Converged Infrastructure

Why do I need to ensure the highest uptime for SAP HANA?

By Frank Wagner

Business Manager, HP Technology Services for SAP, EMEA


SAP HANA turbo charges the analysis of business data.  In fact, SAP has customers who are seeing performance improvements of 140,000:1, meaning that analysis that used to take days can now take less than five seconds.


Consider the application of this kind of capability.  For example, in the financial services industry,  SAP HANA enables the near real time analysis of disparate, “moving target” data, such as fluctuations in government bonds, currencies, emerging market projections and country credit ratings, all of which are critical to making decisions on where to invest in a financial portfolio.  If your business is advising clients where to invest, and these investments are worth multi millions of dollars, it’s critical that you have the most accurate and most immediate information available.


Before the introduction of SAP HANA, analysis could take days to complete, in which time the calculations would be effectively obsolete.  Now, with SAP HANA, analysis can be discussed, revised and recalculated over the phone with a client as it happens, with greater accuracy and more potential for being a step ahead of the rest of the market.


SAP HANA, when it is deployed, creates both a changed, streamlined architecture for data warehousing and also higher expectations of analytics throughout the organisation.   As another consequence though, if something goes wrong with the solution, the actual and perceived impacts are much greater than before.


Let’s have a look at the evolution all the way to SAP HANA. Prior to Data Warehouses or Business Warehouses the analysis of data was inside the various source systems themselves, such as the ERP system. Collecting data inside such warehouses inevitably creates redundancy, yet allows for much faster analysis.  Conventional tuning of SAP Business Warehouses is done through “aggregates”.  These are duplications of commonly required data which enables significantly improved performance (20 second query times as opposed to minutes or hours). The two downsides of aggregates are that they take up a huge amount of storage and they must be kept up-to-date, which is a significant effort. In many customer cases we know of, only  20% of the database is original data, with the  other 80% being taken up by aggregates.


Now, by implementing SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator, customers save significantly on capital and operational costs of over specified storage and improve their analytic capability to sub-second query response times (typically by double-digit factors, i.e. sub-second response times as opposed to more than 20 seconds). Customers save even more effort if they, in addition, delete the aggregates and do no longer maintain them at all.


The downside occurs if

1)      SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerators are introduced to become faster

2)      If aggregates were removed (to release equipment and to save the maintenance efforts for the aggregates)

3)      The SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator then fails.


 If the above 3 circumstances come together, then response times in the Business Warehouse can sky-rocket to hours or even run into timeouts.


SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator can be regarded as SAP HANA’s in-memory“predecessor”.  While the SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator accelerates the Business Warehouse reporting, the SAP HANA will replace the Business Warehouse database rendering the SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator obsolete. Reporting performance improvements of 1500x was out of reach for acceleration through SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator. Double digit factors yes, maybe low triple digit factors as well. But not to the levels seen with SAP HANA. So the downside potential from an SAP HANA failure is dramatically bigger than the one from an already dramatic SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator failure.


When SAP HANA is the database for the SAP NetWeaver BW, and subsequent failure of SAP HANA creates a truly dramatic impact, because the data is now persistently mastered within the SAP HANA in-memory database.  This is a major problem, particularly if the expectation of consistently reliable mission critical availability and real time analytics has led to changes in an organisation’s business processes, such as product manufacture being guided minute-to-minute by analytics of retail sales.


To summarize, the hierarchy with regard to speed when analyzing data is:

  1. Business Warehouses without aggregates. This is (often too) slow.
  2. Business Warehouses with aggregates. This is faster, yet still slow but often acceptable.
  3. Business Warehouses combined with SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator (aggregates either kept or deleted, this has no impact on response times). This is fast.
  4. SAP HANA (everything is in memory by design, no aggregates possible anywhere). This is so hyper-fast that the term paradigm shift is truly appropriate.

The one and only solution to this is to ensure that the right level of service and support is in place to pro-actively avoid SAP HANA downtime.


This is where HP Mission Critical Services comes into play.  In the next blog on this topic I’ll discuss how HP can de-risk SAP HANA and ensure constant uptime for customers.  To learn more on how new solution, services enable SAP application users to rapidly access, store and analyze data read HP Delivers Scalability, Availability, Expertise for SAP HANA.

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  • 25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..
  • Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • More than 25 years of enterprise and midmarket Strategy and Marketing leadership and experience. Prior HP appointments included VP of Marketing for Adaptive Infrastructure and VP of Marketing for the HP Storage Division. Past positions prior to HP include VP of Marketing and Business Development for First Virtual Communications as well as Principal and Founding Member of Adjunct Consulting.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry, managing ITSM, service development and delivery projects in Technology Services. Specialized in end2end support for ISV based business solutions. Certified ITIL and project management expert.
  • Hector has marketing and communications expertise. With vast experience within the Enterprise Digital Marketing communications team at HP.
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  • Marketing & communications professional with over 15 years of experience in a variety of industries across multiple continents. Part of HP Financial Services - helping customers build IT investment strategies that support tranformation and the ability to deliver business goals.
  • Eduardo Zepeda, WW TS Social Media Program Manager & Internal Communications for WW Technology Services Blogging on behalf of HP Technology Services (TS_Guest)
  • Julia Mason-Ochinero is WW CME Marketing Lead, HP Enterprise Marketing. In this role, Julia is responsible for driving dialog with CSPs on how they can transition to sustainable, profitable business models and enter into co-opetition with over-the-top (OTT) content providers who are changing this industry’s landscape. She joined HP in 2010 from Accel Partners (where she worked as a consultant.) Prior to Accel, Julia held marketing leadership positions with companies including Adobe, Nuance, OpenWave, Novell, Nuance Communications and RealNetworks. She began her career in Chicago working with organizations including AT Kearney, Andersen Consulting and Ameritech. She currently resides in Silicon Valley.
  • Focused on cloud, virtualization and appliance solutions for HP technology.
  • Hello! I am a social media manager for servers, so my posts will be geared towards HP server-related news & info.
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • More than 23 years of enterprise IT Marketing and Communications experience; working on the HP Converged Infrastructure Marketing team from when it was first pioneered and launched to the market in 2009.
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
  • Teri is responsible for the social media program for the HP Networking and HP Storage business units. Teri has has held global roles in IT, Operations, Sales, Partner Programs, Communications, and Marketing at HP.

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