My father was born in Hawaii, where "ohana means family. In the Hawaiian culture ohana binds family and friends, to work together and remember one another. So when I think about HDS and SAP, the word OHANA comes to mind. Why you ask? Because Hitachi and SAP’s partnership is entering its 21st year and we are currently an SAP global service and global technology partner as well as an OEM partner. Our blade technology and UCP solutions with SAP HANA have earned us a leading position among SAP partners. At the end of this month we expect to finish the acquisition of oXya, an SAP cloud service provider. The acquisition will extend our reach into public and hybrid cloud as well as managed services to help customers migrate to the SAP HANA platform with complimentary hardware, software, and services solutions.
SAP Family Runs on HANA
On February 3, 2015, SAP announced Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. This is a major rewrite of their ERP products so they can take full advantage of HANA’s, high speed, in memory platform. SAP stated that future application development will occur exclusively on HANA. Now the whole family of SAP products can run on the HANA platform.
HANA itself is evolving from a fast in-memory database delivered as an analytics appliance to a database management system that can address most enterprise business requirements - a database, a data warehouse, an analytics appliance, an application server, a development environment and a cloud platform. SAP HANA SPS 9 released last year has added a lot of new capabilities like multi-tenant data base containers and dynamic tiering. Multi-tenancy enables multiple database workloads to run on a single HANA instance. This allows for the use of larger converged solutions like the Hitachi UCP (Unified Compute Platform) which is simpler to manage and more efficient to operate. Dynamic tiering is a feature, which lets HANA move warm data from memory to disk while still retaining its columnar format and reduce the requirement for higher cost memory.
Friends and Family
SAP HANA also works together with its partners and friends like Hitachi Data Systems who can contribute game changing enhancements to the HANA family. The Hitachi UCP has two unique features that contribute to the adoption and success of HANA implementations, LPARs (Logical Partitions) and SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessing)
Hitachi’s Intel Xeon based Compute Blade servers feature an embedded logical partitioning (LPAR) capability implemented in the x86 blade server firmware. This is Hitachi technology that was originally developed for Hitachi mainframe and Unix systems to provide platform partitioning for reliability and quality of service for mission critical workloads. (For more details see my previous post).
When used in a converged solution like Hitachi Data Systems UCP, LPARs can be used to consolidate workloads such as scale out SAP or multiple Oracle RAC and non-RAC applications, reducing hardware and software licensing costs and complexity. Now with the new Intel E5v3 processor (Haswell), Hitachi x86 Compute Blades, can also support the consolidation or “nesting” of Virtual Machine Managers (VMM) like VMware, Hyper-V, and KVM, on LPARs in a single or SMP blade system. The use of LPARs could be very useful in migration to the HANA platform where customers have a legacy investment in ERP systems or databases. The picture below shows different options for running LPARs and embedded Virtual Machine Managers.
The SMP capability enables a customer to consolidate Hitachi Compute Blades from 1 to 2 or 4 blades via a front –side SMP connector. This aggregates the resources up to 4 blades into one environment, sharing a common operating system and memory. This is a perfect compute platform for SAP HANA’s SPS 9 in-memory database containers.
UCP and SAP HANA
The stated direction for SAP is to eventually run all SAP Apps on HANA’s in-memory database. What this means is that eventually all applications will look at the same data at the same time – so the entire business can react in real time. Customers who transition to SAP HANA will have a major advantage over those who still process data and generate reports over weeks and days rather than minutes. Our long partnership with SAP as well as our success in deploying UCP with SAP HANA, positions us well to support customers as they transition to SAP Apps on HANA.
In February 2015 a Forrester Total Economic Impact study was done for us with three European and one Chinese customer who implemented SAP HANA with the Hitachi Unified Compute platform. These customers had been running ERP and Business Warehouse on non-converged solutions. One customer was also converting over from a non SAP ERP system. While the reduction in reporting time from SAP HANA was to be expected, the use of preconfigured and pretested Hitachi UCP allowed customers to reduce deployment time by 50% to 70%, which translated into one to two weeks. “Organizations do not have to wait for different components to arrive from different locations at different speeds; they also do not have to invest time into assembling, configuring, or testing the full solution. “ Hitachi was selected due to the completeness of their converged solution, price performance, ease of deployment, scalability, resilience and customer service.
Forrester concluded that Hitachi UCP for SAP HANA had the following financial impact on the composite of these four customers. You can access this report here: Report: The Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Of Hitachi Unified Compute Platform For The SAP HANA® Platform.