Data Protection Options for SAP Systems

  • by Rajeev Menon , Vice President, SAP Practice, Wharfedale Technologies Inc.
  • February 24, 2014
SAP Professional Journal
In recent years there have been a lot of advancements in data protection technologies and tools. When you are designing a data protection solution for an SAP environment to support business continuity, it is important to understand these new technologies and tools as well as their integration points.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • Protect key components of an SAP landscape
  • Design a solution conforming to important data protection concepts
  • Integrate key technology and tools for SAP data protection
Key Concept

A data protection solution in a broad sense should enable you to protect all components of an SAP environment needed for recovering SAP applications in case of a disruption in availability. The solution should enable recovery of SAP applications from data loss or corruption, software or hardware failure, and catastrophic disaster.

Designing and implementing a data protection solution for SAP environments can be challenging. A typical SAP landscape will experience 50 to 60 percent data growth every year. Also, additional SAP applications are deployed occasionally to support business processes. Data growth and additional SAP systems in the landscape affect the backup windows, recovery times, and the underlying infrastructure required for backup and recovery.

Each of an SAP system’s multiple components, including the operating system, SAP application server, database instance, and data files, require different data protection techniques. For example, to protect an SAP application, binary file systems can be protected using a backup agent or storage replication using an open file backup option. In the case of protecting a database, vendors provide APIs or interfaces to a database that can freeze and thaw input and output (I/O) before and after backup for data consistency that works with certified third-party tools and storage technologies. There are also advanced technologies available for continuous (always on) data replication that provide a more granular point in recovery in a very short time and with very little data loss.

SAP non-database file systems contain various files necessary for SAP system operation. These include application binaries or executables, transport files, diagnostic agent scripts, and profiles. The protection of the SAP database also includes protecting the database binaries and configuration files and protecting data stored in the data files.

When you consider that all these components of an SAP system can be deployed on a combination of various infrastructure platforms (including virtual infrastructure platforms), operating systems, and database systems; designing, deploying, and maintaining an optimal data protection solution can be even more challenging.

To design and deploy an optimal SAP data protection solution, you first need to understand the business requirements and then develop a solution integrating technologies and tools. Available tools include those provided by SAP, database systems, infrastructure vendors, and third-party tool vendors.

 

Rajeev Menon

Rajeev Menon is vice president, SAP practice, at Wharfedale Technologies Inc. He is primarily responsible for the development and growth of the division. An enterprise technical architect by profession, Rajeev also provides leadership to a talented team of infrastructure architects to design and build complex SAP landscapes based on physical, converged, and cloud infrastructure platforms.

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