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What is SAP HANA ?

What is SAP HANA ?

In this article we will look at SAP HANA which is the most talked about product of SAP after its realased to customers on Dec 2010.

Author : Ajay

Author's Website | Articles from Ajay

Ajay is a Functional Consultant in Supply Chain Management. He is a SAP Certified SCM APO consultant and ABAP Developer. He is also involved in SAP implementations, Migration and Support activities as a Consultant. Follow me on Facebook

In this article we will look at SAP HANA which is the most talked about product of SAP after its realased to customers on Dec 2010.

SAP’s High-Performance Analytic Appliance(HANA) exploits the advantages of In-Memory Computing that allows the processing of massive quantities of real time data in the main memory of the server to provide immediate results from analyses and transactions by combining SAP software components optimized on hardware provided and delivered by SAP leading hardware partners.

Reminds me of movie “3 Idiots” . Perfect definition to score 10/10 in any exam or interview. :)

Lets make it a little simple.

SAP HANA is a combination of hardware and software specifically made to process massive real time data using In-Memory computing

We managed to get a sneak peak of HANA hardware in Teched 10 at Bangalore.

SAP-HANA

Need of SAP HANA:

Quoting  Vishal Sikka “ If a business asks a question and gets the answer after 3 days probably one would even forget what was the question was after 3 days. “

So one of the key challenges IT is facing now is not only the capability to extract reports on huge amount of real time data which keeps growing in a exponential rate and from different sources but also analyzing it in different perspectives, that too in seconds.

Most of the Official SAP presentation refers to a popular term in Finance “ TED Spread “ , for explaining it , which is a measure of credit risk for inter-banking lending.

12179_b

Aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy, TED Spread hit a record spread of 465 basis points. That magnitude of spread indicated a virtual shut down in interbank lending. All financial organizations use the TED spread as an indication of easing or tightening credit markets.

It might be a little difficult to digest it in the first go and since I am not a Finance guy so probably you can Google around to find more about TED Spread.

Summarizing the whole thing in a single sentence would be that every organization needs to make better decisions faster not only on real time data but Real real time data which keeps growing in a exponential rate and from different sources almost instantly.

When I say real real Time Data for a retail shop perspective the POS (Point of sale) data would be available for analytics even before the customer leaves the retail store.

Motivation for Architecture of SAP HANA

Most of the chip maker companies have been focusing on building multiple core as there is limitation on increasing the Clock Speed as  the more is the Clock Speed the more heat it emits while processing which results in expensive ways to control the temperature. If you observe the last decade the Clock Speed has not made any impressive change.

2002                                                         2006                                                         2010


Chip

Cores/CPU -   1 Core                                      4 Cores                                                                 8 Cores

Clock Speed – 1.8 GHz                                   1.6- 3GHz                                                             2.26 GHz

Software has always been made for the Hardware which these Top chip makers design.

There is always a need to build Software which can fully exploit the capabilities of the Hardware design.

So let’s have a look on both hardware and software features one by one.

HARDWARE DESIGN:

Huge amount of data is divided into multiple sets which are then crunched separately by the Blades as shown below.

blades1

blades2

Pic : Data is divided into 4 blades with 2 standby blades

The Blades are composed of multiple CPU’s per blade and each CPU has multiple cores per CPU.

This means if you say for example 8 cores per CPU and 4 such CPU’s per blade. So mere 4 Blades will have 128 cores crunching data in parallel.

SOFTWARE DESIGN:

HANA stores data in Column wise for fast computing. The below diagram compares, how data is stored row wise and column wise.

software-hana

For example: If system wants to find aggregate of the second column i.e. 10+35+2+40+12.

In Row wise: The system has to jump memory address to collect subsequent values for aggregation.

That is data records are available as complete tuples in one read which makes accessing of few attributes expensive operation.

In Column wise: A single scan would fetch the results much faster.

HOW IT WORKS:

saphana

SAP HANA can be used without disturbing our current IT landscape. In the above diagram show that data in the database can be replicated near real time into HANA and can be used for reporting with a number of BI tools directly sitting on the top of the HANA.

You can also have a look on the video session by Brian Wood  on SAP HANA – EIM119 @  www.virtualsapteched.com

RELATED ARTICLE:

HANA Acess

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User Comments


  1. Rajesh Gumpena
    July 29, 2011

    Good one…Very helpful..

    Reply


  2. Manoj
    August 5, 2011

    Nice Article Ajay,

    Could you please help in understanding what are the prerequistes required for learning SAP HANA.

    Regards
    Manoj

    Reply


    • admin
      August 6, 2011

      Hi Manoj,
      SAP HANA are very similar to your SAP BW Accelerators.
      A fair idea on BW and BI reporting tools of SAP will help you understand HANA more.
      Although this is not an mandatory pre-requisite for learning SAP HANA.

