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SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems: Common questions answered.

The goal here is to address the business needs IT departments are facing when looking to procure infrastructure for SAP HANA. You want it to support you for the next three years time, and in order to do that, you have to project how you’re going to scale over the next three years and look at hardware for that need.

Is there flexibility in place for unpredictable growth? 

Let’s look at an example of an organization that procured IBM Power Systems for two modules. They thought one module would grow to four terabytes, and that the second module would grow to two terabytes. Within a year, they found the second module grew to four terabytes, while the other one stayed at one terabyte. With the help of the superior virtualization capabilities of Power, this company was able to dynamically change the resource allocation and did not have to buy any new additional hardware.

How resilient is the infrastructure? 

SAP HANA is an in-memory database, so the software itself is a single point of failure, as it can cease to operate due to software errors or extreme out-of-memory situations. Since organizations are running mission critical applications on SAP HANA, availability has to play a major role. With the advanced RAS capabilities of Power Systems, companies can ensure their HANA environment is highly available.

How are costs controlled? 

A compelling number of case studies have shown that the total cost of ownership goes down significantly when using IBM Power Systems, because of the virtualization and resiliency that IBM provides to its customers. 

What’s the scalability like? 

We’ve found that customers mostly prefer to go for the scale-up approach, since it allows them to consolidate multiple HANA instances in a smaller number of boxes. Scale-out will have a higher number of boxes and the performance also goes down significantly.

How do Volta and IBM simplify management? 

You don’t want to have a farm of servers, or a farm of black boxes running SAP HANA modules only. You want to virtualize and consolidate environments. You want to make sure that you can change the resources per the business needs. Running SAP HANA on IBM Power makes sure you’re not stuck with an infrastructure that can’t be changed, and Volta is in place to help you implement those changes. 

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