TDI allows SAP customers to choose their own Hana server dimensions or configurations together with hardware providers like IBM. Just like it was with SAP ERP.
For a long time, SAP customers had to implement and operate Hana as appliance. Everything was preconfigured and preinstalled – server and storage including Linux as OS platform, SAP software and network functionality.
This had many benefits for SAP. For example, all components were seamlessly integrated with each other. Furthermore, only SAP and partners took care of proofs of concept for scale-up (single node) or scale-out (multi-node) appliances.
Depending on customer needs, there was also the possibility of sizing; meaning system implementation and testing as well as installation and operation.
SAP Hana Tailored Data Center Integration
Dissatisfied customers made SAP see the error of its ways, however. For a few years now, it has been offering an additional design/setup option: SAP Hana Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI).
If SAP customers want, they can now design SAP Hana environments on their own based on TDI. This means that instead of having to use Hana as appliance, customers can choose server, storage, and network layer themselves (as long as the providers are SAP-certified).
TDI opens up new possibilities for SAP customers. SAP is backtracking on its strict restrictions around Hana servers. This means that they now have more flexibility and freedom of choice.
However, everything isn’t perfect. More often than not, SAP still tries to squeeze its customers into Hana T-shirt sizes regarding memory and core. The only way to escape Quicksizer is to choose hardware providers like IBM.
Quicksizer vs. TDI
This is important because less cores mean less costs, and Quicksizer is notoriously prone to recommend a bigger size than necessary. This was one of the main reasons customers complained about Hana as appliance: they had to pay more for cores they didn’t use.
Furthermore, because of recent processor developments, the performance of Hana servers is increasing as well – which means fewer cores for equal performance. For Hana on Intel, Skylake processors are currently speeding up operations. For Hana on Power, IBM promises new capabilities with Power 9 processors.
No change without customers
SAP customers are therefore happy about TDI and recent changes, resulting in fewer costs and more performance for them. They should also be proud: experts believe that SAP only changed its mind because of customers’ complaints.
It always seemed curious that SAP would put such hard restrictions for Hana servers into place, especially since Hana servers provide often more performance than necessary. Many experts believe that SAP is simply afraid that higher Hana server utilization would mean slower response times – even if it would just be a fraction of a second.