HANA is a core pillar of SAP’s Business Technology Platform. Sometimes, a customer or another vendor will make a statement that HANA appears too expensive, in comparison to other database technologies.
I always ask the same question: HANA is too expensive according to what measure? The typical answer is price per terabyte, and this is far too simplistic.
Let me explain why HANA is a great value, using an analogy. Let me ask a question: Which one of these airplanes is too expensive?
Since not every one of my readers is a pilot, I included four of the most important stats about an airplane, including discounted “street price” for each, maximum payload capacity, speed, and range in nautical miles during optimum weather conditions. Since “terabytes” is a capacity measure like payload, I even did the math on price per pound.
So, given this example, which one of these airplanes is too expensive?
The answer is impossible without more color, because no one can answer that question without knowing the mission that the airplane will be used for.
So let me give you a mission: Let’s imagine that a huge earthquake just hit an island in the Pacific. People are desperate for food, water, and medical supplies.
The cargo airlift C-17 is nearly twice as expensive per pound of payload as the twin-engine Baron or the Boeing 787. The 787 has greater range as well. But is the C-17 too expensive, when the mission is airlifting the life-saving supplies to the people on the faraway island?
To be clear, these six airplanes are more similar to each other than the six technologies pictured below are to each other:
To the naked eye, information technology boxes, racks, and datacenters look alike, full of high-speed chips, fans, and blinking lights, but the architecture, agility, flexibility, and the ultimate results of your projects are very different.
SAP invented the HANA platform out of necessity because no technology existed to accomplish the mission. The mission that HANA fulfills is:
- A true real-time system that
- combines real-time transaction processing with real-time analytics, while
- enabling enterprise-wide self-service analytics and
- advanced analytical engines, with
- agility, flexibility, and scalability on the
- same, simplified copy of the data, while
- enabling best-of-class federation to play the data where it resides.
If you want to become a completely real-time business with a 360 degree view of customers and a 360 degree view your own operations, no technology can accomplish the mission, at scale, other than SAP HANA.
Companies that want to compete aggressively, to grow, to thrive during challenging times, want real-time information at their fingertips, supported by advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. HANA is unique, enabling smarter decision making and cost-saving automation throughout the enterprise.
HANA offers what has never been possible, at scale. Is HANA the right technology to store and process all your data? No, of course not. Companies collect a lot of very large “big data” such as images, video, audio, IOT, and web clickstream, that best fits in slower, less capable “cold” storage technologies. HANA is designed for your most important “hot” data while having great capabilities to access all the warm and cold data, giving you a combined, brilliant view of your enterprise. SAP’s HANA includes flawless integration to our columnar IQ for “warm” data tier, to improve performance at a great value. Lastly, HANA has built in application and integration capabilities far beyond the lightning fast in-memory database that it is famous for.
When used for the right mission that it was designed for, HANA is one of the best values in all data technology. It is a cornerstone pillar of the SAP Business Technology Platform, and now available in Hana Cloud Services and the ridiculously easy-to-use SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.
PS. I have my short executive brief overview of HANA on video here.