Technology

Cloud Server Can Supercharge Your SAP HANA Performance

Are you feeling like your on-premises HANA infrastructure is holding your business back? Is there a better way to maximize your database performance without breaking the bank? Moving your SAP platform to the cloud could be the answer. 

Maintaining high-performing on-prem hardware can be a constant drain on your resources. What if there was a way to offload those infrastructure headaches and gain access to virtually unlimited, elastic computing power? That’s the promise of cloud-based HANA. By migrating to a cloud solution, you can say goodbye to capacity planning worries forever and unlock turbocharged performance for your most important applications.

Let’s dive into the top 9 ways that making the switch to the cloud can take your SAP HANA performance to warp speed.

1. Leverage Scalable Compute Power on Demand

One of the biggest advantages of cloud servers is access to massive amounts of scalable computing power. This means no more performance bottlenecks; you can seamlessly scale out your SAP HANA deployment within minutes to handle peak loads. With pay-as-you-go pricing, you also only pay for the resources you need, saving costs when activity is low.

2. Boost Performance with Solid State Drives

Most on-premises infrastructures rely on traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) for storage. 

  • While affordable, HDDs are much slower than solid-state drives (SSDs) in terms of input/output operations per second (IOPS), a critical metric for database performance. 
  • All major cloud platforms utilize ultra-fast SSDs as the primary storage tier. 
  • The flash-based performance of SSDs can provide up to 50x faster data access than HDDs for your HANA workloads. 

This translates directly to reduced latency for queries and improved overall system responsiveness.

3. Eliminate Planned Downtime with Live Migrations

On-premises infrastructure upgrades often require planned downtime to migrate servers to new hardware. But with cloud servers, you can eliminate this downtime through live migration features. For example, AWS allows you to move running EC2 instances across availability zones with zero interruption using replacement strategies. 

This means that critical HANA systems can continue operating without interruption, even during hardware maintenance periods. No more worrying about maintenance windows; with live migration, you get continuous uptime for optimal performance.

4. Improve Performance Consistency with Dedicated Hardware

When SAP HANA runs on shared, multi-tenant hardware, its performance can be inconsistent and unpredictable since it must compete for resources with other workloads. But cloud servers give you dedicated, single-tenant hardware that is all yours. 

With an AWS EC2 dedicated instance, for example, you have a physical server fully dedicated to your SAP deployment, with guaranteed CPU utilization targets and resource isolation from other customers. 

This consistency ensures HANA always gets the resources it needs without interference from noisy neighbors for reliable, high performance.

5. Automate Infrastructure Provisioning

Manually setting up and maintaining on-premises SAP HANA infrastructure requires a lot of repetitive, manual configuration. But cloud platforms allow you to automate all provisioning through APIs and code. 

For example, with AWS CloudFormation templates, you can deploy your entire SAP environment with a single click. 

This includes automatically provisioning servers, storage, databases, and security groups—everything your infrastructure needs. Automation saves you time and eliminates errors compared to manual setup. It also makes infrastructure highly reproducible and portable across accounts and regions.

6. Optimize for Low Latency with Edge Locations 

For applications with strict low-latency requirements like HANA, edge locations near end users are crucial. 

  • While on-premises infrastructure offers no geographic flexibility, cloud platforms have edge locations all around the world. 
  • AWS, for example, has over 200 availability zones in more than 70 commercial infrastructure regions globally. 
  • By deploying your HANA workloads in edge regions close to your users, you can optimize for latency under 10 ms. 

This ensures fast and consistent response times regardless of user locations, which is critical for a responsive experience.

7. Improve Disaster Recovery with Automatic Backup

Losing your SAP HANA deployment to a disaster would be catastrophic for business continuity. But cloud platforms automate robust backup and restore capabilities as part of their managed services. For instance, AWS Backup takes automated daily snapshots of EBS volumes with point-in-time restore. It also replicates snapshots across regions for disaster recovery. 

Should your primary HANA deployment fail, you can have it up and running again in another region within hours—far faster than rebuilding from scratch on-premises. Reliable, automated disaster recovery is a huge performance and business advantage.

8. Optimize Storage Performance with Instance Stores

While EBS is a common cloud storage choice, it can still experience higher latencies compared to local instance storage. 

  • For maximum HANA performance, choose an instance type with local SSD storage, like AWS i3. 
  • These instance stores provide solid-state media directly attached to the server with sub-millisecond latencies and high IOPS performance, ideal for database workloads. 
  • With up to 32TB of local storage capacity, you get all the speed benefits of direct-attached storage without the limitations of on-premises hardware. 

Local SSDs ensure storage is never a bottleneck for your HANA performance.

9. Monitor and Troubleshoot with Centralized Tools

On-premises, monitoring SAP HANA performance requires multiple point tools that don’t integrate. But cloud platforms consolidate all metrics and logs into centralized consoles for easy monitoring. For example, AWS CloudWatch provides a single pane of glass for metrics, alarms and logs across all your cloud resources. 

It detects anomalies and issues proactively. You can also correlate metrics from servers, storage and databases to quickly pinpoint the root causes of any performance problems. 

With automated remediation, you spend less time troubleshooting and more time focusing on optimization. Centralized monitoring is a huge productivity boost.

Conclusion

As this blog post has shown, moving your SAP HANA deployment to a cloud platform opens up immense opportunities to supercharge performance in ways that simply aren’t possible on-premises. From scalable elastic compute to ultra-fast SSD storage to automated disaster recovery, the advantages are compelling. 

Best of all, cloud servers eliminate the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure maintenance, freeing up your time and budget to focus on innovation. Why not start optimizing your SAP HANA performance today through a free cloud trial?

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