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How much does a SAP HANA appliance really cost?

There has been some talk this week around SAP HANA Hardware Pricing. SAP published a price list which is now only available on Twitter. The HANA hardware price list page is down for now and should be up soon.

Note that How much does a SAP HANA appliance really cost? Part 2, IBM & Ivy Bridge has now been released.

The original pricing showed $17k for a 512GB appliance, but that wasn’t a certified appliance as it uses the Intel E5 platform, and this isn’t supported by SAP. Interestingly the Amazon AWS EC2 appliance that runs HANA One, does in fact run on Intel E5 CPUs on the Xen virtualization platform. Ironically, HANA One is 40% faster per core than an equivalent Intel E7 CPU, because it is a newer generation, but we digress.

It also shows $55k for a 1TB appliance, which I think is a realistic price for an Intel E7 v2 appliance, but this hasn’t been certified yet by SAP. It won’t be long before this happens, however, which is very exciting news!

I thought I’d do a bit of primary research and see what I could buy a 512GB HANA system at from the internet. There are some reasons why HANA hardware has some cost associated with it.

– HANA requires Intel E7 CPUs, which cost over $4000 each. A 512GB HANA system requires 4 of these, so $16000

– HANA requires SSD Storage from Fusion IO in most cases, which costs $9500 for a 512GB system

– HANA requires SuSe Linux, which is $6000 for 3 years including support

– 512GB RAM costs around $7500

Add these up and we’re at $39k before we start, for the main components in a 512GB system.

So, I went to and looked to see what I could buy a HANA system for. Here’s what I came up with based on the information available in the SAP Product Availability Matrix for SAP HANA and the Dell SAP HANA appliances I have seen in the field. I might have a few small mistakes but it is close.

Component Price (512GB) Price (256GB)
Base Price for Dell R910 Server $8935.00 $8935.00
16-Drive Chassis $374.88 $374.88
Upgrade to 2x E7-4870 CPU $6342.86 $6342.86
Upgrade to 4x E7-4870 CPU $8261.47 N/A
Upgrade to 512GB RAM $7459.99 $3729.99
Upgrade to 3 year Mission Critical Support $1499.49 $1499.49
Upgrade to 10 300GB SAS Disks $2241.70 $2241.70
SuSe Enterprise Linux 3 year subscription $5597.23 $5597.23
High Output PSU $448.35 $448.35
785GB FusionIO ioDrive $9371.10 $9371.10
iDRAC Enterprise $261.66 $261.66
Total $66383.00 N/A
Online Discount -$16612.48 N/A
Grand Total $49770.52 $38802.26

Yes, the numbers don’t quite add up because Dell put the “instant savings” into the line item prices.

Note that this is an online price and Dell might discount it further if you are a good customer. When I used to buy Dell equipment a previous role, I’d expect to pay a piece less than the online price, but I’m no longer a buyer so take this with a pinch of salt.

I also took a look at street prices online, and I can see that Dell’s line level prices for CPU and RAM are around 10% above street prices, which would suggest that an additional 10% discount should be easy to negotiate.

Also do note that I’ve taken a simple single-node SAP HANA appliance. If you are using a more complex appliance that has a scale-out configuration then expect to pay more per TB. I’m not going to try to build out the configuration for one of those right now because they require many more parts including shared storage and interconnects.

I have seen some more worrying things happen (not from Dell), like vendors claiming that HANA has special “parts”. This is nonsense – SAP HANA systems contain are high-end commodity parts and there is no secret sauce. One exception is IBM, which even for a single node uses their proprietary GPFS filesystem, which requires a license.

But if you’re asking for a quote from Dell for a 512GB appliance, then expect to pay no more than $50k. I’d be interested to see what you’re seeing as Dell customers. Since all the other hardware providers use much the same components from the same suppliers, then this should be a decent benchmark.

What about in the cloud?

SAP now have Infrastructure as a Service pricing for $3595 a month for the same 40-core 512GB box and $6495 a month for an 80-core 1TB box. I suspect this is pretty compelling if you want to get moving quickly and favor subscription pricing over capitalizing. And if you don’t want to support the infrastructure yourself, of course.

Is anything changing in 2014?

Well one thing is for sure, memory and FusionIO prices have come down a long way since HANA started. When I first started, the FusionIO would cost $40k and RAM would cost the same again.

