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SAP Sapphire 2015 – Day 1 – Technical point of view

I am typically not writing any blogs during SAP Sapphire – the reason is that SAP Sapphire is in my opinion oriented more on business, sales and marketing point of view and not that much on technical aspects which are close to me and there are others much better than me to cover these non-technical points…

However there are some updates which I observed which deserve to be mentioned… But first my attempt to make summary of keynote (let me know if you liked that or I should stop trying to do such things ;-D)..

Here is the cross-link section how to get to individual blog entries:

SAP Sapphire 2015 – Day 1 – Technical point of view (this blog)

SAP Sapphire 2015 – Day 2 – Technical point of view

SAP Sapphire 2015 – Day 3 – Technical point of view

SAP Keynote

In the morning there was SAP Keynote where Bill McDermott emphasized the importance of S/4 HANA product and SAP crusade to help customers to be simple by addressing two areas – by being data driven (data is foundation and must be collected and understood) and by being seamless (to operate across the digital boundaries of company). He outlined that SAP answer to this is based on SAP HANA – digital data platform capable to address transaction and analytic workloads on one platform, structured and unstructured data, geospatial, etc..

While talking about being data driven he stressed the need for digitization which is impacting all business and industries. He also said that where R/3 was „system of record“ there S/4 is „system of innovation“. He mentioned several improvements with S/4 HANA:

  • Empathy for faster innovation (S/4 HANA is modular and integrated to everything but is flexible and agile)
  • Empathy for users (S/4 Fiori with radically rethought process steps)
  • Dealing with data explosion (S/4 is having 10x smaller data footprint = less hardware required)
  • Accelerating insight (1800x faster analytics – moving from „over the night“ view on what happened yesterday to real time view on what is happening now)
  • Simplification of customization (S/4 has standardized best practices)
  • Elasticity of deployment (choice of deployment with S/4 – on premise or in cloud)

He also mentioned that 400 customers already signed up for S/4 HANA and that detailed roadmap will be presented today (Wednesday 6/5/2015) during the keynote however S/4 HANA will address 25 different industries and all geographies. He also mentioned that waiting with S/4 HANA adoption might send the customer to play catch-up game with those who embraced S/4 HANA.

Where talking about seamless Bill McDermott emphasized the need for business networks and to think omni-channel – to engage with customers anywhere and everywhere…

SAP also announced partnership with Facebook and Google (

He also suggested to put HR in cloud where SAP has ability to manage permanent and temporary workforce – he claimed that all counties all geographies with their specialties are covered.

At the end he mentioned Concur and their offering to make travel and expense process simple which was illustrated by demo.

Whole keynote was completed by interesting view if business can be compared to living organism which has mind, reflexes and soul.

Whole keynote can be replayed here:

Announcements (technical part)

I am sure there were many important announcements during the first day – however my attention was focused on announcement of support of new Intel processors for SAP HANA. I decided to not repeat what was already written so just in very short…

Yesterday (Tuesday 5/5/2015) Intel announced new Haswell E7-v3 processors which will be supported for SAP HANA. I was not able to find the announcement itself but found some interesting articles worth reading…

First point of view from SAP:

New Intel Xeon “Haswell” Processor Delivers Exceptional Performance for SAP HANA Platform by Addi Brosig

Which CPU models are supported? Answer is following: Intel E7-8880v3, E7-8890v3, or E7-8880Lv3

SAP Certified Appliance Hardware for SAP HANA

Very technical overview what is new processor able to deliver:

Intel Puts More Compute Behind Xeon E7 Big Memory by Timothy Prickett Morgan

This was followed by announcements of 234 appliances from various vendors:

  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (22)
  • Dell (44)
  • Fujitsu Technology Solutions (35)
  • Hewlett-Packard Company (40)
  • Hitachi Data Systems (16)
  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd (21)
  • Lenovo (56)

Certified SAP HANA® Hardware Directory

Looking at which CPUs were approved for these vendors we are looking at following models being certified (tested CPU models):

