A Move to HANA Means a Move to Linux — But Not All Linux Is Created Equal

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The market for HANA is evolving rapidly as customers are presented with multiple choices for an SAP HANA deployment, including multiple platform selections, deployment choices, and Linux distribution choices.

SAP claims strong momentum with HANA and S/4HANA adoption. Estimates for the number of SAP customers on HANA range from fewer than 10,000 to 12,000. To date, according to SAP, the company counts more than 3,700 S/4HANA customers, an increase of 500 compared with the previous quarter. SAP also states that more than 10% of its ERP customer base has signed on. Finally, SAP published in its half-year 2016 results that it has around 110 million cloud subscribers.

The operating system (OS) layer in an SAP HANA environment can contribute significantly to the system’s performance, availability, security, and other key aspects. Linux is the fastest-growing operating system for SAP as well as for all workloads. The Linux operating systems market has been growing steadily and rapidly over the past decade, and IDC predicts that Linux will continue to grow substantially through 2019. With SAP’s decision to run HANA and S/4HANA on Linux only, the OS has been getting an additional innovation boost thanks to HANA – and S/4HANA – focused co-developments with SAP and HANA solutions providers.

Even though Linux is an open source OS, the adage that Linux is Linux is Linux isn’t necessarily true. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is the premier operating environment for SAP environments, and the only solution that supports both x86-64 and IBM Power Systems servers. Furthermore SAP’s SMB solution for HANA run on SUSE only. And SAP SE run SUSE for their HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Get the IDC whitepaper to learn why not all Linux is created equal.

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Sabine Soellheim
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