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In-Memory : is it all about speed?

In-Memory Computing means for sure getting data faster probably very fast. But is this the only expectation you would have? Ok it's cool not to wait too long for report or other decision related queries but is it all about speed?

Traditional RDBMS have been good for operational business, but lacked if you wanted to analyze data dependent on different criterias. Just the data model was not optimized for that and so the rise of cubes and data marts and data warehouses begun and every larger system, in need of extended reporting, had two data stages  - the operational one and the transformed one.

Now the thing with in-Memory databases like SAP HANA ist due to speed no transformation optimization is  needed. Cubes and data marts can be created logically as model without materialization created on runtime in memory.

With this in mind your operational applciation is able to retrieve data analysis you expected only from data warhouse infra structure.

This means less cost due to reduced infrastructure and avoiding of transformation errors.

So it's not all about speed, primarily yes but more important to the user is the deep fast access to the systems data and so a wider view on the systems data status.

After all this praise I see some weak points/dangers of the new concept too. let me explain you ...

it remembers me when images were taken with analog cameras,

a lot more time was invested to set the right aperture, right timing right light and so on, and the you waited till your pictures have been processed. Today you just click - you see immediately the result, you make thousands of pictures of one scene and one will finally fit and even you fail - your post processing will fix it!
Similar when you created a data mart you did a lot of analyis how to get the data consolidated and with business proof and value out of the system. Generating the query directly on operational data could lead to less quality in the answer the query really gives you. So that time is still needed for creating high value data reports.

Now take a look on that video which shows S/4HANA a SAP HANA optimized ERP solution and how In-memory computing may change the way we work with the data.

Live Demo of Simple Finance and Simple Logistics in SAP S/4 HANA

Have fun!



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