Until some time ago, SAP HANA was only available as a preconfigured and preinstalled tested appliance. Those days are now over: The SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) approach gives customers the opportunity to design and run their own HANA system environment, at least in terms of the storage system at hand. A further option for network components could soon follow. In either case Linux will remain the only operating system compatible with HANA. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications is running on virtually every one of the several thousand existing HANA installations worldwide.
With conventional HANA appliances, customers previously had no choice but to implement a number of core components, including servers, storage systems, and network components. While these elements offered the advantage of being fine-tuned to one another, they were also considerably limited with regard to their flexibility. SAP and its partners thus faced the task of carrying out solution evaluations on appliances designed to serve as scale-up or scale-out systems. After completing the sizing and packaging process, they performed system assembly, testing, installation, and operations according to each customer's specific needs.
Making the most of IT budgets
Thanks to the added design and setup option the TDI approach affords, customers can now choose from storage systems from a variety of manufacturers – provided they are SAP-certified. This enables them to optimize their IT budgets and protect investments they have already made. To find out which storage partners are compatible with TDI, customers can contact SAP or its partners. Those interested in using TDI should, however, be aware that they will be responsible for installing and validating the components in question. They may want to enlist the support of a HANA hardware partner and rely on a SAP-certified technology specialist in HANA installations during the implementation.
HANA gaining momentum thanks to virtualization
Another way to make HANA operations more flexible and cost-effective is to opt for virtualization, which has noticeably sped up the proliferation of HANA since becoming available in May 2014. Today, diverse HANA virtualization scenarios can be implemented, including classic scenarios such as MCOD (multiple components on one system). MCOS scenarios are completed or even released to production in the future. The path for private and hybrid cloud SAP cloud computing with HANA in the future has been defined. Private cloud environments based around HANA have proven particularly popular with users. Here, SUSE stands ready to provide valuable assistance with SLES for SAP Applications, SUSE OpenStack Cloud, and SUSE Manager for HANA infrastructure automation.