I am currently using the latest version. But before that, before I jumped into the version, I used the initial version of HANA, as well. This initial version of HANA was not that great, it had a lot of bugs. But the latest version is very good. It's excellent.
I'm afraid that HANA is not a relational database, it's a column-level database just like Sybase IQ. Sybase is also an activity product, an SAP product. SAP bought Sybase in May 2010. So normal Sybase is RDBMS. Sybase has one more variant called Sybase IQ. That is not RDBMS, that is a column-level database. Normal Sybase is a whole-level database. That's a column-level database. So SAP HANA is based on this column-level architecture.
One more thing. The success of HANA primarily depends on the RAM and the storage. HANA became a success because the cost of the solar devices has fallen down substantially. I don't know about British Pounds, but in Indian Rupees, earlier in 2007, 2008, when I was working for Microsoft, one terabyte of a SAN device, used to cost around 22.5 LAK. I would say I would have had a 100,000. I think that's the nature. So one SAN device was costing 22 LAKs. The same SAN device, in 2013 and 2014, was costing around three LAKs. So the SAN device cost reduced by more than 200%.
Also, in parallel, the RAM cost also decreased, and the technology and the fastness of RAM increased. This impacted the primary condition for RDB and RDBMSs like Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, and the like, that they need to support the foreign key relationship, where I have a few tables. For example, if I have five to six tables, suppose the first table is employment information. The second table is employee career details or his project, something like that.
Now, instead of populating the tables with the same information, the primary condition of RDBMS was to have a foreign key relationship between these two tables and reduce the redundancy. That was a primary condition, but in HANA, thanks to the cheap storage and high-speed RAM, I may not even bother to do a redundancy of data. I can combine all the tables and make a huge table. And as an entire table, whatever its size, I can pin the table in the RAM so that my access of information is not from the hard disk, but is directly from the memory, which is much, much, much faster. That is the beauty of HANA.