SAP: Put a little more HANA in your Red Hat

SAP's in-memory database product will be supported on hardware appliances and Amazon images running Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Two of the bigger names in enterprise software, Red Hat and SAP, are preparing to expand their ongoing collaboration, with the former having its platform certified to run the latter's software.

The plan is to offer the SAP HANA in-memory database system running on RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) "via SAP-certified hardware appliances from partners," according to Red Hat. Purchasing one of these appliances means the end-user receives support from both Red Hat and SAP for the resulting product.

For those who don't want to use hardware appliances, Red Hat and SAP are offering the use of preconfigured AWS (Amazon Web Services) images as an alternative. According to Red Hat, "SAP licensees will soon be able to take their existing SAP license to the cloud and easily add Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA to their service mix on the SAP Marketplace." No timeframe has been set for when this will be possible, though.

SAP HANA is also already deployable on AWS, but right now the only edition of Linux certified for SAP HANA in AWS is Suse's. This would slightly broaden the possibilities available to those who want to run SAP HANA in Amazon's cloud.

Unfortunately, running HANA in AWS comes with restrictions of its own: No support for AWS clustering, and practical limits on the size of the instance because of HANA's in-memory nature. To that end, a dedicated-hardware deployment of HANA makes sense -- at least, for those who are already committed to using it.

SAP's not venturing into uncharted territory by looking to create hardware-approved deployments of HANA and RHEL since they have already partnered with hardware vendors like HP for HANA-specific systems. One such system was announced earlier today: the HP Converged System 900 for SAP HANA, capable of processing up to 12TB of in-memory data.

Red Hat's existing partnership with SAP for the sake of joint support is one of the more prominent examples of the former company -- one built on open source -- making a business alliance with another company for the sake of a proprietary product line. The two have opposite enough business models that rumors of a merger between the two -- or, more precisely, SAP acquiring Red Hat -- were laughed out of the room.

But the difference in corporate styles hasn't prevented the two of them from finding common ground. The announcement stressed that all the existing technical collaborations between the two companies will continue to expand -- such as integrating data from SAP into Red Hat solutions via SAP Gateway and Red Hat JBoss Middleware, or having several of SAP's offerings available as cartridges for Red Hat's OpenShift PaaS.

For those not already committed to SAP's product line, the in-memory database world has sprouted any number of new shoots in the last several months alone. Pivotal's version of Hadoop added in-memory functionality back in March of this year; Microsoft buffed SQL Server with in-memory functionality of its own; and Oracle, never to be outdone, proffered its own such product late last year -- although at Oracle's prices and with Oracle's variety of lock-in. There's also VoltDB, co-created by Michael Stonebreaker of PostgreSQL fame, one of the few offerings on this list that also comes in an open source edition -- and which in its latest incarnation sports many of the same advanced features that once belonged to proprietary products like HANA alone.

This story, "SAP: Put a little more HANA in your Red Hat," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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