Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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SAP HANA 2 Stresses Micro-Services, Analytics 


The second generation of SAP's HANA platform jumps on the micro-services bandwagon by emphasizing upgrades to the in-memory platform that speed development and deployment of distributed applications while adding data and workload management tools to streamline IT operations.

In a twist, the company also said it would work with a European reinsurer to leverage satellite data to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.

SAP (NYSE: SAP) rolled out its upgraded platform at a company event on Tuesday (Nov. 8) that includes a micro-services component designed to offer enterprise applications based on smaller, interactive elements. The company said it was releasing its "Hybris-as-a-Service" platform in Germany this week.

Meanwhile, SAP HANA 2 is scheduled for release on Nov. 30, with an "express edition" released shortly thereafter.

Bernd Leukert, a SAP executive, stressed in a keynote address that IT platforms are increasingly being used to move beyond processing data to managing and making sense of data in real time. The goal is to help IT organizations "shift their focus towards innovation, to continue to evolve data management and application development," Leukert asserted.

The software giant is betting that IT operations will become an asset rather than a cost center as developers leverage emerging cloud-based micro-services to push distributed application out the door faster. It is also extending application services with tools such as a new file processor API designed to extract metadata from applications that can be merged with new analytics capabilities.

Among the new cloud services tools for developers are text-processing features that use natural language processing in application development.

The company also announced the beta release of an "Earth Observation Analysis" micro-service that uses satellite data from the European Space Agency to perform spatial processing in the cloud. It is collaborating with reinsurance giant Munich Re to leverage satellite data to calculate the cost and risk of natural disasters such as wildfires.

The SAP HANA platform also responds to growing enterprise data management requirements that increasingly rely on database technology to prioritize workloads. The upgrade includes the ability to offload read-intensive queries to "secondary systems" as a way of balancing workloads and boosting overall IT performance.

The data management upgrade allows IT managers to test drive new technologies using visualizations to determine their impact on infrastructure before they are deployed.

As with most IT vendors, SAP is adding an analytics component to its upgraded platform and then tying them to applications so developers can leverage analytical processing engines for graph and streaming data. Ultimately, the company claims, data scientists could leverage new algorithms added to the upgraded HANA platform's predictive analytics library to incorporate machine learning into distributed applications.

The data management tools also emphasize the ability to partition data for access either in-memory or across disk storage. Ultimately, SAP's Leukert stressed, the upgraded HANA platform aims to leverage analytics to automate IT management so operators can focus more on development of new distributed applications.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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