SAP Outlines Big Data Analytics Strategy for HANA Platform

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    SAP is gearing up to embed streaming predictive analytics capabilities inside the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform via an update the company will roll out later this month.

    Mike Eacrett, vice president of product management for SAP HANA at SAP Labs, says Service Pack 10 for SAP HANA will bring with it not only additional predictive analytics algorithms inside the core database, but also tools to model those applications. In addition, SAP will add support for dynamic tiering of data in real time to help drive those applications.

    SAP also plans to make available a 20MB implementation of the core SAP HANA engine, codenamed Velocity Raptor, which can be used within both applications and embedded systems and mobile computing devices to process data in real time. As part of that strategy, SAP this week launched its first Internet of Things (IoT) platform at the Sapphire Now conference and quietly revealed that  Velocity Raptor code has already been embedded inside the SAP Lumira Edge data visualization software that SAP updated this week.

    In addition, SAP this week announced it will build connectors to the Apache Spark in-memory computing framework that runs on Hadoop and embed Apache Spark directly into SAP HANA core platform.

    Leveraging predictive analytics technology that SAP gained when it acquired KXEN in 2013, Eacrett says that streaming predictive analytics algorithms will both power new machine learning software applications and be slipstreamed into a wide variety of existing applications.

    In general, SAP is making the case that transaction processing and analytics processing will converge inside a columnar database that processes data in-memory in real time. Thanks mainly to the Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) delivered via the latest Intel Xeon processor E7-8800/4800 v3 series launched this week and the availability of DDR4 memory, Eacrett says HANA can now process much larger sets of data in memory in parallel. In general, Eacrett says transactions are now six times faster running on HANA servers built around the Intel Xeon processor E7-8800/4800 v3, and OLAP processing has been increased 30 percent.

    SAP is clearly moving toward making predictive analytics just another feature of HANA that will run in memory. IT organizations will still need tools to invoke those algorithms. But if SAP has its way, the days of having to deploy a separate analytic engine that runs outside of the transaction processing system are coming to a close.

    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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