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Author's profile photo John Appleby


I’ve been meaning to pen an update to this FAQ for nearly 2 years, with this being the primary listed reference on Wikipedia, but somehow never found the time. When I heard Steve Lucas wanted to collaborate, I thought it was time for a rewrite and update!


Part 1 – HANA Overview


What is SAP HANA?

SAP HANA is an in-memory database and application platform, which is for many operations 10-1000x faster than a regular database like Oracle on the same hardware. This allows simplification of design and operations, as well as real-time business applications. Customers can finally begin to reduce IT complexity by removing the need for separate and multiple Application Servers, Operational Data Stores, Datamarts and complex BI Tool implementations.

SAP HANA is a “reinvention” of the database, based on 30 years of technology improvements, research and development. It allows the build of applications that are not possible on traditional RDBMS, and the renewal of existing applications like the SAP Business Suite.


Why did SAP build a database?

SAP co-founder and Chairman Hasso Plattner believed that if a database could be built with a zero response time, that business applications would be written fundamentally differently – and IT landscapes could be simplified. The research institution at the Hasso Plattner Institution in Potsdam theorized that with modern computers and software design, this would be very nearly possible.

SAP makes business applications and since it was clear that none of the incumbent software vendors like Oracle would write such a database and application platform, they needed to build their own. In addition, this would be the springboard for a complete renewal and simplifying of SAP’s applications to take them through the next 20 years.


Is SAP HANA just a database?

No. When SAP went to build HANA, they realized that the next generation of business applications would require a much more integrated approach than in the past.

SAP HANA contains – out of the box – the building blocks for entire enterprise applications. HANA can take care of the requirements that would be served by many layers in other application platforms, including transactional databases, reporting databases, integration layers, search, predictive and web. All of this is served up working out the box, with a single installation.


Where does SAP HANA come from?

SAP built SAP HANA from the ground up, including research from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, the acquisition of the IP from the p*Time database, the TREX search engine, BWA in-memory appliance and MaxDB relational database. It has been extended with intellectual property from the Business Objects and Sybase acquisitions with products like Sybase IQ and Business Objects Data Federator.

Whilst HANA has a legacy and some code from other products, the bulk of the database and platform has been written from the ground up.


What makes SAP HANA fundamentally different?

SAP HANA is different by design. It stores all data in-memory, in columnar format and compressed. Because HANA is so fast, sums, indexes, materialized views and aggregates are not required, and this can reduce the database footprint by 95%. Everything is calculated on-demand, on the fly, in main memory. This makes it possible for companies to run OLTP and analytics applications on the same instance at the same time, and to allow for any type of real-time, ad hoc queries and analyses.

On top of this SAP built solutions to all the problems of columnar databases, like concurrency (HANA uses MVCC) and row-level insert and update performance (HANA uses various mechanisms like a delta store).

If this wasn’t enough SAP added a bunch of engines inside HANA to provide virtual OLAP functionality, data virtualization, text analysis, search, geospatial, graph (will be available soon) and web. It supports open standards like REST, JSON, ODBO, MDX, ODBC and JDBC. There is as much functionality in there as a whole Oracle or IBM software stack, in one database.


What kinds of use cases does SAP HANA support?

The first HANA deployments were all analytical use cases like Datamarts and Data Warehouses because the benefits are there right out the box. EDWs like SAP BW run like lightening with a simple database swap.

With a transactional application like Finance or Supply Chain, most things run a little better from a simple database swap (SAP claim 50% faster for their own core finance). The real benefits come when logic from the applications are optimized and pushed down to the database level, from simplification of the apps (SAP is building a simplified version of their Business Suite), or from ancillary benefits like real-time operational reporting, real-time supply chain management or real-time offer management.

Best of all, unlike the other database systems in the market, HANA supports all applications on the same instance of data at the same time. No more copying, transforming and re-organizing data all over the enterprise to meet the needs of different applications. HANA perfectly serves the needs of all applications with one “system of record” instance.

SAP have provided a Use Case Repository that catalogues the various use cases for HANA.


What SAP Applications run on SAP HANA?

