What is SAP HANA?
A fast and powerful database that provides real-time, multi-model data analytics, SAP HANA serves as a platform for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other business applications.
SAP HANA defined

SAP HANA (High-performance ANalytic Appliance) is a multi-model database that stores data in its memory instead of keeping it on a disk. This results in data processing that is magnitudes faster than that of disk-based data systems, allowing for advanced, real-time analytics.

Serving as a platform for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other business applications, SAP HANA can be placed on premises, in the cloud, or both, in a hybrid cloud system.

SAP HANA integrates data from multiple areas within an organization, for example:

  • Traditional business documents – including contracts and spreadsheets
  • UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) – including website forms, emails and other customer interactions
  • Mobile – information from the mobile devices of customers and your workforce
  • IoT (Internet of Things) – data from the many sensors that run in every aspect of a business, from warehouses and trucks to stores and offices

The SAP HANA system not only integrates all of this data; it can also apply machine learning and AI to analyze it instantly and deeply, accelerating real-time decision-making by providing key insights into a company’s operations.  

Why is SAP HANA important?

Many organizations have vast amounts of data that essentially sits in a data warehouse and provides no value, amounting to terabytes of untapped potential that could be used to accelerate business impact and provide greater customer value.

With its lightning-fast, in-memory processing and real-time data analytics powered by machine learning, SAP HANA harnesses a company’s data and puts it to work for them, streamlining processes, eliminating errors, and providing benefits to clients, customers and employees. Enhance customer satisfaction with up-to-the minute product availability that can be accessed on any smart phone. Keep employees happy with simplified accounting processes, instant updates on benefits or vacation time, and enhanced collaboration platforms. And help managers and executives plan for the future with predictive analytics that can forecast supply chain issues, manage cash flow, and integrate team workflows for heightened efficiency.

What is SAP?

SAP (link resides outside ibm.com) (historically an acronym for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is a German software company that develops Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and other business suites to help manage operations and customer interactions.

SAP moved into cloud-based products in 2012, when it first developed the SAP HANA appliance. SAP launched SAP S/4HANA, a next-generation business suite designed only to run on the HANA server, in 2015.

SAP HANA features

SAP HANA’s in-memory, multi-model data management engine takes full advantage of the capabilities of its hardware to minimize data movements, thus increasing application speed and agility as it analyzes real-time data.

Depending on the needs of an enterprise, SAP HANA can be deployed on premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid system, blending the privacy and control of an on-premises system with the lower cost, greater memory, and increased access of the cloud. Its ability to efficiently process enormous amounts of data makes it easily scalable to suit a growing business without sacrificing security or stability.

On the SAP HANA platform, developers can build their own tools and applications that integrate business logic, control logic, and the database layer with unprecedented performance.

Database Enhancement

Most database systems are organized around a single data model that limits how that data can be organized, stored, and manipulated. SAP HANA’s multi-model database supports multiple data models against a single integrated backend, making it easy to establish the relationships among data points.

Data Management Enhancement

SAP HANA’s in-memory technology has put an end to cumbersome batch processing, instead keeping all data highly available with no latency – all processes take place in real time. Enterprises can dramatically simplify their management systems and change them as needed to improve efficiencies.

Advanced Analytics Processing

Real-time analytics makes it possible to tap into massive amounts of data, such as that coming from IoT sensors and mobile. SAP HANA’s machine learning engine extracts data from and writes to the server in real time, instantly identifying problems and engineering solutions in every aspect of an enterprise, from payroll to human resources to customer care to supplier management and more.

Application Development

Running on top of the SAP HANA database is a software stack system that acts as a tech-agnostic server for any web-based applications – SAP or non-SAP – that a developer chooses to create. Since the server can interact with all file types and exchange data with any software, businesses can rapidly develop and deploy customized queries and processes that are uniquely helpful to them.

Tools Enhancement

SAP HANA’s advanced analytical processing allows developers to build simple tools that business teams can easily use to produce custom reports – without help from IT or external consultants.

SAP HANA case studies

As global strategic partners, SAP and IBM have been collaborating and co-innovating for more than 25 years. Since the arrival of SAP HANA in 2012, IBM has developed a variety of software and hardware solutions that help businesses maximize the potential of SAP’s flexible business suites on SAP HANA.

Case studies show that companies that have migrated their ERP environments to SAP HANA supported by IBM Power Systems™ have enjoyed improved application performance, advanced digital self-service for customers, agile mobile capabilities, and more. Hear customers talk about their successes with the security, reliability, and performance of SAP HANA supported by IBM Power Systems.

Read the case studies
Solutions SAP HANA servers

SAP HANA on the IBM Power Virtual Server is a flexible solution that provides the option of hybrid cloud systems for SAP customers, whether they choose classic SAP ECC on AIX or SAP S/4HANA on Linux.

Scale-out servers

Next-generation IBM Power Systems servers are the industry leader in reliability. Optimized for Linux, the systems allow for multiple cloud deployment options and are designed to handle data-intensive, mission-critical workloads like SAP HANA.

SAP HANA storage

Learn how to combine the value of a SAP HANA investment with award-winning storage solutions from IBM.

Storage backup for SAP

IBM Spectrum Protect provides comprehensive data protection for physical file servers, virtual environments, and a wide range of applications. Scale up to manage billions of objects per backup server and reduce backup infrastructure costs with built-in data efficiency.

SAP consulting

Strategically paired IBM and SAP experts can help worldwide organizations of any size or industry develop custom plans that lower costs, increase agility, and improve results.

SAP on cloud platform

Flexible, secure, and reliable, the IBM Cloud platform has the performance capabilities to deploy SAP S/4HANA. And as an SAP Global Platinum partner, IBM also provides access to more than 37,000 SAP-certified professionals to assist at any stage of an enterprise’s digital transformation.

Resources Next evolution of SAP HANA

IBM and SAP announce new offerings to help companies map their journey to the intelligent enterprise. Leverage IBM’s next-generation platform, Red Hat OpenShift, with SAP Cloud Platform to enable the full scale of hybrid cloud capabilities.

Latest on SAP HANA

Current insights about SAP HANA on the IBM Power Systems landscape, including return on investment, how to keep data secure in a hybrid cloud system, and how to design an efficient SAP HANA system.

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