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

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?