SAP CEO Bill McDermott said “HANA is attached to everything we have”.

Almost all the major SAP Applications now run on the SAP HANA platform. This includes the SAP Business Suite (ERP, CRM, PLM, SCM) and the SAP BW Data Warehouse.

The BI Suite including BusinessObjects Enterprise, Data Services and SAP Lumira are all designed to run on the HANA platform.

There are a set of Applications Powered by SAP HANA including SAP Accelerated Trade Promotion Planning, SAP Collection Insight, SAP Convergent Pricing Simulation, SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence, SAP Demand Signal Management, SAP Assurance and Compliance Software, SAP Liquidity Risk Management, SAP Operational Process Intelligence, and SAP Tax Declaration Framework for Brazil.

In addition, SAP runs much of its cloud portfolio on HANA, including the HANA Cloud Platform and SAP Business ByDesign. The Ariba and SuccessFactors apps are in the process of migration.


What’s the business case for SAP HANA?

We’ve built business cases for HANA deployments of all sizes and whilst they vary, there at a few common themes:

  • TCO Reduction. In many cases HANA has a lower TCO. It reduces hardware renewal costs, frees up valuable enterprise storage and mainframes and requires much less maintenance
  • Complexity to simplicity. HANA simplifies landscapes by using the same copy of data for multiple applications. Our implementations have shown that adding additional applications to a HANA dataset are very fast and easy, delivering business benefits quickly.
  • Differentiation. HANA’s performance, advanced analytics (Predictive, Geospatial, Text analytics) and simplicity often mean a business process can be changed to be differentiating compared to competitors. Customer scenarios like loyalty management, personalized recommendations and anything where speed or advanced analytics capabilities are differentiating are all candidates.
  • Risk Mitigation. Many customers know that in-memory technologies are changing the world and so want to put an application like SAP BW on HANA or LOB Datamarts as a first step, so they can react quickly for future business demands.

Is SAP HANA a database, platform, appliance, or cloud?

SAP HANA was designed to be a truly modern database platform, and as a result the answer is: all of the above. A modern database should be a database, platform and be available on-premise or in the cloud.

SAP has a large installed-base of on premise ERP customers, and the HANA platform supports their needs, especially the need for an enterprise-class database. Many of those customers are looking for an on-premise database to replace the traditional RDBMS.

The demanding needs of an in-memory database mean that SAP elected to sell SAP HANA as an appliance, and it comes pre-packaged by the major hardware vendors as a result.

However the future of business is moving into the cloud, and SAP HANA is available as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with HANA Cloud Platform and Managed Cloud as a Service (McaaS) with secured HANA Enterprise Cloud and via 3rd party cloud vendors. Customers can also choose Hybrid deployment model that combines on premise and cloud. More details on this are available here.


How does SAP HANA compare to Oracle or IBM?

SAP HANA was designed to be a replacement to Oracle or IBM databases, either for net new installations or for existing customers. In most cases it is possible to move off those databases easily, and gain reporting performance benefits out of the box. Then it is possible to adapt the software to contain functions that were not possible in the past.

All three of the major RDBMS vendors have released in-memory add-ins to their databases in the last year. All of them support taking an additional copy of data in an in-memory cache, or in IBM’s case columnar tables. All of them provide improved performance for custom data-marts. But make no mistake; caching data has been around for a long time, while an in-memory database platform to run transactions and analytics together in the same instance is a new innovation.

Traditional database caching solutions are similar to the GM and Ford response to hybrid cars – take their existing technology and bolt new technology to it. SAP HANA is more akin to Tesla, who rebuilt the car from the ground up based on a new paradigm.

And so HANA’s capabilities from a business application perspective are 3 years ahead in technology from what others have.


How is HANA licensed?

SAP tried to keep licensing simple with HANA.

HANA is available in the Cloud as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and as an application platform (AaaS), and it is possible to buy all those options now, on a monthly basis, from the SAP Website.

For on-premise customers, HANA is licensed in one of two major ways:

First, is as a proportion of your Software Application value (SAV), just like you can license other databases from SAP. This could be for your whole estate, or for a specific product like BPC.

