Intel and SAP are global partners and have worked together closely for over 25 years around innovative enterprise infrastructure platforms that are optimized for real-world, business-critical applications, such as the SAP HANA Data Management Suite*. The companies’ collaboration has recently expanded to blockchain technologies, with SAP and Intel joining a global industry blockchain consortium to expand and accelerate business adoption and best practices for blockchain solutions in the enterprise.
What advantages do blockchains offer businesses? Enterprise blockchains create a mechanism for reevaluating and speeding up existing business processes, particularly across corporate boundaries, by reducing process steps and providing greater transaction consistency. Blockchain technologies distribute data across a shared network of computers, functioning as a distributed ledger. By eliminating the need for a central authority, blockchain technology simplifies electronic payments, mitigates transaction risk, and increases efficiency. Making use of the blockchain technology in the enterprise is a further step towards decentralizing business applications for greater flexibility, transparency, and scalability in the hyper-connected economy.
By joining forces, SAP and Intel have the potential to address gaps in the market for solutions that power enterprise blockchain workloads. SAP and Intel’s co-development efforts are geared toward creating superior blockchain technologies and integrating them with new and existing business applications so customers can more easily take full advantage of blockchain’s benefits.
What SAP Brings to Blockchains
SAP recently launched the SAP HANA* Blockchain adapter, which integrates with the new SAP Cloud Platform* Blockchain and enables existing SAP customers to easily consume and build on blockchain data in SAP HANA using a SQL interface and standard SQL commands—both on-premise or in the cloud. The blockchain adapter makes it quick and easy for developers to create blockchain solutions that harmonize multi-party transactions and allow customers to establish trustful networks and transparent business processes. In addition, SAP offers Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) on the SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain, which allows customers to integrate enterprise and blockchain data in a pay-as-you-go model.
What Intel Brings to Blockchains
Intel® processor technologies have unique capabilities that can help improve the privacy, security, scalability, and trust across blockchain networks. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors offer robust performance, advanced reliability, and superior memory speed, capacity, and interconnects, making them the ideal foundation for blockchain solutions.
Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors also offer optimization technologies designed into the silicon, such as Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) for improved workload performance in high-performance computing (HPC) use cases. Also integrated into Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors is Intel® AES-NI, which is a set of built-in instructions that can greatly improve the compute efficiency of cryptographic algorithms, while offering greater performance and improved security. In addition, Intel offers additional security for blockchain source code and data with Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX), which delivers enhanced privacy and security to help protect blockchain transactions, and can help improve throughput and consensus efficiency.
Together We Bring: SAP Blockchains Fully Optimized with the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor
SAP, Intel, and other industry leaders have joined forces to create a blockchain-based supply chain management proof-of-concept solution based on SAP* Global Track and Trace (also referred to as International Trade based on the SAP Co-Innovation Program). Together with Flex, HPE, and UPS, we are working to enhance freight, fleet, and fulfillment management across networks and for enhanced visibility into global and domestic transportation to optimize logistics, gain new efficiencies, and improve service delivery. These advances allow customers real-time insights into the availability of materials and products across the entire supply chain to better control inventory and manage costs.
In addition to real-world proof-of-concepts, SAP and Intel are performing benchmarking studies to analyze blockchain metrics such as transactions per second to identify network bottlenecks that could be optimized with more powerful, higher performing technologies. This benchmark collaboration is significant for existing blockchain deployments since current blockchains can be associated with latency and slow throughput issues.
Benchmarking various SAP workloads will allow Intel and SAP to assess what software and/or hardware optimizations can assist in increasing blockchain performance and efficiency. Certain workloads may require specific hardware configurations for optimal performance, and Intel and SAP are working on defining these parameters, thereby creating technical standards for individual blockchain use cases.