SAP HANA is an in-memory RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) developed by SAP SE. Apart from being a database server, SAP HANA also provides quite a few other functionalities including advanced analytics and application server.

What is SAP HANA?

SAP developed and acquired quite a few technologies which were included in the development of HANA database. Technologies like an in-memory search engine (TREX), in-memory OLTP platform, and in-memory caching engine – liveCache were acquired and used in HANA, earlier known as High-performance ANalytic Appliance.

SAP HANA – Architecture [Source:]
This suite has a long list of features and benefits. I am summarizing few of them here:

  • In-memory – It gives a huge performance boost as data access from memory is much faster than accessing data from disk. However, this results in requiring very high memory, which is an expensive resource as compared to disk.
  • Dynamic tiering – The need of memory could be reduced by retaining only frequently accessed data in memory (hot data). Rest of the data is stored on the disk (warm data). This allows using lesser memory, but still retaining the performance.
  • Column-oriented – gives performance improvements for OLAP queries and also allows compression of a similar type of data in a column.
  • MVCC – multi-version concurrency control – Every transaction is a snapshot of data at a point in time. Old data is not overwritten but marked as obsolete and new data is stored.
  • Big Data – can support volumes up to a petabyte of in-memory data and still be returning query results under a second.
  • Analytic Engine supporting predictive analysis, text analysis, text search etc
  • Graph Database capabilities
  • Application server

SAP HANA has good deployment support from all the major cloud providers including AWS, GCP, and Azure.

I came across an interesting use case which mentions how F1 teams are using SAP HANA for real-time analytics. Read it here.

Related Links

Related Keywords

OLAP, OLTP, In-memory database, memSQL, Graph Database, SQLite, Aerospike, Big Data


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