Latest Announcements Highlight the Breadth of SAP HANA Platform Capabilities

Posted by Lori Vanourek on April 4, 2013

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Understand the Broad Scope of SAP HANA: One of my favorite blogs for those wanting to learn more about SAP HANA is the “What is SAP HANA” blog posted in September 2012. This blog has an excellent overview of the breadth of SAP HANA. SAP and its partner eco-system invest heavily in SAP HANA technology. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the announcements and added enhancements. I’ve also noticed lately, that some are trying to compare a small sub segment of in-memory analytics capabilities to SAP and claiming that they are doing the same. There is an inherent fallacy in this approach as they aren’t really comparing ‘apples to apples.’ With SAP HANA, in-memory processing has greatly shifted away from pure OLTP or OLAP, and has evolved into a converged platform that transforms information processing and energizes application development. This blog serves as an extension of the “What is SAP HANA” blog by highlighting key SAP HANA enhancements and announcements that have taken place since last September. These two blogs combine to provide an overview on the full scope of the SAP HANA Platform. An overview that can be referenced when one is trying to make informed decisions.

SAP adds extended platform capabilities for supporting diverse mission-critical applications to SAP HANA. SAP HANA now collapses the architectural layers between application and data processing and converges database and application services in a single in-memory-based architecture. SAP HANA also supports large-scale data center deployments with high availability, disaster recovery and security. Some key enhancements include:

  • Natural language-based text analytics: By expanding advanced text search with natural language processing, organizations can process various levels of text analysis across 31 languages. Click here for additional details. .
  • Expanded predictive analytics for SAP HANA: We were very pleased to see Forrester Research Inc. position SAP as a leader in “The Forrester Wave: Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions, Q1 2013.” SAP was named a leader for its strong architecture and strategy, and cited as differentiating itself from competitors by putting the SAP HANA platform at the center of the offering. SAP HANA will continue to expand on embedded predictive algorithms to enable enterprises to perform segmentation and clustering analyses to identify and retain profitable customers, improve upsell opportunities and detect fraud. Predictive analysis library functions recently added with SAP HANA SPS5 include classification, clustering, outlier detection and data preparation algorithms. In addition, SAP HANA also supports predictive model markup language (PMML) Export (with PMML Import functionality coming soon) for the integration and sharing of predictive models.
  • Expanded application services for SAP HANA: SAP HANA now includes native application and web server capabilities as a service that help developers quickly develop modern applications directly within the SAP HANA platform using HTLM5, JavaScript, SQLScript, ODATA, JSON, XML and Restful Web Services. Additionally, these services can be exposed for consumption by device-based applications or by other application servers. Developers can build from an integrated development environment application by using SQLScript for data processing, JavaScript for logic control and HTML5 for the user interface (UI) representation in the same tooling.
      • Enhanced business rules management: Business rules management in SAP HANA is a core component of the extended application services built into SAP HANA. Developers can easily add business rules to their applications without embedding these directly within software codes. These rules are designed to be easily maintained by end users without writing code and through a simple intuitive interface. It has the ability to simulate, mine for trends and patterns and modify physical data based on actions.
      • Application functional library framework: Developers can easily access embedded algorithms, business functions (Business Function Libraries) and Predictive algorithms (Predictive Analytic Libraries) through extended application service capabilities via SQLScript or JavaScript. This new level of support makes it easier for developers to build applications that embed advanced analytics.

Extended Deployment and Licensing options:

  • SAP HANA Platform for Large-Scale Data Center Deployment: SAP HANA has expanded support for SAP HANA deployments in enterprise data centers for 24/7 operation. To illustrate the readiness of SAP HANA for large scale out deployment, SAP published a white paper, SAP HANA Petabyte Performance.” SAP HANA has shown extreme scalability with one of the world’s largest in-memory clusters, capable of handling large data sets with fast real-time responses. This system is comprised of one petabyte of raw uncompressed data representing 1.2 trillion records. One hundred nodes of IBM x5 servers, each with 1 TB DRAM and 40 cores. In a petascale performance test of SAP HANA in-memory cluster, 1 PB of raw data was loaded onto 95 active nodes, five were used as standby nodes for failover. This data size represents approximately 10 years of transactions for a large company with an average of 328 million transactions per day. Performance tests on this “big data” shows a fast response time of 0.43 to 0.50 seconds for ad-hoc sales and distribution queries and 1.2 to 3.1 seconds for more complex year-over-year trending data over different time periods.
  • SAP HANA in the Private Cloud: Portugal Telecom and SAVVIS are two of the first companies to host SAP HANA with a “pay-as-you-go” model. These subscription-based hosting services offer customers the opportunity to use SAP HANA with no initial hardware investment and to scale out when/as needed by the customer.

SAP to Join Forces With Intel on Breakthrough “Big Data” Solutions to Improve Competitiveness and Agility of Businesses: SAP and Intel plan to build and bring to market a breakthrough “big data” solution for enterprise customers centered on the SAP HANA platform and Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software. The combination will bring enterprise performance, security, and governance to big data problems. The combined solution will integrate innovations and software technologies from SAP, Intel and the open source community to store and analyze in real-time large volumes of structured and unstructured data from across the enterprise. SAP plans to leverage the in-memory technology innovations in SAP HANA as well as Intel’s innovations in security, connectivity and management tools for Apache Hadoop to bring a unique solution to market. The planned major technology components of the solution include integrated parts of the SAP Real-time Data Platform (RTDP) along with Intel Hadoop software. SAP’s Real-Time Data Platform (RTDP) includes a portfolio of products that are tightly optimized to work together to solve modern-day data management challenges including data processing across massive volumes of data storage, high velocity streaming data, automated data movement, and data visualization. To learn more about the SAP Real-time Data Platform click here.

Free Knowledge Sharing of In-Memory Expertise With SAP HANA Academy
SAP HANA Academy is a free online resource of high-quality technical instruction to empower anyone to learn how to operate the SAP HANA platform. It provides online instructional videos and live and recorded webinars, as well as virtual access to on-site training sessions as outreach channels. Technical content is contributed by SAP and the ecosystem community. Videos are divided into two sections, “Projects” and “How-To’s” — projects are designed to help users learn SAP HANA by performing a task, while how-to videos teach a particular function or feature. We are continuously updating content in the SAP HANA Academy so be sure to visit the site regularly.

The last (but not least) item that I’ll highlight is that SAP is proud to be cited as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for data warehouse database management systems 2013 for both its “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute.”

I’ve focused this blog on the core SAP HANA technology as an extension to the original “What is SAP HANA blog.” I hope you find this summary to be insightful and useful as you explore what SAP HANA means to you. There is also much activity for the SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, new applications and rapid-deployment solutions that have been released on SAP HANA, start-up company activity with SAP HANA, etc. Please visit for additional details.

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