Getting Started with SAP HANA Cloud
What is SAP HANA Cloud?
SAP HANA Cloud is a cloud-native data management platform that can help you manage your data storage and integration while running powerful applications. It is the foundation of SAP HANA Cloud Services and brings the simplicity, power, elasticity, and performance of SAP HANA to the cloud.
Data Management and the SAP HANA Cloud data lake
SAP HANA Cloud was built first and foremost as a powerful platform to manage data from multiple sources and in multiple formats, balancing performance and cost management via flexible storage options and virtualization.
SAP HANA Cloud also offers a SAP HANA Cloud data lake to help organizations manage their storage costs, while enabling data to be queried and have structure so it doesn’t become a data dump.
By taking full advantage of in-memory storage, the Native Storage Extension (NSE), and the SAP HANA Cloud data lake, SAP HANA Cloud allows organizations to make sure data is available quickly when needed. This includes data transactions and transformations. SAP HANA Cloud also alerts you to performance issues, so you can decide when to invest into more storage and computing power.
Learn more about SAP HANA Cloud storage options here.
The SAP HANA engine
At the core of SAP HANA Cloud is the SAP HANA engine, which can perform online transactional processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP). That includes the ability to process and transform different kinds of data using SQL. Among this data are Graph and Spatial formats, as well as Text.
Developing and running applications is another important aspect of SAP HANA Cloud. With SAP Web IDE, a full-stack development environment, developers can create data models as well as complete applications, and run them.
“To browse runtime database catalog objects and execute SQL, the SAP Web IDE integrates the database explorer web application, the same used with the SAP HANA cockpit for database administration.” – SAP HANA 2.0: An Introduction, by Denys van Kempen.
For a deeper dive on the SAP HANA universe, buy the book here.
With SAP HANA Cloud, as long as your application uses SQL, you will be able to take full advantage of the powerful SAP HANA engine and database, as well as data tiering capabilities – and still work within a multi-cloud, hybrid landscape.
Flexibility for your application and data management is the core of SAP HANA Cloud.
The difference between SAP HANA on-premise and SAP HANA Cloud
If you are already a SAP HANA customer, you are familiar with the power of the SAP HANA and the benefits of SAP HANA as an on-premise data management platform. But you might be asking yourself how SAP HANA Cloud fits into the picture. First and foremost, HANA Cloud is not replacing SAP HANA on-premise. However, SAP HANA Cloud is the successor of SAP HANA Service.
Existing SAP HANA customers can use SAP HANA Cloud to extend their SAP HANA on-premise to the cloud. This will provide existing SAP HANA customers with more flexibility than their current on-premise solution without having to start from scratch. With SAP HANA Cloud you can get the benefits of SAP HANA core, but optimized for the cloud.
SAP HANA Cloud allows customers with an existing SAP HANA on-premise to continue building applications and manage their databases, without having to manage hardware, their operating system, as well as without worrying about backup, updates, software installation and patches. All of this management and maintenance is taken care of by SAP when you use SAP HANA Cloud. Your SAP HANA on-premise stays as it is, with the usual updates and support SAP has always offered.
Keep in mind, however, that due to the very nature of cloud solutions, the update frequency in SAP HANA Cloud is much higher than your SAP HANA on-premise. This means that SAP HANA Cloud customers will get access to updates and new features faster – making the use of both your on-premise solution and SAP HANA Cloud a great match.
Here you can see a detailed comparison between how both platforms are managed and SAP’s involvement in it:
What to expect from the SAP HANA Cloud trial
SAP understands that it’s very important to be confident before you purchase any new strategic product, such as SAP HANA Cloud. Therefore, we are planning to offer you in the upcoming months the opportunity to try out SAP HANA Cloud before becoming a customer.
SAP HANA Cloud Trial
If you are interested in taking part in the trial, your first step is to sign up here for more information. Once the trial is available, you will be informed via email and you can immediately sign up and start using SAP HANA Cloud.
Here is some basic information about the upcoming trial:
- Your trial account to test SAP HANA Cloud is currently planned for a 30-day duration.
- You will be given a chance to renew your trial period before having to either purchase the product or stop using it.
- The configuration of your trial instance of SAP HANA Cloud will be typically 30GB of memory, 2vCPUs, and 120GB of storage.
- If you already use other services in SAP Cloud Platform, those will not be affected or limited in any way by your participation in the SAP HANA Cloud Trial.
Sign up here to get the latest information about SAP HANA Cloud, including the trial and the latest news via email. Once the trial is available, we’ll let you know how to get started.
