especially in the BW migration scenario what I sense from the customers is that they would like to have a very simple, straight forward migration. This should be really an industrialised offer. The point is this is just an entry point for new projects the real value add will come be definition afterwards. Just like somebody who never drove a sportscar will still be driving when he/she sits in a Porsche but will change the way of doing it after. Yet again I am seeing more innovative approaches by smaller companies than by the big names.

As customer, do you feel you are getting answers you are expecting from your incumbent vendors ? If not maybe the above lines at least help you to take another look and challenge the current model. You are the one who makes the rules of the game, make sure everybody around you knows !


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