      Good Luck!!
      Cheers
      Ajay

      Reply


  3. rupesh K
    September 5, 2011

    Hi Ajay,
       very informative.
      
    Regards,
    Rupesh     
        

    Reply


  4. debashis
    September 8, 2011

    can you please let me know being a sap abaper will it help me to learn HANA?

    Reply


    • admin
      September 8, 2011

      Hi Debashis,
      Currently HANA is focused on Real Time reporting which is more close to BW and BI.
      BW has a very little ABAP Scope which you can focus on otherwise HANA is completely different Technology for an ABAPer.

      Cheers
      Ajay

      Reply


  5. chowdary
    January 25, 2012

    is it a reporting tool? please elaborate..

    Reply


    • Raj
      January 25, 2012

      Hi Chowdary ,
      SAP HANA is not reporting tool.
      IT stores the data so you can call it database.Its also has the capabilities to do in memory computing so we call it as in-memory computing software.

      Right now SAP is using SAP HANA for reporting purpose where your SAP system data will be loaded to HANA and from there its used for reporting.In future rel. it might be replacing the core ECC database itself.

      Thanks
      ~Raj
      SAP IGnite.

      Reply


    • Ajay
      January 26, 2012

      Just to add. HANA is a new and advanced form of BW Accelerators which SAP already had from many years. SAP HANA just provides an infrastructure setup for realtime in memory reporting.
      You still use all the BI tools on the top of HANA for reporting.

      Cheers
      Ajay

      Reply


  6. Pratap
    February 8, 2012

    This article is very useful. Thanks Ajay!

    Reply


  7. snehasish
    March 3, 2012

    How can we learn SAP HANA..
    Kindly let me know..

    Reply


  8. ramesh
    March 4, 2012

    Hi All,
    I want to learn HANA..how was the future for it..iam learning cloud computingg…which one would u prefer..please help me out…

    Reply


    • admin
      March 11, 2012

      Dear Ramesh,
      As per Vishal Sikka,( Chief Technical Officer), SAP,HANA, Cloud Computing and Mobile Technologies are the top three areas where SAP is going to keep the focus.

      Coming to your question , If you look out for number of jobs opening in Dice.com, SAP Cloud Computing has far more number of requirements than SAP HANA.
      SAP HANA deals mostly with real time Analytics where as SAP Cloud Computing deal with SaaS.
      I assume there would be lot of demand for SAP Cloud Computing since enterprise would be looking ways to cut their costs.

      However if you are really crazy about Analytics then HANA would be right platform. There are lot many openings within SAP for SAP HANA.
      Thanks
      Ajay

      Reply


  9. Dilip
    March 12, 2012

    Hi Ajay,

        I am SAP SD consultant, and I want to be a Techno – Functional consultant. My question is which technical module i can choose? BW or BI or Shall i go with HANA? 

    Regards
    Dilip

    Reply


  10. Faisal
    April 1, 2012

    Hello Ajay,
    My query might luk like a little stupid to u but i am little confused. The concept which i got abt HANA is dat its basically a tool dat will boost the query result dat a business needs.. my concern here is m currently working on SAP BW… we have different sources frm where data is coming and we r using BO layer for presentation purpose… wat here i m getting the concept dat HANA will replace the BW layer and it will no longer be needed rather HANA will replicate the real time data in memory for faster access… correct me if  i m mistaken.. ur reponse abt the query will be highly appreciated..
    Regards
    Faisal

    Reply


    • admin
      April 2, 2012

      Dear Faisal,
      You are correct!!
      Going forward SAP is planning to migrate whole R/3 database to HANA In memory….

      Thanks
      Ajay

      Reply


  11. Rahul
    April 4, 2012

    Can functional consultant learn SAP HANA?

    Reply


  12. Stuti
    April 4, 2012

    Hi Ajay,

    Nice Article…I understand SAP HANA is a real time analytics tool. So, basically data from all relevant areas in ECC immediately moves to HANA. Is it real time transfer.
    Also, does it also act equivalent to Business Objects ( BO).

    Also, can it be integrated with SCM APO and other third party MES Systems.Also, are you aware of any Industry implementing or implemented SAP HANA.

    Thanks & regards,

    Stuti

    Reply


  13. hem
    April 6, 2012

    Hi AjayVery nice and useful article on SAP HANA.I m totaly new to SAP and want to start career in it. but i m confused which course should i learn either SAP BO 4.0 or SAP HANA.If i learn SAP HANA, are there job demand in India.Thanks & RegardsHem

    Reply


    • admin
      April 9, 2012

      Hi Hem,
      To answer your question when I searched Jobs for HANA in India there are only handful of them and that too most of them from SAP India however there are lot of openings for BO across industry.
      I would suggest that as you are new to SAP itself you should get into BO, as getting a break in HANA for a newbie would be really tough.

      Thanks
      Ajay Prakash

      Reply


  14. Vinod
    April 25, 2012

    Nice and explained superbly!