The engine behind SAP HANA Cloud
At the core of SAP HANA Cloud is the SAP HANA engine, which means that different types of analytical and transactional processing technologies are interconnected with the database. The goal is to provide fast access and ability to perform analytical transactions in all kinds of data, as well as business logic processing – all of this in-memory.
“Business logic processing now mainly takes place inside the database, not on a separate system connected with a dedicated pipeline to the data-base to pump all the data back and forth.
For business rule processing, SAP HANA uses not only database-stored procedures written in SQLScript, a proprietary procedural SQL language extension similar to other database programming languages, but also uses application and business functions. These functions contain complex and performance-critical algorithms written in a more low-level programming language and are linked dynamically to the database kernel.” – from SAP HANA 2.0: An Introduction, by Denys van Kempen
Learn more and buy the book here.
SAP HANA Cloud offers advanced transactional and analytical capabilities directly in-memory, including SQL queries, Spatial and Graph data types, text search, and integrated machine learning abilities.
Creating a multi-cloud landscape with SAP HANA Cloud
Organizations today are facing substantial challenges when it comes to designing, setting up, and cultivating their data management landscape. One of the biggest challenges is how to bring data from multiple sources together into one database to be able to extract insights, transform it, and make it available for real-time use in applications.
With SAP HANA Cloud, organizations can take a significant step in the right direction. On top of our own powerful storage, SAP HANA Cloud offers easy ways to connect to different on-premise sources or cloud databases from several different hyperscalers, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and more.
SAP HANA Cloud enables every customer to be able to choose whatever landscape they prefer. It also allows organizations to switch from one hyperscaler to another with no disruption of application services, data virtualization, or replication. The ability to combine the power of SAP HANA with third-party hyperscalers and existing on-premise solutions is the core of the flexibility organizations need.
Administrators and Data Architects can choose to build their landscape with their preferred providers, including not only a multi-cloud landscape, but also connecting any infrastructure they already have on premise.
How it works
For example, let’s say you are hosting your web application on AWS. You also have a data lake hosted on Google Cloud, as well as a SAP HANA on-premise database. Now you are extending your infrastructure to SAP HANA Cloud, with an instance in Azure. You also decided to change where you are hosting your web application, hosting it also in Azure.
Once you have the necessary credentials, you can plan to move your application at a scheduled maintenance time. Then, you connect your application to your new SAP HANA Cloud instance. For your customers and users, there will be no change in how the application works or where the data is stored.
Technically, you will connect to your preferred data access point in third-party remote sources using SAP HANA Cloud as the federation engine. All you need is the correct drivers and credentials to access the remote source’s data access point. As different cloud sources expose different public data access points, you may need to use different connection services depending on your cloud provider(s), such as REST call.
Bringing in data from multiple cloud providers into SAP HANA Cloud is not an exception, but rather how SAP HANA Cloud was built: your data, your infrastructure, and no compromises in performance, with no rigid high costs.
Estimating the cost of your SAP HANA Cloud
SAP HANA Cloud offers organizations a lot of flexibility. Flexibility means, however, that the price for SAP HANA Cloud varies according to your needs. Because SAP HANA Cloud is a service inside the SAP Cloud Platform, it uses the same billing logic, which is based on capacity units. To understand more about capacity units, please refer to the SAP Cloud Platform technical documentation.
That’s why we’ve created a SAP HANA Cloud capacity unit calculator to help organizations make decisions about what they need to make the SAP HANA Cloud instances as robust as necessary. Let’s see how to get your price estimate:
- To get started, go to the SAP Cloud Platform Price Calculator.
- From there, select SAP HANA Cloud as the service you want to estimate.
- Click on the link to the Capacity Unit Estimator, as you can see in this image:
- You will be taken to the estimator! Now let’s understand better the options you have here.
The Capacity Unit Estimator
To get started with the estimator, let’s go over the options on the very top of the page. First, you can choose the hyperscaler you want to use under Selected Hyperscaler. This impacts the capacity units needed. For now, you can only select Microsoft Azure, but we’ll soon be implementing Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.
Second, you can select your Activity Per Month, which means how often you’ll be using your SAP HANA Cloud instances. In case you will only be using your SAP HANA Cloud instance, for example, during working hours, you could select this here either by lowering the percentage of use, or actual days or hours per month that you service will be used.
Please keep in mind that, if you need your SAP HANA Cloud service available 24/7, you should keep your activity per month at the maximum percentage, hours or days.
Finally, on the right side of the screen, you can see the Total Capacity Units. This is the result of all the estimates you’ll be doing. This number will be automatically updated as you change your needs in the areas below.
