Data Center News: HP and SAP Release the Kraken

Get your meme generators ready, data center world, because the cat has officially been let out of the bag kraken has officially been released. HP – with or without the express written permission of Zeus and Liam Neeson – has announced a joint innovation with SAP codenamed “Project Kraken.” All joking aside, the project is said to be designed to boost business processing power and lower customer hazard levels.

In more specific terms, Project Kraken (aka ConvergedSystem 900) is an infrastructure solution for SAP’s Hana, an in-memory cloud computing system with the goal of coalescing database and application platform competencies for spatial and predictive processing, text analysis, analytics and transactions. HP has been working with SAP on this HANA hardware collaboration since 2013, and Hewlett-Packard has been expanding its HANA-related services for some time now, and this is its latest foray into it. A cloud delivery model for HANA along with a number of consulting and support plans were announced alongside the converged system.

“Businesses are adopting SAP HANA to make real-time business decisions based on massive data sets, but are often constrained by their infrastructure’s scalability and availability,” Converged Systems, HP Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Joyce said of the project in a press release. “With HP ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA, HP is helping customers achieve business transformation with SAP HANA by delivering a system optimized for the largest, most mission-critical workloads.”

HP isn’t alone in seeing the potential in catering to business owners attracted to HANA but wanting more options for taking advantage of its abilities. Rivals Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu and IBM have infrastructure solutions for it all their own. HP, though, describes Kraken as the largest SAP-certified HANA solution. But before we dig too deeply into ConvergedSystem 900, let’s take a step back and explore HANA itself a bit.

High Performance Analytics Appliance

So there are a lot of big jargon-ey tech words up above describing what HANA is. Let’s break them down a bit: HANA (High Performance Analytics Appliance) is a single, modern real-time cloud platform. It’s meant to bring two things that all of us can understand and appreciate: simplicity and flexibility. Announced just over one year ago, the platform is meant to bring companies of all sizes choice, scalability and cost effectiveness that they need in order to grow their “entire business” through the cloud. The end result is said to be new customer experiences, optimized resources and empowered employees.

“Our message to customers is simple: You can have your cloud, your way in real time, with a beautiful user experience, from the trusted leader in enterprise business solutions,” Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs of SAP AG said of the platform when it was first made public. “With the new SAP HANA Cloud Platform as the foundation for all of our offerings, we are proud to be the trusted innovator to accelerate business value in the cloud.”

Specifically, HP has positioned HANA as an ideal solution for firms in the sports and entertainment industries. McDermott explained that it is aimed at helping turn plain old consumers into passionate fans. In other words, it will help create brand ambassadors. He said that “world-class organizations… are embracing the value that breakthrough technologies such as SAP HANA, the SAP Cloud portfolio and advanced CRM and ticketing can bring to the fan experience. We expect that our 25th and newest industry vertical will touch literally billions of people who love concerts, entertainment and sports, and help give them an unprecedented level of enjoyment and attachment.”

Back to the Kraken

Flash forward to the present. SAP HANA is now being used by thousands of organizations around the planet for running mission-critical operations and powering end-to-end processes. The platform handles customer relations and supply chain management and enterprise resource planning. Since these functions are crucial for ensuring successful daily business procedures, end users want – no, demand – something with an incredible amount of flexibility and reliability.

SAP certifies that a maximum of 12 terabytes of information can be transferred in a sole memory pool to power the type of operations mentioned above. One of the biggest focal points of the cloud hosting industry lately has been “Big Data.” Everybody’s got lots of data, and they’re only collecting more and more of it as time goes on. Conveniently storing, cataloging and accessing all of that data in a way that makes it easily accessible and actually usable is a major challenge – one Project Kraken seeks to aid in overcoming. Kraken allows end users to manage and break down enormously large and varied sets of data, and it lets them do it from a single system that is said to facilitate business decisions in real-time. No one likes waiting, least of all your customers/clients, so HP designed a joint system with SAP that it says will help cut some of it down.

“In-memory computing allows organizations to quickly make informed business decisions by processing massive amounts of data much faster than ever possible before,” Matt Eastwood, group vice president and general manager, Enterprise Platforms, IDC explained. “However, to capitalize on its benefits, organizations need a highly scalable data management environment that allows organizations to capture and analyze all of their information on one platform, eliminating the need to transfer data from other systems — a major source of information delay.”

HP broke down exactly how Kraken will make this happen with some handy bullet points:

  • Increase operational efficiency by consolidating mission-critical applications on the same platform.
  • Rapidly respond to business needs by quickly scaling system capacity with 6TB/8-socket and 12TB/16-socket scale-up configurations using Intel® Xeon® processor E7v2 family.
  • Reduce downtime with HP Serviceguard for SAP HANA, which provides high-availability and disaster-tolerant features for enterprise data protection.
  • Further ensure business continuity with up to 12 TB of in-memory computing. This allows clients to smoothly and securely transition their landscape running SAP HANA from legacy databases.
  • Increase IT staff efficiency with intelligent manageability features that provide IT a single point of management for the server, blades, fault-tolerant fabric and enclosure.

About That Service and Support Functionality

Shiny new toys that provide solutions for serious business pain points are great – assuming they always work and work well. Ideally, Kraken will always work flawlessly, but when does anything actually ever work 100 percent perfect 100 percent of the time? Rarely, if ever.

Enter HP’s dedicated support for ConvergedSystem 900. It’s an optional but recommended support level that gives clients a single accountability point for support of all components of the system. Included are dedicated tech resources that preemptively stop problems before they start, help users squeeze as much performance as possible from Kraken, provides a list of continual advice and best practices and expedites problem resolutions via personalized reports.

Image Source: Data Center Dynamics

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