Informing the IBM Community

SAP HANA comes to Power



IBM has announced that SAP HANA will now run on Power 8 hardware on SuSE Linux.

It has also launched two Power System Solution Editions specifically for running SAP’s in-memory BI database.

The new Solution Editions for SAP HANA come in two configurations. The first is based on the S824 with 24 Power8 cores and up to 1TB of memory. IBM says that this version is for SAP Business Warehouse running on SAP HANA with databases of up to 512GB.

Big Blue says that the second, based on the E870 with 40 cores and up to 2TB of memory, is more suited for databases up to 1TB (compressed).

Put very simply, HANA can suck in data from practically any source which can then be analysed hyper-quickly because the information is stored in RAM rather than on disk.

SAP HANA Business Warehouse for the Power platform was made available this month. Support for SAP HANA Business Suite on Power is expected by the end of 2015.

SAP is betting its shirt on HANA. Hitherto, the software has run on Intel-based hardware, a situation that Big Blue needed to change before the ERP giant really got going with its latest SAP S/4HANA release. SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, to give it its full name, is touted by its creators as being as big a deal as the transition from SAP R/2 to SAP R/3.

While SAP-on-Power users of either stripe (AIX or IBM i) may welcome the ability to run the technology on a Linux partition, there are other factors at play. For a start, SAP is not the only one with an in-memory database to sell. Oracle has Exalytics and IBM has DB2 with BLU Acceleration.

In September last year, for instance, PowerWire reported that huge electronics firm Baluff had chosen the latter rather than go down the HANA path. The German firm runs SAP Business Warehouse and reported that access to business data was 98% faster and SAP response times were up by 50%.

Quite where this leaves a user running SAP on System p with an Oracle database is anyone’s guess. However, this is possibly not something that the folks at SAP’s Walldorf HQ loose too much sleep over.

The German giant maintains a diplomatic sense of enlightened agnosticism when it comes to its platform partners. Indeed, it would seem that the various combatants in its market (HP is also a major player) are often keener to nail SAP’s colors to their masts than the other way round.

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