In 2014, we will see the advent of the Intel E7 v2 CPU. This will have more cores having more power, meaning SAP will probably certify 1TB RAM for a 4-socket system. This means that we should be able to buy a 1TB HANA node for $50k list price very soon. Good things are happening in HANA land!

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    • Cool. As I said, I use the Product Availability Matrix to determine what is certified.

      Dell do not, but since some of the others do, I should be able to improve on this.


  • John,

    One thought always bugged me was how much HANA would cost but i never explored. Thanks for writing this.

    One more concern still I have is to have an appliance of minimum 16 GB or 8 GB so that I can own and install on my laptop 🙂 for personal improvement, of course with good price.



    • Hi Raj

      You can easily deploy on Amazon AWS with little cost or run the SAP HANA developer edition on Amazon AWS with little cost (pay per hour used more or less if you control things decently which means stopping the instance / server if you don't use it).

      For me it doesn't directly make sense to boot one up at home. I prefer playing around with a larger HANA instance.

      Best regards


  • Hi John,

    you lead again and this time with transparency in the Hana hardware market.

    This is really an angle that SAP should be working on, SAP should be leading with the latest documentation doing exactly what you have done, and across hardware vendors showing in a Hana Hardware Cost PAM transparently and proudly how the cost of implementing is falling and leading the customers into a position where there is no 'no' argument against Hana.


  • Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing. Wish somebody also put on some information on the HANA Licencing cost. 😉 In my opinion, that would give an idea of how much HANA would cost in total.



      • Hello John,

        Thanks for sharing. I  have a general question about the SAP HANA licence .

        We are using HANA, We have a mixed scenario where we are using the stand alone (HANA studio) and BW on HANA. We have 124 Gigs of HANA unit available to us and we are running enterprise license. (We can use the way we wanted to use) .

        Now we installed BW on HANA, the empty BW took 80 GIGS of memory on HANA. This is just empty BW installation. Does it consider against 128 gigs of HANA. This is the application consuming the 80 gigs Not the data. So I am left with 48 Gigs of data. Is this is true or I am allowed store 128 gigs of data (We know 50 % for data and 50 for processing).

        So we are left only with 48 Gigs. But from other sources, we heard that 80 gigs are not considered against 128. Do the empty BW 80 gigs count against the memory?



    • I don't believe that page will be coming back, sorry. The above prices should give you a working framework.

      The OS license cost is already in this blog.

      SAP licensing is quite customer-specific so you should contact them. HANA can be priced in the cloud, or on-premise either as a proportion of the cost of the software you bought (SAV) or as a per-64GB unit cost. The unit cost depends on the number of units you buy, and which version you buy (Database, Platform, Enterprise).

      Hope this helps!

  • Hey John,

    i'm not so much into DB hardware and its details. But i was wondering if there is a way to know how much would a traditional DB hardware cost ?

    hypothetically to run a ERP software of decent size, may be 512GB HANA is required. From customer point of view, HANA hardware + software license is required or classic DB hardware + software license are required.

    I know this is not a fair comparison with the fact that HANA platform is not just DB, there are cloud options blah blah.... But keeping all these details aside, can we put some highly tentative cost number for classic DB v/s HANA DB hardware for running an sizable ERP ? there might be lot of variables here, but lets make some decent assumptions to know how much for 512 GB HANA v/s 1 TB classic DB hardware.

    the classic Db could be oracle, IBM, microsoft or even Sybase.


    • Sure. I can tell you that a 512GB HANA appliance should now cost you around $40k. You'll be wanting 2 of those for a production install (Dev+QA) so that's $80k. For DR you would spend another $40k, so $120k total.

      For an equivalent 2-3TB disk-based RDBMS system you will spend $50k on network storage plus $15k per database server. That adds up to $80k too, but for DR you will spend another 50+15=$65k, so $145k.

      In both cases you will need app servers.

      For net new, HANA is most certainly cheaper.

  • Hi John,

    excellant post, very clearly explained.

    What about the impact of dynamic tiering?

    Could you provide even a very rough guide how to go about hardware sizing?

    The only information I could find was this "There are no specific hardware requirements for the SAP HANA dynamic tiering host."
    Not very helpful!