SGI, Dell Partner to Scale SAP HANA
The convergence of extreme scale computing and real-time workloads in large enterprises continues with a partnership between high-performance computing leader SGI and Dell aimed at providing in-memory computing to Dell customers running SAP HANA.
SGI, Milpitas, Calif., said Wednesday (July 8) the deal with Dell would expand access to large-scale, single-node computing for appliances running eight or more sockets on SAP HANA. SGI's UV 300 for SAP HANA offering is "fairly specific" to Dell's HANA customers, but SGI executives added they are exploring other partnerships as demand for extreme scale computing parallels growing enterprise data volumes.
The UV 300H appliance targets large SAP HANA environments that have so far been certified for up to 16 sockets with up to 12 terabytes of in-memory computing capacity in one node. SGI said its platform could scale up to 32 sockets and 24 terabytes of shared memory in a single node.
Moreover, it stressed the advantages of single-node systems over clustered configurations in terms of availability. The single-node architecture is promoted as allowing customers to run applications without cluster nodes, cluster networks and other overhead while eliminating the need to configure components like storage-area networks.
SGI officials also stressed in an interview that the deal enables Dell to address the higher end of the HANA market at eight sockets or more. Meanwhile, SGI gains access to Dell's large enterprise sales force as both pursue the higher end of the SAP HANA enterprise market.
For now, said SGI President and CEO Jorge Titinger, "We’re putting all the wood behind one arrow" while exploring other partnerships.
With more large enterprises adopting SAP HANA—and the in-memory data platform steadily moving toward big data analytics and other real-time applications—SGI is betting that demand for single-node architectures will continue to expand. Furthermore, the partners think the ability to combine databases and applications in-memory will speed the convergence of HPC and enterprise data management.
SGI estimates the addressable market for 8-socket or greater appliances running on SAP HANA will exceed $1 billion by 2018. The overall "scale-out" market could be as much as 10 times bigger, it reckons.
The partnership also gives Dell broader access to the market beyond 4-socket configurations. As SAP HANA users migrate up to 16 sockets, "You have to have a much more mission-critical architecture," Titinger stressed. At the same time, he added, demand for scalable computing has grown. Customers want "one [scalable] system and expect it not to go down," he said.
“Companies running larger environments on SAP HANA need a simple way to use scale-up, single-node architectures,” Jim Ganthier, Dell's general manager of engineered solutions, agreed in a statement announcing the partnership. SGI’s UV allows Dell "to meet the scale-up data, business and technical requirements" for SAP S/4HANA and other SAP analytics and applications, Ganthier added.
The growing requirement to run real-time analytics and other business applications at extreme scale "is one of the things driving the convergence" of HPC and enterprise workloads, Titinger argued.
SGI started working with SAP on socket certification for HANA in January 2014. Responding to critics who cite the supercomputer maker's relative lack of experience in the enterprise market, SGI executives noted that it helped develop the main file system for HANA. "It really is a natural progression for us," said Brian Freed, SGI's vice president for in-memory architecture.
The company announced in April it had doubled the number of sockets for its UV appliance for SAP HANA. At the time, Freed said, "HANA software continues to mature [and] the hardware is ready."
The partners said the UV 300H could be deployed either as an appliance or in a SAP-tailored datacenter integration configuration for "real-time operations at extreme scale."
This week's deal allows Dell to immediately offer SGI UV appliances certified for SAP HANA along with other SGI technologies.