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SAP HANA : Ready for the Persistent Memory Revolution

Le 05 March 2022

Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory is an innovative memory technology that offers a unique combination of affordable high capacity and data persistence, discover how with SAP HANA you can solve the next big data management challenges for your SAP systems.

Intel’s persistent memory (PMEM) dramatically changes the data hierarchy issue by merging the performance of DRAM with the persistence of flash and disk storage, avoiding the need for complex data tiering architectures. Finally, unlike DRAM, Intel Optane DC persistent memory preserves its data if the server’s power is lost or if the server reboots, maintaining performance close to DRAM.

SAP HANA is the only in-memory vendor that is currently able to leverage the “Direct App” mode for Intel Optane persistent memory. This is the only mode of operation that truly leverages the benefits of PMEM with true data persistence and ideal performance through optimised integration.

Configured in App Direct mode, applications and the operating system are explicitly aware that there are two types of direct load/store memory on the platform and can determine which type of read or write data is suitable for DRAM or Intel® Optane ™ DC persistent memory.

Operations requiring the lowest latency and not requiring permanent data storage can be performed on DRAM, such as database “work blocks”.

Data that must be made persistent or very large structures can be routed to Intel® Optane ™ DC persistent memory.
Thus the SAP HANA software architecture, allowing all non-volatile data structures to be managed in the HANA column store, is particularly suited to take advantage of the “App direct” mode. A high level of integration transpa-rently optimises the use of DRAM memory compared to PMEM in two separate pools and allows data to persist in memory, improving business continuity with significantly faster data load times at start-up.

And when comparing identical data processing and multi-million processing workloads, the performance of SAP HANA with Per-sistent memory is 99.7% of the performance of the system with DRAM alone.
This technology offers performance equivalent to DRAM, but without the loss of information when servers are restarted or the system is shut down. In addition to the storage benefits, this technology offers very high processing and computational capabilities with much more reasonable operating costs than a system based on DRAM alone.

With an increased memory density in the ratio of 8:1, allowing for an increase in memory from 1.5 to 4.5 TB per CPU, similar performance and at least 20% savings compared to standard DRAM, Intel’s persistent memory combined with SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 03, also allows for a significant reduction in server startup times (from 50 minutes to 4 minutes for a 6 terabyte database)

A major advance is also to be noted for customers using or wishing to evolve towards a virtualised infrastructure. A few days ago (29/05/2020), SAP validated the possibility of using persistent memory in SAP HANA environments on VmWare vSphere. All the information required to implement PMEM can be found in SAP Note 2913410.


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