SAP HANA Data Center Architecture
|In this blog series you will find quotes, backgrounds, suggested further readings and other information related to my latest book SAP HANA 2.0, An Introduction published by SAP Press.|
Each chapter in the book starts with a quote (or two) and for the chapter about data center architecture, we quote an American business man and an English writer and philologist (actually, an hobbit to be precise).
The experts look ahead.
—Gordon E. Moore
Gordon E. Moore, The experts look ahead. Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. Electronics (Volume 38, Number 8, April 19, 1965) [Source].
In this article, Moore described what became known as Moore’s law.
Moore’s law was frequently cited in early publications about SAP HANA and in-memory processing.
Source (2009) – SIGMOD’09, June 29–July 2, 2009, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
Source New York Times (2012).
“That settles it!” said Frodo. “Short cuts make delays…”
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring [Source].
According to some, Tolkien might have paraphrases a Swedish proverb here: genvägar är senvägar (“short routes are delay-routes“).
There is enough about Tolkien and LoTR to be found on the internet. Here is a video from the University of Oxford for the Bodleian Libraries’ exhibition “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien’s legacy, from his genius as an artist, poet, linguist, and author to his academic career and private life.”
In the original manuscript, a long list of references to other material was included, which for space constraints and other reasons did not made it to the final book.
Support for persistent memory was introduced with SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03 (2018). Persistent memory (abbreviated as PMEM in the SAP HANA documentation) is a new technology, not to be confused with the NVRAM (non- volatile random-access memory) we find in the BIOS of our PCs (ROM/EPROM) or the flash storage from our mobile devices, USB drives, or SSDs. The technology was initially developed by Intel and Micron Technology under the name 3D XPoint and is now commercialised as Optane (Intel).
Access time measurements are measured in
- nanoseconds (109) for DRAM and persistent memory
- microseconds (106) for SSD (Solid State Drives)
- milliseconds (103) for HDD (Hard Disk Drives)
At a human scale, if one CPU cycle of 0.4 nanoseconds of actual latency is counted as 1 second of scaled latency, the result would be
- 4 minutes (scaled) latency for DRAM
- 15 minutes for PMEM
- 7–17 hours for SSD
- 1–9 months for HDD
For more information, see Computer Latency at a Human Scale.
For more information about persistent memory, see
- sap.com/persistent-memory (SAP and Intel)
- intel.com/sap (Intel and SAP partnership)
- Persistent Memory and SAP HANA* Database Performance (white paper)
- Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory: A Major Advance in Memory and Storage Architecture
- Intel Optane Technology: Memory or Storage? Both
IBM Power System
The x86 processor architecture family is so omnipresent today, in particular under the dominant Intel brand, that we might forget that alternatives exist. One such alternative is the RISC architecture which is used, for example, in mobile devices (Advanced RISC Machine [ARM]); gaming consoles (PowerPCs); and for workstations, servers, and supercomputers.
IBM Power Systems uses a RISC architecture, and the world’s fastest supercomputer runs on 9,216 Power9 CPUs. Both architecture families go back several decades: Intel’s x86 CPUs are on their 8th generation; IBM Power Systems is on generation 9.
For more information, see
SUSE is a German software company founded in 1992 and markets Linux for enterprises. The acronym (originally SuSE) comes from Software- und System-Entwicklung (Software and Systems Development) and is reflective of SAP’s Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing).
For more information, visit
As it is becoming more common for enterprises to run different solutions in different cloud environments and combine them with on-premise deployments, multi-cloud is embraced by SAP as part of the Intelligent Suite strategy and we can find SAP HANA positioned as a hybrid and multi-cloud data platform.
Hybrid and multi-cloud are not the same. The hybrid cloud is for the developer as this concerns combining microservices in a mix of public and private cloud environments (on-premise or hosted). Multi-cloud is for the CIO, who might prefer not to keep all her eggs in one basket and to be able to negotiate better deals for cloud services when working with multiple providers, to name one potential benefit.
For generic cloud services, we turn to the hyperscalers, as the cloud providers are commonly referenced in SAP presentations. For some anchor points, visit
SAP on Azure
SAP on Google Cloud Platform
Wait, there is more
What about sizing? What about MCOS, MCOD and other technical deployments? What about tenant databases (a.k.a. MDC)? What about the tailored data center integration (TDI) program (a.k.a. HANA DIY)?
What about migration? Migrating from “any” DB to SAP HANA? Migrating from data center to the cloud? Hybrid scenarios? Migrating custom applications using the SAP Advanced SQL Migration Tool?
What about High Availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR)? RTOs and RPOs? System replication, multi-tier and multi-target? Standby databases and active/active read-only scenarios?
These topics, and many others, are the subject of chapter 8, SAP HANA Data Architecture.
SAP HANA 2.0 – An Introduction
Just getting started with SAP HANA? Or do have a migration to SAP HANA 2.0 coming up? Need a quick update covering business benefits and technology overview. Understand the role of the system administrator, developer, data integrator, security officer, data scientist, data modeler, project manager, and other SAP HANA stakeholders? My latest book about SAP HANA 2.0 covers everything you need to know.
Get it from SAP Press or Amazon:
Questions, Comment, Suggestions
Anything I missed? Do not hesitate to post your questions or comments below.
Good stuff? Give it a like and share on social media. Much appreciated!
If you would like to receive updates, connect with me on
Denys van Kempen