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I just returned from an active and vibrant SAP TechEd 2014 in Las Vegas – jam packed with learning sessions, live coding and collaboration, hands on technical training, and more.  Steve Lucas and Björn Goerke delivered masterful keynote sessions, with Björn announcing SAP HANA Service Pack 9 and the significant improvements that will be released by year end: support for tiered data storage, multi-tenancy, streaming-data analysis, data integration, and graph analysis.

It was my pleasure to present the new tiered data storage feature at a couple of lecture sessions at TechEd – to explain the concept, the motivation for developing the capability, the value to the customer, and technical aspects. Data tiering is a feature that enhances HANA with an additional, integrated storage and processing tier – a warm store – for managing less frequently accessed data.  Because not all data has the same value, not all data needs to be maintained continuously in memory.  HANA will now be able to store and process “warm” tables of data on conventional (lower-cost) spinning disks. Only the hot data needed for high speed analysis remains in memory.  Examples of data likely to move to disk include large documents and textual data, raw streaming data from logs or sensors, and other forms of big data.  One of the key benefits is that the data tier is not only a storage tier, but a smart store that can query data as well.  Queries on warm data will be pushed down to the warm store, processed there, and only the reduced result set will be brought back into HANA memory.  To developers, disk-based tables look like any other table, and they’re managed within the same database, with security, backup, high-availability, data modeling, query processing, and monitoring and administration working across both data tiers.

Mike Eacrett, VP of product management for SAP HANA, was quoted as saying: “This is still active data that you can write to, delete, and update, as on any database, and it’s brought into memory as needed.” It’s an ACID-compliant, transactional approach, as opposed to something for analytics only or read-only access to archives.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting new HANA SP09 feature, you can listen to a recording of my TechEd presentation on data tiering here: http://events.sap.com/teched/en/session/13583

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