5 must-dos to get the most from SAP HANA

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The following article has been contributed by Dirk Biehler, Chief Architect – Datavard:

To keep up with the digital transformation in a world where all your reports need to be ready by “yesterday,” it’s vital to have your core system running at its top performance and with all your data just a click away. SAP’s answer to this challenge is the in-memory database SAP HANA – but simply installing it will not make all your problems disappear. Whether you are planning your migration to HANA or you are already there, keeping a close eye on your system and managing it in the optimal way are critical.

Below are five tips that will help SAP users get the most out of their HANA investment. But implementing these suggestions is not easy without deep operational insights. That’s why Datavard has developed the IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) tool that delivers key insights and supports the SUSE operating system (the No. 1 OS choice among SAP customers).

Make data management your top priority

Detailed insight into your system lets you determine what data is used the most and should be moved to the memory and the other way around – move less frequently used queries to hard drives and free up memory —the result is that you’ll now get the speed you expected. In many case, some selections or queries that you defined at the beginning of your HANA migration may now be used completely differently by your customers or end-users.

Unpredictable system growth and keeping it in check

Sizing is critical to your SAP HANA investment. Reliable data and good planning that leverages predictive analytics can help you calculate your system growth and decide on the right hardware and licenses for your organization. But don’t consider it done as soon as you come up with a number – stay on the safe side and set an alert that will notify you as soon as you reach your average growth threshold. This will give you some time to determine the cause of the extra data growth and take preventive measures.

Don’t cross that memory usage threshold

When your HANA memory usage goes over 87% -90%, it’s possible that your entire system could freeze. Datavard ITOA alerts you before you get too close to the dangerous level and helps you avoid downtime.

Columns, not rows

SAP HANA is a column store database, so it’s important to determine whether your tables are also column-based to get the best performance. Also, if your HANA installation is running over several nodes, you need to ensure that your data is partitioned evenly on each node for optimal performance.

The old system and what to do about it

Many SAP customers choose the greenfield migration approach, but then they still need to maintain the old system to have access to documents and data stored in there, for example for audit purposes. And here’s where SAP Basis people are getting more interested in Hadoop – moving data to a Hadoop cluster is a cheaper way of storing it and keeping it secure.

So, there you have it – five important considerations that will help you obtain the results you expect from your SAP HANA solution.  Operational insights are critical to making the right decisions and keeping your system at peak efficiency. Our ITOA tool, that you will have a chance to take a closer look at during SAPPHIRE NOW, is the one solutions that give you full insights into all critical IT operational aspects including use behavior, data growth, storage utilization and system performance. And, of course, it takes full advantage of everything SUSE has to offer.

Going to SAPPHIRE NOW next week? Swing by Booth #559 (with our partner SUSE) to see Datavard solutions in action.

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