SAP, IBM team up on in-memory analytics

SAP and IBM tout benchmarks for HANA on Big Blue hardware, underscoring their rivalry with Oracle

SAP announced Friday it has integrated its in-memory HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) with IBM's DB2 database, a move that underscores the companies' increasing alignment against rival Oracle and its Exadata platform.

The integration is enabled by SAP's Sybase Replication Server, which SAP gained through the acquisition of that company last year. DB2 is now "HANA-ready and can efficiently replicate data into SAP HANA in near real time," according to a statement.

So far, SAP has made no similar announcement regarding Oracle's database, which is a mainstay in many of its customers' ERP (enterprise resource planning) environments.

Also Friday, the companies released benchmark figures derived from a HANA installation on IBM 3850-series servers. The system used an X5 server with 32 cores, 0.5TB of memory and a RAID 5 disk array, according to a statement.

For testing purposes, the companies used SAP ERP data from sales delivery database tables. HANA was able to deliver 10,000 queries each hour on 1.3TB of data and brought back results in seconds, the companies claimed.

The results were achieved without assists like pre-aggregating the data or database tuning, in order to reflect real-world qualities of enterprise information, SAP said.

Such figures reflect both the promise and current limitations of HANA, according to analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research.

"If you only care about conventional business intelligence and only care about SAP data, SAP HANA could be a great choice for performance," he said. "There are multiple ways to get great business intelligence performance. If your use case is sufficiently limited, HANA is one of them. But the core idea of throwing things in RAM to make them run fast is legit."

It's not surprising that SAP moved to link HANA with IBM first, Monash added. "SAP and IBM are in tight co-opetition, with Oracle as their joint mortal enemy," he said. Still, "if HANA ever becomes sufficiently compelling, Oracle will have to partner with it."

SAP and IBM's announcement speaks to HANA's immaturity in another way, albeit only when one reads between the lines, according to Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus.

"What this press release is referring to is not utilization of DB2 for storage/persistence within the HANA platform," he said in an e-mail. This will eventually happen when HANA is integrated with SAP's Business Warehouse product, "which in fact does leverage the storage, indexing, partitioning, query and other features of third-party DBMSs," he added.

Friday's announcement "merely refers to HANA's ability to replicate data (via the Sybase tool) from external instances (non-BW-integrated) of DB2 (into HANA's in-memory columnar database) and/or from SAP ERP apps that themselves integrate with DB2," Kobielus said.

HANA currently consumes information from most databases via the ETL (extract, transform and load) process, a spokesman said. The near-real-time data synchronization provided by Sybase Replication Server will be enabled for databases besides DB2 in the future, he added.

Overall, SAP has placed high hopes on not only HANA but an array of specialized in-memory applications, a number of which were announced earlier this week at an event in Boston. The company is expected to reveal yet more details of its plans in May at the annual Sapphire conference in Orlando.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags OracleIBMbusiness intelligencesoftwareapplicationsSAPhardware systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?