SAP urges large enterprises NOT to virtualise HANA

Enterprise software giant SAP has urged its customers not to virtualise HANA for large production environments, claiming that it isn’t necessary, and said that they should be buying the latest x86 hardware for the best performance.

Speaking at the company’s annual customer and partner event in Orlando this week, co-founder of SAP Dr. Hasso Plattner, now chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, dismissed claims that HANA couldn’t be fully virtualised, but still insisted this isn’t the best approach.

“We have 600 customers using HANA for 99 cents an hour on Amazon, and if you ask Amazon how their cloud works, it’s a virtualised cloud. So HANA runs totally virtualised,” said Dr. Plattner.

“Do we want to run a $50 billion company virtualised? Certainly not. Why shouldn’t we do this? Virtualisation is good when we have a large computer and we want to chop it up into many, many, many small virtual systems for smaller clients. If we have a large company we have a completely different problem, we have to set up multiple computers, multiple racks to serve the large company.”

He added: “Within a large company there could be small systems, a test or demo system, but the production system we will not run virtualised because they are pretty large. Why should we chop them up in little pieces if we want to use the whole large system?”

Dr. Plattner said that virtualisation should only be used for small environments where customers are trying things out on HANA.

“It’s very simple, we apply it where it makes sense and where it’s beneficial to the customer, and we do not apply it where it’s not beneficial,” he said.

“What we don’t do is build a large system out of small systems. If we need a large database, HANA is doing the virtualisation itself because it goes across multiple nodes within a rack. HANA knows all of them personally. Virtualisation done is according to the audience.”

SAP has also recommended that companies that are looking to deploy a HANA environment in-house should be using the latest hardware available to benefit from the in-memory tool’s full capabilities. Dr. Plattner said SAP would be using the latest kit for its recently announced SAP HANA enterprise cloud.

“We will buy for our SAP HANA enterprise cloud, and we recommend you to do the same, the latest available hardware coming out of the blue books of Intel x86 based systems,” he said.

“The large ones. Large memory and a lot of cores, because we believe we can achieve on these machines a much better total cost of ownership for you. For large companies, we do not do virtualisation, we just take the machines as native as they are – HANA can handle this.”

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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