Second, is by the unit, which is 64GB of RAM. There are a few editions of HANA, depending on your need, that bundle other software and allow more, or less, restrictive usage. The pricing is tiered, depending on the number of units you buy, and accretive.

In all cases, HANA licensing includes a lot of functionality that you would pay extra for in other databases. For example, Dev, Test, HA, DR licensing are always included. And if you buy HANA Enterprise, you have access to all functionality at no additional cost – including Predictive Libraries, Spatial, Graph, OLAP, Integration and Web. HANA contains a huge amount of functionality that would require 20-30 different SKUs from Oracle.

For those customers who need the base functionality of HANA but not the bells and whistles, there is now a HANA Base Edition, on which you can add other functionality as required, at a lower cost point.

Feature HANA Base HANA Platform HANA Enterprise
Partitioning, Compression, Security
Calculation Engine, Aggregation Engine
XS Engine, River, SQLScript, HANA Studio
Smart Data Access
Predictive Analytics Library
Search, Text Analysis
System Landscape Transformation, Data Services

Part 2 – HANA Technology


How big can a SAP HANA database grow? Does it scale?

With current hardware, SAP HANA can scale up to 6TB for a single system, and can scale out to 112TB in a cluster, or more. There is no hard technical limit to the size of a HANA cluster. Higher configurations are tested and certified at customer sites.

We are currently working with 24TB single systems with SAP that we expect to see this year.

At Bluefin, we regularly work with 2-10TB of memory in a single HANA DB, and this is where we find most business cases make sense. Remember that a 10TB HANA appliance can store a vast amount of data (as much as 50-100TB from a traditional RDBMS due to HANA’s data compression capabilities); this could represent all the credit card transactions for a top 10 bank for 10 years or more.

In addition, we find that customers look to be more intelligent about how they tier data with an in-memory appliance. Once the HANA database grows past 2TB, it makes a lot of sense to use a cold store like Sybase IQ for slow-changing data.


Is SAP HANA a row- or column-oriented database?

SAP HANA stores data for processing primarily in columnar format. But unlike other columnar databases, HANA’s columnar store was designed from the beginning to be efficient for all databases operations (reads, writes, updates). In practice, 99% of the database tables in SAP ERP are columnar tables, including transactional and master data tables.

HANA can also store data in row format, but this is primarily used to store configuration information and queues – only scenarios for which the column store is specifically not suited. With HANA, data is stored once, in its most granular form, and aggregated on request. There is no hybrid row/column store, no duplication or replication of data between row and column stores – HANA stores the data in the column store only.


Does SAP HANA require indexes or aggregates?

Every column in SAP HANA is stored as an index, and therefore HANA has no need for separate primary indexes. Secondary indexes with multiple columns are possible and used for OLTP scenarios like the Business Suite. HANA will also self-generate helper indexes to ensure that multi-column joins are efficient.

It is almost never necessary to aggregate data in HANA in advance because HANA calculates so quickly. HANA processes at 3bn scans/sec/core and 20m aggregations/sec/core which means 360bn scans/sec and 2.5bn aggregations/sec on a typical 120-core appliance. As a result it is much more efficient to calculate the information you require on demand.


Is SAP HANA a Big Data platform?

Yes, although HANA is best suited to high-value data, because it keeps data mostly in-memory. When Big Data is low value (e.g. web logs), HANA is very well suited as the store for high-value aggregated information and applications. This could be an organization’s hot data, e.g., 4 months of financial information for quarterly reporting. Other sources could be used to store additional data; for example SAP IQ could store 13 months of financial data for annual reporting (warm data) and Hadoop could store >10 years of financial data for seasonal and long term trend analysis (cool data). Large volumes of data in both IQ and Hadoop can be analyzed in combination with data in HANA, so it is possible to process the data in HANA into full-text Google-style indexes without storing all the detail in HANA.


Is SAP HANA Enterprise Ready?

Yes. From its inception, HANA was intended to be a mission-critical database.

