SAP readies bevy of HANA Cloud Services

The enterprise software giant brings SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to GA.

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SAP HANA Cloud Services

Credit: SAP

SAP, at its TechEd EMEA event, which kicked off in Barcelona today, announced the general availability of HANA Cloud and Data Warehouse Cloud. Both services are available in standalone form, or as extensions to SAP customers' on-premises environments.

Philip On (SAP's global vice president of product marketing for platform and technologies) and Neil McGovern (who leads product marketing worldwide for SAP HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Services) briefed me on the offerings, helping me get past the branding and on to an understanding of the services and capabilities.

DB and DW

On and McGovern explained that HANA Cloud is a database as a service (DBaaS) offering, built atop SAP's flagship database, HANA, but with several enhancements. HANA is known to most as an in-memory database but HANA Cloud also allows disk-based tables -- using HANA's Native Storage Extension (NSE) technology -- and storage in the SAP HANA data lake (based on the Sybase IQ columnar database). HANA Cloud can also connect to external data in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) or cloud object stores like Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift.

In addition to HANA Cloud, SAP is also bringing its Data Warehouse Cloud to GA. Data Warehouse Cloud is a data warehouse as a service (DWaaS) offering, based on HANA, that is fully managed and is elastically provisioned and priced. In addition, Data Warehouse Cloud actually includes both the aforementioned HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, which I covered briefly after it was announced the week before last. Along with general availability of Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP has announced a 30-day free trial of the service.

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Analytics Cloud can, of course, connect to the data warehouse product, making Data Warehouse Cloud an all-in offering covering database, data lake, data warehouse and analytics, leveraging HANA, IQ and data virtualization of cloud data lake assets. To round this off, as part of Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP is also mining its enterprise software expertise to provide analytic semantic models for an array of business domains.

Give them their Space

Another interesting feature of Data Warehouse Cloud is a self-service -- but governed -- component called Spaces. Spaces are essentially sandboxed data marts that business units can provision, populating them with both governed internal data sources as well as external data, including social media content. 

Spaces are based on an assigned quota of cores and memory/disk storage, and IT has full governance over them. IT can "hibernate" Spaces that have gone unused and even promote a Space into the central DW.

And on-prem BI

In conjunction with these HANA Cloud Services announcements, SAP has also announced that the next release of its on-premises business intelligence (BI) suite, BusinessObjects 4.3, will integrate more tightly with Analytics Cloud, thus connecting on-prem BI with cloud analytics for organizations that are taking a hybrid approach to cloud computing.

SAP's portfolio is sprawling and its brands can at times be a bit confusing, but the company is clearly bringing to bear its software, database, data management and BI assets, both on-premises and in-cloud, to help its customers (who already keep tons of data on SAP's platform) tame the enterprise data analytics beast.