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SAP sets release date for HANA, its new in-memory appliance, at TechEd

Todd Morrison

LAS VEGAS -- SAP demonstrated new in-memory technology yesterday it said would allow customers to process data in “real, real-time.”

It was just one example

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of how SAP said it is meeting customers’ demands for new cutting-edge tools in cloud, mobile, and in-memory computing.

During the keynote speech at the TechEd conference being held here this week, SAP Chief Technology Officer Vishal Sikka explained that the company’s High-Performance Analytic Appliance, or HANA, would allow companies the ability to process huge amounts of data faster than ever before.

The appliance, which lets business users instantly access, model and analyze data in real time in a single environment without impacting existing applications or systems, is being tested by a handful of customers and will be widely available at the end of November, according to the company.

Those tests include one by a large packaged goods company that had come to SAP looking for a way to process massive amounts of point-of-sale data -- 460 billion records, to be exact -- in an effort to predict demand.

Using HANA, SAP was able to process that data in seconds, according to Sikka.

“I think there is an entirely new real time ahead of us,” Sikka told the crowd.  “It really is an unbelievable paradigm shift.”

That impressed attendees like Denise Weaver, a maps architect with Johnson & Johnson. “For me, that piece was new,” she said about the technology. “That stood out.”

While, the demo was compelling, and Weaver said she would be taking a look at HANA in the future, she had questions about how well it works, and whether it would be useful for her own company. 

“I think it still needs to prove itself in the industry,” she said.

In-memory computing -- as well as SAP’s cloud strategy -- caught the interest of Troy Maddox, the IT director for the Louisville, Ky.-based Hillerich and Bradsby, a sporting goods manufacturer best known for the Louisville Slugger brand.

While in-memory technology may be able to process a huge amount of data, “What is this really for?” he asked.  “How will a small company like ours be able to use it?”

 

SAP in the cloud

Sikka said that while cloud computing would play an increasingly important role for companies in the future, on-premise applications were not going away, and companies would continue to use them side by side with on-demand applications.

Sikka also discussed the need for SAP to create new technology that will go hand in hand with its need to further enhance its existing applications like Business Objects and NetWeaver.This, he said, will continue to be the platform upon which all of SAP’s future applications would be built.


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