SAP S/4 HANA Architecture

SAP HANA functional module allows organizations to store relational and column-oriented data in the cloud and on-premises. With the help of SAP HANA, users can store the data applications and perform activities like analytics, spatial data processing, and also ETL (extract, transfer, and load) processes. In this SAP S/4 HANA architecture post, we will explain what SAP HANA is, the architecture overview, its components, and storage types. Let’s begin;

Introduction to SAP S/4 HANA

SAP HANA (HANA) is a relational database management system (RDBMS). SAP HANA is column-oriented and uses in-memory storage to offer faster data access and processing of data on both traditional as well as persistent data storage. SAP S/4 HANA application can be used in both on-premise and cloud environments. 

The major functionalities of SAP H/4 HANA include are.

  • Store and retrieve the application data.
  • Perform advanced activities such as data analytics, predictions, and stream analysis.
  • Helps to perform spatial data processing.
  • Performs ETL (extract, transfer, and load) tasks.

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SAP S/4 HANA architecture:

SAP H/4 HANA (business suite) provides business-driven approaches for designing an optimal and intelligent ERP (enterprise resource planning) transformation. The SAP H/4 HANA architecture is simple, business-driven, agile, and scalable to provide certain application scenarios. 

The SAP S/4 HANA architecture diagram is as follows;

SAP S4 Hana Architecture

We have divided the SAP H/4 HANA architecture into four blocks, let us explain them one by one;

  • Building block 1 covers all the aspects of the business requirements. The business requirements can be of identifying the right IT applications and leveraging the business capability maps to
  • meet the customer requirements.
  • Building block 2 covers all the aspects of IT infrastructure management.
  • Building block 3 covers all the aspects of user experience requirements as well as data analysis.
  • Lastly, building block 4 covers all the aspects of the innovations and integrations.

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Components of the SAP S/4 HANA Architecture:

The primary components of the SAP S/4 HANA architecture are;

HANA client libraries:

SAP S/4 HANA client libraries are

Imported to the various applications and later used to connect them to the data engines. Examples for the HANA client libraries are; Predictive analytical library (PAL) and the business function library (BFL).

SAP HANA index server:

The SAP HANA index server is a primary server that is used to store and process the data. It consists of multiple sub-components they are;

  • Session and transaction manager: this session manager helps to validate and create the sessions for the user. After the successful creation of the session, the transaction manager monitors the connection units, isolation levels, and transaction states. It will also provide permission to the users to access their profiles.
  • SQL or MDX processors: this type of index server is used to process incoming SQL or MDX query statements.
  • Data engines: there are multiple data engines available based on the configurations. The most commonly used data engines are as follows;
               a. A relational data engine: this engine directs the in-memory storage and manages the relationships between the tables.
               b. A planning engine: this engine generates the SQL processing data plan based on users’ requests. It also helps to aggregate and optimize the performance through parallel                            processing.
               c. A calculation engine: this engine generates the object-specific data models and applies them to user-requested data.
  • Repository: this is the storage place where we can store the data output.
  • Persistence layer: this layer ensures the durability of the database transactions. It also saves and serves the committed state of the data transaction logs.
  • Name server: The name server contains the topology of the HANA system. It also gives an idea of which components are active and where the data is being stored in the system.
  • Preprocessor server: this is also a type of SAP S/4 HANA architecture component used mainly by the index server to analyze the data and extract the data according to the user requests.
  • Statistical server: This component analyses and identify the health of the SAP HANA application components. It also monitors the activities like allocations and consumptions of the resources.
  • SAP HANA XS engine: this is an optional component of the SAP HANA architecture used to connect HTML or any Java-based client applications through HTTP and HTTPS web requests.

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Update components of the architecture:

  • SAP host engine
  • SAP HANA studio repository
  • SAP solution manager diagnostic agent
  • Software update manager

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SAP S/4 HANA storage types

SAP S/4 HANA application consists of multiple storage types to process the workloads. The storage type will be determined by the type of data and configuration you are using.

*Note: Usually SAP S/4 HANA automatically determines the storage types, if you want you can configure manually.

The types of SAP S/4 HANA storage;

Column storage:

The column storage is a default storage type in the SAP H/4 HANA. With the help of column storage, you can read or write the column data without calling the entire row.

The benefits of using the column storage type;

  • Enables you to analyze the application data in real-time.
  • Efficiently compress the data in a table that reduces the number of rows.
  • Helps to use the full-text index for data
  • Make use of high performance data makers.

Row storage:

Row-based storage is the traditional type of database storage. It is not the most preferred storage type because it slowers the system performance. If you need to frequently access a single row or you want to use a temporary table, the row storage type is an ideal one.

Main and delta storage:

In your HANA system, if the RAM (Random access memory) consists of both main and delta storage, then the data transaction process will be fast and time consuming.

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SAP H/4 HANA in the cloud

There are various options available to host the SAP S/4 HANA in the cloud. The SAP enterprise cloud is a private and managed service based on the cloud.

There are three major cloud platforms available;

Let us explain them one by one;


In Azure, you can host on SAP certified virtual machines (VMs) and you can also either transfer already existing SAP license through Microsoft.


With the help of Amazon web service you can host a combination of virtual private clouds (VPC) services such as EC2, and EBS resources. In AWS, you can use either memory-optimized or standard SAP-certified instances.

SAP HANA on GCP (google cloud platform):

In GCP, you can configure the application/product deployment with either a single-host or multi-host storage system.

Final take

SAP H/4 HANA architecture post brings you complete knowledge of Architecture framework, components, and storage types. In recent times, we have decided to concentrate more on the functional module’s core concepts to help our audience to enhance their skill sets in a specific concept. SAP H/4 HANA is a business-driven application and is widely used in Relational database management systems. Learning SAP H/4 HANA enables you to gather more information on cloud computing applications as well as license/certification info. We bring you more advanced concepts of SAP S/4 HANA, stay tuned to explore yourself as an SAP HANA consultant.

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Kavya Gowda
Kavya Gowda
Research Analyst
Kavya works for HKR Trainings institute as a technical writer with diverse experience in many kinds of technology-related content development. She holds a graduate education in the Computer science and Engineering stream. She has cultivated strong technical skills from reading tech blogs and also doing a lot of research related to content. She manages to write great content in many fields like Programming & Frameworks, Enterprise Integration, Web Development, SAP, and Business Process Management (BPM). Connect her on LinkedIn and Twitter.