SAP HANA always stores a copy of data on disk for persistence, so if the power goes out, it will load data back into memory when power is restored (generally on-demand, but this is configurable). It stores logs so a very low Recovery Point Objective is possible.

HANA also has inbuilt capabilities to replicate the data to standby systems, so in a cluster, you can have High Availability and in any configuration you can have a cluster for Disaster Recovery and Fault Tolerance for business continuity. Disaster Recovery can be configured at the storage-level (depending on vendor) and also at the database level, which is called system replication.

It’s worth noting that most customers implement either HA or DR for HANA. It is exceptionally easy to setup (DR takes just a few clicks) and most customers that invest in HANA find business continuity is important to them.

SAP HANA also has interfaces for 3rd party backup and monitoring, like TSM or NetBackup. Solution Manager and SAP Landscape Virtualization Management are supported if you’re an SAP shop.


What is the SAP HANA release schedule?

SAP HANA was designed to be “timeless software”, meaning that any revision can be updated to any other revision with no disruption. It is possible to update from any revision of HANA to any other, with very few restrictions.

Every 6 months there is a major release of HANA, called a Service Pack. Service Pack 8, or SPS08, was released in June 2014. SPS09 is expected in November 2014. These contain new features and major updates, and SAP HANA continues to be developed.

Each SPS gets a number of updates, or revisions, and these contain fixes and performance improvements only, as you would expect in enterprise software. Typically these are released every 2-6 weeks, based on demand. As HANA matures, we have seen fewer revisions per SPS.

In addition, there are maintenance releases of SAP HANA for the previous SPS for an additional 6 months, to allow customers to apply critical fixes whilst planning an update to the latest SPS. The maintenance releases contain only critical bug fixes.


What happens if the power goes out?

SAP HANA is a completely ACID-compliant database which is designed to have a low Recovery Point Objective (RPO). HANA writes savepoints to disk at frequent intervals, which contain a snapshot of what is in memory. In-between savepoints, HANA saves a log of each database change to a fast flash disk.

If the power goes out, HANA loads the last savepoint and then plays the logs back, to ensure consistency.


What hardware does SAP HANA run on?

HANA appliances must be certified and come either as pre-built appliances from your vendor of choice or as a custom build using your storage and networks “Tailored Datacenter Integration” or TDI.

SAP maintain a list of certified hardware platforms which currently includes Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM (Lenovo), NEC and SGI, and is being extended all the time. Note that this list only contains the new “Ivy Bridge” appliances and not the older “Westmere” appliances.

The exact hardware and storage configuration varies depending on a vendor. Some use servers and other use blades, some used a SAN storage network whilst IBM uses local storage with the GPFS distributed file system. In our experience, all these variants work very well.

In addition you can buy HANA in the cloud from Amazon, SAP and various other outsource partners like T-Systems or EMC. In this case, you can either pay a monthly subscription fee including license, or use an existing Enterprise license “Bring Your Own License”.


What Operating Systems does SAP HANA run on?

For Intel x86, both SUSE Linux and RedHat Linux are now supported options. Both have a SAP-specific installer that configures Linux correctly for SAP HANA out the box.

For IBM POWER, the SUSE Linux operating system will be supported. At this time it does not look like SAP will support AIX.


What development software does SAP HANA use?

SAP HANA has two primary development environments. The main desktop software is called HANA Studio, which is based on Apache Eclipse. HANA Studio allows for administration and development in a single interface, which is extremely effective. It is possible to create entire developments in HANA Studio, which provides application lifecycle management and development capabilities for all HANA artifacts – from data model through to stored procedures through to web application code.

There is also a web editor and administration panel based on Apache Orion, which continues to be developed and is a useful addition. We expect to see convergence of these two tools in the future, to allow choice for cloud developers in particular.

Lifecycle management is entirely managed within a Web application within the XS Application Server.


What client software does SAP HANA support?

SAP HANA has a wide range of interfaces. SAP’s own BI Suite, Lumira, Design Studio and Analysis for Office software all have native HANA connectors. Likewise, many third party applications like Tableau, Qlik and MicroStrategy all have HANA connectors.

