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Solving Data Storage Challenges with SAP HANA Cloud

October 25, 2019

Blog
Author
Jason Hinsperger Jason Hinsperger
Jason Hinsperger is currently a Senior Product Manager for SAP HANA.

SAP HANA Cloud opens up a whole new world of data storage possibilities for your business. Depending on how often you use the data and how fast you need it, you can store your data in-memory disk or data lake. This multi-temperature data storage helps solves some of the biggest data challenges facing organizations: handling large amounts of data and bringing together data for analysis.

Big Data Challenges

Another big challenge is bringing disparate data together for analysis. Getting all your data together into a single queryable environment is part of the challenge. Doing so in an affordable way is another piece. And the kicker is finding a way to manage all that data through a reasonable life cycle, where critical data is available in real time, but important and older data is still available as quickly as possible.

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To solve these challenges, SAP HANA Cloud offers all the tools needed to manage enterprise data in a modern environment. All of this is designed for the petabyte scale by handling massive amounts of data.  The storage options provide tremendous flexibility and capability for your data environment with an affordable total cost of ownership.

Multi-Temperature Data Management

With SAP HANA Cloud, all tiers and the management of those tiers in the multi-temperature architecture is contained within the same environment.

In the top tier, the most critical data — the "hot" data — is stored in-memory in the SAP HANA data platform. As this data becomes less critical over time, and as new, higher priority data is added to the overall environment, data from this tier is migrated down to the next tier. This lower priority (but still active) data is stored on disk. In SAP HANA Cloud, the secondary tier — the "warm" data — is supported by the SAP HANA native storage extension. The warm data tier leverages relatively cost-effective storage media to provide data access with typically very low latency.

The next tier includes data that is no longer active for purposes of day-to-day transactions and other processes but is still needed to provide context for analysis. The "cold" data tier uses the SAP HANA Cloud data lake for storage, which ensures relatively rapid data access in spite of massive data volumes and the use of commodity hardware

The Importance of the Data Lake

Since before people started using the term "Big Data," businesses have been looking for an effective way to store the massive volumes of data that arise in the digital era. Big Data technologies like Hadoop promised limitless storage and a minimum amount of up-front work. In the past, data lakes produced using these technologies tended to be unstructured data collections that do little more than simply store the data. Making the data available for, say, analytics requires a lot of work. But with the SAP HANA Cloud’s data lake, this is no longer the case.

The SAP HANA Cloud data lake provides a flexible repository for large datasets prevalent in modern environments (e.g., from IoT applications). Even data that would typically be considered unstructured — such as audio and video — has structured metadata that can easily be stored and accessed by the data lake.  This helps put all your data together in a single queryable environment, all at a low cost.

Adding Business Value To Your Data

The data lake can add value to your business in a number of ways. Two prominent use cases are an analytics sidecar and an exercise in lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).

The Analytics Sidecar Use Case

In the analytics sidecar scenario, SAP HANA Cloud simplifies the process of gathering data from multiple systems and data sources to provide a unified dataset for analytics.

Lowering the Total Cost of Ownership Use Case

The  TCO lowering exercise involves moving data into the SAP HANA Cloud data lake to provide cost savings over storing the data in multiple sources or locations. Complex analytics across several virtual sources can lead to administrative headaches as well as performance problems in addition to the expenses related to keeping data in multiple locations. Bringing those data sources into SAP HANA Cloud via replication can solve the delays and simplify administration of the environment. Migrating the data source directly into SAP HANA can reduce the costs associated with keeping the data in multiple locations.

In short, SAP HANA Cloud reduces complexity and overhead at every turn, addressing multiple enterprise data management issues simultaneously. SAP HANA Cloud delivers those kinds of synergies as only a cloud-native data platform can, all while providing the unmatched performance and universal data access you have already come to expect from SAP HANA.