Organizations now have a choice when it comes to selecting an SAP HANA platform. SAP HANA is an in-memory, columnar-based relational database that can really accelerate your SAP queries, analytics and reporting.

SAP’s newest version of their ERP Business Suite, S4, also runs on the SAP HANA database. Instead of deciding which x86 commodity server can run their SAP HANA workloads without hitting performance constraints, they can choose SAP HANA on IBM Power, the smarter big data platform. Power Systems provide an enterprise-class infrastructure, with performance, reliability and stability that x86 servers simply cannot match.

IBM Power Systems servers were designed from the ground up for big data. IBM POWER8 processors have four times the number of threads per core (SMT8), four times the memory bandwidth, and five times more cache than x86 processors. This explains how the POWER8 platform is able to provide faster application access to in-memory databases like SAP HANA.

HANA on Power is not being offered as an appliance, as is the case with x86 platforms. With the x86 HANA appliance delivery approach, there isn’t any infrastructure choice, as you must use the storage provided with the appliance.  With SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, clients get better server and storage choices, for more flexibility and greater savings. This is done by using the SAP Tailored Datacenter Integration method or TDI, which allows organizations to integrate the solution into their existing environments. You can potentially use the enterprise storage that you already have.

SAP HANA on Power is also less expensive compared to x86 SAP HANA appliances, especially when factoring in all of the SAP servers you may need. For instance, a total SAP landscape may include the need for QA, test and development, and the POWER8 platform is capable of consolidating all of these non-production SAP workloads onto a single server. The Power Systems platform has always provided better TCO than a comparable x86-based solution, but due to the strength and flexibility of the POWER8 architecture, it can also provide better TCA (total cost of acquisition).

SAP HANA now runs on all POWER8 servers.  Also being offered are Power Systems Solutions Editions for SAP HANA. There are three Solutions Editions configurations to choose from, all designed to get up and running quickly for rapid time-to-value. Unlike x86-based appliances, the Power Systems Solutions Editions are completely customizable, too.

A case study concluded that SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems significantly boosts performance. An SAP Partner, NTT Data, evaluated SAP HANA on Power. Upon testing the solution, it was found that:

  • It’s significantly easier to deploy SAP HANA on Power than other platforms
  • An SAP HANA instance could be stood up in days on Power to do a proof of concept, as compared to the x86 appliance model, which takes much longer
  • The benefits of SAP HANA on Power include rapid provisioning, lower cost of ownership, and faster performance
  • Query results went from hours to seconds, resulting in up to 40x faster performance

If you are looking to bring enterprise capabilities to your SAP HANA environment, it’s time to consider the POWER8 platform. Contact us to learn more about SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems.

Additionally, you can see the SAP HANA on POWER8 Systems announcements here.