TDI Phase 5: New Opportunities for Cost Optimization of SAP HANA Hardware

Nowadays, businesses are under constant pressure to contain and reduce costs of their IT environments. As a result, organizations are constantly looking for new ways to meet the continuously growing demands for performance at an affordable price.

Since the initial release in 2011, SAP evolved the HANA platform to include the latest technology innovations in the areas of server, storage, and networking and enable seamless and cost-efficient integration of HANA into customers’ data centers.

SAP HANA tailored data center integration: A continuous journey towards a next-generation modern data platform that’s open and efficient
SAP HANA tailored data center integration (HANA TDI) is a continuous journey towards making HANA a more efficient and open platform with every new release – as described in this earlier post by my colleague Zora Caklovic.

Starting with a closed, SAP HANA appliance model based on fixed architecture, SAP slowly shifted to a more flexible, SAP HANA tailored-datacenter-integration (TDI) delivery model which enables reduction in operating and hardware costs by using the existing hardware or infrastructure from a preferred vendor.

HANA TDI became a conduit for integrating the latest hardware innovations to drive HANA platform performance and cost efficiencies to new levels.

Here is a brief overview of innovations delivered via the HANA TDI phased approach as part of our continuing journey towards a modern, highly performant and efficient in-memory database platform:

  • Phase 1 & 2 delivered cost-optimized storage and networking for SAP HANA by allowing customers to leverage their existing enterprise storage and data center networking infrastructure for HANA.
  • In Phase 3, SAP introduced low cost, entry level HANA servers based on the Intel Xeon E5 processor, which is widely used in commodity hardware – thus significantly lowering the entry barrier for customers embarking on their HANA journey.
  • TDI Phase 4 helped SAP to further strengthen the power of its rich and ever-growing partners ecosystem by adding support for HANA on the IBM Power 8 processor.

What’s coming next?
At TechEd Las Vegas 2017, SAP will introduce HANA TDI Phase 5, which brings two new important developments for customers:

  1. Customer workload-driven HANA system sizing to allow customers to fine-tune their systems configurations for their specific workload and purchase systems with the optimal number of cores and memory.
  2. Extended Intel Xeon E7 CPU support for Broadwell and Skylake-based servers: Partners will now be able to build HANA systems using a wide range of CPUs that differ in frequency, processing power, and most importantly cost.

These innovations translate to potentially substantial cost savings for HANA customers:

For instance, for low-end entry-level 2 socket Broadwell-based HANA systems with 128/256GB of memory, the estimated savings from replacing 22/24 cores processors with the much cheaper 8/10c processors can result in a whopping 30-50% price reduction.

For larger 2TB HANA servers, the cost savings can be more modest (around 7-10%), since the price of RAM memory contributes to the total server price much more than the price of processors.

And thanks to the relaxed core-to-memory ratio enabling higher scale efficiencies- high capacity 8 socket, 8TB+ HANA servers stand to rip off huge benefits from the workload-driven sizing innovations introduced with TDI Phase 5. Customers will be able to use their workload sizing results to determine the optimal number of cores and memory, which means that the scalability limits are no longer tied to the number of CPU cores available on the system. With TDI Phase 5, customers can scale up their workloads up to the maximum RAM size available on the server assuming their workload characteristics allow putting more data per core than currently supported.

This also means that customers will be able to stay longer on commodity 8 socket Intel hardware and single node deployments – thus avoiding increased operational complexity and costs associated with scale out deployments. For instance, 8 socket Broadwell server was supporting 8 TB up till now, but with TDI Phase 5 customers will be able to put up to 12TB (with 64 GB DIMMs) – resulting in 50% higher scalability (this is assuming their workload characteristics allow supporting more data with the same number of cores).

In summary, HANA TDI Phase 5 is a true game changer for HANA customers when it comes to flexibility and cost effectiveness. It greatly increases the choice of configurations options available to customers and allows HANA customers to scale their workloads seamlessly with optimum cost-efficiency.

A look into the future: The HANA TDI journey continues…
SAP will continue to build on its expertise from developing the most efficient in-memory platform for data processing and pushing the boundaries of cost-efficiency and performance to new limits. Read this recent post “Your Digital Transformation – Powered by SAP HANA from Daniel Schneiss, senior vice president globally responsible for SAP HANA development, to learn how customers embarking on their digital journey can benefit from SAP HANA in-memory technology to run their business.

The SAP TDI journey of continuous innovation never stops: By staying on the cusp of emerging hardware technologies such as persistent-memory, converged infrastructure, new processor architectures, we are working tirelessly with our partners to remain the first in the market to deliver these technology innovations to our customers.

Stay tuned for more news about SAP HANA TDI innovations as we continue to lead the technology revolution in delivering the next generation, modern in-memory platform for business applications.

Click here to find out how SAP HANA TDI can help you on your HANA journey.

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