The rate at which SAP HANA is spreading is probably faster than many had expected. In the BW environment, the replacement of classical systems with SAP HANA is almost common practice. SUSE underpins the success of the SAP in-memory technology by offering a form of complete SAP application support.
A message travels around the world, and the surprise is great: Earlier than expected, many large companies have converted virtually all of their SAP Business Suite solutions to HANA. In the high-end and in small and midsize businesses, it is even more. More than 50 percent are using HANA in-memory technology together with SAP All-in-One and Business One.
It sounds like a work of fiction, yet the massive degree of HANA distribution is a reality. Even today, no one can predict the exact intensity or form in which the HANA wave will affect the bulk of SAP customers. But the fact that HANA will make its way, is no longer disputed. HANA is growing faster than many had predicted. The mere fact that more and more companies are now running their classical BW systems on HANA is far more than just a respectable success. It paves the way for SAP customers to also run their Business Suite applications on HANA.
It is well known that HANA is the realization of an appliance, a complete system of hardware and software components that are optimally aligned with each other. The essential core components: SAP software, Intel hardware/processors, and the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system for SAP applications.
SUSE was involved in the development (at the invitation of SAP), and in 2008 even received the SAP Pinnacle Award for Co-Innovation. At that time, in the early days of HANA, the talk was of an in-memory project, which was described in no more detail. As an SAP co-innovation partner, SUSE accepted the offer from the Walldorf-based corporation without hesitation, and practically from the beginning, provided engineers to advance the initiated in-memory project. Intel was also a major co-innovation partner.
According to hearsay, partners worked on the development over many nights and weekends; to resolve various challenges, but also to produce a marketable in-memory appliance as quickly as possible, which would enable the use of SAP business solutions on a new infrastructure base and open up completely new possibilities in terms of real-time business computing – with commercial OLAP and OLTP applications alike.
Lots of fine tuning
The amount of fine tuning required by all HANA project members during the development, both technically and functionally, can only be vaguely estimated.
The operating system platform Suse Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications for SAP HANA today provides users with a wide range of important features at their fingertips, in order to realize their HANA implementation as far as possible. For example, support for tailor-made balancing for large in-memory workloads; ensuring high performance even in system stress situations, both in physical and in virtualized systems; good technical support for business continuity requirements through the built-in SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension and, last but not least, features or templates for rapid start-up of SAP applications.
HANA, but also other SAP solutions in mind
With HANA and the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications, SUSE is currently enjoying a unique selling point. It goes without saying that the optimizations of SUSE Linux for SAP HANA are under continuous development as part of an evolutionary process.
But not only in this area. There is clearly an incentive, and at the same time an obligation, for Suse to drive forward what has been achieved for all mission-critical SAP applications. After all, the majority of all SAP Linux customers worldwide currently use SLES; at present around 70 percent. However, it is certainly no exaggeration to say that there is still a long way to go for Linux. After all, the trend among SAP customers is primarily in the direction of Linux, mainly from Unix.
Of course, SUSE continues to work together constructively with all relevant SAP partners, both hardware and software partners. However, it is also important to note that SUSE, as a type of complete SAP application support provider, also supports other SAP appliances in addition to HANA. And it has done so for a long time. For example, SAP Netweaver Enterprise Search or the BW Accelerator, but also out-of-the-box products such as SAP All-in-One FastStart. All in all, SUSE is way ahead of other SAP operating system platform providers.