Monday, May 2, 2016

SAP HANA is One Stop Solution for Real Time Huge Data Processing

By Manu Sharma

Companies are always trying to find the best way to store data in a meaningful format so that they can make better business decisions. Since the birth of data warehousing almost 30 years ago, numerous innovations in data management have been made - such as Hadoop and NoSQL. SAP has contributed High-Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA), a platform for processing high volumes of operational and transactional data in real time. According to experts, SAP HANA has established itself as a baseline for further innovation.

SAP HANA is about 350 times faster than other conventional ERP technology. It is also known to provide the best user experience in the world. However, there are a few challenges while migrating /from other platforms to SAP HANA which are related to differences in file formats, structure, concept etc. In this regard, Arun Kumar VC, Senior General Manager - Enterprise Solutions, HTC Global Services shares insights on developments and challenges faced by companies while adopting SAP HANA. Excerpts of the interview.

How is HTC Involved with SAP HANA?
HTC is a successful SAP Partner currently providing strategic consulting, evaluation, implementation and on-going optimization of SAP solutions to organizations across the globe. HTC will help SAP customers design, implement and integrate solutions, optimize business processes, and provide strategic business consultation.

Many companies have been working with DBMS over the years, while ERP evolved later. What will companies do with the existing system? How is the migration going to take place?
Evolution of technology has always been embraced by organizations and has proved to be the most decisive factor in introducing innovations in businesses. SAP HANA is an innovative next generation business platform that combines the strengths of evolution in hardware and software technologies. The accumulation of massive amounts of data and the requirement to promptly process it in real-time makes SAP HANA the one stop solution. SAP HANA leverages in-memory platform, combines ACID compliant database with advanced data processing, application services, and flexible data integration services. SAP HANA has the ability to process structured and unstructured data in real-time and enables reporting without latency. SAP HANA delivers high volume transactional processing (OLTP) and high volume real-time analytical processes (OLAP) based on a unified data model without the redundant data layers typically required by traditional RDBMS based systems. Existing systems can be seamlessly migrated to SAP HANA with the help of multiple SAP migration tools.

What are some of the main challenges in migration of existing DBMS customers?
The key challenges in migration include:
·         Budgetary considerations
·         Developing strong, compelling, and convincing benefits
·         Streamlining the chores of migration
·         Getting the services of a trusted and dependable SAP authorized partner
·         Optimizing sizing and infrastructure
·         Finalizing Deployment option - on premise / cloud (private / public cloud) muddle for TCO Adopting the right migration strategy
·         Executing migration by managing downtime
·         Unicode and Dual Stack Split
·         Code Optimization
·         Cutover
Challenges can be overcome by fixing the budget, having a well-defined business case based on existing and new landscapes, proper planning for optimizing sizing and infrastructure with SAP authorized hardware vendors, resolving the on premise / cloud (private / public cloud) muddle based on security strategy, performance, accessibility factors,   migration strategy (old / new methods) depending on prerequisite check on the existing landscape, managing downtime for ensuring business continuity, custom code optimization to enhance performance, etc.

How is the migration going to take place in traditional companies and PSUs?
Size doesn’t matter – and an apt example to highlight would be that of the Indian Railways, which is one of the world’s largest rail network, is all set to be powered by SAP HANA - On an average Indian Railways sells close to 21 million tickets daily. The capabilities of SAP HANA will be utilized to make life simple and easy for the railway employees as well as passengers by bringing in reforms in the Ticketing System. HANA’s capability to process large volumes of data in real time, has made it to be the game changer for all organizations, irrespective of their size and type.

Saas in Cloud platforms are based on the concept of pay for the usage, how is Saas licensing going to impact the customers on the pricing side?
SAP has been traditionally an on premise based ERP. With the evolution of S/4 HANA, SAP has widened its reach into the cloud platforms with both private and public cloud offerings. The pricing model is subscription based and corresponds to the different versions such as – SAP S/4 HANA, public cloud enterprise edition – SAP S/4 HANA, public cloud professional services edition – SAP S/4 HANA public cloud marketing edition. Often, the pricing for SAP solutions (especially in the on premise world) is calculated on the basis of the number of named users. Pricing metrics for SAP’s cloud offerings have often been based on other factors, some of them being – customer’s corporate group’s revenue, number of expense reports processed per year by customer, etc. 

Companies are not open to sharing data with a third party organization, What is SAP HANA going to do to overcome this security challenge?
With the onset of SAP HANA, SAP ERP underwent innovations and transformed into SAP S/4 HANA. Customers can choose from various deployment options– On Premise, Cloud or Hybrid. This would be in line with the customers’ security compliance requirements. In addition to the security provisions in the SAP ERP, SAP HANA provides various security functions such as – User Management, Authentication and Single Sign-on, Authorization Framework, Audit Logging, Communication Channel Encryption, Data Encryption and so on. Also, S/4 HANA Private Cloud is designed for customers who are looking for increased security and privacy and who do not want to share a database container with other customers.

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