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HPE x86 vs. IBM Power: 4 Facts to Consider Before Your SAP HANA Migration

Planning a SAP HANA migration? Consider these facts first.

With the need to evolve rapidly to stay competitive, choosing an IT platform has never been so critical.

Enabling the digital enterprise requires that you transform to a hybrid IT infrastructure with the right mix of traditional IT, private cloud, and public cloud to meet your business and IT goals. It must allow you to:

  • Integrate new technologies when needed
  • Maintain legacy systems where appropriate to accelerate time to market
  • Increase control over IT
  • Enhance flexibility and responsiveness
  • Manage risk and security requirements
  • Improve total cost of ownership (TCO)

If you’re planning to migrate from SAP® software on IBM Power 5, 6, or 7 system to SAP HANA® or S/4HANA®, this is a unique opportunity to evaluate your right mix and ensure it meets the needs of your business for decades to come. Sticking with IBM Power will require a platform migration (to Power 8 or x86), an operating system migration (AIX to Linux®), a database migration (to SAP HANA), a data conversion, and an application migration.

Considering the complexity and risk, is sticking with proprietary IBM Power the best choice for your business? Or is this an opportunity to change to an industry-standard platform and future-proof your business? What do the facts show? Which option offers a lower TCO?

Exploring the facts: HPE versus IBM Power for SAP HANA

Despite what you may have heard from HPE’s competitors, when planning the future of your business, it’s critical that you weigh your options by considering the facts.

  • Fact #1: HPE offers more than 2X scalability. HPE infrastructure solutions for SAP HANA—including both appliances and tailored data center integration (TDI) deployments—are certified by SAP for scaling up to 20 TB. IBM does not offer certified HANA appliances, and their TDI solutions only scale to 9 TB.
  • Fact #2: HPE’s x86 solutions offer UNIX-like reliability. HPE Superdome X and HPE ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA—both powered by Intel® Xeon® processors—provide 99.999% single-system availability with HPE nPartitions (nPars), “Firmware First” architecture, and Error Analysis Engine for real-time fault management. Five-nines availability can be increased even further when combined with HPE Serviceguard Extension for SAP (SGeSAP) on Linux, the only available automated failover solution for mission-critical SAP HANA.
  • Fact #3: HPE offers the broadest platform choice for SAP HANA. HPE provides a broad range of appliance and TDI solutions for SAP HANA. All powered by industry-standard Intel Xeon processors, these include HPE ProLiant DL580 Server, HPE Integrity MC990 X Server, HPE Integrity Superdome X Server, HPE ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA, and HPE ConvergedSystem 500 for SAP HANA. With only a TDI implementation, IBM offers a narrower platform choice.
  • Fact #4: HPE offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). Based on list price over a 3-year period, running SAP HANA on an HPE Integrity Superdome X solution delivers a 60% lower TCO than an equivalent IBM Power solution.

TCO comparison: HPE Integrity Superdome X offers a 60% TCO savings vs. IBM Power System E880

HPE analyzed the total cost of ownership of a 16-socket, 352-core HPE Superdome X reference architecture offering similar performance and functionality to IBM’s 16-socket, 144-core Power System E880. Both systems are running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) SP 11, and include equivalent compute, networking, and storage components. By including the costs of HPE Serviceguard for Linux, the HPE solution offers a higher level of availability (over and above the Superdome X’s built-in availability of 99.999%) than the IBM solution, which does not have an available, dedicated high-availability solution.

The result? A savings of $2.6 million—or $850,000 per year—when choosing HPE Integrity Superdome X over an IBM Power System E880. What could you do with $2.6 million if you could channel it to more innovative projects resulting in tangible business outcomes? And while the 60% difference in TCO is based on the list price of both solutions, even if we assumed an initial discount of 50% for IBM and 30% for HPE, the HPE Integrity Superdome X still delivers a TCO benefit of approximately 35–45%.

Note: In the above example, all calculations assume list price with no discount. While high, upfront discounts are often given by IBM to reduce the initial acquisition costs, these may not be applied to the ongoing support, maintenance, and software licensing costs, which comprise a significant proportion of the 3-year TCO. Prices for all items are taken from publicly available information such as IBM’s website, price lists, data sheets, and white papers. SAP licensing is excluded since it is consistent across all systems.

Enjoy similar TCO benefits by running SAP HANA on HPE

If you’re interested in finding out how much you can save during your migration, HPE consultants are available to help you evaluate your SAP environment to assess the performance and savings you can expect when you deploy SAP HANA on HPE servers—including HPE Integrity Superdome X. Learn more now about risc migration.

And to find out how HPE can simplify your SAP HANA migration and save you money, download the brochure Migrate your mission-critical SAP applications from IBM Power AIX to HPE, and then talk to your HPE account rep or HPE channel partner.

If you have questions or want to continue this discussion, you can reach me on Twitter: @Feisal2020