Understanding SAP NetWeaver BW Near-Line Storage (NLS) Based on Sybase IQ

  • by Gary Nolan, SAP BI Strategic Architect, Sapiex Associates LLC
  • May 6, 2014
BI
SAP Professional Journal
Implementing SAP NetWeaver BW on HANA typically requires a substantial hardware investment. One way to mitigate this expense is to offload some of the data into near-line storage (NLS). In this article, discover why and how to set up NLS. Also learn the functionality of NLS, its setup, and the process for moving data to Sybase IQ.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will:

  • Understand the capabilities of near-line storage (NLS) with Sybase IQ
  • Determine the uses of NLS for your organization
  • Walk through the advantages and disadvantages of using NLS with Sybase IQ
Key Concept

Near-line storage (NLS) with Sybase IQ may be used to help archive data from the SAP Netweaver BW system. NLS offloads the data from the primary database onto a secondary database, Sybase IQ. Queries can still use the data in NLS but with typically slower performance than the primary database. This allows data to be removed from the primary database, saving on hardware and maintenance costs.

As companies begin to become more mature and add more SAP products, they typically require a higher volume of SAP NetWeaver BW for their increased reporting data requirements. Before the introduction of SAP HANA, keeping a large volume of data in SAP NetWeaver BW mainly required an additional investment in disk space and, typically, was quite manageable. However, with the advent of SAP HANA, which requires a significant amount of memory for storage, keeping large amounts of data in SAP HANA becomes much more costly. The cost for this storage increases even more when the price for storing rarely used data is factored into the equation. SAP NetWeaver BW has had access to near-line storage (NLS) solutions for many years. However, recently, with the purchase of Sybase, SAP has developed a more robust native solution for NLS archiving in Sybase IQ to allow some offloading of the data from SAP HANA memory.

Note
Different NLS and third-party solutions have existed for years for off-line storage of data. For this article, I focus only on SAP’s native solution that was introduced in version 7.3 Support Package 09 (SP09) and is available in version 7.4 and forward. Thus, when using the term NLS in this article I am referring solely to the Sybase IQ solution and not to any other NLS solution. NLS using Sybase IQ can be used with any of the SAP NetWeaver BW compatible databases. However, in this article I concentrate on using NLS with Sybase IQ on HANA because this is the most popular configuration.

Gary Nolan

Gary Nolan is an SAP NetWeaver BW-certified consultant and author of Efficient SAP NetWeaver BW Implementation and Upgrade Guide and Efficient SAP NetWeaver BI Implementation and Project Management. Gary specializes in gathering and evaluating requirements, configuring SAP NetWeaver BW, and providing project management, performance management, and data architecture and data modeling expertise. A former platinum consultant with SAP America, Inc., Gary has more than 20 years of SAP experience, working with SAP NetWeaver BW since version 1.2B.

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