SAP HANA Adds Smart Data Access Across Heterogeneous Platforms – Including Hadoop

At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, SAP AG unveiled SAP HANA service pack 6 (SP6). In a key new capability, HANA now enables real-time insights across heterogeneous systems – including Hadoop. In addition, there are new geospatial capabilities, as well as a new open hardware architecture deployment model for tailored integration with customers’ existing data centers. The added capabilities are part of a continued expansion of HANA as platform, and will be available by the end of this quarter, David Jonker, senior director of Big Data, SAP Marketing, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Data Virtualization for Heterogeneous Data Sources

With this release HANA brings in-memory computing to data virtualization to simplify data queries across heterogeneous systems such as Hadoop, Teradata, SAP Sybase ASE and SAP Sybase IQ while optimizing response time based on where data is stored and how it is used. Customers have all these data sources today, says Jonker. “The question is how do we enable them to tap into those?”  With HANA “smart data access,” customers can build real-time big data applications with query access to data across their business networks while minimizing data transfers and data redundancy. And, according to SAP, bringing together social media data and enterprise in a single real-time big data platform provides comprehensive visibility into customer behavior and sentiment.

Spatial Data Processing

In addition to the existing data processing capabilities (OLTP, OLAP, predictive, text search and mining capabilities), SAP further extends SAP HANA adds new spatial data processing capabilities to combine geospatial data with business data to achieve real-time business efficiency. Customers can now leverage real-time processing, combining spatial, predictive and text analysis into one unified model to perform spatial analysis and build intuitive business applications. Additionally, SAP HANA customers can access geo-content via SAP Service Marketplace at no additional charge -- allowing customers to seamlessly develop and deploy geospatial applications and mapping services; and SAP has added Nokia/Navteq to its geo-content partners.

HANA's Open Architecture

In addition to the existing appliance model, SAP is also launching the SAP HANA Open initiative, which includes the existing SAP HANA platform certification program targeting third-party BI, ETL and backup & recovery tools. SAP is also introducing a new open appliance architecture to support tailored integration with customers’ existing enterprise storage solutions. This will allow customers to make use of the hardware or other investments that they have already made within their data centers, notes Jonker. These customers have been investing in software to monitor their systems, or software related to failover or provisioning of systems, storage platforms, hardware that they run their databases on. “Whatever it is, they have been making those investments and with this initiative we are offering to come into those customer sites and essentially do customizations of HANA,” says Jonker.

Other new features in the HANA SP6 include extended natural language processing, with text analytics extended to 31 languages including Simplified Chinese for multi-lingual sentiment and text mining; a unified data model and provisioning workbench for development and data acquisition simplicity; a simplified predictive application development;  pre-packaged referenced business applications, data models and content for interactive learning; and the introduction of new asynchronous and asymmetrical long distance remote data center failover capabilities.

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