Fitting BigData into Enterprise IT with SAP's HANA VORA

Fitting BigData into Enterprise IT with SAP's HANA VORA

SAP has introduced a new technology, dubbed HANA Vora, that almost epitomizes the idea that Big Data and BI are complementary. Vora melds Big Data technologies like Hadoop and Spark with the original SAP HANA, and downstream sources like SAP BW, Business Objects andERP. In the process, it brings BI-style dimensional (drill-down) analysis into the Big Data world.
But, with¬†our experience in building these so-called “Big-Data enabled BI” applications for many of the manufacturing industry’s leaders, we have not come across a single enterprise who can readily implement HANA. despite the fact that many of them had one or more SAP component somewhere in their enterprise IT.
HANA Vora is based on the combination of Apache Spark and Hadoop 2.0/YARN. It then provides connectivity to the original SAP HANA, premised on push-down query delegation. It also layers in Spark SQL enhancements to handle hierarchical queries and a pre-compiled query facility comparable to what relational databases and data warehouses have had for years.
Essentially, Vora federates “data lakes” with Enterprise systems of record and does so without incurring the costs of data movement (since “classic” HANA executes its own queries). Further, it provides for the definition of dimensional hierarchies and the ability to use them in analytical queries against all the data that Vora can address.
Vora requires no dedicated hardware infrastructure, as it co-locates on the cluster nodes on which Hadoop and Spark are themselves deployed. Clearly, if you’re going to integrate Vora with classic HANA, the latter will need its own infrastructure. But Vora can also be used on a standalone basis with no additional hardware requirements. This important element will be a key-consideration for organisations to take a dip into the Data Lakes.
Vora could end up being a very sensible way for SAP customers to move forward with Hadoop, Spark and Big Data in general. And since Vora is a commercial software offering from SAP, and not an open source offering, it fits with SAP’s existing business model, rather than requiring the company to change gears in some contrived manner.
HANA Vora hybridizes on many levels: Big Data with BI; startup technology with established Enterprise software; data lakes with vetted systems of record; and, finally, in-memory and disk-based storage and processing.

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