12 Best Practices for Information Lifecycle Management Using the NLS Interface

  • by Richard Grondin, VP Product Development & Deployment, SAND Technology
  • February 19, 2010
Using Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and Nearline Storage (NLS) techniques enables organizations with SAP NetWeaver BW implementations to improve warehouse performance while considerably reducing database administration costs. In addition, using ILM with NLS improves your ability to manage and satisfy service level agreements. Discover the important aspects of ILM and garner best practices for using ILM with NLS.
Key Concept
Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is the set of policies, processes, practices, and tools that you can use to ensure that specific data at a specific point in its value life cycle is assigned to the most appropriate and cost-effective IT infrastructure. Any organization, whether it is just starting with an SAP NetWeaver BW implementation or has already installed one, can take advantage of the benefits of ILM. It is best to introduce ILM as early as possible in the process because it is much easier to prevent the problems associated with database growth than to fix them after they have occurred. If you have a large existing system, you can implement ILM in phases to start realizing benefits earlier and with as little effect as possible on the overall system.

It is generally accepted that the value of the information stored in a data warehouse changes over time. As the volume of data produced by enterprises continues to grow, this recognition has led to the development of the concept of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM).

For users of SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0, the Nearline Storage (NLS) interface is a key component for implementing an ILM strategy. In the SAP world, NLS is a new category of data persistency that is similar to archiving in that its overall purpose is to take read-only data out of the database system and move it onto less expensive devices (normally file systems). The crucial difference between nearline data and archived data lies in the degree of data accessibility offered. Unlike archived data, nearline data can be seamlessly accessed at speeds comparable to those involved in accessing data in the main online database.

NLS functionality is fully integrated into SAP Net Weaver BW 7.0, and can be managed using the standard SAP workbench interface (transaction RSA1) and process chains. A tiered architectural approach such as the Layered Scalable Architecture (LSA) allows for integration of existing Relational Database Management System functionality with the massively parallel performance capabilities of both the NLS and SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator components.

I discuss the rationale for implementing an ILM strategy and present a number of recommended best practices intended to ensure a quick, successful ILM/NLS implementation in SAP NetWeaver BW.

Richard Grondin

Richard Grondin is vice president of research and development for SAND Technology. He has been involved in the design and implementation of large data warehouse solutions since 1996, and currently leads the development and direction of the nearline and corporate information memory solutions at SAND. He has worked closely with SAP on the SAP NetWeaver BW nearline solution since 2004.

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