Today, SAP announced HANA One, a deployment option for HANA that is certified for production use on AWS available now in the AWS Marketplace. You can run this powerful, in-memory database on EC2 for just $0.99 per hour.
Because you can now launch HANA in the cloud, you don't need to spend time negotiating an enterprise agreement, and you don't have to buy a big server. If you are running your startup from a cafe or commanding your enterprise from a glass tower, you get the same deal. No long-term commitment and easy access to HANA, on an hourly, pay-as-you-go basis, charged through your AWS account.
SAP HANA is an in-memory data platform well suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications.
I spent some time watching the videos on the Experience HANA site as I was getting ready to write this post. SAP founder Hasso Plattner described the process that led to the creation of HANA, starting with a decision to build a new enterprise database in December of 2006. He explained that he wanted to capitalize on two industry trends -- the availability of multi-core CPUs and the growth in the amount of RAM per system. Along with this, he wanted to exploit parallelism within the confines of a single application. Here's what they came up with:
Putting it all together, SAP HANA runs entirely in memory, eschewing spinning disk entirely except for backup. Traditional disk-based data management solutions are optimized for transactional or analytic processing, but not both. Transactional processing is oriented around and optimized for row-base operations: inserts, updates, and deletes. In contrast, analytic processing is tuned for complex queries, often involving subsets of the columns in a particular table (hence the rise of column-oriented databases). All of this specialization and optimization is needed due to the fact that accessing data stored on a disk is 10,000 to 1,000,000 times slower than accessing data stored in memory. In addition to this bottleneck, disk-based systems are unable to take full advantage of multi-core CPUs.
At the base, SAP HANA is a complete, ACID-compliant relational database with support for most of SQL-92. At the top, you'll find an analytical interface using Multi-Dimensional Expressions (MDX) and support for SAP BusinessObjects. Between the two is a parallel data flow computing engine designed to scale across cores. HANA also includes a Business Function Library, a Predictive Analysis Library, and the "L" imperative language.
So, what is HANA good for? Great question! Here are some applications:
Real-time analytics such as data warehousing, predictive analysis on Big Data, and operational (sales, finance, or shipping) reporting.
Real-time applications such as core process (e.g. ERP) acceleration, planning and optimization, and sense and response (smart meters, point of sale, and the like).
As an example of what can be done, SAP Expense Insight uses HANA and it is also available in the AWS Marketplace. It offers budget visibility to department managers in real-time, across any time horizon.
The folks at Taulia are building a dynamic discounting platform around HANA One. They're already using AWS to streamline their deployment and operations; HANA One will allow them to make their platform even more responsive.
This is an enterprise-class product (but one that's accessible to everyone) and I've barely scratched the surface. You can read this white paper to learn more (you may have to give the downloaded file a ".pdf" extension in order to open it).
Deploy HANA Now
As I mentioned earlier, SAP has certified HANA for production use on AWS. You can launch it today and you can get started now.
You don't have to spend a lot of money. You don't need to buy and install high-end hardware in you data center and you don't need to license HANA. Instead, you can launch HANA from the AWS Marketplace and pay for the hardware and the software on an hourly, pay-as-you-go basis.
You'll pay $0.99 per hour to run HANA One on AWS, plus another $2.50 per hour for an EC2 Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large instance with 60.5 GB of RAM and dual Intel Xeon E5 processors, bringing the total software and hardware cost to just $3.49 per hour, plus standard AWS fees for EBS and data transfer.
To get started, visit the SAP HANA page in the AWS Marketplace.