Now you need to understand the 3 different ways you can select your capacity needs. Please note that you can use any of these options, but you don’t have to use all of them. Just choose the option that suits you best and skip the rest. These are your options for getting an estimate:
- Calculate by T-Shirt Size
- Calculate by Data Size
- Custom Configuration
Let’s get into each of the options:
Calculate by T-Shirt Size
This is the simplest option: just choose between Large, Medium, Small or Manual. Each of those sizes comes with a standard pre-configuration, allowing you to get an estimate with one click. The only exception is the Manual option, which requires you to tweak the sizes, either by Data Size, or in greater detail in Custom Configuration.
Calculate by Data Size
If the T-Shirt Size is too basic for you, you can try to estimate your needs by data size. Just type in or use the plus sign to add storage space to your hot (“in-memory”), warm (disk or NSE) and cold (SAP HANA Cloud data lake) storage options.
You can see this option by scrolling down on the same page. This is the right option if you have very specific requirements and you know already, in detail, what your organization needs. Here you can input in detail not only what your SAP HANA database will require, but also determine specific configurations for the SAP HANA Cloud data lake as well.
Finally, you can reset all your values if you want to start again and make sure there’s no unwanted change left over. Just click on the Reset Values button to start again.
After you find the optimal capacity unit required by your organization, you can go back to the SAP Cloud Platform Price estimator and enter your total capacity units identified in the Estimator. Just type in the number on the left side of the screen, where you see the highlight in yellow in the image below. This will then automatically show you the monthly price in your local currency, which you can see on the right side of the screen. If your currency is not correct, just click on Customize Estimate on the top left area of the screen to select the correct currency.
Alternatively, you contact your Account Executive and get actual prices in your currency.
Once you complete your purchase, either with your Account Executive or via the SAP Cloud Platform website, then you can get started creating your first SAP HANA Cloud instance. Just go to the next step to see it in detail.
Setting up SAP HANA Cloud from the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit
To start setting up your SAP Cloud Platform account and your SAP HANA Cloud instances, you will need to start working with the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit.
SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit
If you want to understand the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit in detail, you have a few options:
- Take the virtual tour Get Familiar with the Cockpit once you start your trial for the first time:
- Use the Tutorial Navigator to go on a complete learning journey
- Use the Help button at the top right-hand corner of the screen once you are logged in
- Consult our documentation material here
SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit is a web-based interface used to manage SAP cloud applications, such as SAP HANA Cloud. This is where you can manage your SAP Cloud Platform account and users as well as create new instances whenever necessary.
Your account on SAP Cloud Platform is called a global account. As the administrator, you will have full control of your global account and be able to create subaccounts, spaces, and instances. Subaccounts are a smaller part of your global account. For example: if your global account is your whole organization, your subaccounts could be either your geographical regions or specific departments, depending on what your internal structure requires.
In the context of SAP HANA Cloud, this means that each subaccount will have their own SAP HANA Cloud account. Subaccounts are separate from one another, and so are all the databases and data lakes existing under the subaccount. This is important to keep in mind with regards to security, members and data management.
Under subaccounts are spaces. These can be, for example, simply lines of business, such as product management, development, or operations. Within your space, you can create and access your SAP HANA Cloud instances and associated SAP HANA Cloud data lakes.
Adding SAP HANA Cloud to your account
Once you have your account structure setup in SAP Cloud Platform, it’s time to go to the Service Marketplace and add SAP HANA Cloud to your account. To do so, just click on the SAP HANA Cloud tile on the Service Marketplace screen.
To create your first instance of SAP HANA Cloud, you need to follow these steps:
- On the menu on left-side of the screen, click on SAP HANA Cloud.
- Click on Create Instance.
- Follow the steps in the wizard by first inputting a username on the Name field.
- Then insert a Password and confirm it by typing it again.
- Finally, you can insert a description of this instance on the Description field.
- Click on Step 2 on the left-hand side of the wizard to continue.
- Select here how much memory you wish to allocate to this instance. The minimum amount of memory is 30 GB. As you increase your memory requirements, the “compute” and “storage” values will be automatically adjusted as well.
- Click on Step 3 to continue.
- Here you can choose to enable the SAP HANA Cloud data lake and adjust how much “compute” and “storage” space it has. The coordinators and workers will be automatically adjusted as you add more compute and storage. If you do not enable the data lake while creating the instance, you can always do that later.
- Click on Step 4 to continue or on Create Instance on the bottom right side of the screen.
- On step 4, you can manage the whitelisted connections for your SAP HANA Cloud instance. That means choosing if you allow access to your SAP HANA Cloud instance from outside of the SAP Cloud Platform. You can either limit it to SAP Cloud Platform by denying all IP addresses, or allow specific applications to access it by inserting one or more specific IP addresses. Finally, you can allow all connections from all IP addresses.