  • 2 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8880v3 (72)
  • 2 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8890v3 (56)
  • 4 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8880v3 (59)
  • 4 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8890v3 (30)
  • 8 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8880v3 (13)
  • 8 x Intel Haswell EX E7 8890v3 (4)

Looking at the models from the RAM point of view here is the result (tested models):

SAP BW running on SAP HANA (single-node):

  • 2 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 128 GB RAM (19), 256 GB RAM (19), 384 GB RAM (19), 512 GB RAM (19), 768 GB RAM (19) = 95 models
  • 4 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 256 GB RAM (2), 512 GB RAM (2), 768 GB RAM (2), 1 TB RAM (21), 1,5 TB RAM (16) = 43 models
  • 8 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 2 TB RAM (4), 3 TB RAM (2) = 6 models

SAP BW running on SAP HANA (scale-out):

  • 2 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – none
  • 4 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 512 GB RAM (4), 1 TB RAM (6), 1,5 TB RAM (6) = 16 models
  • 8 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 3 TB RAM (3)

SAP Suite running on SAP HANA (single-node):

  • 2 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 1 TB RAM (19), 1.5 TB RAM (14) = 33 models
  • 4 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 2 TB RAM (15), 3 TB RAM (15) = 30 models
  • 8 x Intel Haswell EX E7 – 4 TB RAM (4), 6 TB RAM (4) = 8 models

Since I am particularly interested in Lenovo offering here is additional information around Lenovo servers:

In-memory Computing with SAP HANA on Lenovo X6 Systems by Martin Bachmaier and Ilya Krutov

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  • Dear Tomas,

    I’ve a doubt regarding the design of HANA architecture HW taking in account the three appliance types that you describe on this blog matching the same description on the HANA HW directory.

    SAP BW running on SAP HANA (single-node)

    SAP BW running on SAP HANA (scale-out)

    SAP Suite on SAP HANA (single-node)

    How these description match exactly with “single-node”, “scale-out” and “SoH” describe on the HANA HW directory.

    I had it clear until some HW Partner (Lenove in my case) that is stating for a system like “SAP ERP ISU” I can use a HANA box with 4 x Intel Xeon Hasweel E7 8880v3 CPU with only 1TB.

    My understanding was that wasn’t certified and we needed 2Tb, even if my architecture is Tailored Datacenter (TDI) with multiple VM in controlled  availability (we are part of this program).

    Can you help us?

    Thanks in advance


    João Paulo Reis

    • Hello,

      I am not sure if you will be attending SAP TechEd 2015 in Las Vegas – if yes then I would like to invite you to my session “ITM228 – SAP HANA: Overview of On-Premise Deployment Options” where I will be covering this subject and several others (I am now writing blog that will introduce the session)…

      Meanwhile here is how I would explain the appliance models – there are two types of appliances:

      1.) general purpose appliances which can be used for any workload (including BWoH or SoH) – these are having more restricted CPU:RAM ratio – on Ivy Bridge the ratio is 4-skt / 1 TB RAM and 8-skt / 2 TB RAM and on Haswell it is 4-skt / 1.5 TB RAM and 8-skt / 3 TB RAM – where some of these models are approved for scale-out and others are only certified for single node usage – however fact that appliance can scale-out does not mean that every application is allowed to be deployed on scale-out setup

      2.) SoH specific appliances which can be used only for SoH workloads – these are having less restricted CPU:RAM ratio – on both Ivy Bridge and Haswell the ratio is 4-skt / 3 TB RAM and 8-skt / 6 TB RAM – since SoH is not allowed to be deployed in scale-out mode and these are approved exclusively for SoH usage result is that non of these appliances is approved for scale-out (with exception to special 6 TB appliance available for SoH scale-out ramp-up – something not in GA)

      General rule for all appliances is that CPU:RAM ratio is limiting maximum amount of RAM you can have with given CPU power – this means that less RAM is always approved by SAP – so if vendor (in your case Lenovo) is offering such model and if such model is big enough (memory wise) for your ERP system then such model can be used….

      I hope this explains… I will paste the blog link here once I will have it completed…