Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, April 10, 2020
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Cloud Convergence for IBM Power9 and SAP HANA 

Hoping for a marriage made in cloud heaven, IBM announced this morning that SAP now offers certified access to IBM Power9 servers in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) data centers, enabling users to run big data analytics in-memory database HANA workloads in hybrid cloud environments.

With virtualized server scalability of 24TB for the database, IBM said the Power Systems E980 is the largest virtualized server scalability for HANA. The certification makes SAP HEC “a critical infrastructure platform provider for large SAP HANA systems, aiming to simplify the IT infrastructure for the managed, private cloud environment” IBM said, “allowing users to scale-up their HANA applications in a private, managed POWER9 instance.”

“SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on IBM Power Systems will help clients unlock the full value of SAP HANA in the cloud, with the possibility of enhancing the scalability and availability of mission critical SAP applications while moving workloads to SAP HANA and lowering TCO,” said Christoph Herman, SVP and head of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud Delivery. “Combining SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud capabilities with IBM Power Systems can help establish a faster path to cloud readiness for our clients while addressing risk and providing closer alignment to the intelligent enterprise.”

IBM Power9 E980 server

IBM Power Systems have been certified for SAP HANA for nearly five years. This latest collaboration between the two companies is enabled by the availability of Power9 systems in the IBM Cloud, which the company said supports its goal of “bringing IBM Cognitive Systems technology to our clients, no matter where they are.”

The combined capability uses a hypervisor to define virtualized, on-demand features, allowing “clients to take advantage of multiple SAP HEC service levels and transform their IT operations by shifting the focus from infrastructure maintenance to innovating with SAP HANA in the cloud,” IBM said. The result, according to the company, is accommodation of capacity changes that allows users “to benefit from faster performance of their SAP HANA-based business intelligence applications by running them in a single node….”

While it may seem SAP HANA goes back further than the 2010 launch of its original release, as of Q3 of last year, SAP SE reported there were approximately 12,000 subscribers for S/4HANA, up from less than 370 in 2015. Compared with previous SAP database solutions, HANA’s distinguishing feature is that it’s a column-oriented (storing all data in a single column), in-memory database that combines on-line analytical and transaction processing, designed to run analytics workloads while freely accessing data in live memory.

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