I’m Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology here at Symmetry. HANA is a technology that lends itself really well to virtualization. The SAP ecosystem has embraced virtualization and I think it was a matter before this kind of trickled down into the HANA space. It’s here, it’s mature. There are a lot of ways to capitalize on the HANA environment, particularly with VMware which is obviously been SAP’s focus in the virtualization space.
VM vSphere, with HANA or in combination with HANA offers a lot of benefits. High availability. Some of the native high availability capabilities that you get with vSphere. Fault tolerance. Just really the ability to get the most from your hardware. Only use what you need, have the ability to grow and scale. Maybe use your hardware for multiple systems, multiple workloads whereas in installation on bare metal or a non-virtualized TDI deployment might not give you the capability to do that.
With that, you have to balance the expertise that you need to bring to the table with a virtualized HANA deployment. While you’re getting the benefit of squeezing every last drop out of your hardware and being able to use all of those resources, not hold them in reserve potentially for future growth, you have to temper that with making sure you have the right expertise. Which of course isn’t free. That’s really where a partner like Symmetry can step in and provide a lot of benefit. That’s a space that we live and breathe in.
A lot of SAP customers who have virtualized environments now understand there are nuances to running SAP in the VM vSphere world. I would say that those nuances are magnified and multiplied with regard to HANA. There’s a lot of, just to use a few examples, there are network interface, tuning considerations, a lot of kernel parameterization. A lot of care and feeding and meticulous administration and engineering that go into those environments, that’s not commodity scaled. Again, where a partner like Symmetry can really provide an advantage and peace of mind to a customer looking to go down this path.