The SAP HANA-hiker's Guide to the IT Galaxy - The Low Down

Posted by Magaret Smith

If, like me, you feel like a “Non-technical” person living in a “Technical” world, then this is the IT blog for you.

After many years of working in a diverse range of industries, I now work for a technology organisation, which quite often leaves me feeling like an alien dropped from another planet.

So, I figured that, if that is how I feel, there are bound to be others who feel just the same.

Therefore, I decided that, whilst traversing the technical universe, I would share my journey with fellow “non-techies”:

Every day, around the office, and in meetings, I hear words and terms that I don’t fully understand, so I thought that I would break us all in gently, and start with a glossary:

#1 Analytics

Definition: The systematic computational analysis of data or statistics.

What I think it means: The extraction of meaningful information to enable sound business decisions.

#2 Architecture

Definition: A minimal set of rules governing the arrangement, interaction, and interdependence of the parts or elements whose purpose is to ensure that a conformant system satisfies a specified set of requirements.

What I think it means: A company’s IT set-up.

#3 Cloud Computing

Definition: A paradigm that enables ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the internet.

What I think it means: A universal system where information can be stored and accessed via the internet, and without the requirement for physical servers.#

Read more about SAP HANA working on the cloud.

#4 Cluster

Definition: A set of loosely or tightly connected computers that work together so that, in many respects, they can be viewed as a single system.

What I think it means NOT the chocolate treat, but a group of servers that communicate with each other, making services highly available to clients.


Definition: SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system developed and marketed by SAP SE. Its primary function as a database server is to store and retrieve data as requested by the applications.

SAP HANA takes database technology to the next level by utilising application functions and content to remove processing from the application tier and produce results much faster than other databases.

What I think it means Technology which enables a company to process and retrieve data much faster, allowing employees to focus their time on other things.

Look at SAP HANA in more detail.

#6 Infrastructure

Definition: In an information technology (IT) context, refers to an enterprise’s entire collection of hardware, software, networks, data centres, facilities and related equipment used to develop, test, operate, monitor, manage and/or support information technology services.

What I think it means A company’s computers, IT systems and other “techie” things.

Understand how you can improve your infrastructure’s agility.

#7 In-memory

Definition: The storage of information in the main random access memory (RAM) of dedicated servers rather than in complicated relational databases operating on comparatively slow disk drives.

What I think it means The fastest way to process data.

#8 Methodology

Definition: The systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge.

What I think it means An approach used to tackle a job or problem.

#9 On-premise

Definition: Sometimes abbreviated as “on-prem” is installed and runs on computers on the premises (in the building) of the person or organisation using the software, rather than at a remote facility such as a server farm or Cloud.

What I think it means Means that a company owns and uses physical computers – either on their own premises or in data centres etc.

#10 Optimisation

Definition: An act, process, or methodology of making something (such as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible; specifically : the mathematical procedures (such as finding the maximum of a function) involved in this.

What I think it means Doing something the best way.

#11 SAP Basis

Definition: The technical foundation that enables SAP applications to function. It consists of middleware programs and tools that support the interoperability and portability of SAP applications across systems and databases.

What I think it means The management of SAP applications.

I hope that you’ve found this useful, and look forward to you joining me on my next trip, during which I will be exploring exactly what it is that the “Techie” guys in our company do, and, more importantly, what they can do for your organisation. If you’re looking for consultancy around your SAP HANA platform, get in touch with Centiq.

Captain’s Log, Stardate: 95801.07