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SAP HANA DB (sometimes also referred to as SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance or even Hasso's New Architecture a reference to SAP founder Hasso Plattner) is the new in-memory database platform from SAP. The SAP HANA platform allows companies to store and analyze large volumes of non aggregated data in real-time with unprecedented performance. It is ideal for decision support & predictive analysis, no wonder SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW 7.3) is the first SAP application supported by HANA.
A SAP HANA Appliance refers to HANA DB as delivered on partner certified hardware as an appliance.
SAP HANA DB incorporates a complete database management system (DBMS) that supports both columnar (ideal for OLAP) and row-based (for OLTP) data storage as its backbone and it supports business intelligence clients using multidimensional expressions (MDX) as well as business intelligence consumer services (BICS), the SAP proprietory interface for Business Objects solutions.
SAP HANA leverages recent hardware innovations such as multi-core CPUs which allow massive parallel processing and high capacity RAM, as well as new compression and parallel processing algorithms. The combination with column-based storage enables parallel execution using multiple processor cores, maximizing the use of computing resources available.
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