SAP released HANA today which does in-memory computing with in-memory database. Sample appliance with 10 blades with 32 cores (using XEON 7500) each; sample (another buzzword: “data source agnostic”) appliance costs approximately half-million of dollars. SAP claimed that”Very complex reports and queries against 500 billion point-of-sale records were run in less than one minute” using parallel processing. SAP HANA “scales linearly” with performance proportional to hardware improvements that enable complex real-time analytics.

Pricing will likely be value based and that it is looking for an all-in figure of around $10 million per deal. Each deal will be evaluated based upon requirements and during the call, the company confirmed that each engagement will be unique (so SAP is hoping for 40-60 deals in pipeline).

I think with such pricing and data size the HANA appliance (as well as other pricey data appliances) can be useful mostly in 2 scenarios:

  • when it integrates with mathematical models to enable users to discover patterns, clusters, trends, outliers and hidden dependencies and
  • when those mountains of data can be visualized, interactively explored and searched, drilled-down and pivot…

8/8/11 Update: The 400 million-euro ($571 million) pipeline for Hana, which was officially released in June, is the biggest in the history of Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, the largest maker of business-management software. It’s growing by 10 million euros a week, co-Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott said last month. BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, has been able to analyze commodity sales 120 times faster with Hana, it said last month. Russian oil producer OAO Surgutneftegas, which has been using Hana in test programs since February, said the analysis of raw data directly from the operational system made additional data warehouse obsolete.