Qs. What is SAP HANA?
SAP HANA is an in-memory database.
- It is a combination of hardware and software made to process massive real time data using In-Memory computing.
- It combines row-based, column-based database technology.
- Data now resides in main-memory (RAM) and no longer on a hard disk.
- It’s best suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications.
An in-memory database means all the data is stored in the memory (RAM). This is no time wasted in loading the data from hard-disk to RAM or while processing keeping some data in RAM and temporary some data on disk. Everything is in-memory all the time, which gives the CPUs quick access to data for processing.
SAP HANA is equipped with multiengine query processing environment which supports relational as well as graphical and text data within same system. It provides features that support significant processing speed, handle huge data sizes and text mining capabilities.
To know more, check the article SAP HANA Introduction for Beginners
Qs. So is SAP making/selling the software or the hardware?
SAP has partnered with leading hardware vendors (HP, Fujitsu, IBM, Dell etc) to sell SAP certified hardware for HANA.
SAP is selling licenses and related services for the SAP HANA product which includes the SAP HANA database, SAP HANA Studio and other software to load data in the database.
To know more, check the article SAP HANA Hardware
Qs. What is the language SAP HANA is developed in?
The SAP HANA database is developed in C++.
Qs. What is the operating system supported by HANA?
Currently SUSE Linux Enterprise Server x86-64 (SLES) 11 SP1 is the Operating System supported by SAP HANA.
Qs. Can I just increase the memory of my traditional Oracle database to 2TB and get similar performance?
You might have performance gains due to more memory available for your current Oracle/Microsoft/Teradata database but HANA is not just a database with bigger RAM.
It is a combination of a lot of hardware and software technologies. The way data is stored and processed by the In-Memory Computing Engine (IMCE) is the true differentiator. Having that data available in RAM is just the icing on the cake.
Qs. What are the row-based and column based approach?
Row based tables:
Column based tables:
- It is the traditional Relational Database approach
- It store a table in a sequence of rows
- It store a table in a sequence of columns i.e. the entries of a column is stored in contiguous memory locations.
- SAP HANA is particularly optimized for column-order storage.
SAP HANA supports both row-based and column-based approach.
Following figure explains the difference between the two storage mechanism.
To know more, check the article Column Data Storage Vs Row Data Storage in HANA