SAP HANA has open standards support for ODBC, JDBC, ODBO and MDX as well as a raw SQL client, hdbsql. In addition, there are Python libraries for HANA.

Integration support is possible using the XS Engine for OData and Server Side JavaScript.

In addition, ETL software like Data Services and Informatica is supported, as well as System Landscape Transformation (SLT) and Sybase Replication Server (SRS) for real-time replication.


What language was SAP HANA written in?

The majority of the SAP HANA software stack was written in C++. In fact, when you compile SAP HANA objects, they do in turn become C++ code, which is one of the reasons why HANA is so fast. The Predictive Analysis Library and Business Function Libraries are also written in a HANA-specific variant of C++ called L-Language, which provides memory protection.

Certain optimizations have been made using C and machine code, which is common for many databases. In addition, a lot of the tooling for HANA was written in Python, for ease of writing and adaption.

Since SAP HANA contains a web server, a lot of code is now written in HTML and Server-Side JavaScript – including the SAPUI5 library and Apache Orion-based Web Editors.


What happens if my data exceeds my memory size? Can I control data temperature?

HANA always stores data on disk and loads parts of database tables on demand into RAM. When RAM is exhausted, HANA will drop out parts of database tables that were least recently used.

In addition, the Smart Data Access data virtualization layer allows you to access data in any other database, like Sybase IQ or even Oracle and transparently access it like any other data in HANA. This helps improve the TCO of HANA, and simplifies your IT landscape by reducing the amount of data copied, transformed and moved around the enterprise.

In a future release of SAP HANA, we expect to see a transparent disk store, where warm, lower value data can be stored at a lower TCO. This is called dynamic tiering.

It’s worth noting that HANA and Hadoop are great friends – you can store documents and web logs in Hadoop and then store aggregated information in HANA for super-fast analysis. Need to add a new measure? Run a batch job in Hadoop from HANA to populate it.


What’s coming next for SAP HANA?

The HANA SPS08 release was all about enterprise readiness and stability and there were relatively few new features. In SPS09 we see this changing once more and it looks like there will be lots of new functionality that customers will find useful. These are the themes we expect:

  • Support for more hardware platforms (IBM Power, maybe Intel E5) with fewer restrictions on components, plus larger hardware platforms (16- and 32-socket), and multi-tenancy.
  • A built-in disk-based store that supports dynamic data tiering for warm data, to reduce TCO.
  • The start of integration for event processing and ETL, and code push-down, and HANA Studio Integration.
  • Increased support for Hadoop and HDFS access.
  • Improvements to system replication, backup and system copies for Enterprise scenarios.


Where can I find more detail?

I have taken the time to curate a page on SAP’s Community Network SCN “SAP HANA – a guide to Documentation and Education“, which contains numerous links to other resources. If you’d like to know more about SAP HANA, then this is a great place to start. is also a wonderful resource to find out more about HANA. You can start using HANA today with free SAP HANA developer edition.


Notes and sources

Some of this information came from meetings and interviews with the key HANA friends at SAP – Hasso Plattner, Vishal Sikka, Franz Färber, Mike Eacrett, Steffen Sigg, Carsten Nitschke, and many others.

Special thanks to Steve Lucas for his efforts collaborating on this FAQ with me. Steve lives and breathes HANA and having his input into this FAQ is awesome! Also, thank you to Mike Prosceno and Amit Sinha for their editorial assistance. All the good stuff in this piece is theirs, and the mistakes are all mine.

As an end-note, the questions in this FAQ were compiled from two primary locations – articles and comments on existing HANA sources, and conversations with customers. If you think there are questions missing – please go ahead and ask them in the comments!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      WELL DONE JOHN (and your team)!

      HANA is just too good to be missed. I am currently working on a mixed system configuration, using both a SMP system for scale up and a cluster for scale out. We wont have any size limitations any more pretty soon.

