SAP does “service pack” updates rather than point releases of its Hana in-memory platform. But make no mistake: Hana Service Pack 9, detailed at this week’s TechEd event in Las Vegas, is a major upgrade.
The long list of improvements in Service Pack 9 (SP9), expected by year end, includes support for tiered data storage, multi-tenancy, streaming-data analysis, data integration, and graph analysis. In some cases SAP is adapting assets from elsewhere in its portfolio, like data-integration from BusinessObjects. And in some cases the new capabilities — like tiered storage and stream processing from Sybase — are optional, extra-cost features as offered through Hana.
Whether optional or not, the new features bring a lot to Hana. And in at least one case, SAP has addressed a longstanding Hana complaint — the requirement to store all data in memory. With the Dynamic Tiering feature introduced in SP9, Hana can now store “warm” tables of data on conventional (lower-cost) spinning disks. Only the hot data needed for speedy analysis remains in memory.