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A closer look at the HANA ecosystem on Google Cloud Platform

June 6, 2018
Babu Prasad Elumalai

Technical Lead, SAP on GCP

Since we announced our partnership with SAP in early 2017, we’ve rapidly expanded our support for SAP HANA, SAP’s in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system. From the beginning, we knew we’d need to build tools that integrate SAP HANA with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) that make it faster and easier for developers and administrators to take advantage of the platform.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the evolution of SAP HANA on GCP and take a deeper look at the ecosystem we’ve built to support our customers.

The evolution of SAP HANA on GCP


For many enterprise customers running SAP HANA databases, instances with large amounts of memory are essential. That’s why we’ve been working to make virtual machines with larger memory configurations available for SAP HANA workloads.

Our initial work with SAP on the certification process for SAP HANA began in early 2017. In that 15 month period, we’ve rapidly evolved from instances with 208GB memory to 4TB memory. This has allowed us to support larger single-node SAP HANA installations of up to 4TB.

Smart Data Access — Google BigQuery

Google BigQuery, our serverless data warehouse, enables low cost, high performance analytics at petabyte scale. We’ve worked with SAP to natively integrate SAP HANA with BigQuery through smart data access which allows you to extend SAP HANA’s capabilities and query data stored within BigQuery by means of virtual tables. This support has been available since SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03, and you can try it out by following this step-by-step codelabs tutorial.


Fully automated deployment of SAP HANA

In many cases, the manual deployment process can be time consuming, error prone and cumbersome. It’s very important to reduce or eliminate the margin of error and make the deployment conform to SAP’s best practices and standards.

To address this, we’ve launched deployment templates that fully automate the deployment of single node and scale-out SAP HANA configurations on GCP. In addition, we’ve also launched a new deployment automation template that creates a high availability SAP HANA configuration with automatic failover.

With these templates, you have access to fully configured, ready-to-go SAP HANA environments in a matter of minutes. You can also see the resources you created, and a complete catalog of all your deployments, in one location through the GCP console. We’ve also made the deployment process fully visible by providing deployment logs through Google Stackdriver.


Monitoring SAP HANA with Stackdriver

Visibility into what’s happening inside your SAP HANA database can help you identify factors impacting your database, and prepare accordingly. For example, a time series view of how resource utilization or latency within the SAP HANA database changes over time can help administrators plan in advance, and in many cases successfully troubleshoot issues.

Stackdriver provides monitoring, logging, and diagnostics to better understand the health, performance, and availability of cloud-powered applications. Stackdriver’s integration with SAP HANA helps administrators monitor their SAP HANA databases, notifying and alerting them so they can proactively fix issues.

More information on this integration is available in our documentation.

TensorFlow support in SAP HANA

SAP has offered support for TensorFlow Serving beginning with SAP HANA 2.0. This lets you directly build inference into SAP HANA through custom machine learning models hosted in TensorFlow serving applications running on Google Compute Engine.

You can easily build a continuous training pipeline by exporting data in your SAP HANA database to Google Cloud Storage and then using Cloud TPUs to train deep learning models. These models can then be hosted with TensorFlow Serving to be used for inference within SAP HANA.


SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA as a Service

SAP HANA as a Service is now also deployable to the Google Cloud Platform. The fully managed cloud service makes it possible for developers to leverage the power of SAP HANA, without spending time on operational and administrative tasks. The service is especially well suited to customers who have the goal of rapid innovation, reducing time to value.

SAP HANA, express edition on Google Cloud Launcher

SAP HANA, express edition is meant for developers and technologists who prefer a hands-on learning experience. A free license is included, allowing users to use a large catalog of tutorial content, online courses and samples to get started with SAP HANA. The Google Launcher provides users a fast and effective provisioning experience for SAP HANA, express edition.


These developments are all part of our continuing goal to make Google Cloud the best place to run SAP applications. We’ll continue listening to your feedback, and we’ll have more updates to share in the coming months. In the meantime, you can learn more about SAP HANA on GCP by visiting our website. And if you’d like to learn about all our announcements at SAPPHIRE NOW, read our Google Cloud blog post.

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