Builder Day: Cloudbuilding Episode 1 – The Road to HANA

Staving off obsoletion

Brent has recently set aside “free” time to learn about stuff up in the cloud. I only put free in quotes because we do have to do something with a cloud theme, but we can pick whatever we want.

Naturally, I chose the hardest thing with the least practical use.

I chose to set up SAP’s in-memory HANA database, and load some data.

That seems to me like a natural way to learn about a database platform; after all, that’s the first thing I did with SQL Server.

What follows is a slow descent into madness, where I learned that ports need to be open, people still use PuTTy, and the German word for “damned”.

Fair warning: I already had a VPC and security set up for me, because we use AWS for a bunch of stuff. If you’re unsure about how to do that, join the club. You’ll need to figure that stuff out if you want to follow along at all.

Bright and early

My day started full of hope and optimism. It ended with this blog post.

Everything is going to be fine.

When you’re setting up your HANA instance for the first time, you need to put it in a VPC if you want to use certain instance types.


I don’t know.

Is there a point?

You’ll also need a Key Pair set up.


The reason for this is a bit more straightforward. You need this for your PuTTY session!

But, funny story — PuTTY can’t use the native .pem files that AWS gives you. You have to use PuTTYgen to convert them to a ppk.

So, with my freshly converted .ppk, I set off to SSH in to my brand new AWS HANA instance!

HANA shot first

No experience with SSH is easy. The first problem I had: Ports!

I had to go into my security group settings and open up the SSH port.

Being a DBA is cool.

Which means everything was cool, right?


Thanks, pal.





Language Lessons

Okay, look, I’m not a networking guy.

But still.


In search of

If you’re gonna tell me to go to a site, at least make the path clear.


At that point, I went in search of a drink. Since it’s Monday, that means there’s nothing left in the house.

With an empty liver, I then went in search of the right word to describe my feelings, which usually leads me to the German section of Google Translate.

They’re emotional people. Like me.

Nothing more than feelings.

If I ruled the world

I’d open all the ports.

Okay, so not all of the ports.

But I’d open this one.


With that done, things finally started cooperating. Temporarily.

Man who thought he’d lost all hope loses last additional bit of hope he didn’t even know he still had.



Where are we now?

Well, nowhere.

I still don’t have a running HANA instance, or data loaded. But I do have access.


This went on for a long time.


But as far as setup goes, things generally went okay. I had to generate a new Access Key ID, because I couldn’t remember what I did with the .csv export of the one I made when Jeremiah first made me create one in 2014. Those Secret Access Keys are not easy to remember.

Straight up jibberish, really.

But eventually, I had a working instance. Connecting was also straightforward. I just needed the IP address and the SYSTEM account password. You set that up in the web gui that appears after you okay the software agreement.

I got a license key error initially, but it was easy to fix using the instructions here.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you connect to your instance, you can mess with elastic IPs and host files if you want, but you’re most likely going to need to ’00’ in the Instance Number field. This had me stumped for a bit; I didn’t see it in any of the standard documentation, but then again my eyes tend to glaze over when I hit standard documentation.


And I still haven’t loaded any data

It’s been hours. I had like four birthdays. What the heck, cloud?

One last thing stood between me and having sample data to mess with.

SAP documentation.

This is one of the worst written pages on the internet, and it links to equally poorly written pages. Let me save you a ton of time and liver fat.

When the documentation page tells you to use the “Import Utility”, and the linked documentation pages all talk about the list of stuff in the SAP HANA Modeler, which looks like this:


You don’t want that. You don’t want anything in there.

Do not click on any of this time wasting nonsense

You will spend a stupid amount of time clicking on things that don’t work.

You want the import option here:


You can pretty easily navigate the next couple screens, and then FINALLY



😀 😀


😀 😀 😀

And then you can be just as disappointed as I was when you find out the largest table (ORDERDETAILS) is just shy of 3000 rows.

But hey, we did it.

Now we can go to the gym.

Thanks for reading!

Brent says: I wanted to have him do a point-in-time restore, but as the day dragged on, I didn’t have the heart to tell him to finish that part. Maybe I should make them work with other databases so they appreciate just how good their job is. If one of our team members (myself included) ever comes running up to you, sobbing, and screams, “MY GOD I LOVE SQL SERVER,” then you’ll know it’s Builder Day at Brent Ozar Unlimited.

Erik says says: What Brent doesn’t know is that I did backup and restores, it was just really boring and easy with the HANA GUI, so the footage ended up on the cutting room floor.

She’s In GUIs
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • The ODBC driver and SSIS actually work pretty well for loading data. The administration Studio is a total POS but setting up backups/restores through it isn’t too bad, as long as it doesn’t crash in the middle of your session. I haven’t used the Cockpit in the 2.0 version yet. All SAP doco is beyond bad, but for HANA it makes one scream. Most of it talks about how wonderful and fast the product is, without telling you how to do something, Maybe they could cut down on the tennis sponsorships so they could come up with something useful.

    • Erik Darling
      June 22, 2017 1:13 pm

      I think the only thing that would have/could have made the day more out of water for me would be to open SSIS.

  • Thank ‘god’ others fail at their first attempt at something new. Sometimes I think it’s just me. Good luck man!


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