Lessons Learned by SAP Since the Launch of HANA
When SAP developed its HANA solution, the company promoted the technology using standard, optimized devices (often called SAP HANA appliances), and offered businesses the choice of 10 hardware suppliers. The company aimed to provide pre-established hardware specifications designed for HANA performance needs and the in-memory approach. Today, this dedicated infrastructure remains a viable option for SAP to implement HANA. However, many customers see this as an expensive, complex, and very limited option. This is, in part, because although it introduced a new technology platform to manage, it had several limitations in terms of flexibility and required significant changes be made to established IT operations and processes.
SAP HANA’s Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) Architectural Approach
Driven by its desire to maximize its HANA client base, SAP announced a series of initiatives including the Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) architectural approach. Quickly adapted by all the major manufacturers, this model allows customers to work locally with a SAP TDI-certified integrator in order to assemble a system architecture, also TDI-certified, which guarantees customers appropriate levels of performance and availability for the solution. This makes it possible to use some of the existing network, storage, virtualization, and data protection resources that are already part of the customers’ environment, thus reducing the total cost of the infrastructure required for the solution. The efforts invested by SAP in the development, support, and certification of the components now make it possible to operate S/4 HANA under Linux on various platforms. Customers operating Intel/x86/VMware or even IBM Power environments have experienced more accessible solutions and reduced timelines to get projects up and running.
The TDI approach provides SAP customers with several benefits, including:
- Greatly speeding up the solution launch and production readiness
- Substantially reducing the cost and complexity of implementation
- Maximizing use of your infrastructure and existing resources
- Helping you meet all prerequisites and standards required for SAP technical support
- Allowing you to take full advantage of the solution’s levels of performance
- Effectively protecting your business’ data and continuity of service (99.999+% availability, no interruptions, no loss of data)
To ensure that HANA functions correctly and is supported by the TDI approach, SAP offers several important features, including:
- Adherence to established specifications and configurations for physical and virtual environments
- Compatibility of server and storage infrastructures officially pre-approved and supported by SAP for HANA
- Formal procedures for pre-installing software components, the application itself, and the OS, which must be completed by a certified SAP HANA systems expert (a certification program to which PCD Solutions adheres)
- Several instructions on potential updates to OSs, hypervisors, and microcodes
- Access to its network of SAP HANA certified partners, in order to apply best practices when adopting VMware and various other manufacturers’ technologies
- Ability to conduct a HANA Go-Live Check service directly with SAP and its partner when your environment is ready to be launched
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