“Data is the new oil,” was the best quote I heard at the San Francisco launch event for SAP BW/4HANA, the next-generation SAP Business Warehouse designed to run on the in-memory SAP HANA database. The quote was courtesy of Bernd Leukert, SAP board member for products and innovation, and he was calling attention to the fact that having real-time, flexible and simplified access to data is quickly becoming the fuel that is driving innovation, differentiation and improved customer engagement for many of the world’s most pioneering companies.
Figure 1. Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 Power the First AWS Instance Designed for SAP HANA In-Memory Workloads
But creating and accessing all this data (more data has been created in just the past two years than in the entire previous human history, according to Leukert) also leads to challenges in how organizations manage and store their data.
In the old days, companies stored all their data in a single data warehouse that analysts could query for business intelligence reporting. But with today’s massive data volumes, and the need to flexibly and dynamically connect to data to support real-time analysis, traditional data warehouse are not sufficiently agile to deliver insights at the speed of business.
Cue the entrance of SAP BW/4HANA, which leverages the cloud and SAP HANA to deliver agile data warehouse solutions that support real-time transactional and analytical processing environments. It enables companies to manage historical and live data whether that data lives inside or outside the enterprise, and gives businesses the flexibility to simply and dynamically connect with all of their data as analysis and opportunities demand.
Purpose-Built AWS Cloud Developed Just for HANA, Powered by Intel
Speaking of pioneering companies, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was also at the launch, announcing that AWS and SAP have worked together to certify BW/4HANA to run on the AWS cloud. According to Peter DeSantis, vice president of compute services at AWS, to build a truly elastic cloud environment that could handle SAP HANA’s in-memory workloads required extremely high performance in both memory and CPU processing. The result was the first AWS X1 instance that was purpose-built for SAP HANA workloads, said DeSantis, and its biggest claim to fame is its large memory footprint. Powered by four Intel® Xeon® E7 processors with 128 cores each, the processing platform delivers an ideal blend of CPU performance and memory, offering 2TB of DDR4 scale-up memory. You can also scale-out to 14 TB on X1.
The Intel processors don’t just deliver performance, they provide much more efficient processing. The new X1 instance has brought down the price of running HANA workloads on AWS by 33 to 50 percent, based on a dollar per gigabyte basis. Those are significant cost savings, particularly when coupled with the platform’s ability to accelerate insights and innovation through real-time analytics.
Intel has worked in close collaboration with SAP for over 20 years, and particularly in the joint engineering that developed – and continues to extend – the SAP HANA platform even out to the AWS cloud. Intel processors have been optimized for performance and efficiency when running SAP HANA software, and vice versa, providing our customer’s a dynamic, cost-effective platform for real-time innovation, all based on Intel and SAP’s shared business vision for in-memory computing.