Just came back from SAP SAPPHIRE in Orlando. If you watched the keynotes (Keynotes here) you will hear a lot on Leonardo, of course SAP HANA and IoT/Big Data and AI. One of the big topics is around Simple SAP. I understand that making a very complex architecture such as ERP or BW simple will take time. In the meantime I would like to clarify a topic that has been brought to our attention from several customers lately that demonstrate that SAP still needs some time to further eliminate complexity and confusion.

I am talking about SAP HANA and the ability to run it more cost effective by moving warm, not so frequently used data, onto another tier. Intention is to put more data into SAP HANA without increasing the cost for hardware, software or licenses. There are several ways of doing so. We believe that the most efficient and effective way of doing so is using SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering. It is HANA’s capability to use SAP IQ as the warm data store, residing on a storage layer. We tested SAP HANA DT (see blog on details here and joint SAP/Pure white paper here) with tremendous results.

  • Efficient – Run SAP HANA with up to 75% cost reduction in licenses
  • Fast – Run SAP HANA DT with HANA-like performance
  • Simple – No special tuning or configuration necessary
  • Easy – SAP HANA and DT on FlashStack

Now SAP HANA DT is currently only available for BW and not for Suite, but in our discussion with SAP’s HANA and HANA DT product management confirmed that availability for Suite is on the roadmap.

In the meantime SAP introduced another method on expanding the data footprint for SAP HANA in a more cost effective way. SAP HANA Extension Nodes for BW. It is essentially adding nodes to the scale-out environment that have less restrictive, more relaxed CPU/memory ratios, so customers can put more data into the HANA node. (more details here, or here). It is a simple way of providing a simple way of expanding the SAP HANA data footprint, but here is the comparison to SAP HANA DT.

Extension nodes are….

  • Costly – Since you need additional nodes, what means additional server (CPU, memory, network. A typical 1TB server can cost between $75k-$100k, so 4 extension nodes can cost between $300k and $400k!)
  • No cost savings for SAP HANA licenses, since all the data is still in memory
  • Less simple – It is only for scale-out, what’s a but more complex than scale-up
  • Temporary until SAP HANA DT is enterprise-ready in 2018
  • Higher risk – migration work neccessary

DT vs EN MatrixWhat SAP told us is that the reason for Extension Nodes is to provide customers an enterprise-ready solution for SAP HANA today. What it means is that they are eagerly working on making DT enterprise-ready as well. It also means that SAP HANA DT will be the de-facto standard for SAP HANA data tiering with cost savings and tight integration into SAP’s Big Data/IoT strategy using SAP VORA.

So what does that mean for you as a customer?

We suggest that you start using SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering today, since it provides you the cost savings you want with little performance degradation to get onto the road to HANA quick and easy. Once SAP HANA DT will be enterprise-ready you can simply upgrade your DT and done!