A HANA Performance and HANA on Azure Case Study

Executive Summary

  • SAP has made enormous claims around HANA, but data points from the field contradict these claims.
  • In this article, we cover one of these case studies.

Introduction

We have covered in the article How Accurate Was SAP on HANA Being a Perfect Fit for ERP? that HANA is a poor fit for ERP systems because of the fact it is weak in transaction processing performance. However, transaction processing is most of what an ERP system does.

Here are some direct quotes of someone who reached out to us.

“ECC / BW Transaction codes take more time on HANA, than the same transaction code accessed in R3 (4.6c) on DB6 and the same transaction codes in other SAP products on DB6 also taking much less time to access. This is something which is known within the team. Add to that, in 2018, SAP’s own team which is on-site asked them to move from multi-node to single node for two of the ECC systems due to frequent issues with the earlier multi-node setup. and during the migration from multi-mode to single-node.”

What is interesting here is that while ECC transactions code should take longer than on HANA. But what is curious is the report here is that BW transaction codes also take longer. However, BW is supposed to be the one area where the performance is better than Oracle or DB2.

Constant Support Issues with HANA

There were issues which lasted for over 2 weeks and this despite doing working sessions with SAP support for over 2-3 days.

HANA 1.0 SP11 was implemented back in 2017 was updated to 1.0 SP12 in 2018 and went live (regional go-lives)

This matches out other data points that bring up the constant factor of the high maintenance overhead with HANA. This is why we have predicted the highest TCO for HANA of any of the RDBMSs that it competes against.

Azure and HANA

“The MS Azure ECC system for a strange reason has been set up on MS SQL DB (not HANA, for reasons unknown), while BW on MS

Azure is on HANA. there were multiple critical show stopper issues for BW and even for HANA on MS Azure due to resource bottlenecks, despite the DB size being only abt 700GB to 1TB at max, whereas the resource allocation was around 8TB.”

This brings up the question related to Azure with HANA. Azure is SAP’s preferred public cloud partner. Yet it does not appear that Azure, in this case, knew how to setup HANA.

On the companies websites, everything looks like it works. It is not until the solution is tested that problems surface.

Here is another example of inaccurate information. S/4HANA is still quite immature, and it is unlikely that Microsoft is using S/4HANA for much of anything but as a demo box. This type of announcement is made to drive S/4HANA business to Azure. And if Microsoft has mastered using S/4HANA (which uses HANA) why did this case study report such a problem with using HANA on Azure? 

Conclusion

This case study tells us an interesting story, which is corroborated by other case studies. Mainly that HANA, in reality, is far away from its marketing claims. But this case study provides new information to us, which is the ability to Azure to support HANA. It should be understood that HANA is a higher overhead database, and there it will be more challenging to set up and maintain properly versus other databases that are considerably more stable.

There is very little public communication of issues with HANA. All the information we obtain must be anonymized because things are made difficult for people who report that SAP does not match the marketing claims.

The Necessity of Fact Checking

We ask a question that anyone working in enterprise software should ask.

Should decisions be made based on sales information from 100% financially biased parties like consulting firms, IT analysts, and vendors to companies that do not specialize in fact-checking?

If the answer is “No,” then perhaps there should be a change to the present approach to IT decision making.

In a market where inaccurate information is commonplace, our conclusion from our research is that software project problems and failures correlate to a lack of fact checking of the claims made by vendors and consulting firms. If you are worried that you don’t have the real story from your current sources, we offer the solution.

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References

TCO Book

 

TCO3

Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making

Getting to the Detail of TCO

One aspect of making a software purchasing decision is to compare the Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO, of the applications under consideration: what will the software cost you over its lifespan? But most companies don’t understand what dollar amounts to include in the TCO analysis or where to source these figures, or, if using TCO studies produced by consulting and IT analyst firms, how the TCO amounts were calculated and how to compare TCO across applications.

The Mechanics of TCO

Not only will this book help you appreciate the mechanics of TCO, but you will also gain insight as to the importance of TCO and understand how to strip away the biases and outside influences to make a real TCO comparison between applications.
By reading this book you will:
  • Understand why you need to look at TCO and not just ROI when making your purchasing decision.
  • Discover how an application, which at first glance may seem inexpensive when compared to its competition, could end up being more costly in the long run.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the cost, categories to include in an accurate and complete TCO analysis.
  • Learn why ERP systems are not a significant investment, based on their TCO.
  • Find out how to recognize and avoid superficial, incomplete or incorrect TCO analyses that could negatively impact your software purchase decision.
  • Appreciate the importance and cost-effectiveness of a TCO audit.
  • Learn how SCM Focus can provide you with unbiased and well-researched TCO analyses to assist you in your software selection.
Chapters
  • Chapter 1:  Introduction
  • Chapter 2:  The Basics of TCO
  • Chapter 3:  The State of Enterprise TCO
  • Chapter 4:  ERP: The Multi-Billion Dollar TCO Analysis Failure
  • Chapter 5:  The TCO Method Used by Software Decisions
  • Chapter 6:  Using TCO for Better Decision Making