How to choose the best IT infrastructure for SAP HANA

By | 5 minute read | August 2, 2018

As companies face the looming 2025 challenge to migrate to SAP HANA, many leaders are wrestling with the decision to deploy HANA appliances, move to SAP HANA Cloud or stay put on their current database stack that they have spent years investing in to their unique environments. IBM has worked with many clients who have made the decision to move forward well ahead of the deadline and have seen business improvement as a result.

SAP HANA is one of the first data management platforms to handle both transactions and analytics in memory on a single data copy. It converges a database with advanced analytical processing, application development capabilities, data integration and data quality. If your organization is serious about predictive analytics and machine learning (ML), HANA brings capabilities that can’t be acquired natively from SAP ERP.

Why SAP HANA, why now? You gain a single, secure environment for all of your mission-critical data assets, so you can manage large volumes of structured and unstructured data efficiently to improve total cost of ownership. At the same time, you can simplify your IT landscape and reduce administrative effort by consolidating multiple workloads onto SAP HANA.

Now that you know what the benefits of HANA are, consider these case study summaries as examples of how companies of all sizes have turned to IBM for on-premises, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions that are tailored to the business outcomes they needed to achieve.

Business case for ERP transformation

An important difference between being a leader and a laggard in your category is the ability to innovate. IBM believes that S/4HANA can be a key part of a digital enablement platform for generating innovation and business value for organizations like yours. For many organizations utilizing SAP ERP today, the next logical step is to consider a move to S/4HANA.

While some organizations may view end of support for SAP ECC in 2025 as a reason to act, IBM’s view is that an accelerated roadmap to S/4HANA Digital Core is an essential part of a digital growth agenda to generate significant business value, sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, S/4HANA should be seen as a part of an organization’s wider digital reinvention strategy – it’s not a technical version upgrade for a future point in time. It’s a transformation.

Why your IT infrastructure matters

The journey to SAP HANA can be a major transition. The decision of how you choose to implement it will impact your business for many years to come. IBM Power Systems is the platform built for big data workloads and the platform that you can bet your business on.

Our clients range across industries, geographies, company size and SAP HANA storage environment size. They all recognize IBM Power Systems as the preferred platform to provide flexibility without compromise.

IBM Power Servers for SAP HANA

IBM Power Systems is supported for Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) which gives you the flexibility to use storage and networking of choice and change configurations and have support from SAP – all while achieving lower TCA and TCO. This means that you can use nearly any IBM Power Systems for SAP HANA and reuse storage and networking already on hand.

IBM customers using SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems can expect remarkable results:

  • Flexible for changing demands: IBM Power Systems, the first platform to provide a supported environment for virtualized instances of SAP HANA, is capable of running up to 8 SAP HANA production VMs on one system. IBM has this virtualization capability without the restrictions of VMware and with the added benefit of an unprecedented 80 percent system utilization guarantee for enterprise class systems.
  • Resilient for continuous availability: Designed for up to 99.999%, Power Systems maximizes SAP HANA availability and provides the ability to preemptively migrate applications before failures occur using advanced self-monitoring and predictive failure alerts.
  • High-performance to accelerate insights: IBM Power Systems offers a 4X advantage in multi-threading and high-bandwidth memory compared to x86 offers larger environments (up to 32TB), all with fewer cores and outstanding performance.

IBM storage solutions for SAP applications

As you transition to SAP HANA you’ll also need purpose-built storage solutions to keep your valuable data safe and secure. IBM Storage Solutions for SAP Applications is a portfolio of system components that have been curated to support SAP HANA and S/4HANA databases. It’s a combination of Spectrum Suite software and Spectrum Storage hardware to support SAP applications and in-memory database workloads.

IBM customers using SAP HANA on IBM Storage can anticipate exceptional results:

  • SAP Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) Certified: Select IBM Storage with the assurance that IBM Storage has curated systems certified to fulfill the requirements of your SAP HANA environment.
  • Flexible for changing demands: IBM Spectrum Storage is the first software-defined storage family designed to simplify and speed storage management, scale with data anywhere and optimize economics with multi-brand virtualization, intelligent tiering and open application programming interface (API) support.
  • Reliable, efficient data protection: Data protection for business-critical analytics with IBM Spectrum Protect enables reliable, efficient data protection and resiliency for software-defined, virtual, physical and cloud SAP environments.
  • High-performance to accelerate insights: Whether cost-effective hybrid storage or application-accelerating flash storage, we can accommodate environments from entry-level to enterprise, leading to data center footprint reduction of up to 88 percent and performance increases of up to 18 percent.

IBM Cloud for SAP applications

IBM helps you to set up and run scalable SAP software landscapes on the cloud, potentially delivering cost savings of 20 to 25 percent over five years compared to traditional self-management and operation of SAP software. Our cloud infrastructure helps you to reduce the complexity associated with SAP software proliferation and avoid high up-front capital expenses. Our flexible pricing options help consolidate virtually all operating system and system management licenses and services into a single monthly billing charge.

IBM provides a quick and easy way to run proof of concepts (POCs) by offering IBM Cloud for SAP Application StartUp Bundles. These are pre-configured SAP products for quick startups and includes:

  • S4-HANA-Simple Finance
  • Business Warehouse on HANA
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) On HANA

Smart choice for all SAP HANA deployments hosted on premises, hybrid and cloud

Implementing SAP HANA on our platform enables faster time to insight, now and in the future. Most importantly, as you transition to an SAP HANA database, IBM can help you to manage the transition every step of the way.

In line with SAP best practices, IBM provides support for any migration to IBM Power Systems servers and storage. In addition, IBM is the only vendor to offer fully integrated SAP HANA support through IBM Technology Support Services (TSS).

If you’re committed to a future with an SAP ERP landscape, then SAP HANA is the way forward. Why defer the inevitable outcome, when you can embrace the future right now? Reach out to an IBM representative or Business Partner for your free consultation and start your journey today with an assessment for an SAP HANA project.

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