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Former Member

There has been some talk this week around SAP HANA Hardware Pricing. SAP published a price list which is now only available on Twitter. The HANA hardware price list page is down for now and should be up soon.

Note that How much does a SAP HANA appliance really cost? Part 2, IBM & Ivy Bridge has now been released.

The original pricing showed $17k for a 512GB appliance, but that wasn't a certified appliance as it uses the Intel E5 platform, and this isn't supported by SAP. Interestingly the Amazon AWS EC2 appliance that runs HANA One, does in fact run on Intel E5 CPUs on the Xen virtualization platform. Ironically, HANA One is 40% faster per core than an equivalent Intel E7 CPU, because it is a newer generation, but we digress.

It also shows $55k for a 1TB appliance, which I think is a realistic price for an Intel E7 v2 appliance, but this hasn't been certified yet by SAP. It won't be long before this happens, however, which is very exciting news!

I thought I'd do a bit of primary research and see what I could buy a 512GB HANA system at from the internet. There are some reasons why HANA hardware has some cost associated with it.

- HANA requires Intel E7 CPUs, which cost over $4000 each. A 512GB HANA system requires 4 of these, so $16000

- HANA requires SSD Storage from Fusion IO in most cases, which costs $9500 for a 512GB system

- HANA requires SuSe Linux, which is $6000 for 3 years including support

- 512GB RAM costs around $7500

Add these up and we're at $39k before we start, for the main components in a 512GB system.

So, I went to and looked to see what I could buy a HANA system for. Here's what I came up with based on the information available in the SAP Product Availability Matrix for SAP HANA and the Dell SAP HANA appliances I have seen in the field. I might have a few small mistakes but it is close.

ComponentPrice (512GB)Price (256GB)
Base Price for Dell R910 Server$8935.00$8935.00
16-Drive Chassis$374.88$374.88
Upgrade to 2x E7-4870 CPU$6342.86$6342.86
Upgrade to 4x E7-4870 CPU$8261.47N/A
Upgrade to 512GB RAM$7459.99$3729.99
Upgrade to 3 year Mission Critical Support$1499.49$1499.49
Upgrade to 10 300GB SAS Disks$2241.70$2241.70
SuSe Enterprise Linux 3 year subscription$5597.23$5597.23
High Output PSU$448.35$448.35
785GB FusionIO ioDrive$9371.10$9371.10
iDRAC Enterprise$261.66$261.66
Online Discount-$16612.48N/A
Grand Total$49770.52$38802.26

Yes, the numbers don't quite add up because Dell put the "instant savings" into the line item prices.

Note that this is an online price and Dell might discount it further if you are a good customer. When I used to buy Dell equipment a previous role, I'd expect to pay a piece less than the online price, but I'm no longer a buyer so take this with a pinch of salt.

I also took a look at street prices online, and I can see that Dell's line level prices for CPU and RAM are around 10% above street prices, which would suggest that an additional 10% discount should be easy to negotiate.

Also do note that I've taken a simple single-node SAP HANA appliance. If you are using a more complex appliance that has a scale-out configuration then expect to pay more per TB. I'm not going to try to build out the configuration for one of those right now because they require many more parts including shared storage and interconnects.

I have seen some more worrying things happen (not from Dell), like vendors claiming that HANA has special "parts". This is nonsense - SAP HANA systems contain are high-end commodity parts and there is no secret sauce. One exception is IBM, which even for a single node uses their proprietary GPFS filesystem, which requires a license.

But if you're asking for a quote from Dell for a 512GB appliance, then expect to pay no more than $50k. I'd be interested to see what you're seeing as Dell customers. Since all the other hardware providers use much the same components from the same suppliers, then this should be a decent benchmark.

What about in the cloud?

SAP now have Infrastructure as a Service pricing for $3595 a month for the same 40-core 512GB box and $6495 a month for an 80-core 1TB box. I suspect this is pretty compelling if you want to get moving quickly and favor subscription pricing over capitalizing. And if you don't want to support the infrastructure yourself, of course.

Is anything changing in 2014?

Well one thing is for sure, memory and FusionIO prices have come down a long way since HANA started. When I first started, the FusionIO would cost $40k and RAM would cost the same again.

In 2014, we will see the advent of the Intel E7 v2 CPU. This will have more cores having more power, meaning SAP will probably certify 1TB RAM for a 4-socket system. This means that we should be able to buy a 1TB HANA node for $50k list price very soon. Good things are happening in HANA land!

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