In-Memory Buying Criteria: Factors to Consider When Evaluating SAP HANA & Co.

arcplan recommends securing your in-memory investment with a flexible BI front-end

Langenfeld, Germany / Berwyn, PA – September 26, 2012IDC estimates that the global volume of data reached 1.8 million zetabytes in 2012 and predicts that this will double every two years. It also calls for urgency on the subject of data management. IT developers who are ahead of the curve tirelessly hone their innovative data warehouses, which are not only able to map gigantic data volumes, but also analyze them in real time. But the challenge becomes sifting through large volumes of unstructured data from social media as well as big data from financial and operational systems within the data warehouse system, and combining them with existing business solutions. The far greater access speeds of in-memory technologies make them ideal for running data analyses in real time, although they are costly. Global business intelligence (BI) expert arcplan recommends evaluating several aspects when choosing an in-memory database, including flexibility, interface management, and investment security, as well as considering a front-end reporting tool to visualize analyses and make them widely available.

Hitting the finish line faster

TimesTen from Oracle and solidDB from IBM are examples of in-memory database systems available on the market. Unlike traditional database management systems, they save data to RAM and not to the hard drive. SAP HANA even goes one step further: this big data solution is equipped with High Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) technology that can carry out massive data analyses in a matter of minutes. In fact, tests have shown that queries on 500 billion records can be handled in less than a minute. This is where real-time technology enters into an entirely new dimension. The SAP HANA database solution – a combination of software and hardware components – is equipped with special technologies, including its column-wise structure and special compression, which enable far faster data availability and evaluation than ever before. In a nutshell, SAP HANA represents a complete data warehouse in RAM, and as a result, accelerated analysis is center stage. The fact that the business processes that rely on this data will be sped up as a result balances out the significant investment in hardware and software required by in-memory technology like SAP HANA.

"The faster availability of business-critical data is within reach as in-memory databases make real-time analysis possible," said Roland Hölscher, arcplan CEO. "Business intelligence solutions like arcplan take that real-time capability, make it user-friendly, and extend its reach to all users in an organization who can benefit from it. There are, however, business processes and models for which speed is not the main driver of success. Companies should therefore not back speed to the exclusion of all else when it comes to in-memory."

The front-end brings it all together

Constantly growing data volumes are a challenge to both the IT industry and businesses in general. New systems are forcing their way onto the market, claiming to offer even faster data input and improved data structures. Companies are then faced with the choice of realigning their IT landscape from the bottom up in a bid to stay competitive or fall behind. But regardless of the database technology a company chooses and how they tackle the challenge, BI providers are already able to remove obstacles when it comes to process optimization and data availability. With arcplan Enterprise, arcplan offers flexible analytic software that provides a number of interfaces to various databases, including access to SAP HANA, Sybase IQ, Oracle Exalytics and TimesTen. The fact is that companies must invest in new technologies sooner or later if they wish to analyze their business data in the shortest amount of time. And BI solutions that can access a company’s relational and multidimensional databases directly and simultaneously for an affordable investment can be adapted and expanded to meet new requirements as they arise. So when choosing an in-memory database, it would be a mistake to forget the BI front-end that will make your real-time analysis user-friendly and widely adopted. The right BI solution will protect your in-memory investment and grow with you as your analysis and reporting needs change.

"In intensive talks with our clients, we have recognized that when it comes to in-memory advancements, topics such as cost control and investment security have great relevance," said Hölscher. "As a result, at arc|planet 2012, our user forum in October, we will be giving these subjects a platform."

arc|planet 2012 will be held in Düsseldorf/Kaarst on October 30 - 31, 2012. This annual arcplan user conference gives participants helpful insights on innovating their existing BI solutions and new ideas for future ones. This year, several presentations will focus on performance optimization in SAP environments and big data management, including a keynote speech by Martin Wilcox, Director of Product and Solutions Marketing at Teradata, arcplan's partner and one of the pioneers and global leaders of data warehouse systems.

To learn more and register for arc|planet 2012, visit

About arcplan
arcplan is a leader in innovative Business Intelligence, Dashboard, Corporate Performance and Planning software solutions for desktop and mobile use.  Since 1993, arcplan has enabled more than 3,000 customers worldwide to leverage their existing infrastructure for better decision making. Empowering all users to connect and collaborate with relevant information is crucial for improving business performance. With arcplan – it simply works.

arcplan's flagship product arcplan Enterprise® was rated the #1 3rd party tool for SAP BW, Oracle Essbase, and IBM Cognos TM1 in The BI Survey 10 (2011).

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