15 April 2013

SAP HANA and IBM DB2 10 and SolidDB

Below you find a link to the video for SAP HANA and their Focus on SybaseIQ in memory Database as their new preferred platform.

SAP HANA overvview

SAP, Hana and a future without Oracle or DB2?

SAP’s flagship Business Suite software now runs on SAP's own Hana database in a move that enables customers to drop Oracle out of the picture.

“We’re dramatically challenging the database market with a new value proposition and a next-generation technology,”

said Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-Chief Executive Officer calling the new Business Suite the biggest breakthrough in applications since SAP released the R/3 software in 1992.

"Our target for this year is a high three-digit number of customers, but there is the potential for 40,000 Business Suite users," Snabe added.

Around  40,000 SAP customers run the firm’s applications on Oracle or IBM databases. But SAP co-founder and chairman Hasso Plattner insisted SAP customers don't have to switch to Hana and that SAP will not force anyone to move.

"We do not abandon the database vendors who carry us to success,"

he said. "Customers have a choice."

Clients that make use of in-memory analytics such as SAP HANA can benefit in a number of ways:

- They can analyze massive amounts of data almost immediately
- They can make decisions based on real-time information, AND
- They can keep costs down by leveraging systems with extreme memory and processing power that can easily scale.

But first, what is SAP HANA?

It's the next generation of SAP's in-memory computing technology. HANA is a multi-purpose appliance that combines SAP software components that are optimized on proven IBM hardware and it's delivered by IBM Global Services.

You might be wondering how it works!

This graphic shows the basic architecture.


On the left side, data from an SAP ERP system is replicated into an In-memory computing engine. This engine is SAP HANA. At the bottom you'll see that data from other sources can also be Extracted, Transformed, and Loaded into HANA. This includes data from an IBM DB2 database, which can easily replicate data into HANA. This all takes place in near real-time. At the top we see that several front-end tools can be used to explore the results, including tools from SAP Business Objects, IBM, and Microsoft.

Analytics at this level require the best performing hardware. This is where IBM System x servers come in. eX5 technology decouples memory from processors. This allows you to scale CPU and memory independent of the other without the need to buy additional hardware. In fact, IBM and SAP recently announced the first official performance results of SAP HANA.

Results show that the software easily handles 10,000 queries per hour against 1.3 terabytes of data, returning results within seconds. This test was performed by an independent third party and proves that IBM eX5 servers are the industry leader for HANA!

So all this technology is great. But how can you apply it in your business? How can you use it to compete better and win in the market?

This is where IBM Global Business Services can help! Our consultants understand SAP business processes and the technology underlying them. We offer rapid deployment solutions for HANA including:

• Discovery and assessment services to maximize business impact
• Architecture assessment and benchmark services
• Proof of concept services AND
• Express deployment offerings, including industry best practices

With IBM and SAP you can get a handle on your data and start using it to win in the marketplace.

Get an understanding of how IBM DB2 and HANA work together from Chetan Chaturvedi, IBM Worldwide Program Director for IBM DB2 and SAP Initiatives.

 And if DB2 10 is not fast enough for you take a look at IBM Solid DB:

 IBM solidDB Universal Cache feature demo

This illustrated demo shows you the business impact of accessing and capturing performance-critical data assets at extreme speed.

 SolidDB Demo

Overview of solidDB in-memory features

The solidDB® main memory engine combines the high performance of in-memory tables along with the nearly unlimited capacity of disk-based tables. Pure in-memory databases are fast, but strictly limited by the size of memory. Pure disk-based databases allow nearly unlimited amounts of storage, but their performance is dominated by disk access. Even if the computer has enough memory to store the entire database in memory buffers, database servers designed for disk-based tables can be slow because the data structures that are optimal for disk-based tables are far from being optimal for in-memory tables.

The solidDB solution is to provide a single database server that contains two optimized servers inside it: one server is optimized for disk-based access and the other is optimized for in-memory access. Both servers coexist inside the same process, and a single SQL statement may access data from both engines.

In-memory versus disk-based tables

If a table is an in-memory table (M-table), the entire contents of the table are stored in memory so that the data can be accessed as quickly as possible. If a table is disk-based (D-table), the data is stored primarily on disk, and usually the server copies only small pieces of data at a time into memory.

