SAP HANA Database - How different is it from Oracle database ?

As everybody knows one of the great aspects of HANA is that it was designed for in-memory only, using primarily a columnar store with dictionary compression. The attributes of a table are stored as integers with a high compression factor in so-called attribute vectors. HANA still uses a primary key concept, but most data access has shifted from direct access to set operations (accessing a number of rows of a table) and the rows needed are identified via attribute vector scan operations. This is extremely fast (compression, integer operation), completely flexible (every attribute can be used as an index) and there is no need to get a DBA (data base administrator) involved. With the new vector operations in Haswell (AVX2) these scan operations improve significantly (on average close to 50%). Another optimization is the NUMA-aware data distribution and execution. Remember, the fastest access to data still happens when the data is in the memory of the executing CPU. HANA achieves dramatic throughput improvements especially for systems with 8 sockets (greater than 100%).

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