About a year and a half ago, we blogged about SAP on i. At that time, it seemed that running SAP on i should have been a no-brainer decision - to customers, that is. Far simpler to implement and manage, providing a superior TCO. As the comments showed though, common sense is apparently not at all common in the SAP arena.
As we pointed out at the time, we suspect that most companies considering an SAP installation weren’t even offered IBM i as a platform for SAP - even those shops who already have IBM i in house. We suspect it’s because the consultants who almost inevitably get involved in making these proposals make their money on consulting and implementation and support activities - and the more complex the environment, the more consulting support is needed. Simpler is not better - at least not if you make your money on support hours!
So, what’s new in the land of SAP? The new, highly touted SAP HANA in-memory database. Wow - an in-memory database. That sounds fast, right? Surely IBM i using DB2 for i couldn’t hold a candle to that kind of dramatically new technology.
Of course it can! And we now have the benchmark to prove it. Interestingly, the benchmark was apparently designed to showcase HANA’s superiority in complex ad-hoc queries with random selection criteria. Nice try - in the benchmark results, IBM i running good ol’ DB2 for i (OK, not so old, really - running 7.1) scored better on the ad-hoc steps per hour.
Of course, the IBM i benchmark ran on a single IBM i system - and a single partition - compared with the published benchmark results with HANA running on HP where separate servers were needed for the HANA database and the application. So the promise of “simplification” that the marketing material for SAP HANA proudly states would actually appear to be a bit more complicated - at least compared to IBM i running DB2 for i - the platform that has simplification down to an art.
We encourage you all to continue reading about this in the recent post by fellow IBM Systems Mag blogger - and technical leader of the SAP on IBM i team (yes, there is one!), Ron Schmerbauch.
At the risk of stealing just a little of Ron’s thunder, we especially like his conclusion that companies running SAP on IBM i can “spend time focusing on business challenges instead of worrying about when and where they need to plug in the next x86 server to keep their infrastructure from toppling.” Amen, Ron. Just like IBM i shops running most any business application - even SAP.
There is a lot more on the recent benchmark and on the value of IBM i as a platform for SAP in Ron’s blog and on the SAP on IBM i developerWorks page. Follow Ron on Twitter @SAPonIBMi to keep up to date with the team’s news and activities.
SAP and IBM i - it should be a no-brainer. Let’s spread the word and make this common sense common knowledge.