Yesterday, there was an announcement about a new agreement that represents the next stage in SAP’s BigData strategy regarding Hadoop.
The agreement enables SAP to resell Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), the industry’s only 100-percent open source data platform powered by Apache Hadoop. It will allow users of SAP(R) software with a simple way to incorporate Hadoop as a complementary component of their data architectures to enable a broad range of new applications as well as enrich existing ones with additional data sources.
I was reading the various press reports about the deal and I discovered a few points that I want to explore in more detail.
HANA just for “traditional sources”?
The description of deal from HortonWorks also includes the architecture behind the cooperation.
What I found curious was the apparent restriction of HANA to “traditional” data sources. The “new” sources are the focus of Hadoop.
This distinction is also expressed in other parts of the blog:
By using SAP HANA and Hadoop together, customers get the power of instant access with SAP HANA and infinite scale with Hadoop. This gives SAP users a broad range of options for storing and analyzing new types of data and the ability to create applications that can uncover new business opportunities from vast amounts of data that would not have been previously possible.
HANA is positioned, however, for these “new” data sources as well. Here are a few examples:
- Geo: Since SAP HANA SP6, the native spatial processing is available in HANA. There is also an agreement with Esri in this area.
- Sentiment: As this blog demonstrates, sentiment analysis is also possible in HANA
- Sensor: The use of sensor data with HANA is being demonstrated by a few start-ups. HANA is also an integral part of SAP’s Internet of Things strategy.
Thus, it is evident that SAP and HANA aren’t really restricted to those “traditional” data sources.
I found SAP’s explanation behind the cooperation more accurate:
“Integration with Apache Hadoop is part of SAP’s overall strategy to provide valuable insights across a continuum of data from the efficient storage of massive amounts of cold data, to petabyte-level storage of warm data to real-time and streaming data analysis,” SAP said in a statement. [SOURCE]
What is more important is not the source of data stored in each platform but rather how the data is stored : “warm” vs “cold”.
SAP support for Hadoop
Another part of the agreement deals with Hadoop support:
SAP has entered reseller agreements with Intel and Hortonworks to resell and support the Intel Distribution Apache Hadoop and the Hortonworks Data Platform with SAP HANA, expanding existing partnerships with both vendors [SOURCE]
This general statement about support was interesting. Did SAP have enough expertise in its support staff to deal with these new areas? I looked and SAP didn’t have any committers on the Apache Hadoop project.
If a new Hadoop-related support staff was being created, I expected a number of Hadoop-related job openings for support positions.
A search on SAP’s job site, however, shows no such increase:
I finally found some support-related details that shed light on the topic:
SAP will provide level 1 and 2 support for customers and will be backed by the Hortonworks support team. The Hortonworks support team, experienced in supporting large and complex Hadoop deployments, is backed by the core engineers and architects of Apache Hadoop enabling SAP customers to get world class global support backed by deep knowledge of this emerging technology. [SOURCE]
I find this cooperation between the two support organizations the best solution in that it allows each organization to concentrate on their particular area of expertise.
I assume that this sort of support structure is similar in other commercial relationships where SAP acts as a reseller.
Note: I wasn’t able to find any more details about support related the reseller deal with Intel.