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Installing HANA - The Details on What and How

by Dr. Berg

May 23, 2012

In this third blog on our HANA Implementation with with ComeritLabs, IBM Labs and SAP press, we are looking at the components required to install SAP HANA.  This part of the process of co-authoring the new SAP HANA book with Penny Silva at IBM, and in these blogs we take a critical look at each step in the process as we encounter them.

In the last blog we looked at our hardware, now we take a look at the software and install.

By Dr. Berg

Different HANA Editions

Many buyers are surprised to find that SAP has actually created three different editions of HANA. The first is called "HANA appliance software platform edition", the second is called "HANA appliance software enterprise edition" and the most complete solution is called the "HANA appliance software enterprise extended edition".

The difference between these editions is basically how you want to extract, move and replicate the data. If you want to use HANA for classical ETL development using BusinessObjects DataServices, you should go for the "appliance software platform edition". This great for non-SAP shops, or customers who want to accelerate any sources, such as custom-made data warehouses, data marts, or data from non-SAP ERP systems.

The "appliance software enterprise edition" is for companies who want to use their HANA system with trigger-based replication. The edition also includes the SAP BusinessObjects DataServices, so you can actually do both ETL and triggers.

The last edition, "HANA appliance software enterprise extended edition", is for those who want it all. This adds the log based replication of data to the other editions and most large scale organizations that already have SAP ERP or BI software in their landscapes should seriously consider this edition.

Each of the editions also allows Power users and Authors to upload their own data and access the in-memory data via their own views using the HANA Information Composer. This is a web tool that is installed separately from the components in the different HANA editions.  

The operating system installed on your system will be SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) currently on version 11 ServicePack 1 (as of June 2012). . From a technical standpoint there are also sub-components that you can find notes on the SAP Marketplace web-site. These are best indentified by their technical references as outline in the table below:



SAP has created a set of notes that are being appended and modified with the different releases and service packs. For example, the release of Service Pack -4 (SP) in 2012, resulted in a new note (1703675). So partners and hardware vendors should read these key notes care fully and periodically for updated. These notes are available at the SAP Marketplace web site for SAP customers.



Additional Components

Other components that required to be installed on the HANA box include


  1. Java Runtime Environment - This is used by Java components inside HANA studio. The system needs at least version JRE 1.6.
  2. XULRunner  - This is a runtime environment for common backend for XUL-based applications. The system needs at least version1.9.2.
  3. Libicu - This is a set of international components for unicode.
  4. Network Time Protocol (NTP) - While technically not required, it supports trace files between HANA nodes and should be installed.
  5. Syslogd - This is a logging tool for system messages .
  6. GTK2 - This is a software component for graphical user interfaces


The Network connections between source systems and HANA server should be 10 GBt/s to assure that the data replication is efficient. Since a substantial amount of data is going to be moving between these servers, it is also important that the connection is not shared with other components such as through shared routers or  switches

It is also worth noting that HANA is also integrated into the standard solution monitoring and diagnostics of SAP Solution Manager in similar manner as other SAP Software servers such as SAP BW and SAP ERP.

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The Actual Install

Once you have decided what versions to install your hardware partner can start the install. To simplify the install, SAP provides a software tool to the partners called the HANA Unified Installer. With the install you also get the Software Logistics Toolset (SL) which includes the Software Update Manager (SUM). This tool is used to provide software updates to the components of HANA to help making sure they stay compatible over time.

It is important to note that the install of the SAP HANA unified install software, SL, and the of the components of HANA, are done only by hardware vendors and install partners. This is not something that basis staff in organizations should attempt undertake by themselves, it is simply too complex and too many details that have to interact with hardware to do it correctly.

Given that HANA is also an emerging technology, it is very unlikely that basis staff in organizations have the required skills to make this work. So, while SAP provides an on-line detailed guide for HANA Unified Installer, customers should leave the software install to the hardware vendors and certified partners.


In the next book in September on SAP HANA, we will go into more details on these topics. Until then stay connected. This is really moving at warp speed…..

Dr. Berg


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