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basically Data are pulled into HANA where the column-based storage and the fact that data are held in memory makes the analysis so fast. Check out this presentation:
as well as the featured content for the Life Sciences Space. You are right, you need plenty of memory but you can get 4TB RAM easily nowadays. Check out this blog as well:
Even though this is financials rather then gene sequencing it nicely expalins some of the underlying technology.
PS: post such topis as questions to get a faster answer 😉 !
...and another addition to this. Check out the article on Forbes magacine "The White House Honors SAP, Stanford and NCT for Genomics Advances".