September 20, 2006

SAP’s BI Accelerator

I wrote about SAP’s BI Accelerator quite a bit in my white paper on memory-centric data management, but otherwise I seem not to have posted much about it here. In essence, it’s a product that’s all RAM-based, and generally geared for multi-hundred-gigabyte data marts. The basic design is a compression-heavy column-based architecture, evolved from SAP’s text-indexing technology TREX. Like data warehouse appliances, it eschews indexing, relying instead on blazingly fast table scans.

I asked Lothar Schubert of SAP how BIA was doing in the market in its early going. This was his response:

BI accelerator today has been proven to work, and more importantly to live up to its promises. Several customers already went live with BI accelerator, and even more customers completed a POC already. The latter include names such as BP, Novartis, Brown-Foreman, and Coca Cola. The benefits customers cite are: (1) consistently fast performance, without dedicated tuning efforts, (2) new level of flexibility, (3) easy to deploy. Separately, in a lab test Winter Corporation confirmed the performance results, when they tested a 1.2 billion row retail scenario.


8 Responses to “SAP’s BI Accelerator”

  1. Andy Holloway on January 3rd, 2007 10:54 am

    Great product, shame about the software cost. It can’t be right that the software costs 4 times the hardware! For us, this has made the product completely unviable.
    Such a crucial technology should be a base part of the Netweaver license, or at worst a one-time worst a one-time charge regardless of the number of blades it runs on.

  2. Lothar Schubert on January 3rd, 2007 1:50 pm

    In response to the last contributor’s comment…

    Let’s look at the upside of BI Accelerator for a moment… Today users are familiar with the speed of the consumer Web, and expect similar response times from BI applications. With traditional DBMS centric models being not up to that task, IT attempted to solve this problem with the “kill with iron” approach – throwing tons of hardware at the challenge. That was a very expensive proposition, with often only mediocre results. With BI Accelerator, a fundamentally new approach has been taken, combining benefits of hardware (latest chips) and software (latest innovations) and maximizing synergies in a new “appliance” model. In summary, costs are typically significant lower than with traditional approaches (increased or specialty hardware) – with by far superior results for the business.

  3. DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services»Blog Archive » Who’s who in columnar relational database management systems on January 23rd, 2007 9:45 am

    […] The best known columnar RDBMS is surely Sybase’s IQ Accelerator, evolved from a product acquired in the mid-1990s. Problem – it doesn’t have a shared-nothing architecture of the sort needed to exploit grid/blade technology. Whoops. The other recognized player is SAND, but I don’t know a lot about them. Based on their website, it would seem that grids and compression play a big part in their story. Less established but pretty interesting is Kognitio, who are just beginning to make marketing noise outside the UK. SAP’s BI Accelerator is also a compressed columnar system, but operates entirely in-memory and hence is limited in possible database size. Mike Stonebraker’s startup Vertica is of course the new kid on the block, and there are other columnar startups as well whose names currently escape me. […]

  4. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » SAP’s “search” strategy isn’t about search on February 28th, 2007 2:51 am

    […] Dennis didn’t actually give me a lot of details, at least not ones he’s eager to see published at this time. That said, SAP has long had a bare-bones search engine TREX. (TREX was also adapted to create the columnar relational data manager BI Accelerator.) But we didn’t talk about TREX enhancements at all, and I’m guessing there haven’t really been many. Rather, SAP’s focus seems to be on: […]

  5. Chemicala SM Reddy on March 9th, 2007 7:45 am

    The BI Accelerator is one of the greatest innvoative product to deal with modern business data.There is no shame about
    the cost,afterall it is doing a lot of quick data processing for large business organizations, which is at really affordable
    cost . Great product.

  6. Multiple approaches to memory-centric analytics | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on October 7th, 2008 8:47 am

    […] That sounds at lot like SAP’s BI Accelerator, which is a way to manifest SAP InfoCubes in-memory in a columnar architecture. […]

  7. Infology.Ru » Blog Archive » Быстрый обзор технологий хранилищ данных on March 24th, 2009 12:25 pm

    […] в памяти (IMDB) производителей BI, таких как QlikTech и SAP (не совсем в точности СУБД), или производителей […]

  8. Things I keep needing to say | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on August 12th, 2013 8:25 am

    […] has in some form been under development for a long time; its major antecedent is BI Accelerator, which shipped back in […]

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