SAP HANA Platform Gets a Boost from HPE Superdome Flex and Intel® Xeon® Platinum Processors

The SAP HANA in-memory database has been an important technology in giving businesses the possibility of responding to data in real time. But for today’s demanding customers, who will quickly switch loyalties to whichever service offers the best responsiveness, it’s no longer enough for a business to just host live data in an in-memory database. They also need an ultra-fast infrastructure to support it.

People naturally expect that servers, drives, and the other components that lie at the heart of a data center will evolve over time. What people don’t expect is that the role the data center plays can change just as significantly, especially in large businesses.

More than 10 years ago, for example, the goal of a company’s IT infrastructure was simply to help run business services. But the data explosion underway in today’s landscape has changed the game forever. The data center now extends to millions and even billions of devices, and businesses face an onslaught of data coming back to them from smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. To compete, businesses today need to use this data to derive real-time insights and offer more attractive services and features to customers.

HPE Superdome Flex for the SAP HANA Platform

HPE Superdome Flex* solutions for the SAP HANA platform, powered by Intel® Xeon® Platinum processors, offer high performance for the SAP HANA platform, with added benefits of extreme scalability and 99.999 percent single-system reliability.1 In fact, in April 2018, the solution set a new world record for performance on the SAP BW Edition* for SAP HANA Standard Application Benchmark version 2. In the benchmark test, a single node was able to perform executions at a rate of 2,277 queries per hour, higher than any other system tested to date.2

Amazing Scalability

The power of an individual node is important, but the degree to which a solution can scale is ultimately what determines the level of performance when demand is high. And as it turns out, HPE Superdome Flex is the world’s most scalable and most modular in-memory computing platform.3 The innovative architecture allows modular growth in increments of four-socket building blocks, allowing businesses to start small and grow their SAP HANA footprint as needed.

For a scale-up configuration, HPE Superdome Flex is expandable from 4 to 16 sockets and from 1.5 to 12 TB of memory. In a scale-out configuration, HPE Superdome Flex can be clustered with up to 48 nodes, allowing for up to 288 TB of memory.4

The Power of Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors

Intel, HPE, and SAP have been working together for many years to ensure their products work seamlessly with top-notch performance. In addition, Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors provide:

  • 50% more memory support for online analytical processing (OLAP) and online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads for the SAP HANA 2 platform, compared to the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v4 family5
  • Six-times more system memory and more flexible configurations to better meet requirements for high-capacity, massive streaming workloads compared to the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v2 family, launched in 20134

Beyond these advantages, Intel® Xeon® Platinum processors are part of the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family, which boasts improved memory bandwidth (six memory channels versus four channels in the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v4 family) and higher input/output (I/O) (eight more lanes of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express* [PCIe*] 3.0 bandwidth—48 compared to 40 in the previous Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v4 family).

HPE Superdome Flex builds on these new improvements by offering the following range of processor configurations:

  • Four Intel® Xeon® Platinum processors per module, with up to eight modules in a single system
  • 4, 12, 14, 18, or 28 cores per processor
  • 5 MB, 19.25 MB, 24.75 MB, or 38.5 MB processor cache
  • Up to 3.6 GHz processor speed

Read More

To find out more about the world-record-setting performance of HPE Superdome Flex for the SAP HANA platform powered by Intel® Xeon® Platinum processors, read our white paper.

You might also enjoy my previous post, "Optimizing In-memory Databases for Advanced Analytics,” which goes even further into how SAP and Intel walk the talk. And don’t forget to follow me -on Twitter: @TimIntel.


1 HPE. “HPE Superdome Flex Server.” https://www.hpe.com/us/en/product-catalog/servers/mission-critical-x86-servers/pip.hpe-superdome-flex-server.1010323140.html.

2 HPE. “HPE Superdome Flex Server Wins Records on SAP® BW Edition for SAP HANA® Standard Application Benchmark Version 2.” April 2018. https://h20195.www2.hpe.com/V2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=a00045649enw.

3 HPE. “Hewlett Packard Enterprise Unveils the World’s Most Scalable and Modular In-Memory Computing Platform.” November 2017. https://news.hpe.com/hewlett-packard-enterprise-unveils-the-worlds-most-scalable-and-modular-in-memory-computing-platform/.

4 HPE. “QuickSpecs: HPE Superdome Flex Solutions for SAP HANA.” November 2017. hpe.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=a00027393enw&doctype=quickspecs&doclang=EN_US&searchquery=&cc=us&lc=en.

5 Up to 6x greater system memory supported vs. available solutions from four years ago (representing the currently installed data-center base). SAP has certified its SAP HANA 2 platform for online analytical processing (OLAP) workloads to support up to 3 TB of memory per system for the upcoming Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family for a 4-socket configuration (or 6 TB for an 8-socket configuration). Systems available four years ago (representing the typical data center installed base infrastructure) could only support 0.5 TB (or 1 TB in an 8-socket configuration), respectively. For comparative purposes, SAP certifies support for up to 2 TB of memory for the current Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v4 family in a 4-socket configuration, so upcoming Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family–based systems are certified to support up to 50% greater system memory than the generation they replace.