Tuesday, 26 November 2013

SAP HANA Overview For Beginners

SAP HANA Database

SAP HANA is an in-memory database:
      • - It is a combination of hardware and software made to process massive real time data using In-Memory computing.
      • - It combines row-based, column-based database technology.
      • - Data now resides in main-memory (RAM) and no longer on a hard disk.
      • - It’s best suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications.

An in-memory database means all the data is stored in the memory (RAM). This is no time wasted in loading the data from hard-disk to RAM or while processing keeping some data in RAM and temporary some data on disk. Everything is in-memory all the time, which gives the CPUs quick access to data for processing.

Complex calculations on data are not carried out in the application layer, but are moved to the database.

SAP HANA is equipped with multiengine query processing environment which supports relational as well as graphical and text data within same system. It provides features that support significant processing speed, handle huge data sizes and text mining capabilities.

SAP HANA Database

So is SAP making/selling the software or the hardware?

SAP has partnered with leading hardware vendors (HP, Fujitsu, IBM, Dell etc) to sell SAP certified hardware for HANA. SAP is selling licenses and related services for the SAP HANA product which includes the HANA database, easy to use data modeling tool called HANA studio and other software to load data in the database.

SAP HANA Hardware partners

SAP HANA Database

SAP HANA Architecture

SAP HANA Database
With the help of technology like SLT replication, data can be moved to HANA in real time. It is also possible to copy data from SAP BW or other database into SAP HANA. In HANA, we can use modeling tool called HANA Studio to build the logic and structures and use tools e.g. SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Visual Intelligence to visualize or analyze data.

Can I just increase the memory of my traditional Oracle database to 2TB and get similar performance?

NO. You might have performance gains due to more memory available for your current Oracle/Microsoft/Teradata database but HANA is not just a database with bigger RAM. It is a combination of a lot of hardware and software technologies. The way data is stored and processed by the In-Memory Computing Engine (IMCE)  is the true differentiator. Having that data available in RAM is just the icing on the cake.

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