Dell has announced that its PowerEdge R910 server appliance is now qualified to run SAP Business Suite, which features the HANA in-memory database technology. Back in January, Dell announced its plans for SAP HANA, which taps SSDs and DRAM for lightning-quick database queries. Dell claims its SAP HANA products will fall into a pair of buckets: new, multi-node, scale-out configurations for large enterprises; and existing self-contained, single-server configurations for small and medium businesses. The latter, the four-socket R910, has been one of the first to receive SAP validation, said Carey Dietert, a member of the Workload Solutions Marketing team within the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Dell is positioning the R910 as a testing appliance for the SAP Business Suite for HANA, while arguing that customers would prefer this route instead of buying an eight-socket system. The suite ships with a terabyte of memory, specifically designed for the SAP in-memory database. Dietert also suggested that, in response to customer feedback, Dell was adding several features to the Dell Solutions for HANA Active Infrastructure: disaster recovery, virtualized environments, plus increased scalability. The new features, plus the R910 itself, will be shown off at SAPPHIRE, SAP's partner conferences taking place this week. One of Dell’s other significant upgrades is the ability to run virtual machines with SAP HANA installed via the VMware VSphere 5.1 virtualization environment. Customers can run multiple 128GB instances on a 512GB platform, Dietert said. Disaster recovery can now take place via a remote location, using SAP's Synchronous Replication feature, which mirrors the SAP system operations on another system. That's a critical mainstay of business customers who have done any testing, Dietert said. Customers had asked Dell to provide more modular upgrades in its scale-out solutions: specifically, the ability to increment at capacities as small as 512 GB at a time. SAP licenses are based on the memory size of the machine, and Dell's 1-, 2-, and 4-TB capacity points weren't satisfactory for customers who wanted to scale up more slowly. Dell also launched Dell Implementation Services for SAP HANA, specifically an Operational Reporting Rapid Deployment Solution, which the company said will be tailored for ERP records, along with the Dell Implementation Services for SAP HANA Profitability Analysis Rapid Deployment Solution—which is pretty much as the name suggests. Why is this a big deal for Dell? With the server market trying to scratch out any revenue growth it can, a system powered by a company such as SAP could translate into a high-margin opportunity—at least according to Steve Lucas, the general manager in charge of SAP Business Analytics and Technology. Beyond the usual corporate sales pitch, however, such systems come with high price tags that any customer will need to evaluate carefully.   Image: Dell