SAP HANA in Brief:
Before understanding about HANA, one needs to know about SAP. SAP is a german company started in the year 1972 by 5 former IBM employees. SAP stands for Systems Applications and Product. Today it is recognised as the fourth largest independent software supplier in the world. SAP provides various services and has many products in its basket, HANA is one among them.

HANA was formerly known as High Performance Analytics Appliance. It is an in-memory database application which allows the processing of huge amount of real time data in a short period of time. HANA’s in-memory computing engine processes data stored in Random Access Memory(RAM) unlike reading it from disk and enables to deliver quick results from transactions done by customers and data analysis. HANA technology removes the burden of maintaining a stockroom of data, enabling to take better and appropriate business decisions to compete in this digital era. The below images show the difference between traditional architecture and SAP HANA architecture

 

HANA Architecture:

SAP HANA being a popular in-memory database application is an appliance which consists of different servers in its architecture. Let us see the pictorial representation of the architecture and understand what each server does.


SAP HANA Cloud Platform:

This is an open Platform-as-a-service which provides unique in-memory business applications and database services. This can rapidly build, extend and combine modern mobile-first apps in a simple manner streamlining with the business needs.

SAP HANA Features:

  • Remodelize Database Services – Take action in the moment by using in-memory database services to process high-speed transactions and analytics. Manage large database volumes using multitenant database containers and dynamic tiering across multi-tier storage.
  • Stimulating Analytics – Gain new insights from advanced analytics processing in SAP HANA. By leveraging  in-memory data processing capabilities – text, predictive, spatial, graph, streaming, and time series – you can get answers to any business question and make smart decisions in real time.
  • Create Innovative Applications and Manage Them – Develop next-generation applications that combine analytics and transactions, and deploy them on any device. Take advantage of best-in-class development tools – and deliver personalized experiences with the right data served at the right time for users.
  • Enhance Quality Management, Integration and Data Access – Gain a complete and accurate view of your business by accessing data from any source – internal or external. Access data where it’s located, integrate or replicate relevant data into SAP HANA, and ensure data quality to increase confidence in decision making.
  • Reduces Effort and Time For IT Administration – Simplify system administration and IT operations with tools that help you monitor processes, ensure data and application security, and achieve continuous availability. Keep your business running smoothly and effectively – from any device or location.

For more brief of HANA features visit: https://goo.gl/QIUBA2. SAP HANA can be deployed in on-premise, cloud or hybrid environment.

 

Application Layer:
This layer is not a part of HANA architecture, it is to show that when any web application/service or a reporting layer interacts with the database can extract data, write and send back to database.

  • Index Server –This is a most important server in the architecture as data is contained in this location and the in-memory engine that processes the data is also present here itself.
  • Name Server – The information stored in this server is the topology of HANA system. As HANA can run on multiple hosts, this server knows where each component is running and also identifies which data is located in which server.
  • Preprocessor Server – This server answers requests coming from index server such as text analysis functionality.
  • Statistics Server – This server collects the data about status and performance of HANA system, resource allocations and also acts as a health checker of HANA Appliance.
  • XS Server/Engine – This server allows external applications to access data models in Hana database via XS engine clients.

SAP HANA Benefits:

The key benefits of HANA can be summarized as follows:

  • Quickens the data processing in real-time scenario with insights and actions.
  • Gives Comprehensive understanding of complex data sets and the on-going transactions.
  • Re-making of business processes and create innovative applications as per the business requirements.
  • Reduces costs of hardware, maintenance and testing.
  • Business information can be viewed and persisted in Persistent Data Repository and can be reconstructed in case of a crash.
  • Data can be combined from multiple data sources and applications without disturbing the ongoing transactions.

What Companies Gain With SAP HANA Cloud Implementation?

There are many organisations in the world with SAP HANA cloud in their business processes. I will share few points on what an organisation can gain with HANA Cloud implementation.

  • Legitimize the Line of Business: Internal applications can be extended and delivered to any user on any device empowering its business partners, employees and customers with SAP HANA cloud platform web IDE. It can also extend and transform Classic SAP and Oracle Apps into easy-to-use and beautiful mobile-ready apps  for customers and employees too just like SAP Fiori.Semos uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform to extend the functionality of SuccessFactors to include employee recognition and reward mechanisms to drive job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover.
  • Connect Enterprise To Digital Economy: Enterprise can entwine Internet of Things and API economies to lead in digital world by connecting assets, applications, business processes, edge points and everything to to SAP HANA cloud platform regardless of where they are and who built them.Siemens uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform as the foundation for its Open Data Platform initiative – the cloud backbone of their Digital Business, powering predictive maintenance and asset management apps, and an open ecosystem serving OEMs and application developers.
  • Deliver Open, Agile and flexible Apps: Build next-gen apps with open standards and skills that are already there. Enterprise ready web applications can be built on all devices that are running on the browser of own choice with HANA cloud platform’s Open User Interface 5. Sodales Solutions moved to HANA Cloud Platform(HCP) and felt like breathing a fresh air. CEO of the company says on HCP that there was no need to configure library files and functions manually, which saved a lot of time.
  • Personalize S/4 HANA For New Business Requirements : Personalized solutions/apps can be built with core SAP applications tailoring unique business needs.Jaguar Land Rover uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform to power a robust e-Commerce site for the sale of Jaguar Land Rover merchandise via out-of-the-box integration into core JLR systems, including SAP ERP, CRM and BI.SAP HANA – A Record Breaker :            In the early days there was an uncertainity in SAP about HANA whether to enter database business or not, but with defined path and strong vision HANA gearedup within a short period of time and is leading in in-memory database technology and applications. HANA is helping thousands of customers across the world in storing, analyzing and managing the data with diversified technologies and services.Here is a list of few companies who have seen success with SAP HANA.

    Reuters is using SAP HANA to process more than 100 million survey results in on-going transactions.

    Vodafone is able to identify millions of revenue leakage points.

    Mercy Hospital was able to save $13 million across multiple procedures.

    Danilo Gismondi, Italy’s leading train company stays competitive managing 700 terabytes of data effectively.

    Conclusion:

           In my opinion, undoubtedly SAP HANA is going to change the face of digital economy and transform the way it is now to a new era. Aspirants looking to build a career in SAP must go for Learning SAP HANA as it is the time to give weightage to their profile.

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