      The technical conversion of large ERP systems to sERP running on HANA is relatively easy and fast, but to check all the modifications and extensions unfortunately will take some time. Many large projects have started and I am very pleased, that You talk about Your experience all the time. I understand that customers are afraid of switching the database they are used to for many years. But at least they should really know what they might be missing.

      p.s. HANA needs a primary key to guarantee the uniqueness of a tuple in a table. Secondary keys are optional and in most cases not necessary or even helpful.

      thanks again -hasso 

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      Thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed it, it was a piece I've been meaning to write for some time; technically it was your team (SAP's) that worked with me on it. As Mark Twain once said... "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead" - it's tough to be concise.

      We are seeing larger and larger deployments too - we are assisting with a 6+6(HA)+6(DR) TB installation with a total of 24 HANA systems. Customers who first started with HANA in 2012 and 2013 are now looking to be much more ambitious as their confidence rises. From here, HANA should snowball, especially since SAP are removing barriers to adoption every month.

      As you say, It's very tough to tell a customer they should throw out their existing database, and customers who did this over the last 20 years generally did so (e.g. Oracle --> MSSQL) for pure TCO purposes. There is really no differentiation between Oracle, DB2, MSSQL, ASE. It's tough for them to imagine that another database could provide real business benefits over any other. I think that's why we continue to see so many POCs with HANA - customers seem to need to see it to believe it.

      Thanks for the input, I'll clarify the primary key vs index above. I was referring to the pkB-tree indexes which can be optionally added to improve scans under certain conditions (usually single record select, multiple column search).

      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen

      Excellent FAQ, John.


      Denys / SAP HANA Academy

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very nice document! I would suggest updating it to indicate that the HANA can now be installed on legacy hardware, in other words, that it no longer only sold as an appliance. Regards, Jean-Pierre

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very nice document! I would suggest updating it to indicate that the HANA can now be installed on legacy hardware, in other words, that it no longer only sold as an appliance. Regards, Jean-Pierre

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi John! That quote is from Blaise Pascal not from Mark Twain 🙂 Thank you for the article.
      (Written by Pascal in a letter to "the Reverend Fathers, the Jesuits," about a number of pressing Catholic church matters that were relevant at the time. He identified with a movement called Jansenism that frequently disagreed with the Jesuits.)

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you John. This HANA FAQ is really informative.

      I had a question regarding SAP BI on HANA.

      If we have SAP CRM/SAP ECC on HANA, which can be used for Reporting as HANA is meant for both OLTP and OLAP - why we require SAP BI on HANA?

      Thanks & Regards,


      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      Thanks, good question.

      If you have all your systems in one source system with all transactional data, there is no need for a separate BW. However a lot of customers have separate ERP, CRM, SCM, Peoplesoft, MSSQL databases, which all contain parts of the Target Operating Model. That's where BW comes in.

      What we see happening is customers retain BW for the EDW aspects of the business, including transforming all the data from those various systems into a conformed model. In time, we expect BW and ECC to provide data virtualization so it will not be necessary to persist data in BW that is contained in ECC on HANA.

      With the data virtualization capabilities in BW 7.4 SP08 and HANA SPS09, it will already be possible to automatically persist data into HANA from non-SAP source systems.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      John, I think this is very well written, but skirts other FAQs every SAP customer is asking

      a) How is HANA positioned compared to Hadoop, Vertica, MongoDB, and a whole slew of newer in-memory planning, BI tools?

      b) if we replace Oracle, DB2, SQLServer as OLTP platform what do we use as database for non-SAP apps? How robust are HANA dev, restore/recover, optimization, ETL etc tools?

      c) why is there a perception in so many SAP customers HANA is too expensive and therefore adoption in customer base so low even after 4 years? Is it the sw, the hw, the SIs?

      d) what is the cost of managing a TB of data with HANA? (key question number of customers are asking as sensory, social, video, other data explodes)

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      Thanks Vinnie, always happy to wrap more questions in.

      a) I do reference Hadoop above; HANA is an OLTP/OLAP application platform whilst Vertica, Greenplum, Netezza and MongoDB are more pure-play analytics. It's worth a deeper answer on this.

      b) This depends on the customer. For those who buy the database via SAP, they will get Sybase ASE for anything they don't want to move to HANA, included. For those who don't, they will adjust the Enterprise License that they have. HA/DR in HANA is much better than Oracle - I reference this above, it is literally one click and very stable. RAC is a nightmare to setup and has extremely low adoption. Microsoft wrote a nice piece on why RAC is a nightmare.

