As the goal of the book is to provide an introduction, we could not spend as much time and pages on each and every topic as we wished at times. One of those topic was SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. In this blog, I will cover it in a bit more detail and include references where to find more information.
About IBM Power
After three decades of Intel Inside marketing (ding dong, ding dong), for many consumers the distinction between a specific processor architecture and the CPU as such is blurry. Intel more or less invented ingredient branding and with success (for the story, read the Guardian article: The battle to become an ingredient brand).
However, there is no Intel inside your Apple iPhone or Android but an ARM one, where ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machines and RISC for Reduced Instruction Set Computer. As it happens, this is the same R from POWER, an acronym for Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC and yes the PowerPC (PPC) once powered the Apple Macintosh and continues to do so for many game consoles.
Long story, short story, there are many processors out there and although several no longer compete for the enterprise market (HP Itanium, Sun SPARC are heading out for the sunset) IBM Power is still in the race.
If you want to hear about it from IBM, always a good source, read Top IBM Power Systems myths: x86 is the industry standard and Power is becoming obsolete.
The latest version of the POWER processor is POWER9, launched in 2017. It is the 9th generation with a pedigree going back to the 1990s, much like the Intel x86.
Migrations do not have to be scary.
- H = HANA ( E = Enterprise)
- 9 = Power9
- 2 = sockets (processor sockets with up to 24 cores)
- 2 = 2U or 4U (EIA) so you know how many you can stack in the rack.
For the business argument and more general information, see
- ibm.com/power/saphana (solution brief, case studies, white papers)
TDI and SAP Certified Hardware
As you may recall from the High Performance Analytical Appliance acronym, SAP HANA was initially launched as an appliance with predefined hardware and preconfigured software, a tightly controlled environment to optimise innovation. As customers want choice, a tailored datacenter integration (TDI) program was added after a couple of years with support for the IBM Power System platform added with TDI Phase 4 (August 2015) followed two years later with TDI phase 5 and SAPS-based sizing. Note that SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems is not available as appliance.
For more information, see
- SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration Phase 5 (IBM white paper)
Certified appliances, enterprise storage, IaaS platforms, and Power Systems (amongst others) are published on the SAP Certified and Supported SAP HANA Hardware Directory where you can filter on the number of cores and the architecture (Power 8 or 9).
SAP Support – Notes and KBA
SAP Support publishes notes and knowledge base articles (how-to, FAQ) that document the latest insights and requirements about SAP software and complement the product documentation. Always make sure to consult this information on the SAP ONE Support Launchpad before getting started.
Below a selection of notes that provide information about requirements, updates to supported configurations (e.g. shared LPARs), the maximum number of hosts (nodes) in a scale-out configurations, which operating system is (not are) supported on Power 9, how to configure the file system, etc.
- 2188482 – SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems: Allowed Hardware
- 2055470 – HANA on POWER Planning and Installation Specifics – Central Note
For the early adopters that started out on Power 8 Big Endian (BE) and looking for information how to migrate to SAP HANA 2.0 Little Endian (LE), see
To complete the picture, make sure to consult the IBM documentation related to running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. For the latest versions of these docs, go to
Currently listed are
- SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage Planning Guide
- SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage Advanced Operations Guide
IBM Redbooks are technical publications from IBM support (ITSO) created through in-residency programs. This is first class content available free of charge for download (PDF) or to read online in Apple or Google Books or as EPUB. There are a number of publications about SAP HANA in the Redbooks Library, all highly recommended. Below a sample. To search for the latest publications or learn more about the program, visit ibm.com/redbooks.
- SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems: High Availability and Disaster Recovery Implementation Updates (2019) – REDP-5443
- SAP HANA and ESS: A Winning Combination
For IBM employees and business partners, several trainings are offered. For those with time and budget there is a classroom training
Online, you can take the SAP HANA on Power specialisation (onlinedigitallearning.com).
- SAP HANA on IBM Power – Level 1
- SAP HANA on IBM Power – Level 2
- IBM POWER9 Scale Out Servers – Level 2
- IBM POWER9 Enterprise Servers – Level 2
Like SAP, IBM participates in the openBadge program and successful completion of the program is rewarded with a badge.
SAP HANA on Power Systems – Technical Advocate V1 is retired in Q1 2020.
Partners and Friends
Additional information about running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems can be found on IBM/SAP business partner web sites and in blogs from enthusiasts:
- SUSE: IBM Power for SAP HANA
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Power for SAP HANA
Questions, Comment, Suggestions
Anything I missed? Do not hesitate to post your questions or comments below.
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Denys van Kempen
SAP HANA 2.0 – An Introduction
Just getting started with SAP HANA? Or do have a migration to SAP HANA 2.0 coming up? Need a quick update covering business benefits and technology overview. Understand the role of the system administrator, developer, data integrator, security officer, data scientist, data modeler, project manager, and other SAP HANA stakeholders? My latest book about SAP HANA 2.0 covers everything you need to know.
Get it from SAP Press or Amazon: