SAP Sends HANA to the Cloud
October 23, 2012 Alex Woodie
SAP last week announced HANA Cloud, a cloud version of its in-memory database that can be used to power cloud applications developed in Java or its NetWeaver technology. SAP also unveiled a hosted version of HANA that lives on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud and will allow customers to quickly spin up HANA to run small workloads or for testing proof of concepts.
HANA was on full display last week at the SAP TechEd 2012 shindig in Las Vegas, Nevada. The popular in-memory database system, which can be used for both transactional and analytical workloads, is less than two years old, but it’s already garnered rock star-level status for the German software giant, not to mention many imitators who have latched onto in-memory computing as the next “big thing” in enterprise IT.
The new HANA Cloud offering looks to take the technology up a notch, and place HANA center stage in SAP’s cloud strategy.
The offering is composed of two elements, including DBServices and AppServices. The AppServices components will provide a place to develop and run apps developed in Java or other environments. SAP says it has plans to put in place a “robust set of shared services” that will provide rapid roll-out of a range of apps in the cloud, including portal, mobile client, analytic, and collaboration applications.
The first AppService is NetWeaver Cloud, a Java-based platform as a service (PaaS) offering that had previously gone by the codename “Project River.” NetWeaver Cloud combines an Eclipse development environment with an Apache runtime environment, all wrapped up in a Spring Java framework. It generates HTML5 user interfaces using the SAPUI5 toolkit, can connect to SAP and non-SAP data through REST Web services, and supports authentication using the SAP ID Service. The NetWeaver Cloud is hosted in SAP data centers, and can use either HANA or Sybase ASE as the database layer.
Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP executive board, says NetWeaver Cloud will enable customers and partners “to build applications that meet the needs of the new reality–lightning fast, instant mobile access, deep analytics with delightful user experience.”
With HANA Cloud, SAP is basically putting its in-memory platform into the same ring occupied by the likes of Salesforce.com, whose Force.com platform provides a springboard for cloud ISVs to deliver their wars, and Oracle, which unveiled its own infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud strategy two weeks ago at its Oracle OpenWorld show.
The first offering to fall under the DBServices component of HANA Cloud is SAP HANA One, a version of the in-memory database that lives on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Available now on the AWS Marketplace, SAP HANA One gives customers quick access to a hosted system with up to 60 GB of memory. Pricing is simple; it costs 99 cents per hour to use.
The HANA Cloud offerings, including NetWeaver Cloud and SAP HANA One, are intended to be used by both end-user companies and ISVs.
One of the ISVs that has signed on for SAP HANA One is Taulia, a developer of “dynamic discounting” software that helps companies streamline their accounts payable operations. The company’s CEO Bertram Meyer says: “Making SAP HANA One available for production use on AWS will enable us to deliver our solutions at scale to our customers and significantly ease our go-to-market ability.”
The pharmaceutical company Phoqus is using SAP NetWeaver Cloud to deliver new apps that feature “sophisticated user interface and portal capabilities coupled with native integration with back-end enterprise resource planning systems,” says John Koole, managing director for Phoqus. “This has allowed us to deliver a set of highly functional products that enables a rich engagement experience for patients with their healthcare providers.”