Before I continue writing my sequence on HANA and data center readiness, I need to finally write down my thoughts and observations after the recent Sapphire in Orlando and subsequent announcements. SAP seems to pull all stops to drive adoption of HANA in the market. SAP now offers so many ways to consume HANA that customers easily get confused.
SAP HANA consumption models:
64GB max memory, no SLA, no support, for Sandbox and business value or limited POC, very limited data ingest, largely via csv file, 99 cent per hour (TPaaS – Test Platform as a Service – my own personal term for this option)
– SAP HANA One Premium
Same as HANA one, but dedicated support, defined SLA, annual subscription pricing, SAP source system data allowed
– SAP HANA Cloud Application Services
Ready-to-use application services on a HANA cloud with consumption based charge
– SAP HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud)
Any HANA based applications including production, basically HANA PaaS (Platform as a Service), Enterprise support, and SAP customer source data integration
– SAP HANA on “vCloud Hybrid Service”
Available in Q3 2013, similar to HANA One Premium and based on VMware virtualization
– SAP HANA private instance hosted off premise
Some examples are
VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (Q3 2013)
– SAP HANA on premise in two flavors
HANA on SAP certified “appliances” (requires OSS ID)
Your own HANA system in you data center, provided by your favorite Hardware partner.
SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration
HANA on existing or new infrastructure as a reference architecture, certified in the field utilizing SAP tools and KPIs, for max-attention customers initially.

Hasso Plattner addressed typical customer concerns on stage during one of the keynotes. And even though, he is not one of my favorite speakers, he did have a few good points. Now, all amazing HANA statistics are meaningless without the right context and the business could care less which student developer from some elite university has created a tool that shows some analysis really fast. HANA is not the answer to life, the universe and everything (42 is!). The other SAP executives in their keynotes focused more on the value of HANA and the fact that customer use cases are of the essence when considering the position of HANA in an organization. One of the best panel discussions during Sapphire can be found here.
I believe that SAP still has to overcome a stigma in the user community. SAP applications have provided business process enhancements and enablement for a long time. Traditionally, SAP applications however have not offered a competitive advantage for customers. SAP’s HANA platform changes that, but it also requires existing SAP customers to realize that HANA can not only work naturally with SAP source data but any data of that matter. Existing customers often don’t even consider SAP as an innovative platform. Lots of educational work and evangelizing still has to happen internally in organizations. Some of the innovative use cases SAP shows on help tell that story. But this is only the beginning. I am certain that the value of the HANA platform will be told by the HANA ecosystem – the community at large. “The power of all of us” is going to make HANA what it will become. Business priorities, the hunger for change, IT investments, skill sets, and risk mitigation have to be considered and balanced.
Don’t get me wrong – I am a huge fan of HANA, but let’s keep it real. Most customers are unclear how to embark on the HANA journey. How this platform fits into the roadmap and release strategy of an organization. SAP does not have all answers either. We are at the beginning of a new era, which implies that answers have to be developed together. Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, Director of the MIT Media Lab and pioneer in computational social science has described it very well. (Using my own words) – The collective intellectual property gathered and born through social media and forums propels us into a new realm of intellect; A collective hive mind. The path and evolution of HANA informed by all of us IS THE HUMAN FACE OF BIG DATA.
So get involved, ask questions, voice your opinion, and participate in shaping the future of HANA through any of these existing forums or create your own.
IFG (International Focus group for HANA)
HANA cook books
SAP Mentors on SCN
HANA Distinguished engineers on SCN
Silicon Angle’s theCube
HANA Blogs
Local SAP user groups (e.g. ASUG)
SAP TechEd
And direct interaction with anybody in the HANA ecosystem around the world.

So, thank you SAP, for adding to my excitement 🙂