      c) I'm writing a piece on this next, wanted to deal with the business case separately. But remember it's you that's saying that adoption is low: 4000 customers bought, 40% of ASUG members have bought. I'm not sure that HANA does have low adoption. Also it's 3 years not 4: HANA was RTM in June 2011.

      d) I think this is the wrong question because you don't manage 1TB the same way. I recently moved a customer to HANA who had 12TB of MSSQL with 2x1TB RAM DB servers. We moved this to 1TB of HANA DB and 1TB of IQ. HANA is cheaper to run, but you can't just compare per-TB costs.

      Author's profile photo Erich Schneider
      Erich Schneider

      With regards to BI tools,

      obviously 🙂 the SAP BI Portfolio, plus certified 3rd-party solutions, latest status is maintained in



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks a lot for your contribution to the community!

      The post is easy to read and quite understandable.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      John, thanks

      I say adoption is low because SAP's annual report audited by KPMG says 250K customers. HANA then is less than 2% adoption, is it not?  as far as 3 years, I wrote about HANA predecessor in a 2009 book and sure SAP was already looking for early adopters. I read the ASUG report differently than you did. It showed lots of caution in customer base

      On TB not same - think you need to provide a much longer explanation. Not all data needs to survive long term - certainly not sensory or social but co mingled with SAP's focus on internal, financial etc data life has to be longer. Companies are worried enough about exabytes of data they are radically thinking data structures, ingestion time. methods etc so if HANA has thought thru all that great

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      the cloud applications customers will all get hana. the BYD customers will be migrated to hana. the happy b1 customers will stay on their equipment on premise. new b1 prospects can choose between on premise and in the cloud. that leaves us with 45.000 suite customers, who could potentially migrate. the adoption rate is already significant, but since the large customers starting now will take some time to finally go into production we will not hear from them tomorrow. the experience of smaller companies is very positive and soon we will run into consulting shortages. as a startup hana would be in the high teens of billions in market cap. so, everything is actually fine except the knowledge transfer could be better and faster.

      so, if somebody argues against hana they should please use facts. the suite on hana is so radically different that many people are scared because of the change. the business reasons are overwhelming.

      but back to facts. not all data has to remain in memory. it can be purged on lack of access or moved to another storage e.g. sap iq. even in erp sap sees different timelines for financial or stock movement data. it totally depends on the application. i think it is a step forward, that we think about data in a different way again and not just increase the storage capacity. 

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      nice blog - I like to conciseness of it! But you may want to correct the typo that has slipped in in the area "development software": "Apache Eclipse". Just drop the "Apache" 😉



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      As the answer for the question What SAP Applications run on SAP HANA? does not explicitly name SRM, my question is: what are the restrictions of using SRM 7.03 with HANA?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      you might want to have a look at oss-note 1818517 - EHP3 for SAP SRM 7.0 SP stacks - Release Information Note.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you for the OSS note - I am rather looking for a functional explanation, why SRM is not explicitly mentioned as a SAP application run on HANA.

      My specific question: can I run SRM 7.03 with UI5 on HANA only, skipping TREX and "any-DB" (I am referring to the SAP architecture) accelerating catalog-updates by using real-time indexing of content?

      Author's profile photo Erich Schneider
      Erich Schneider


      SRM 7.0 EHP3 the SRM application runs on SAP HANA, no other database required.

      For details please see the Suite On HANA Roadmap and Release information:

      With regards to Fiori (UI5), please see Fiori and Smart Business Apps, which has the links to the complete Fiori catalog.

      thank you


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you Erich, I will move ahead based on this information with my direct SAP contacts.


