SAP's In-memory Computing Technology called 'HANA' (an acronym for High-Speed Analytical Apliance) deploys advanced data compression techniques to store information in RAM which is 10 thousand times faster than standard disks, empowering businesses to analyse that data in seconds as compared to hours.
Business Managers may not be I.T. gurus but they have had the longest affair with it. Technology not only helps them manage their businesses more effeciently but also helps them to make effective decisions for the successful steering of the enterprise.
In most cases, new technological breakthroughs were originally brainchilds of business managers. It is this demand that drives the investment in research and development of technology. As a rule, exponential growth-ambition demands limitless technology.
SAP HANA is a combination of hardware and software specifically made to process massive real time data using In-Memory computing. The heart of SAP HANA is the SAP In-Memory Database, a massively parellel processing data store. In-memory computing works by bringing data physically closer to the central processing unit. SAP HANA follows the same principals and moves data off disks and into the main memory, eliminating the need to run a disk-seek operation each time a data look-up is performed, significantly boosting performance.
In-memory computing is not a new fad, but actually was first thought-of in the early 90s. It was a fictional idea then, which hardware developers never gave up. Due to the technological advancements, the dream of in-memory computing seemed ever so possible with the amazing evolution of RAM (Random Access Memory). The first database engine to support both in-memory and on-disk tables in a single database was released in 2003. (Solid Announces General Availability of BoostEngine 4.0, the first on-disk/In-Memory Hybrid Database Manager [press release] 2003-04-28).
In January of 2012 SAP HANA became the fastest-growing technology in SAP history and in June 2012 they celebrated its first anniversary. Over the past one year, SAP HANA achieved major achivements and performance milestones. Here are some highlights:
- 354 SAP Centric Companies
- 150+ Implemented projects
- 16 customers with more than 10'000 times performance improvement over disk-based databases
- More than 64'000 end-users
- 1791 trained consultants
SAP customers all over the world are flocking towards SAP HANA because the revolutionary platform is changing what is possible for enterprise users. Now, real-time decisions and strategic business moves are enabled through instantaneous access and analysis of vast volumes of business data.
Consumer goods giant Uniliver (Dove, Hellmans and Lipton) is initially using HANA to increase its profit margins by accelerating its profitability analysis. It took Uniliver nine months to initially implement HANA appliances. Unilever still stores the CO-PA data in traditional relational database systems and that data is then mirrored on the Hana accelerator platforms where it can be used to carry out rapid OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) queries.
"With a € 50bn business getting your margin right and really understanding the profitability of the product better, even by just one per cent, already pays back all the investment. There’s a huge benefit." says Thomas Benthien (director of ERP CoE for finance and ES at Unilever) in an interview with TechRepublic.
Historically SAP products sales skyrockets soon after the ramp-up benchmarks are made public. Thats what is about to happen with HANA. The demand will get out of control with an extreme shortage of qualified HANA consultants. Despite hundreds of articles like this one, the entire marketplace is still not properly geared up to meet the demand.
Like I said earlier that HANA is the single most fastest growing product of SAP and now is the time for everyone to prepare for it. Hundreds of mom-and -pop shops have sprung up with a variety of trainings. Choosing a training partner who can provide the most effective guidance will be your biggest challenge. As a rule look for someone who has good Better Business Bureau, as well as Dun and Bradstreet ratings. Dont let the cheapest price dictate your decision. There are a lot of horror hit-and-run stories of victims who went for cheap schools and got nothing to show for their money.
Although HANA is the next big thing, improper training will throw you out of the circuit and will make it very difficult to find your way back in. So exercise your due deligence and compare detail curriculum carefully prior to selecting your SAP training partner. SAP HANA appliances are already supporting a number of SAP products so carefully choose the one you eventually want to have a career in. I will be glad to help anyone who is looking for guidance so feel free to drop me a line.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask at rupal@LearnSAP.com