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As business scenarios are getting more and more complex and competitive day by day, there is an acute need for real-time decision making. Decision making today is impossible without data, hence an organization’s success depends upon how the huge amount of enterprise data can be harnessed for accurate decision making. Organizations need to be pro-active and agile in its approach for remaining competitive in the market. However, traditional business intelligence solutions are not capable of managing real-time analytics on a large data set. For instance, if an software product development company uses a solution to identify customer count in terms of its product usage globally at a given period , it will help the company to be more strategic in identifying the sweet spots. The organization can segment customers, customize marketing and better manage cross sales and up sales using the existing enterprise data.
SAP HANA is an in-memory database that enables business users to analyse large data sets in real-time. It is deployable in premise or in the cloud. SAP HANA is a result of software innovations from SAP and hardware innovations from SAP partners. It aims at enhancing application performance, reducing cost of ownership, and finding solutions to the problems that couldn’t be resolved earlier. In fact, SAP HANA is already believed to be – the next generation of SAP’s in-memory computing technology!
Though the concept of in-memory is not novel, but it is with SAP HANA that it’s true potential has been realized! In-memory computing has the power to transform existing business models into Real-time enterprises due to tremendously improved hardware and dynamic innovations in software!
An In-memory Database System (IMDS) stores data entirely in the main memory, unlike traditional or on-disk database management systems that store data in a disk storage mechanism. In-memory database systems are getting a lot of popularity today because they are much faster to work with data in memory instead of writing to and reading from a file system. With a simpler design, in-memory database systems also require much lower memory and CPU requirements as compared to on-disk databases. SAP HANA gives the programmer the creativity to develop applications that incorporate business control logic and the database layer with unparalleled results.
Finally, we have left on-disk databases behind and have started storing the entire data inside the physical location of RAM. SAP customers can now just apply HANA to their existing databases and get instant performance improvements in their businesses. For instance, if you run a pharmaceutical company, SAP HANA can open endless possibilities for you in tracking at what point of time, which products are highest in demand and need immediate supply, at an incredible speed and accuracy! Thus, In-memory is a break-through innovation that makes things happen at the speed of lightning!
Some of the examples of In-Memory Applications are:
It will be wrong to consider SAP HANA as just a hardware or just a software. In fact, SAP HANA is a smart blend of latest hardware technologies and innovative softwares! Therefore, SAP HANA is known as an appliance, just like your household appliances which are pre-integrated and even pre-configured before delivering to the customer!
Appliance = hardware + software
The SAP HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) consists of:
Traditional RDBMS were developed on the premise of optimizing performance on hardware with limited main memory. In these, the major constraint was the Disk I/O, as the concentration was on optimizing ‘Disk access’, instead of focusing on the main memory. In sharp contrast to this, SAP HANA’s database is designed on the premise that the main memory is available abundantly without any limitations with regards to the I/O access to the hard disk. It is assumed that around 18 billion gigabytes or 18 exabytes of capacity is available in the memory for 64-bit systems! SAP HANA, which is a massively parallel distributed system, can run entirely in the main memory and optimize memory access between the CPU cache and the main memory.
Another striking characteristic of HANA database is that it handles data in a multi-core architecture for data distribution across all cores in order to enhance RAM locality using two functionalities – scale-up (vertically) and scale-out (horizontally).
Apart from the above, SAP HANA database also supports open interfaces, such as for Microsoft Excel. SAP HANA consists of SAP BusinessObjects BI suite for all analytical operations.
SAP BusinessObjects BI suite is optimized to retrieve data on SAP HANA and facilitates instant access and split-second response time to queries on huge data!
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