    Reply


  15. Parmesh
    May 2, 2012

    Hi,
    Im doing a research whether HANA can be implemented in mobiles in the future….. Can you provide your point of view on it. Im mainly finding its scope in mobile devices but the large hardware needed for processing in mobile is a big question…… Your views…..

    Reply


    • Raj
      May 3, 2012

      Hello Parmesh ,
      “Implementing HANA on mobile devices..”
      Do you mean the HANA DB itself on the mobile ? if this is the case i feel intel/sybase ppl can comment perfectly on that
      as parallel commuting and column based data storage with thousands of GB data storage on mobile !!!!!!!!!
      is not practical right now..

      right now you can find mobile applications which calls the API which intern read that data from the HANA .
      and its working perfectly fine.

      thanks & Regards,
      Raj
      ~SAP IGnite.

      Reply


  16. AMIT
    May 9, 2012

    Hi,
    I am new to Hana .can u please tell me where to start.
    How can i install the s/w in my system
    I want to have hana on the top of oracle DB.How can i pull real time data from Oracle DB To Hana DB?
    Thanks,
    Amit

    Reply


  17. chowdary
    May 30, 2012

    Hi,

      I just want to know info reagrding SAP Hana. I am new to sap and willing build my career in sap. so what is best option whether to choose BW or ABAP or Sap Hana. Is there any relation between Sap BW ,ABAP and HANA.

    Reply


  18. Harry
    June 29, 2012

    Hi Ajay,
    If i memorize TZHANA, would it be sufficient for HANA certification. coz i booked my certification for 20th Jul.
    Thnkx…
     
     

    Reply


  19. harry
    June 29, 2012

    very well, easily & nicely defined for non-hana professional…. Good work

    Reply


  20. kanth
    August 19, 2012

    hi i want to learn SAP with upcoming new technology so please suggest me now….

    Reply


  21. chandrasekhar
    September 3, 2012

    Hi Ajay,
    I am planning to do SAP SCM APO and a bit confused whether to opt for DP or SNP,currently i am working in SAP support in SCM .
     
    Kinldy guide me how shall i proceed further,your response about the query will be highly appreciated .
    If possible kindly provide me your contact number .
    Regards
    Chandrasekhar
     

    Reply


    • Ajay
      September 7, 2012

      Hi Chandrasekhar,
      Thanks for writing.
      You have 3-4 major modules in APO : DP,SNP, CIF and PPDS.

      DP : It is little technical in nature as it involves BW and mostly data loading and reporting.
      SNP: This is a vast module which cover heuristics, CTM and Optimizer.
      PPDS: This is more closer to Detailed Scheduling of operations. Ideal for person having PP Experience.
      CIF: A normal SNP or CIF consultant is supposed to have this skill..

      Cheers
      Ajay

      Reply


  22. Pulkit
    September 6, 2012

    I heard SAP HANA is pretty much in the technical phase and no functional phase as yet. Is it worth for functional consultant to learn SAP HANA?

    I am an MBA-Finance and currently working in an IT major,  got trained on SAP-FICO and at present seeking project.
    Is it recommended to leave FICO and take project in SAP HANA which could be technical with no functional role.

    Thanks…

    Reply


  23. John
    October 1, 2012

    Hello,
    I still didn’t get the full concept and it will be great if you can explain this bit more.
    1. Where does the real data is stored? In RAM or in normal disks?
    2. If it is only in RAM, how do you restore this after the power failure?
    3.If it is in a database with normal disks, aren’t we paying the license fee for both HANA and backend database (say oracle)?
    4. Where do we write the real time logs (or redo logs)?
    Thanks in advance for the answers
    John
     

    Reply


    • Ajay
      October 5, 2012

      Hi John,
      Please find the responses below
      1. Where does the real data is stored? In RAM or in normal disks?
      The data is stored in RAM.Whole database is in Main Memory.

      2. If it is only in RAM, how do you restore this after the power failure?
      There are Back up and Recovery mechanisms supported for HANA through which you can restore the data base to the last consistent state .

      3.If it is in a database with normal disks, aren’t we paying the license fee for both HANA and backend database (say oracle)?

      Yes you need to pay for Hardware and Software but hardware will be installed by hardware partner you choose SAP won’t interfere on that front ,SAP would support only Software and Databse.

      4. Where do we write the real time logs (or redo logs)?

      There are Log volumes which resides on Disks.Where we write Save points,redo and Undo Log files.

      Thanks
      Ajay

      Reply


  24. simi
    May 27, 2014

    hello, sir i am new to sap and i want to start my career in sap. kindly suggest me which module  should i  choose because my programming is not good therefore i am avoiding to select ABAP.

    Reply


  25. Dhanu
    July 28, 2014

    hi , i have completed my pg in human resources , i am willing to do sap , could you please which module could be the better one, and sap can only be done experience , is the sap with out experience is suggestable or not ?

    Reply

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