SAP HANA (short for “high-performance analytic appliance”) is an in-memory relational database management system that allows the rapid processing of large sets of data in real time. Having computational power in-memory gives HANA the ability to process the data stored as opposed to reading it from a disk, providing near-instantaneous results. The design allows this database to function as both an online analytical processing (OLAP) database and an online transactional processing (OLTP) one.

HANA’s column data storage is ACID-compliant and maintains industry standards like MDX and SQL. This guarantees validity in the event of power failure, errors and other issues.

SAP HANA has programming that allows the IT team to develop and run applications. It also allows a suite of spatial and predictive analytics across disparate data sources.

Since HANA can be used alongside a source SAP enterprise resource management application, data scientists are able to assess operational and transactional data for analysis in real time.

How SAP HANA Works

Unlike conventional RDBMSs, SAP HANA stores large volumes of data in a column structure. This structure allows for faster access and analysis of data compared to row memory storage.

The setup needs significant memory to run, but data compression allows for smaller databases compared to traditional components. Other advantages include better data management, data analytics and applications.

SAP HANA supports many effective use cases for real-time data analysis, such as:

  • Networking monitoring and optimization
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Security and fraud monitoring and detection
  • Retail forecasting and profitability
  • Energy use monitoring and optimization

Deployment Options

SAP HANA may be used as an application or it may be used within a cloud service. The main cloud structures are:

  • SAP HEC, which is an infrastructure as a service that allows users to run in their private cloud.
  • SAP Cloud, which is a platform as a service that allows users to create applications.

Use with Big Data

With big data, the biggest advantage of this technology is that it provides efficient access to data for real-time analytics, which is valuable when dealing with the sheer volume. With the use of SAP Leonardo, HANA can integrate with other technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing.