infoTECH Feature

May 23, 2013

IBM SmartCloud Gets Wise about SAP and Big Data

Like chocolate and peanut butter, big data and in-memory are two tastes that go great together. The idea is simple. Big data involves, well, big data. And big data solutions processes information that much faster with in-memory technology, where all the action takes place in huge areas of RAM rather than paging to far slower disk drives.

SAP is the leader in big enterprise ERP, despite Oracle's (News - Alert) protestations. The company has a special product, SAP HANA, for real-time business that processes apps and performs analytics using in-memory.

IBM (News - Alert), as it turns out, has a perfect match in the form of its SmartCloud platform, which has been tweaked to accommodate SAP HANA and like applications more readily.

Driving much of SmartCloud’s new abilities are advancements in decades-old but somehow entirely modern IBM DB2 database. Through “BLU Acceleration,” DB2 now processes analytics and creates reports some 25 times faster than without BLU.

The BLU Acceleration was invented at the venerable IBM Research and Development labs, and draws inspiration from IBM’s many advancements in supercomputing.

The faster database processing isn’t just for SAP HANA. “Cognos (News - Alert) Business Intelligence with Dynamic Cubes powered by DB2 with BLU Acceleration delivers speed of thought analytics – with 18 times faster data loading and 14 times faster answers,” IBM said. Cognos, however, can be used to run BI processes against SAP (News - Alert) data.

But IBM put a lot of specific effort into SAP. For instance, IBM has an actual hardware appliance to support SAP HANA, as well as a virtual version of the appliance.

“Today's news shows how IBM is delivering mission-critical cloud services to provide essential analytics innovations to business users at the point of impact,” said Jim Comfort, general manager of IBM SmartCloud Services.

Swiss retailer Migros Genossenschaftsbund is already using the SAP HANA appliance. "With the IBM SAP HANA Appliance, we can now process more complex and comprehensive requests within seconds, providing a range of new insights that were simply not available without in-memory processing," said Alexander Weiss, team leader for processes and business warehouse, Migros Genossenschaftsbund.

Recently, MSP Today brought you some SmartCloud and MSP news about a French Service provider Zertark, which based its business on SmartCloud and is now rolling out a storage platform using the exact same platform.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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