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SAP to Challenge Oracle’s Database Dominance

SAP, a database neophyte, means to throw a nominal $492 million at its Hana database analytics appliance

SAP, a database neophyte, means to throw a nominal $492 million at its Hana database analytics appliance to prove that it's a database contender - at least in-memory Big Data databases - and make Larry Ellison eat his words.

During Oracle's last earnings call Larry said SAP must be on drugs to think it could take on Oracle in databases with a security- and recovery-lacking vehicle like Hana.

SAP has designs on being number two - although Microsoft and IBM might have something to say about that - so it's going to set up a $155 million Hana Real-Time Fund, managed by SAP Ventures, for start-ups to dip into to develop real-time apps and an ecosystem for Hana's real-time data.

As of last month it had 24 start-ups leveraging the Hana platform. Whether they got any of the money is unclear.

Another $377 million will be spent enticing customers to cast off legacy databases - namely Oracle - and move to Hana under a newfangled Hana Adoption Program.

Actually that $377 million comes in kind, not cash.

SAP said it would put it in SAP consulting services to get new customers to implement Hana.

HANA customers that are done with implementing will be allowed up to 18 months grace to trade in their Hana licenses for any other previously licensed SAP product if they aren't satisfied.

SAP says it's "focused on enabling a paradigm shift in data management: transforming enterprise IT departments from complex and slow landscapes struggling to deliver on organizational objectives to a simplified architecture that enables new classes of Big Data, cloud and mobile applications in addition to renewing existing applications non-disruptively. Recent advances in process, memory and networking technologies have made this vision a reality."

The announcements were made in San Francisco Tuesday when SAP unveiled an increasingly integrated roadmap for its real-time data platform consisting of Hana, the Sybase SQL Anywhere mobile and embedded front-end database, Sybase IQ for managing Big Data analytics, Sybase PowerDesigner data modeling and SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM).

It'll take SAP until 2015.

Hana and Sybase IQ are also supposed to be extended to support Hadoop.

SAP also announced the general availability of a Hana-powered NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) and Sybase's Oracle-competitive Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) as a database option for its Business Suite applications starting at about $2,700.

SAP's widgetry has historically depended on third-party databases, especially Oracle's. Now it thinks it can become the fastest-growing database concern around. Hana is expected to do about $419 million this year, double last year when it came out. It promises "extreme" TCO.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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