I love it when users find new ways to use Intel technologies. I was recently witness to a great example of this when a colleague and evangelist at SAP—Craig Cmehil—started experimenting with using Intel® NUC mini-PCs in a clever new way: as development platforms for SAP HANA*.
If you haven’t seen one, Intel NUC devices are tiny PCs packed with high-end specs. For example, the Intel NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK (also known as “Skull Canyon”) is an 8.5-inch by 4.5-inch by 1-inch PC built with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Pro graphics. By adding up to 32 GB of RAM and a lightning-fast SSD, you can use this mini-PC for serious gaming, for graphics-heavy content-creation work, or even for running heavy workloads.
Craig discovered that this Intel NUC makes for a versatile, isolated platform for SAP HANA, express edition—a modified version of the full SAP HANA product. SAP HANA, express edition is designed to provide optimized in-memory SAP HANA capabilities for resource-constrained environments while still offering a rich set of capabilities. Developers can install and use SAP HANA, express edition for free on systems with up to 32 GB of memory. In other words, the software was a perfect fit for a small but powerful Intel NUC mini-PC decked out with lots of RAM and a speedy SSD.
This combination opens new doors for app developers, who frequently don’t have access to a full SAP HANA environment that they can use as a personal sandbox. Production SAP HANA systems typically require high-end infrastructure to support mission-critical business applications, so IT departments are often reluctant to carve out shared space or provide costly, dedicated systems for use as an app-development playground. Intel NUC mini-PCs offer a great alternative to those costly test servers, because they are small and affordable, but still deliver the performance needed to support an SAP HANA in-memory database. By installing SAP HANA, express edition on a Skull Canyon Intel NUC, a developer can set up an isolated platform for agile app creation and testing that won’t interfere with production systems or eat up IT resources. And because Intel NUC mini-PCs are small enough to fit in a coat pocket or backpack, a programmer can work remotely from nearly anywhere. Craig is proof of that: he’s been configuring and experimenting with his Intel NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK mini-PC running SAP HANA, express edition at his home.
If you’d like to try out this versatile development platform for yourself, we’ve created a how-to guide that has all the information you need to get started. The guide includes recommendations on memory and drive space, provides links to information on the full range of Intel NUC devices, and walks you through installing SAP HANA, express edition on an Intel NUC.