      Author's profile photo Erich Schneider
      Erich Schneider


      w regards to your TRex question, the TRex is still required for the SRM User Interface Add-On catalog search.

      thank you for your interest



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

        I have some difficulties understanding HANA solution related to  these items:

      • Disaster recovery  with RPO near real time
      • Collect event log in other appliance
      • Backup systems

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      If you can be more specific I can be of more help, but:

      • DR with real-time RPO is no problem, you have the option of system replication to a DR site. Usually we recommend two sites for mission critical SAP HANA databases. One is Production/HA, the other is Dev/Test/DR. On the Dev/Test systems we put Dev/Test and DR. DR runs with a small memory footprint. In the event of a disaster, we shut down Dev/Test and increase the memory footprint of DR and repoint application servers.
      • I don't understand what you mean by "collect event log"
      • Backup is usually done via the BackInt interface using Netbackup or TSM like other databases.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      In SAP Enterprise Powered by HANA, can we configure application such a way that some tables to use HANA DB and some to traditional DB? In Other words some tables that doesn't require a high performance can use traditional database. You said SAP HANA comes with Sybase ASE Licence included, Does this Sybase ASE can be used for this? or is the data that we don't want to move to HANA can be migrated to Sysbase ASE?

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      HANA provides this functionality for ERP customers using Data Aging. Data that is not frequently used can be pushed out to a Sybase IQ database. This can dramatically reduce the HANA data footprint.

      If you want the opposite scenario - a traditional DB that is accelerated for certain functionality using HANA, then you can use HANA as a secondary database. Then certain ERP functions can be configured to use the secondary database by default, and they will run faster.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for your reply, I am checking for option to upgrade ERP traditional DB to HANA and using Sybase IQ as a secondary database means can SAP application server powered by HANA read/write to sybase IQ for certain tables that are not frequently used?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      John, thanks for all of the insights. I was wondering if there is a use case with SAP BW on HANA deployed in the cloud but connecting to an on-premise ECC. Essentially a joint move of going to HANA as well as the cloud. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Akhil Mishra
      Akhil Mishra

      Thanks John! This quick ref is very informative and helpful!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      John, what will be the size of a non SAP app DB, post it is migrated to HANA?
      If a non SAP app DB size is 1TB will it be the same post migrating to HANA or would HANA compresses the DB?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      What's involved in migration of existing applications previously written for Sybase ASE and the Sybase user databases?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      If we have a CTI connector for SAP CRM. How difficult or easy is it to integrate our CTI connector with SAP HANA?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      2 years, Time to update

      Author's profile photo Chandrima Pandit
      Chandrima Pandit

      Could you please provide us with the latest PAM for HANA. We are looking for the availability of HANA TA as a part of HANA licensing.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi John,

      Over the years we have accumulated quite a few secondary indexes. I realize they are not needed in HANA. Will they cause error situations when we convert? Do we need to do some clean up prior to converting to HANA?


      Author's profile photo Steven Foo
      Steven Foo


      The information here is about 3 years old. It is good if anyone could review it again. There are many updates that SAP have made over the last 2.5 years.

      Author's profile photo Javier Maldonado
      Javier Maldonado

      Hi, thanks for the extremely valuable wiki.

      I have a question related with the OS on which SAP HANA can run to its maximun performance. I saw that only SUSE and RedHat Linux are mentioned, but I am currently attending the course "Upgrade of Systems Based on SAP NetWeaver – Advanced Topics" and on one of the units related with the Maintenance Planner and the SWPM it is explained how to install a system (specifically a Java System supporting a SAP Portal and a Retail Store) selecting the combination of "Windows on x64 64bit" and "SAP HANA database". Is this a new installation option? According to the documentation I have available my understanding was that, in synchro with this wiki, SAP HANA was only installable on SUSE or RedHat Linux.

      Thanks in advance.
      Best regards,

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Javier,

      HANA runs on SUSE or RedHat Linux. It is possible to run AS Java on Windows, and the underlying HANA DB on Linux. There are some customers that prefer this configuration.


      Author's profile photo Manchun Kumar
      Manchun Kumar

      Hi John,

      I am SAP Consultant, I want to contribute Content related to SAP. i am also contribute of official SAP Blog. Please guide me how can i do.

      Author's profile photo Eronita Scott
      Eronita Scott

      Nice Post! Thanks for sharing such an amazing article, really informative,it helps me a lot.