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Use an SAP HANA Implementation Model That Leverages Your Existing Storage Technology

by Rick Speyer | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 3

July 1, 2014

This article examines an SAP HANA deployment model that differs from the appliance or cloud models. The SAP HANA tailored data center integration model enables the use of enterprise storage and networking components that already exist in your data center. Using this deployment model allows you to adopt SAP HANA, but continue to generate a return on the investment you made in your existing storage and networking technology.


SAP HANA provides businesses with flexibility in their data analysis and reporting, but it also provides flexibility in implementation options. There are two common deployment models for SAP HANA:

  • The appliance model, in which customers purchase pre-installed SAP HANA software and receive necessary integrated solutions from certified SAP HANA hardware partners
  • The cloud model, in which customers deploy SAP HANA as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) with the help of certified cloud partners

However, you are not limited to these two deployment models — an alternative is SAP HANA tailored data center integration. This model enables the use of enterprise storage and networking components that already exist in your data center, rather than requiring you to purchase additional storage and networking tools used only for the SAP HANA environment.
Let’s look at this model in more detail, exploring how it could benefit your organization and what requirements you need to have in place to use it.

What Is SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration?

SAP HANA tailored data center integration provides the first evolutionary step away from the constraints of the appliance model, and toward a model in which application data centers can be configured using existing SAP-certified enterprise storage. This model was publicly released with SAP HANA Service Package (SP) 7 and is now generally available from SAP.
With this model, you can use existing storage if sufficient resources are available and if all components used are SAP certified. Here, “sufficient resources” means that sufficient storage capacity and input/output (I/O) bandwidth are available on both the storage system and the storage network to meet the SAP HANA application needs in your environment.

System Requirements

With SAP HANA tailored data center integration, SAP has defined specific guidelines for
different system components, including:

  • Server: Only the specific servers listed in the SAP HANA product availability matrix are supported. No local disks or flash memory cards are required. Additional Fibre Channel cable speed adapters for booting from the storage area network (SAN) are allowed.
  • Storage: All storage devices must have passed the SAP HANA hardware certification. A list of storage resources certified for SAP HANA tailored data center integration can be found at
  • Installation: SAP-certified technology specialists must perform the SAP HANA installation.
Why You Should Consider SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration

A typical SAP HANA appliance comes preconfigured with all of the necessary components provided by certified SAP HANA hardware partners. The appliance deployment model does not allow businesses to use any existing data center resources. Every SAP HANA appliance installation must be operated in its own isolated infrastructure environment.
SAP HANA tailored data center integration, however, allows you to share storage as defined by SAP HANA SP 7 and networking components (that may be defined in SAP HANA SP 8) that already exist in your application data center, so you don’t have to purchase additional storage and networking resources specifically for the SAP HANA environment. 

With SAP HANA tailored data center integration, you can create a more flexible deployment in which server, network, and storage resources can be moved among SAP HANA, SAP solutions, and non-SAP solutions.

Additionally, multiple production SAP HANA servers can share the same network and storage resources. This capability can have a broad impact on investment expenditures and operating expenses. In addition to the savings found in using existing resources, you can also optimize the return on investment in your current data center switching architecture.
Further, you can create a more flexible deployment in which server, network, and storage resources can be moved among SAP HANA, SAP solutions, and non-SAP solutions. This in turn provides greater flexibility and mitigates risk in hardware vendor selection and SAP HANA configuration.
These features give you an advantage if you have existing EMC, NetApp, or other certified storage along with Cisco networking capacity. For example, you can use your existing storage area network (SAN) in your SAP HANA deployment, support multiple SAP HANA production systems within a single Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) environment, or run SAP HANA with other applications on a shared infrastructure.

7 Benefits of Cisco Unified Computing System for SAP HANA Deployments

All three SAP HANA deployment models that Cisco delivers use the same standard Cisco UCS network architecture with EMC, NetApp, or other certified enterprise storage vendors. This approach makes it easy to integrate SAP HANA using your standard data center design and to scale as your business requires.
Cisco networking is already being used by 80% of the companies that use SAP systems. Additionally, Cisco has partnered with EMC and NetApp since Cisco UCS was first delivered, giving it additional reliability. Using Cisco UCS as the foundation for your SAP HANA deployment provides you with a number of benefits, including:

  • Economies of scale: Reduce by half chassis and fabric costs in enterprise- and cloud-scale deployments.
  • Operational efficiency: Add capacity 77% faster with 67% fewer configuration steps.
  • Cloud readiness: Achieve instant compatibility across Cisco’s ecosystem of service providers and cloud power partners.
  • Management simplicity: Use a single orchestration interface across four pillars (computing, network, storage, and multi-instance resources).
  • Consistency: Use a single family of building blocks regardless of which deployment model you choose.
  • Redundancy: Hardware redundancy is incorporated in the design for added reliability and availability.
  • Results: High-performance functionality accelerates access to data, analysis, and reports.

SAP HANA tailored data center integration is owned and supported by the customer end to end; including design, implementation, certification, and support. Cisco and its partners can help you through any or all of these phases with Cisco Advanced Services for SAP HANA tailored data center integration. 

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Rick Speyer
Rick Speyer

Senior Marketing Manager

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7/21/2014 5:47:51 PM

Very well written and informative article!