The Database Revolution Continues

An intelligent enterprise needs to be able to anticipate outcomes and act in the moment. To truly respond in real time, organizations need to be able to analyze transactions as they are generated and correlate diverse data together using multimodal-data processing.

Copying, moving, and aggregating data not only restricts an enterprise’s agility, it also exposes data to security vulnerabilities and leads to a lack of trust in the data.

When it was announced just under 10 years ago, SAP HANA was one of the biggest innovations in business enterprise information technology. By combining analytical and transactional processing in a single in-memory database, it brought a radically different approach to the database market. Until then, there had been a strict separation of analytical and transactional workloads. Optimized data models, databases, and technology had been required to handle each type of workload, with no one system able to simultaneously handle real-time analytic queries and large volumes of transactions.

The in-memory performance and unique architecture of SAP HANA, however, enabled SAP to do just that — dramatically changing the game by enabling customers to attain real-time visibility across their businesses.

Today, more than 31,000 customers benefit from the combination of analytical and transactional processing. It has enabled the creation of new real-time “translytical” applications and significantly simplified application and data landscapes. SAP HANA’s breakthrough technologies enabled SAP to take an entirely new approach to the business processes at the heart of the SAP portfolio.

With SAP S/4HANA, for example, we brought our core enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to SAP HANA, resulting in simplified data models and eliminating redundant aggregates and indices. This in turn allows for much faster, more streamlined business processes, including embedded analytics to help move from insight to action all within the application.

More recently, we have also started to enlarge the SAP HANA footprint to our cloud lines of business, with solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors software processing 875 million cloud transactions supported by SAP HANA every day.

Outside the SAP ecosystem, SAP HANA has also matured as a general-purpose database, and is used to support a large set of custom applications. By leveraging the translytical capabilities of SAP HANA, organizations have been simplifying their applications in the same way that SAP simplified its own.

Almost a decade after it was launched, SAP HANA remains one of the most popular translytical solutions, a fact recently noted by market research company Forrester in The Forrester Wave™: Translytical Data Platforms, Q4 2019.

In the report, Forrester ranked SAP as a “leader,” noting its “strong focus on translytics with its market growth and innovation,” as well its “offering the broadest multimodel and advanced analytics support.”

Forrester also acknowledged SAP as the first major database platform to support Intel Optane DC persistent memory. Available with SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03 and above, this technology gives customers the ability to process more data in real time with increased memory capacity, lowers the total cost of ownership by transforming the data storage hierarchy, and improves business continuity with persistent memory and fast data loads at restart.

While we are of course very proud of our rating in this latest Forrester Wave on Translytical Data Platforms, we are also extremely proud of the impact SAP HANA has on our customers’ businesses.

A recent Total Economic Impact study conducted by Forrester Consulting with three customers of the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA service explored the impact of SAP HANA service on their IT cost savings, their business effectiveness, their risk versus reward, and the strategic impact of these implementations. Based on the customer feedback and quantified cost, risk, and flexibility factors, the study determined a three-year impact of 504 percent return on investment.

Forrester Consulting TEI study on SAP HANA
The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP HANA Service on SAP Cloud Platform, an October 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP

A detailed analysis of Forrester’s findings and more information about SAP HANA Cloud can be found in this webinar featuring Noel Yuhanna, principal analyst at Forrester, and Henry Huang, principal consultant at Forrester.

Going forward, we continue to innovate and optimize SAP HANA. At the recent SAP TechEd event in Barcelona, we announced the general availability of SAP HANA Cloud later this year. The first cloud-native, Internet scale in-memory database with SAP HANA, represents the next exciting step in SAP HANA’s evolution and how it serves our customers.

By bringing the value and performance of SAP HANA to data of any size in any location, SAP HANA Cloud will ultimately act as one data access layer to all a company’s data sources. In the age of Big Data, working with all data means moving beyond main memory. The separation of storage and compute allows users to move data up and down the memory hierarchy according to their needs for performance and cost.

Customers will be able to move their data from in-memory to persistent memory to SAP HANA’s disk store or the SAP HANA relational data lake, as well as external data lakes, and back again, as and when they need to. Because it will directly connect with the data from, for example, on-premise SAP HANA systems as well as non-SAP systems, data does not have to replicated.

Last but not least, SAP HANA Cloud will also provide full transparency over where the data resides and how frequently it is used.

You can learn more on the SAP HANA Cloud website. Sign up for all the latest news on SAP HANA Cloud here.

To find out more about Forrester’s evaluation of SAP HANA, access The Forrester Wave™: Translytical Data Platforms, Q4 2019 report here.


Gerrit Kazmaier is executive vice president of SAP HANA & Analytics at SAP.