Using SAP Hana as a data warehouse

Enterprises are using SAP Hana for in-memory data marts and SAP Business Warehouse implementations that integrate with other data warehouses. Today, SAP Hana can be used in a large range of capabilities and use cases, and it is fair to state that SAP is betting its future on the success of its new flagship technology.

Of course, there are a number of other in-memory products readily available in the market, such as those from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Pivotal and Teradata, and analytics home appliances in addition to integration middleware or cloud services.

The most typical SAP Hana use case scenario in the market today is as a high-speed in-memory data mart. Other use cases consist of SAP Hana as a database, analytics device, integration middleware, application server, development environment and a cloud platform.

In many uncomplicated situations, clients of SAP Hana remain to do the exact same reporting on the very same set of data sources however with considerable acceleration, by an aspect of 100 to 1,000-plus, depending on the particular situation.

In many cases, customers are not changing their existing huge data warehouse with SAP Hana because of cost and constraints on large-scale data warehouse application, however are complementing it to support near real-time analytics and new business understandings. However, other examples exist where some customers have consolidated their heterogeneous smaller sized data warehouse landscape on SAP Hana, to the extent that sizing enables.

Today, the largest SAP Hana implementations exceeding 10TB, although the majority of these are in between 1TB and 5TB. SAP has also tested SAP Hana to scale to 100TB.

Capabilities and differentiators

SAP Hana is a completely fledged database management system, among the leading in-memory column-store relational database platforms that run massively parallel throughout multiple nodes in a clustered setup. Unlike numerous other products in the marketplace, Hana is not a bolt-on indexing solution to improve what is essentially a disk-based, OLTP database engine.

SAP Hana was constructed from the ground up as an in-memory system to attend to obstacles that consumers were facing with their growing SAP business application and business intelligence (BI) platforms. Nevertheless, the limitation is that if it can not fit into dynamic random gain access to memory (DRAM), SAP Hana can not run; it can not have partial data on disk and memory. SAP Hana enables just for complete data in-memory.

Enterprises are using SAP Hana for in-memory data marts and SAP Business Warehouse (BW) executions that integrate with other data warehouses, including SAP Sybase IQ.

According to SAP, Hana has more than 3,600 clients today. Nevertheless, Forrester estimates that one-third of these are production clients, the majority of which are using it as a complementary in-memory data warehouse. The most dominant licensing of choice is the SAP Hana Enterprise Edition. Nevertheless, consumers explicitly thinking about running Business Warehouse on SAP Hana can accredit Hana in two ways:

  • By units of 64GB: This is priced as a flat charge per unit for as much as 10 systems, and the price then decreases with every additional 10 systems a customer buys. Future licensing purchases are accretive and retroactive.
  • By software application value: Clients pay a portion of their total SAP purchase price and get an unrestricted Runtime licence for Business Warehouse is a licensing alternative that is also available, consisting of enterprise resource planning (ERP) on Hana. For business that wish to leverage enterprise data warehouses on a cloud platform, SAP Hana is offered on Amazon Web Services, although presently most are small to mid-sized deployments that are generally less than a few terabytes in size.

Molson Coors Brewing is a Hana data warehouse user. It uses Hana as a data warehouse to simplify and accelerate its business intelligence architecture. Molson Coors Brewing did not initially revamp any reporting; it moved BW to the Hana platform to run its reports quicker.

“Specific to Molson, we didn’t upgrade the options, although we know that others have,” says a BI specialist at Molson Coors Brewing. “The tasks we ran were over-running our over night processing window. We still use ETL [extract, transform and load] and the Hana migration was a basic technical upgrade, given that we don’t straight report on any Hana views. At this moment in time, we don’t do real-time reporting … it’s not in the near future for us.”.

Systems integrators with experience in migration are among the paths firms can bring to deploy Hana.

Syntel, for instance, helped an insurance company with more than five million records in BW upgrade and transform the existing system to Unicode (SAP NW BW 7.31 to SAP NW 7.4) to migrate from Oracle to Hana Database, redesign and optimise the big database and applications to SAP BW powered by Hana, and to provide an unified solution for Business Warehouse and planning and consolidation on SAP Hana.

Another example is HCL Technologies, which assisted an international consumer goods company that is over 100 years of ages and whose double-digit growth in recent times required a new organisational structure. Its BI solution was not able to adapt to the new structures or accommodate the enhancing data sources that had to be incorporated.

“The project reason of ‘discomfort points’ will always originate from business,” states a BI project manager at HCL Technologies. “It’s rarely just the speed of reporting.”.

Suggestions on deploying Hana

Application development and shipment (AD&D) experts have to comprehend the complete spectrum of Hana abilities and use cases and build a long-lasting vision and roadmap for their company that leverages investments and offers a platform for real-time business improvement. If you start by accelerating your existing reports using Hana as an in-memory data mart, consider, as a next step, using it as an analytics device for some innovative analytic technologies, such as predictive, that run natively within Hana.


Source: Computer Weekly

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