SAP HANA on Power Accelerates with P9

Hasso Plattner at Sapphire 2019 (SAP HANA on Power)

As reported in the IBM SEC Filings, IBM’s Power Systems revenue grew by 17% in the last quarter of 2018, crediting the growth to the success of it its POWER9 processors.

In the article “Hana on Power” by Andreas Klaus Span, Director & Business Unit Executive, Cognitive Solution Sales & SAP HANA on Power, Span expressed his recognition of IBM’s Power Systems collaboration and technology integration with SAP, with POWER9’s further optimization to effectively support the SAP Business Suite.

He described the three things that companies desire from their IT landscape: guaranteed continuity, increasing performance, and investment protection. He said that P9 is the most stable and efficient platform on the market today that would satisfy these needs.

In only about three years, Power has been the platform of choice for mission-critical enterprise environments with over 2250 customers worldwide.

Span mentioned that IBM’s own research has shown that their company has a 20 percent market share in the HANA business. This would have increased to 25 percent after Intel announced in the Sapphire in Orlando last May that they had a market share of 75 percent in HANA.

Moreover, he explained that the company will continue to utilize AIX, a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms, with a definitive roadmap until 2028 for investment protection package to allow customers plan long-term and arrange transitions.

The Power in  P9

Since P9’s presence in the market in 2018, IBM definitely went beyond just improving its Power products. P9’s optimization was based on the years of experiences in the cognitive, AI, and SAP area, keeping the entire Power platform is still certified for HANA (from scale-out boxes with up to 24 cores and 4 TB RAM and Midrange E950 with up to 48 cores and 16 TB RAM to Enterprise E980 with up to 192 cores and 64 TB RAM).

•    Power 9 has twice as much core performance and 1.4 times more memory than x86

•    Power 9 has 1.5 times as much performance, twice as much memory and offers 50 percent better scalability VS Power 8

•    Power 9 leverages improved thread performance, optimized analytical processes, and extreme big data with innovations in the area of next-gen memory

•    Power 9 offers two memory architectures: Scale-out (Direct Attach Memory) with up to 170 GB/s, and Scale-up (Buffered Memory) with up to 230 GB/s per socket and with extreme capacity (up to 8 TB/socket).

•    Power 9 achieves up to 50 percent cost savings in two to three years VS Power 7 having three times more performance/core, more than 12 percent additional capacity, and 60 percent core reduction; reducing licensing and maintenance fees

The Gains of SAP HANA on Power

•    IBM received the SAP Pinnacle Award “SAP Global Partner of the Year – Infrastructure” in 2018

•    IBM received three SAP Innovation Awards in Q1 of 2019 namely: “Breakthrough in protein analysis advances war on cancer” together with the University of Munich; “Sustainable shopping and vision of Zero Waste: Coop improving their customer experience with AI” together with Coop Switzerland; and again with the Indus Motors Toyota Company

•    More than 60 CSPs and MSPs are currently using IBM Power with their SAP workloads

•    SAP cloud market shifted towards IBM Power, including the companies Syntax, Itelligence, CTAC, Seidor, Dedagroup, and D.F.I.

What’s next?

In Hasso Plattner’s Sapphire 2019 keynote, he fairly said that migration to HANA is taking longer than forecasted, the reason why they will continue to support traditional SAP solutions until 2025 and beyond, if necessary.

The expansion of the SAP ecosystem continues as noted in the steep increase of Hana on Linux on Power, including ISV solutions that extend the reach of Hana on Power (HoP).

IBM will start offering Power 9 systems for SAP workloads (including SAP Hana) in the IBM Cloud this year having experienced the massive failures on x86 and lack of competitiveness compared to AWS and others.

Span explained that a good balance between on-prem systems and cloud guarantees a stable, secure, manageable, and cost-efficient IT strategy as experienced by one of their most successful partners, Syntax.

With IBM’s collaboration with the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany since 2016, the company extends its advocacy to the academic sector. They have been offering an online course titled “Future in Computing -IBM Power 9 and beyond” on, since May this year reaching 1,500 participants.

Realizing how SAP and IBM have successfully built a vigorous HANA environment, Span said that the company is confident in increasing its market share to 50% considering the number of companies yet to utilize the HANA Platform.

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