what-is-sap-hana-1024x439SAP HANA is a data platform developed by SAP. At the core of SAP HANA is a relational database, which supports a wide range of Business Intelligence, ERP and other enterprise applications. Unlike earlier, disk-optimized databases, SAP HANA resides in-memory, allowing the CPU to access data directly, instead of looking it up on hard drives.


Expert Insight: Kevin Knuese, Vice President of SAP Solutions

Nothing has shaken up enterprise IT quite like SAP HANA. Although only initially released in 2010, SAP HANA’s innovative structure and blazing speed have already changed the way companies work with data. But SAP HANA hardware doesn’t come cheap; that doesn’t mean there aren’t options. SMBs can still experience the benefits of SAP HANA by migrating to an SAP HANA cloud.


How is SAP HANA Different?

In a traditional Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), data is stored on-disk; if the RDBMS needs to access information, it must first load that data into memory, which is a relatively slow process. As an in-memory database, SAP HANA isn’t limited by the speed of the hard drive; your ERP data is already in memory, so SAP HANA can read, change or add new data almost instantly.


This dramatically speeds up both Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) tasks like processing orders, and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tasks, such as data analysis for reporting. Yet, storing so much information in memory has a tradeoff in cost, as the hardware required to run SAP HANA is often expensive. An SAP HANA cloud can mitigate hardware costs, allowing businesses to get better ROI on an SAP HANA migration.


SAP HANA also benefits by combining OLAP and OLTP databases into one structure. This shrinks the database footprint, removes redundant information, changes index design, simplifies the architecture and allows businesses to analyze nearly any data on the fly.


What is SAP HANA Going to Do for My Business?

The speed of SAP HANA creates incremental benefits across your organization. Everything from sales transactions to complex analytical applications run much quicker, boosting customer satisfaction and worker productivity. The speed of an SAP HANA cloud or installation also allows businesses to process data in real time; they can react based on up-to-the-second information, which means better decision making.


Additionally, organizations can perform types of analysis that weren’t feasible on older systems. A complex organization-wide analysis that might have taken hours or days on an older system can usually run in just minutes (or less) on SAP HANA.


What Hardware Does SAP HANA Require?

SAP provides support for certified SAP HANA hardware.  They work with manufactures to produce equipment that will meet the architectural and performance requirements of the HANA environment.  Businesses that have invested considerably in infrastructure have another option: Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI). A certified SAP team can add to their existing hardware, creating a platform for SAP HANA to run on, again with certified components.


SAP managed services providers such as Symmetry can offer a third option: the SAP HANA cloud. An SAP HANA cloud slashes the costs of purchasing, configuring, and running on-premise hardware and decreases the burden on internal IT, allowing them to focus on core business tasks. Companies need to make sure they’re hiring an SAP-certified team; with mission-critical infrastructure; the costs of hiring an under-qualified team far outweigh the savings.


What is SAP HANA? In short, it is the future of the enterprise cloud. If your IT infrastructure is still onsite, SAP HANA is the perfect reason to move to the cloud. An SAP HANA cloud can provide more detailed intelligence, faster transaction processing and better SAP application performance across your organization. Contact us to learn more about the benefits Symmetry’s cloud hosting and IT managed services can bring to your business.

About Kevin Knuese - Vice President of SAP Solutions

As Vice President of SAP Solutions, Kevin Knuese leads Symmetry’s SAP Cloud Hosting and SAP HANA solution development efforts. After decades of problem solving within the IT world, Knuese provides strategic leadership to help navigate the complex world of SAP application management for Symmetry’s valued customers. Working shoulder to shoulder with our customers’ executive management team, Knuese assess business requirements to ensure the IT infrastructure in place is meeting the enterprise needs, while providing operational guidance to leverage emerging technologies. Knuese ensures Symmetry customers are delivered tailored enterprise cloud solutions that are expertly managed, with state-of-the art security and built in scalability to grow as our customers’ businesses grow. He is a sought after thought leader and can be frequently seen presenting on the main stage at leading edge IT conferences in the U.S. and around the world.