Lenovo’s System x server portfolio for SAP HANA offers unprecedented scalability

Irene Hopf leads the Center of Competence for SAP Solutions at Lenovo globally. She has more than 20 years of experience in SAP infrastructure solutions. She is recognized as a thought leader and gives trusted advise for the integration of hardware, software and services supporting SAP implementations. In an interview to DATAQUEST, Irene talks about how Lenovo is uniquely positioned to address the demanding SAP workloads. Excerpts.

How Lenovo’s hardware (PC and servers) is providing differentiated advantages for demanding SAP Workloads?

To meet customers’ needs for SAP HANA, Lenovo offers two distinct delivery alternatives: complete appliance delivery and TDI. The Lenovo System x Solution for SAP HANA is a fully integrated, highly optimized appliance solution that offers the performance and robustness needed to handle the challenges of a combined transaction and analytics platform. The solution is fully validated by both Lenovo and SAP. Lenovo offers scalable solutions for customer to address their ever growing business needs. 

Can you talk more about Lenovo’s solution for SAP HANA?

We provide integrated solutions for SAP HANA starting from entry level systems and appliances from 128 GB of main memory up to 8 TB single node configurations and clusters for analytical applications up to 94 nodes (= 376 TB of main memory) as well as configurations for tailored datacenter integration scenarios. These are proven scenarios at many SAP customers worldwide, no matter what geography, industry or size of the business.

The long and strategic association between x86 and SAP has helped build solutions that offer  a very robust and resilient architecture as SAP application is mission critical and unforgiving when it comes to down time . Moreover scalability  is easy as and cost effective through its scale-out architecture. Finally the  modular book based approach makes the solution easily upgradable. The Lenovo solutions offers better investment protection basis the above features. 

These are engineered systems for specific SAP HANA environments – can you talk about the innovation Lenovo is doing here?

The Lenovo HANA appliance is based on x6 architecture which is a unique and developed by Lenovo.  The long association with SAP helped build solutions that were differentiated. Lenovo’s System x server portfolio for SAP HANA offers unprecedented scalability. Large memory configurations are available for SAP Business Suite, powered by SAP HANA. And for SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and data mart implementations, one can easily create multinode scale-out configurations by networking multiple nodes together to enable support for larger SAP HANA memory sizes.

This modular approach enables an organisation to invest in an optimized solution for SAP HANA and grow the infrastructure as the need grows. Whether your business supports a high-performance data center or a small office with limited IT resources, the Lenovo portfolio of x86 servers, storage, and software can help an organization to align and integrate processes, communicate with employees, partners, suppliers, and customers in new ways, improve efficiency, and fully use the IT investment to increase the value of the business.

Lenovo and SAP have a joint innovation roadmap. We collaborate in the development departments of both companies and run joined projects like for example the proof of technology project on SAP S/4HANA and Bank Analyzer workload on a four socket single node system with 12 TB of main memory by using new memory DIMMS from Samsung. 

At a macro level, what are some the key challenges clients face in managing such complicated environments and the need for such engineered systems?

SAP HANA is all about performance and it needs to fit into the established datacenter processes around their SAP applications landscape at a customer. Hence SAP HANA needs specific configurations according to SAP’s guidance. Business requirements can only be fulfilled, when key disciplines like data protection through backup / recovery strategies and business continuity for applications based on SAP HANA are rock solid. The data on the SAP HANA platform is business critical or even mission critical. 

Can you talk more on Lenovo and SAP partnership and strategy going forward?

Lenovo (with the heritage of IBM System  x) has a long standing partnership with SAP. We shipped more than 6200 SAP HANA servers worldwide to clients. The largest SAP HANA showcase with a 100 TB single instance, was based on Lenovo hardware. Lenovo is present at the SAP campus in Walldorf, Germany with Development and the Center of Competence. Both Lenovo and SAP have a global technology partnership and we are committed to the success of our customers in all geographies and we will continue to invest in the partnership going forward. 

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