Implementing SAP HANA: Experiences and First Impressions

  • by Jonathan Haun, Director, Data and Analytics, Protiviti
  • February 20, 2012
Get a first-person account of an SAP HANA installation, including initial impressions with the software’s features, challenges encountered during the implementation, and lessons on SAP HANA’s integration with SAP BusinessObjects BI tools.
Key Concept

SAP HANA Studio is the primary client tool used to manage SAP HANA and to create analytic views. It contains database administration tools, security management tools, and developer tools.

I have been working with an SAP HANA instance now for about three months. As you can imagine, I was eager to get the system set up, explore all the moving parts, and build content to test its capabilities. For the past year, SAP marketers and evangelists have been touting SAP HANA and painting pictures of its capabilities and features, but now it was my turn to test drive the system of the future.

Given that the technology was developed under the leadership of SAP, some of you might have the misconception that SAP HANA is only for companies that have SAP ERP or SAP NetWeaver BW systems. Given that I have devoted the last 10 years to using SAP Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects outside the sphere of SAP’s existing products, I wanted prove that SAP HANA could be used by companies that have not invested in SAP systems.

With that said, those that plan to use SAP HANA with their SAP systems can also gain insight into how to use SAP HANA with SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0. This article chronicles my experiences and first impressions of SAP HANA. I guide you through an end-to-end process during which I installed and configured SAP HANA, loaded data into SAP HANA using SAP BusinessObjects Data Services 4.0, and used SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise 4.0 to visualize SAP HANA’s analytic capabilities.

Based on my initial impressions, SAP HANA is an impressive mix of software and hardware. After spending a few hours racking the massive 8U SAP HANA server, I booted the SUSE Linux OS and explored the file system. I quickly located the 640 GB PCI-X flash IO Accelerator card mount point and the mount point for the 3.5 TB persistent storage array. The mount points for these storage devices are critical to the installation of SAP HANA software. The log files had to be processed at 200k+ IOPS on the IO Accelerator card, and the persistent storage had to be processed on the 4k IOPS 3.5 TB array. Outside of identifying these mount points, the installation of SAP HANA was a breeze. In comparison to my past experiences installing Oracle and IBM DB2 databases, there was little post-installation configuration required.

Jonathan Haun

Jonathan Haun, director of data and analytics at Protiviti, has more than 15 years of information technology experience and has served as a manager, developer, and administrator covering a diverse set of technologies. Over the past 10 years, he has served as a full-time SAP BusinessObjects, SAP HANA, and SAP Data Services consulting manager for Decision First Technologies. He has gained valuable experience with SAP HANA based on numerous projects and his management of the Decision First Technologies SAP HANA lab in Atlanta, GA. He holds multiple SAP HANA certifications and is a lead contributing author to the book Implementing SAP HANA. He also writes the All Things BOBJ BI blog at You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @jdh2n.

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