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Are You Ready for Real-Time Information?

Your Underlying SAP HANA Infrastructure Lays the Groundwork for Customer Satisfaction, Market Expansion, and Increased Revenue

by Ravi Chalaka | insiderPROFILES, Volume 5, Issue 2

April 1, 2014

Hitachi solution profile

In this article, Hitachi VP of Solutions Marketing Ravi Chalaka writes about how real-time data is becoming an expectation rather than a luxury, and how SAP HANA is poised to deliver on this growing expectation.

 

How often do you receive requests for fresh data? Enterprises today have a voracious appetite for real-time data to enable better decision making — and real-time data is no longer a luxury; it’s an expectation. However, there can be a trade-off. Increasing the volume of data alone doesn’t help improve decision making because the data also needs to be analyzed as quickly as it comes in. In fact, increasing data growth often impedes decision making when traditional approaches are used.

The SAP HANA platform changes that. Delivered as a fully integrated converged solution of server, storage, and networking hardware as well as management and SAP HANA software, it processes your company data in memory so you can make critical business decisions in real time. Reports are fresh, questions are answered in minutes, not days, and you can create new business workflows and processes more easily because you’re analyzing information faster than ever.

Rapidly evolving beyond business analytics alone, SAP HANA is becoming a central piece of the modern data center. Over time, you can expect to pull vital business data into SAP HANA from a variety of sources across your enterprise, such as business intelligence, data warehouse, ERP, customer relationship management, and other line-of-business applications. In this regard, SAP HANA is a journey and not a destination. Deploying SAP HANA lays the groundwork to leverage that data in real time to achieve business goals like keeping customers and partners satisfied, winning new customers, expanding into new markets, and driving revenue growth.

The Foundation for Your SAP HANA Journey

Whether you’re implementing SAP ERP or SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on the SAP HANA platform or deploying it for new applications, SAP HANA will be the mission-critical foundation of your business. With this journey in mind, you’ll want to consider the infrastructure that supports SAP HANA now to avoid reengineering again as business needs change over time. Consider these aspects to help ensure you get the most out of your journey: disaster tolerance, operational performance, scalability, and data storage.

Disaster Tolerance

You’ve spent a lot of time and money making sure your existing core business applications are rock-solid. And in the event of a disaster, you’ve ensured that you can meet your recovery point objective (RPO) and your recovery time objective (RTO). In addition, you’ll want to evaluate the disaster recovery strategies for your SAP HANA platform deployment to ensure there’s no unwanted impact on your production systems. This way, you can optimize your investment in planning, staff training, and vendor interaction for mission-critical readiness and disaster tolerance. Carefully review whether the SAP HANA platform can support the robust disaster tolerance that matches the needs of your mission-critical applications.

Robust Operational Performance

In-memory computing — the technology at the core of SAP HANA — demands processing, storage, and transport at unprecedented speeds and volumes. You’ll spend a lot of time moving data, whether it’s for backups, disaster recovery, loading, or other needs. The operational aspects of your SAP HANA platform should be central to your infrastructure strategy, all of which is made possible by SAP HANA running on a robust and resilient architecture comprised of the most advanced x86 compute elements teamed with true enterprise-class storage. To get the robust operational performance you need to succeed, it’s important to bring the right platform into the data center.

Predictable Scalability

Your SAP HANA platform and environment will grow undoubtedly. The amount of data will increase as you add applications to your SAP HANA platform. You need a solution that adapts and scales to your business needs. You can’t afford a system that you have to “rip and replace” as your business changes, because your business will change. You need predictable scalability for unpredictable data requirements. The best engineered platforms will let users start small and grow large, delivering excellent investment protection.

Enterprise-Class Persistent Data Storage

In real-world deployments, SAP HANA implementations drive not only high-performance processing, but storage and transport requirements as well. That’s why you need a solution that combines highly reliable and scalable compute clusters for in-memory computing with an external, enterprise-class persistent storage tier to further ensure 24/7 operation in the most demanding and data-intensive environments.

All of these demands combined with staying under budget and working more efficiently are liable to challenge any CIO. You need more than just a vendor to support you in these endeavors. You need a partner that can work with you, understand your needs, and help you deploy and grow your SAP HANA platform into the future.

Converged Infrastructures Turn Real-Time Dreams into Reality

Converged infrastructures are integrated solutions composed of storage, server, and networking hardware and software with comprehensive management tools. They are pretested, preconfigured, and ready to bring into your data center to have you up and running in record time. And because converged infrastructures are made up of tightly knit components, they deliver the reliability and performance you need to bring real-time data into your decision making.

In the past, you could choose any number of hardware vendors and infrastructure configurations to host your mission-critical business applications. But the complexity of some solutions — especially those that include products from disparate vendors — can significantly hinder performance and efficiency. The speed at which your business is moving today (and how much faster it will move tomorrow) requires infrastructure simplicity, and the right platform can get you there.

With SAP HANA bringing real-time data to enterprises, SAP chose to offer the solution as part of a converged infrastructure stack — and SAP-certified converged infrastructures that are designed by a trusted vendor offer the reliability, scalability, and performance needed to handle mission-critical business applications.

And it’s not just SAP that sees the benefits of the converged infrastructure. Industry analysts predict that in four years, the majority of datacenter systems will be purchased and deployed as part of a converged infrastructure solution, whether it’s for real-time analytics, virtualization, or other critical systems.

If you’re ready to bring real-time data to your enterprise, Hitachi Data Systems offers converged solutions for SAP HANA, allowing you to rely on a trusted, proven, certified vendor. Our converged infrastructures provide real-time data access with mission-critical reliability and operational performance, and a solution that scales with your business.

What makes the solution from Hitachi Data Systems different? Unlike other converged infrastructure solution vendors that focus on low-cost components, Hitachi  delivers SAP HANA solutions that provide immediate business value for companies’ core applications.

By leveraging advanced x86 compute blades and our enterprise-class Fibre-Channel storage platform, Hitachi provides the same service-level agreements and operational excellence for SAP HANA that our customers enjoy today for their applications like SAP ERP. Certified to support up to 56 SAP HANA nodes (56TB), the fully pre-tested and pre-configured SAP HANA solutions from Hitachi Data Systems provide customers fast time to value critical to enterprise success.

Hitachi Data Systems Can Help

Choosing a converged infrastructure solution from Hitachi for your SAP HANA platform implementation can help you reap the benefits of real-time decision making with predictable reliability, scalability, and flexibility. Together, we achieve these results by creating a streamlined, tightly integrated turnkey platform that gives you the infrastructure you need and the reliability and speed your enterprise demands. For more details, please visit www.hds.com/go/sap.

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Ravi Chalaka
Ravi Chalaka

Ravi Chalaka, Vice President of Global Solutions Marketing at Hitachi Data Systems, has over 20 years of expertise in developing business strategies for data center technologies, converged infrastructure, and marketing to targeted industries. As a senior executive, he championed networked storage, management software, IO adapters, and intelligent SAN switches at BlueArc, Neterion, NetApp, and MaXXan Systems. Ravi also managed Adaptec’s industry-leading host bus adapters and entry into the external storage subsystem market. Ravi received an MBA with a major in marketing.



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