Great SAP HANA platform performance

SAP HANA is a solution platform that has enabled enterprises to run complex business transactional and analytical operations up to 10 thousand times faster than they did before. In-memory technology is a perfect solution replacing slow and expensive drive-based business intelligence systems. Pioneer companies using in-memory technology gain better insight into ongoing activities, improve efficiency and lower their IT costs, thus gaining real competitive advantage. According to estimates of analytical companies, during the next five years approximately 30% of companies will be using one, or more key applications based on in-memory database and by 2014, 30% of analytic applications will use in-memory functions to increase computing speed and scale. HANA also includes a programming component that allows a company's IT department to create and run customized application programs on top of HANA, as well as a suite of predictive, spatial and text analytics libraries across multiple data sources.

Real benchmark consists of following dimensions:
Data size – larger the data slower the system gets
Query complexity – more complex the query, longer it takes to return with the answer
Rate of change of data – how quickly the system absorbs information when data is changed
Is the data prepared or is it wrong – data preparedness before it can be used
Response time – how quickly the system responds to answer a query

Science says human brain can carry out tasks depending on complexity: interactively with continuous flow of thought when engaged for about 800 milliseconds, efficiently when engaged for < 3 seconds and starts losing attention when engaged for > 8 seconds.

The following innovative technological aspects are used in SAP HANA:

Multicore parallelism – The power HANA derives is from the fact that it runs massively parallel. A modern server has upto 80 CPUs, 2 terabytes of DRAM and 5+ terabytes of SSD as core. This combination would have a strong computing power. Currently each CPU has roughly 3 gigahertz of clock speed which means total availability is (80 CPU*3) 240 gigahertz of clock speed and 2 terabytes of data in the DRAM.

Columnar structure of database store – The main design of the central structure of HANA is its columnar store. Row structures are traditional but in-memory row stores are able to do transactions quicker than before. With the columnar structure of the data store, data can be analysed faster by picking up only those data selectively as required by the query.

Projection, Dynamic Aggregation and Compression – HANA’s scan speed enables it to follow the Principle of Minimal Projection. Only those data that are needed are grabbed from the database store and processed. Same thing applies to aggregation. Whenever aggregation is needed, it can be calculated at the speed of 12.5 – 15 million/sec/core dynamically.

SAP HANA can be deployed on-site as an appliance or purchased as a managed cloud or hybrid- cloud service. SAP HANA was previously called SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance. SAP HANA is a perfect example of this; the focus should be not on the technology but rather the functionality that is facilitated by this technology. Instead of trying to explain terms such as ‘column-oriented’ and ‘in-memory’ to people who neither understand nor care about the technology, more should be done to highlight what is now possible using SAP HANA. The SAP Business Warehouse (BW) is a core part of the SAP NetWeaver technology. Serving as a powerful Enterprise Data Warehouse application platform BW provides flexible reporting and analysis tools. Businesses are able to make well-founded decisions on the basis of this analysis. Business information from SAP and external data sources are integrated, and consolidated in BW on HANA.

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