Intel and SAP Go Big: Here’s What You Need to Know

For many enterprises, no software provider is as critical to their ongoing operations as SAP. From customer experience management to supply chain optimization or hyperscale cloud platforms and advanced real-time analytics, SAP provides solutions that cover a company’s entire value chain and information chain.

Intel and SAP have worked together for over a decade to deliver hardware and software solutions that speed enterprises’ digital transformation. It’s a partnership focused on simplifying digital transformation while building intelligent enterprises for the emerging Experience Economy.

Intel and SAP announced a multi-year technology partnership focused on optimizing Intel’s platforms, including Intel® Xeon™ Scalable processors and Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, for end-to-end SAP enterprise software applications, including SAP S/4HANA. A center of excellence (COE) is also planned to demonstrate the ability of Intel and SAP technology to provide strategic capabilities and enable digital transformation.

The digital economy has produced an enormous amount of data, but very little of it has been analyzed. That leaves a huge opportunity for business growth, with SAP HANA at the forefront. The partnership will use technologies from Intel to boost the SAP platform technologies that underpin its enterprise applications, including: real-time in-memory computing, streaming and Big Data analytics, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and security.

The goal? Provide customers best-in-class performance, reduce operational risk through improved resilience, deliver open and extensible frameworks, lower total cost of ownership for SAP S/4HANA deployments, and enhance digital transformation projects geared to engage the Experience Economy with SAP C/4HANA and Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics).

A Long History of Partnership

At the launch of the 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Optane DC persistent memory earlier this year, Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, said of the software collaboration, “No partner has been more deeply engaged with us in this space than SAP.”

Intel and SAP have a proud history of joint innovation. In fact, Intel IT’s own internal open data platform uses SAP HANA for real-time data management, with a Hadoop cluster running on Intel Xeon-based servers, for its supply chain data analytics system. Thanks to SAP HANA, Intel’s supply chain managers can analyze data within seconds of it being created – leading to faster decisions, streamlined business processes, and operational excellence.

Breaking New Ground Together

Intel and SAP strive to take full advantage of Optane DC persistent memory in SAP HANA, including early access to the technology to deliver the first major database platform optimized for persistent memory with the SAP HANA 2.0 SPS03 launch last year. We are already breaking boundaries – supporting a memory ratio of 4.5 TB/socket, six times more for analytical workloads than the prior generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor core-to-memory ratio. Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules greatly expand memory size without requiring more memory slots.

With volatile DRAM (conventional) memory, SAP HANA in-memory data must be backed up to disk, and data must be reloaded from disk after every planned or unplanned reboot. This is not necessarily the case with Intel Optane DC persistent memory because main memory is sustained even without power. In an internal SAP benchmark, Intel Optane DC persistent memory created a 12.5x improvement in SAP HANA data load on startup time compared to traditional DRAM and an SSD configuration, reducing recovery time from 50 minutes to four minutes on a 6TB HANA instance.*

Let’s do the math together: 50 minutes / four minutes = 1250 percent improvement. Not too shabby.

Obviously, this can significantly increase service uptime, and time is money. It also reduces risk in the deployment of multi-terabyte systems, providing customers the confidence to go big when they go real time with SAP HANA.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

SAP HANA with persistent memory can manage more data at in-memory speed, at a reduced cost, and with improved business continuity. Take for example, Geberit AG, a leading Swiss-German enterprise. To find out about the company’s experience evaluating persistent memory technology with two SAP HANA systems, read the case study: “How Does a Leading Provider of Sanitary Products Increase Data Volume at Reduced Costs?

Customers can become more efficient through consolidation of multiple SAP HANA instances onto one system and are continuing to innovate with disaster recovery, system replication, and resource-intensive use cases that leverage the built-in machine learning and predictive analytics capabilities of SAP HANA.

Ready to get started? To get more details on the benefits of persistent memory with SAP HANA, read the white paper, “Change the Rules of Database Management and Reap the Rewards.” Learn more about our partnership and find additional resources at intel.com/SAP.


Irfan Khan is president of Platform and Technologies at SAP.
Lisa Davis is vice president of Digital Transformation and Scale Solution at Intel.

This article also appears on the Intel IT Peer Network.


Performance results are based on testing as of May 30, 2018, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to intel.com/benchmarks.
SAP HANA simulated workload for SAP BW edition for SAP HANA Standard Application Benchmark Version 2 as of 30 May 2018. Baseline configuration with traditional DRAM: Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 server with 8 x Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8176M processors (28 cores, 165 watt, 2.1 GHz). Total memory consists of 48 x 16 GB TruDDR4 2,666 MHz RDIMMS and 5 x ThinkSystem 2.5” PM1633a 3.84 TB capacity SAS 12 Gb hot-swap solid-state drives (SSDs) for SAP HANA storage. The operating system is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3 and uses SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03 with a 6 TB dataset. Average start time for all data finished after table preload for 10 iterations: 50 minutes.
New configuration with a combination of DRAM and Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory: Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 server with 8 x Intel Xeon Platinum 8176M processors (28 cores, 165 watt, 2.1 GHz). Total memory consists of 48 x 16 GB TruDDR4 2,666 MHz RDIMMs and 48 x 128 GB Intel Optane DC persistent memory modules (PMMs), and 5 x ThinkSystem 2.5” PM1633a 3.84 TB capacity SAS 12 Gb hot-swap solid-state drives (SSDs) for SAP HANA storage. The operating system is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3 and uses SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03 with a 6 TB dataset. Average start time for all data finished after table preload for 10 iterations: 4 minutes (12.5x improvement).

This article first appeared on the SAP News Center.