SAP has made its HANA in-memory database available on Amazon Web Services at an hourly rate, giving customers and partners a new way to try out the platform quickly without investing in hardware and perpetual software licences, the company announced yesterday at the Tech Ed conference in Las Vegas.
Previously, HANA had been available in appliance form, running on hardware from a number of vendors. But now customers can use HANA on AWS for $0.99 per hour, plus Amazon's charges.
SAP launched HANA in 2010, and it became generally available last year. Since then, the company has pushed the technology into the centre of its product strategy and reported strong initial sales. SAP hopes to eventually displace rival databases from the likes of Oracle with HANA.
Previously, SAP had offered a developer licence on Amazon Web Services for HANA at no charge, hoping to seed grassroots interest in the platform.
With the new pricing option, SAP expects companies to run trials and proof-of-concept exercises for HANA on Amazon, rather than large-scale applications, executive board member and technology chief Vishal Sikka said in an interview prior to the announcement. That's partly because SAP isn't going to offer support for HANA on Amazon Web Services.
The virtualisation layer used by Amazon means a performance hit for HANA, but not too much, according to Sikka. SAP and Amazon engineers have worked together to minimize the impact, he said. "On this system, there's roughly 5% degradation versus a bare-metal machine."
HANA on Amazon Web Services instances will be limited to roughly 32GB of customer data, according to Sikka.
Other restrictions apply as well. Customers won't be able to chain together HANA instances for more performance, for example.
The hourly pricing works out comparably to the cost of running an on-premises HANA instance of similar size over a three-year period, Sikka said. While SAP wants to give customers the AWS option for HANA, it is not interested in undercutting the on-premises business.