The road to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA is paved with uncertainties, no matter how well-intentioned SAP SE has been with its renewed focus on customer needs and benefits. From an infrastructure
perspective, the demands that the in-memory database and the integration of transactions and analytics impose on the underlying hardware are significant. As little as a few years ago, businesses had limited choice in terms of hardware — appliances available for SAP HANA only ran on commodity architecture and many of those were not sufficiently equipped for the flexibility, performance, and reliability that SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA demand.
Since late 2015, SAP HANA has also been available on IBM Power Systems with IBM’s innovative IBM Power Systems architecture and processors, and IBM says that to date it has more than 3,000 customers running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. IDC believes that IBM Power Systems is a strong differentiator for SAP HANA and S/4HANA. IBM Power Systems is designed for very data-intensive workloads such as SAP HANA, with powerful built-in virtualization that is SAP-certified as well as numerous reliability features.