Types of in-memory tables

There are two basic types of in-memory tables: persistent tables and non-persistent tables.

Persistent tables provide recoverability of data; non-persistent tables provide fast access.
Considerations for developing applications with in-memory tables

Before starting to develop applications with in-memory tables, review the following considerations on performance, memory usage, transaction isolation, and using M-tables with HotStandby or shared memory (SMA) and linked library (LLA) access methods.

Table types and referential integrity

The persistent and non-persistent table differ in reference to referential integrity.
The following table shows which table types are allowed to refer to other types. For example, if a transient table is allowed to have a foreign key that references a persistent table, you will see "YES" in the cell at the intersection of the row "Transient Child" and the column "Persistent Parent". If the foreign key constraint is not allowed, you will see a dash (-).
Every type of table may reference itself. In addition, transient tables may reference persistent tables (but not vice-versa). All other combinations are invalid.

Figure here:

Nonetheless the announcement is a throwing down of a gauntlet to Oracle. “With this move SAP is extending its revenue potential by making an assault on the database market,” commented Angela Eager of research firm Techmarketview. “It is not disruptive but will make waves. It certainly raises the intensity in the long-running Oracle-SAP confrontation because customers will no longer have to look to Oracle (and other providers) for the database on which to run Business Suite.”

But he insisted that HANA offered a new model for business applications. “This will change how our customers do business and they are very excited,” he said. “We are even winning over start-ups, they are saying that they never thought they would be working with SAP.”

The need for speed

According to analysts, the HANA-enabled approach has appeal. "With the ever-increasing pace of business and ever shorter decision cycles, there is a growing need to reduce the time needed to capture, analyse and act on information," said Henry Morris, senior vice-president for IDC's Worldwide Software, Services, Big Data as well as Sales and Marketing Executive Advisory research groups.

"SAP Business Suite running on SAP HANA is a response to this need. By combining both transaction processing and analytics on a single platform, SAP HANA supports a blended system of record and of decisions. The integration of transaction management with real-time decision management eliminates the delays and inefficiencies inherent in parallel operational and business intelligence systems. This enables employees to make better tactical, operational and strategic decisions based on relevant, granular, up-to-the-moment data."

Fellow research firm Ovum also declared the move to be a potential game changer. ““Potential benefits of SAP Business suite on HANA are numerous. Obviously, HANA’s in-memory architecture accelerates routine reporting functions, such as the ability to run end of period reports in seconds or minutes instead of tying a database with a batch run for hours,” noted Analyst Tony Baer.

“But processing speed is the least of HANA’s potential benefits. The in-memory architecture allows data views to be generated on-the-fly, a benefit that not only reduces database footprint and storage requirements, but also potentially simplifies the modeling and deployment of data and the design of analytics or other complementary applications that run atop Business Suite.

“HANA’s in-memory architecture also allows analytics to be embedded with transaction processing, enabling companies to become more agile. For instance, SAP customer John Deere achieved positive ROI on its HANA investment based solely on the benefits of implementing it for pricing optimization.”

A difficult sell?

But while there are technology selling points, SAP will need to work on its communications around HANA, warned Ovum. “SAP’s challenge is brand and messaging,” noted Baer. “HANA has evolved over the last two years from a database to an analytics platform to simply a "platform." How SAP avoids confusing the market will be a key factor in driving competitive advantage.”

The strategy is unlikely to convince many existing SAP users to make a change in the near future, the firm argued.  “SAP Business Suite on HANA has the potential to be a game changer by making SAP much more relevant to its customers. But in the near term, SAP Business Suite on HANA should be seen as opportunistic upgrade for existing customers or greenfield opportunity for new ones,” suggested Baer. 

“Few if any enterprises currently rank replacement of enterprise systems as top priority. Convincing customers that the "transformative" benefits of Suite on HANA will be non-disruptive technically is the challenge SAP faces with an entrenched Business Suite customer base. Companies don't swap out their database and ERP investments overnight.”

HANA is set to be the eventual convergence point for all SAP offerings and an alternative to existing architectures. SAP is also building out a set of Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities for the database.  Over the next few months, SAP’s Success Factors and Ariba Cloud offerings will also run on Hana.


For more information please contact me at:Drs. Albert Spijkers
DBA Consulting
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    SAP Consultancy UK

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