Use the Information Life Cycle to Determine Your Archiving Strategy

  • by Gaurav Sukhija, Senior SAP BW/BI Consultant, Infosys Technologies Limited, USA
  • April 25, 2011
Understand the three most popular methods for archiving SAP NetWeaver BW data: SAP Archive Development Kit (ADK), SAP NetWeaver Near-Line Storage (NLS), and the not-so-well-known ADK with NLS. Equip yourself to choose the appropriate method for your needs.
Key Concept
An organization’s data goes through different life cycle stages. Each life cycle stage calls for a different method for storing this data. The tried and tested SAP Archive Development Kit (ADK) may be the most appropriate method for storing data that is infrequently required. The newer method of Near-Line Storage (NLS) is often best suited for relatively new data. The hybrid approach of ADK with NLS can prove to be the best bet when there is a need for diverse storage and retrieval capabilities.

Data has intrinsic parameters that you can use to determine the optimal archiving strategy for your SAP NetWeaver BW data. Using a three-stage approach, you can choose the appropriate solution from popularly used techniques. When it comes to archiving in SAP NetWeaver BW there are two broad categories:   

  • Archiving of data
  • Archiving of reports

Archiving reports is like storing a snapshot of data at any given point in time that you can retrieve later. Report archiving has limitations such as the number of rows that can be stored and the report file size restrictions. In contrast, data archiving is more flexible and allows a user to recreate scenarios or snapshots of data that can be retrieved and ultimately viewed in a report. I primarily discuss data archiving and the available approaches and techniques for accomplishing this task. Numerous scenarios call for archiving data in SAP NetWeaver BW. It is important to understand these archiving drivers as these have a tremendous bearing on the ultimate choice of a solution. Here are a few scenarios:

  • When there is a need to reduce the data volume in the SAP ERP system. The SAP NetWeaver BW system may be expected to store or archive the data extracted from the SAP ERP system.
  • When the SAP NetWeaver BW system growth has to be restricted to minimize hardware and maintenance costs or to keep the system easily manageable
  • To improve the load and query execution performance by decreasing the volume of data stored on the database
  • Migration from legacy application systems to the SAP system thereby causing a surge in data volume in the SAP environment
  • Decommissioning of existing applications with historical data
  • Differential between the extent (duration) of legacy data and the extent of the data to be migrated to the SAP system
  • Historic data requirements for reports (statutory and otherwise) and analysis

Gaurav Sukhija

Gaurav Sukhija is a senior SAP BW/BI consultant with Infosys Technologies Limited. He is a certified Business Intelligence Professional from The Data Warehousing Institute. He has been consulting in the SAP Business Intelligence and Data warehousing domain for Fortune 100 clients for close to seven years.

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