SAP and HP Partner on Data Warehousing, BI Software - InformationWeek

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SAP and HP Partner on Data Warehousing, BI Software

SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse integrated with HP's Neoview enterprise data warehouse. HP BI and EDS units resell SAP BusinessObjects software.

At least 60 percent of SAP implementations have HP servers or storage somewhere in the mix, so why not extend the partnership to the Neoview data warehousing platform? And while we're at it, why not let HP resell SAP BusinessObjects software? That's the gist of a deal to be announced this week that adds to a long list of partnerships forged between BI and information management technology vendors this year.

As part of the SAP-HP deal, new integrations will enable SAP customers to migrate and run the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) and SAP analytical applications on the HP Neoview database and combined hardware/software platform. Introduced in 2007, Neoview is designed for high data volumes, mixed query loads and vast numbers of users. HP says the platform scales into the petabytes, with one current deployment said to support more than 40,000 users.

More than 4,300 SAP BW-based warehouses and marts are already running on HP hardware, including more than 1,000 on HP-UX. To date, Oracle and IBM DB2 have been the leading underlying databases for BW deployments, which are typically in the 5-terabyte to 25-terabyte range, according to SAP. But with data volumes growing quickly and with companies looking to expand the number of BI users, Neoview is an attractive option, says Jake Klein, vice president, solutions management, data and analytic engines at SAP.

"We are definitely starting to see customers who need to support hundreds of terabytes and potentially into the petabyte size range for data warehousing," Klein explains. "With Neoview, we're building in special optimizations to support very high volumes of data, high numbers of concurrent users and high volumes of mixed queries. That's an area where we don't have capabilities today."

The closer ties between SAP and HP are not without precedent. Three years ago, the two companies forged HP factory-installed support for SAP's Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA) appliance, and in May, HP added factory-direct shipments of the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, a new appliance-based BI query tool based in part on BWA software. Klein said plans call for SAP customers to be able to run BWA software on the blade infrastructure of HP Neoview.

Of course, HP is not the only option for highly scalable data warehousing. In April, SAP expanded on a preexisting partnership between BusinessObjects and Teradata, the incumbent leader in running the world's largest data warehouses. In that deal, integrations were created to run SAP BW on the Teradata database and the data warehouse vendor agreed to expand its role as a reseller of BusinessObjects software.

SAP's HP and Teradata ties answer Oracle's push into extreme-volume data warehousing with the Exadata appliance. Just last month, Oracle introduced the Exadata 2 based on Sun hardware; Oracle claims the offering is the fastest and most scalable product of its kind on the market. Exadata 2 is unique in being designed to support both online transaction processing (OLTP) and data warehousing.

The reselling partnership between SAP and HP will enable business units across HP to offer SAP BusinessObjects software, but the HP Business Intelligence Solutions unit and HP Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) will lead the way.

"Our BI group will lead the vertical-industry portfolio that we'll jointly offer. But we also have a very large installed base of EDS-managed SAP customers, so in some cases Enterprise Services will continue to take the lead with those customers," says Kristina Robinson, vice president and general manager of HP's BI unit. SAP says more than 250 customers with in excess of 1 million named users rely on EDS to manage their ERP deployments.

HP is also building closer ties with independents, this year introducing integrations and reseller relationships with high-profile vendors including MicroStrategy and Informatica.

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