Data & Intelligence

Oracle’s Perspective on Exalytics vs. SAP Hana

There will naturally be judgments and comparisons made between Oracle’s Exalytics and SAP Hana. This blog is going to present Oracle’s claimed advantages of their Exalytics solution.  Keep in mind that the points put forth here are purely from Oracle’s perspective,   I will then be producing a follow-up blog that tries to take a more critical look at this comparison.  But, for now, let’s take a look at Oracle’s case:.

According to Oracle, TimesTen (their in-memory database) is significantly better than SAP HANA, based on their comaparative  strengths over SAP Hana in the following features:

In-Memory Data Caching                                                Times Ten &  SAP Hana

In-Memory Columnar Storage                                       Times Ten &  SAP Hana

In-Memory Row & Column Compression                   Only Times Ten fully  (SAP Hana has Column only)

In-Memory Indexes                                                          Only Times Ten

In-Memory Query Optimizer (Predictability)                 Only Times Ten

In-Memory NUMA Support (Scale Up)                         Only Times Ten

In-Memory Parallel Query (Scale Out)                         Only Times Ten

In-Memory Aggregates & Result Sets                         Only Times Ten

In-Memory Analytic Functions                                       Only Times Ten

In-Memory Unstructured Data                                      Only Times Ten

High Performance Writes/Updates                             Only Times Ten

Data Persistence on Disk                                             Times Ten &  SAP Hana

Transactional Integrity/Correctness                            Times Ten;  (SAP Hana unknown)

Multi-Version Concurrency                                            Times Ten;  (SAP Hana unknown)


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Oracle also claims that, compared to Exalytics, SAP Hana has the following limitations:

Operational Reporting

———-Limited Data Sources with Sybase Replication Server

———-Limited support of 3rd normal form within Business Objects

Data Mart

———-No Parallel Query (Scale-Out) or NUMA (Scale-Up) Support;  Limited & Non-Standard SQL

Data Warehouse

———-Theoretically Possible, but Practically, far too expensive above 2-4 TB

Multi-dimensional OLAP

———-Limited Write Performance to update aggregates due to compressed, in- memory columnar storage

Planning & Budgeting

———-Layers of aggregates in SAP BW impact planning on BW on Hana;  Limited write performance w/ columnar storage

Unstructured Discovery

———-No unstructured data support in Hana;  No discovery capabilities across unstructured & structured

Packaged Apps & BI Tools

———-All Packaged Oracle Analytic Applications, Packaged EPM Applications, and any BI Tool works with Exalytics;   Hana only works with SAP Tools


In addition to the above, Oracle also says that Exalytics is less expensive than SAP HANA, as follows:

Their claim is that their In-Memory Data Mart, with 512GB compressed data and 1TB memory would cost $825,000, while the equivalent capabilities of an SAP HANA and IBM hardware solution would cost $4,100,000.

Oracle also says that, their package of In-Memory Analytics for Enterprise DW, with 20TB compressed data, and 40TB memory, including  1 Exalytics + 1 Exadata would have a total cost of $2, 500,000.

These same capabilities using SAP HANA and IBM hardware, meanwhile, would require 40 Size L servers to hold all data in-memory, resulting in a total cost of $126,500,000.

Oracle also states that their maintenance and upgrade fees for the above would be substantially lower.

These are the keys points of the Oracle case in this comparison.  My follow-up blog to this one will discuss how this viewpoint holds up.




Thoughts on “Oracle’s Perspective on Exalytics vs. SAP Hana”

  1. I am an oracle geek and also curious about Hana. Please keep these coming as your blogs are very informative.

  2. As I mentioned in my reply to the prior blog, virtually all of this information presented by Oracle is completely wrong, not to mention easy to verify with publicly available sources. (e.g.: HANA SQL Manual, white paper on scale-out performance: , etc.)

    I look forward to a critical analysis of their claims in the next blog. 🙂


  3. Puneet Suppal

    Hi Neetu,
    As you are keen about SAP HANA and how others might compare with it, I encourage you to check out the following links:
    (1) From a third party:
    (2) Authentic book on SAP HANA:
    (3) An authoritative refutation of Oracle’s claims against SAP HANA:

    With respect to Exalytics, I will only say that it certainly might have a place in the market to speed up analytics for some, but it should not be really compared to SAP HANA, as the latter is much bigger in scope and reach. If you wish to discuss one-on-one, I will be happy to do so.


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Neetu Shaw

As Perficient's Business Intelligence (BI) Company-Wide Practice leader, Neetu Shaw provides thought leadership in developing and implementing a common BI foundational framework for Perficient and our many BI/DW clients, including common services, methods, knowledge management and an integrated enablement plan for both sales and delivery. Neetu is a business-focused and solutions-driven information management professional with executive consulting experience. Her career has been dedicated to BI consulting, thought leadership and solution sales leadership with solid experience in all phases of program implementation from initial business visioning to ROI justification through execution.

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