SAP HANA Architecture.

Farida Aliyeva
4 min readDec 11, 2020

Servus to all my loyal followers and the newcomers. As you might have noticed from the title we are going to discuss the SAP HANA database and its architecture.

SAPSystemanalyse Programmentwicklung, which translates to System Analysis Program Development is one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes.

SAP SE — German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf. Baden- Württemberg. Company specializes in ERP software.


An in-memory database technology that encompasses various components which in turn makes SAP HANA a complete package for a centralized ERP system and business application development. SAP HANA is a tool that comprises an in-memory HANA database, data modeling tools, data provisioning, and HANA administration.

It uses real-time data processing which fetches data directly from the in-memory while speeding up the data retrieval operations. Another advantage of it is that it uses a large main memory (RAM), and multi-core processors which makes dealing with enormous data, a smooth experience. The multi-core processing engines process data parallelly within different columns of the same database and return data to the clients in no time. This is by the virtue of a columnar or column-oriented database management system which is arranged and read in columns from top to bottom instead of rows. Using a columnar database optimizes data structure and eases storing large data by compressing it.

SAP HANA is the first technology which use for both OLTP and OLAP application processing. This means that you can use it for both transactional and analytical purposes.

SAP HANA Architecture

Eventually developed in C++ and running on only SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system, it is an effective architecture that consists of multiple servers.

SAP HANA Components:

SAP HANA Components.
  1. Index Server
  2. Preprocessor Server
  3. Name Server
  4. Statistics Server
  5. SAP HANA Studio Repository
  6. XS Engine

Each of the above-mentioned servers is responsible to boost the power of the system through communication and hosting of small web applications and a plethora of components.

Index Server

The heart of the system is the Index Server which stores and processes all the data. Index Server processes incoming SQL or MDX statements.

Index Server Architecture.

Index Server Components:

  • Session and Transaction Manager: Session Component manages sessions and connections for the database. Transaction Manager coordinates and controls all running and closed transactions.
  • SQL and MDX Processor: SQL Processor component queries data and send to them in the query processing engine. MDX Processor queries and manipulates Multidimensional data.
  • SQL / SQL Script / R / Calc Engine: This Component executes SQL / SQL script and converts data into Calculation models.
  • Relational Data Engine: Determines the mechanism of in-memory data storage and manages the relations of data tables between each other. The incoming data is either stored in rows or columns.
  • Repository: Maintains the versioning of the SAP HANA metadata object.
  • Persistence layer: This layer ensures the database is restored to the most recent state and ensures that all the transactions are completed or undone in case of a system failure or restart. It uses the built-in feature “Disaster Recovery” of the SAP HANA database. Backup is saved as save points in the data volume.

Pre-processor Server

Used in Text Analysis and extracts data from a text when the search function is used. Index Server uses a pre-processor server for analyzing text data and extracting the information from text data when text search capabilities are used.

Name Server

This Server contains all the system landscape information. In a distributed environment, there are multiple nodes with corresponding CPUs. Name server holds topology of HANA system and has information about all the running components and information is spread on all the components.

Statistics Server

The statistical server is responsible for collecting the data related to status, resource allocation and consumption, and performance of the SAP HANA system.

SAP HANA Studio Repository

The repository is responsible for storing information related to the newly released updates.

XS Engine

XS Server contains XS Engine. It allows external applications and developers to use the SAP HANA database via the XS Engine client. The external client application can use HTTP to transmit data via the XS engine for the HTTP server. The XS Engine converts the system’s state from the persistence model stored in the database into the consumption model for clients.

Thank you for your precious time ;) See you soon…




Farida Aliyeva

Data Scientist at SDH | MS Graduate in Computer Science and Data Analytics