SAP HANA: IN MEMORY COMPUTING
SAP High Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) or in-memory computing is the latest technology offered by SAP. SAP HANA allows the processing of massive amounts of data in real-time. Many large business using SAP records millions of transactions every year. These transactions are recorded in the SAP database and can be used by various SAP modules such as the SAP BI module to generate reports for senior management for decision-making purposes.
It often takes a a great deal of time to extract and process the millions of transactions that are recorded every year to produce KPI’s etc… which can be used by management teams to make effective business decisions. This often results in a time lag for reporting.
This can often impact the efficiency and effectiveness of decision making processes. SAP HANA or in memory computing aims to overcomes this problem by providing real-time analysis of transactional data allowing management teams to have access to the most up to date picture of their business. For example, SAP HANA allows the marketing managers to have access to real-time sales data even before the customer has left the retail store.
SAP HANA uses the latest in the hardware as well as software technologies to achieve the objective of processing huge amounts of data in real-time. SAP HANA is just a technology involving a few tools and does not replace the existing SAP modules in any way. It consists of tools for storing and retrieving data from the in-memory database (IMDB) and the new proprietary SAP database optimized for in memory computing. SAP HANA therefore makes the use of ERP systems even more meaningful and important for businesses.
TRADITIONAL COMPUTING VERSUS IN MEMORY COMPUTING
In traditional computing, the operating system, applications and other data is stored on spinning hard disks. This data is retrieved from the hard disk and passed to the random access memory (RAM) as and when required and then processed by the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The main disadvantage of this model is the bottleneck created in extracting the data from the spinning hard disks.
The spinning hard disk forms the secondary memory which is very slow when compared to the RAM. Therefore, with traditional computing system design a lot of time is wasted in extracting the data from the hard disk and moving it to the fast memory i.e. RAM.
SAP HANA removes this bottleneck by storing the entire database in RAM in real-time.