- Click on Create Instance and you are done! Your first SAP HANA Cloud instance is ready to be used.
- Take the virtual tour Get Familiar with the Cockpit once you start your trial for the first time:
Please find the complete playlist about SAP HANA Cloud on the SAP HANA Academy YouTube channel.
Tools you can use with SAP HANA Cloud to manage your data and create applications
In SAP HANA Cloud, in order to manage your data storage and integration, as well as your data modeling and application building, you will have to familiarize yourself with several tools. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at them.
The first tool you need to get familiar with is the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit. You will need to use the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit to set up your SAP HANA Cloud account and to create instances. SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit is a web-based interface which can be used to access and manage SAP cloud services. Once your SAP Cloud Platform global account has been set up, you will then be able to create sub-accounts, spaces and instances.
There are three tools which can be used to interact with your SAP HANA Cloud instances and complete your data management and application building tasks: SAP HANA Cockpit, SAP HANA Database Explorer and Web IDE. Let’s see each of them in more detail.
SAP HANA Cockpit
SAP HANA Cockpit is a tool that can be used to monitor and manage SAP HANA databases. Through the SAP HANA Cockpit, for example, it is possible to monitor the amount of CPU and storage that is being used in your SAP HANA Cloud instance. Based on this information, you can make important decisions on how to manage your storage and optimize performance.
Another important feature of the SAP HANA Cockpit is User Management, where you can create customized access roles and assign them to new users that should access the SAP HANA Cloud instance.
Learn more about creating user roles and assign them to new users.
SAP HANA Database Explorer
SAP HANA Database Explorer is a tool used to interact with SAP HANA databases, as well as use the SAP Graph and Spatial engines. In the SAP HANA Database Explorer you can also access the SQL console. An important part of the Database Explorer is the Catalog. Each database on the Database Explorer has its own catalog, using which it is possible to view data and manage remote sources, among other tasks.
Learn more about using the Database Explorer with SAP HANA Cloud.
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack
Web IDE Full-Stack is a development environment available for use with SAP HANA Cloud, where you can create your development projects and model your data, including creating calculation views.
Using Web IDE, developers can start coding and connect to the SAP HANA database. Data Scientists would be able to model and structure data according to business needs – either by using the graphical Calculation View interface, or SQL statements.
With these tools, you can make the best of your SAP HANA Cloud instances. All of them are available with your SAP HANA Cloud account as soon as your account is created.
Creating user roles and assigning users in SAP HANA Cloud
One of the first steps to get started with SAP HANA Cloud is to make sure the right people have right permissions to use different aspects of SAP HANA Cloud. Because SAP HANA Cloud offers you the ability to perform complex data management and application development, it is worth spending some time to consider your organization’s needs and then set up the correct user roles.
Creating user roles
Before you add users to an instance, you should create user roles that fit your organization. You can leverage some of the default user roles, edit them, or create completely customized ones. Once you receive your initial SAP HANA Cloud credentials, you will be able to create your first instance.
You can then open the SAP HANA Cockpit for this instance to get started. If this is the first time you are opening the SAP HANA Cockpit from your instance tile, you will need to insert the initial database username and the instance password.
Now that you are on the SAP HANA Cockpit, select the Security menu item on the top left-hand side of the screen.
Next, under User & Role Management, click on Role Management to get started.
On this screen, you can see a list of all existing user roles on the left-hand side of the screen. If you click on one of them, you will see the details of this role on the right-hand side of the screen.
To create a new user role, however, click on the plus icon on the top left-hand side of the screen. This opens the role creation wizard on the right-hand side of the screen.
Now that you created the role, it’s time to assign privileges to it. You have a few options here. First, you can add some of the existing roles into this one, combining the privileges into one single role. Next, you can select individual privileges, be it system, object, or analytic privileges.
For more technical details on creating roles and deciding on privileges, please see our technical documentation here.
Just click on each of these categories. If you want to add anything, first click on Edit on the right-hand side of the screen. Next, click on Add and select the privileges.
On this screen, you can also see which users already are assigned to this role or whether this role is being used by any other roles.
Your first big step is done! Now it’s time to create individual users. To get started, click on Role Management on the very top center of the screen. Select User Management from the pop-up.
This screen works just like the previous one, so let’s click on the plus icon to add a new user.
Next, you can choose between creating a user or creating a restricted user. To know more about what that means, please click here.
You can follow the steps on our technical documentation to create each user and make decisions about the roles, privileges and authorizations to give them: Creating a Database User.
If you would like to dive deeper into user management, please see the following items of our technical documentation:
- Creating a Catalog Role
- Creating a Restricted Database User
- Assigning Roles to a Database User
- Assigning Privileges to a User