Technology evolves at the speed of light these days. Even hardware development is moving faster than ever. While that speed is great for users, sometimes it makes telling the story of hardware challenging.

Prowess Consulting and Lenovo ran into that challenge head-on in a recent project. The project’s original goal was to show the improved total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits of SAP HANA platform–certified appliances with the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 powered by the latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

It turned out, though, that the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 was the only SAP HANA platform–certified appliance powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors at the time. There literally was no comparison. The solution’s unique position made telling a compelling comparison story with that storyline impossible.

To complicate matters, the piece was intended for use at SAP TechEd 2017, which was rapidly approaching. There wasn’t time to wait for other appliances to become certified. Lenovo needed a different and compelling story to tell—and fast.

Consulting and Collaboration to the Rescue

After putting our heads together and batting ideas back and forth, the decision was made to step back a generation and do a TCO story with the SAP HANA appliances powered by the previous generation of Intel Xeon processors—the Intel Xeon processor E7 v4 family. This new story would include a specific focus on the Lenovo Scalable Solution for SAP HANA, which is based on the Lenovo System x3950 X6 and the Lenovo System x3850 X6—both of which are certified SAP HANA appliances and are powered by earlier-generation processors: the Intel Xeon processor E7-8890 v4. Most importantly, there are other solutions that use the same generation of processor and that are also certified appliances for the SAP HANA platform, which ensured we had a comparison to make.

A True Differentiator

A silver lining to the story we ended up telling resulted from having to switch story lines. The Lenovo Scalable Solution for SAP HANA, in some ways of its own, has no comparison—or, more appropriately, no competitors. It is a software-defined memory solution that is powered by the underlying appliances, but it is also independent of them. We found that it is truly scalable and more economical to purchase than the other systems we examined. Companies can start with one server and add more as needed. Companies are also freed from needing a storage area network (SAN).

Read the Results

In the end, we completed our study and had a compelling story that Lenovo was able to share at SAP TechEd 2017. You can see the resulting report, “Achieving Better Long-Term TCO for High-Volume SAP HANA Workloads,” on our website. In it, you can also learn more about the software-defined memory approach of the Lenovo Scalable Solution for SAP HANA, and you can find full details of our comparison, including our server-to-server cost findings.

If you want to tell a similarly compelling story, contact Prowess Consulting. Until then, you can keep up with our take on emerging trends and technologies by reading the Prowess blog and by following Prowess on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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