How many SAP shops have watched their data growth double, triple, or quadruple, way beyond the projected growth rates? In the world of I.T. where data centers are expected to explode beyond their confines, where every service is expected to be 24/7 and where change is the norm, no one is surprised… but what plan to you have in place to attend to it? SAP data growth is no exception to the explosions in IT. Having participated in huge installations involving hundreds of servers and almost a petabyte of data, I can attest first-hand how intentional and intelligent architecture can be compromised by the needs of the business.
The issue is that, as your data in SAP grows, your performance will nearly always suffer. Queries take longer, retrieval is more costly in terms of processing power and overall more of everything is needed to accommodate the data. Some solutions require the installation of physical hardware such as new storage arrays, new servers, etc. Nearline storage can help solve this by taking some portion of your data and “archiving” it, but keeping it available at a lower performance threshold. Nearline Storage is not a new phenomenon and those who are not familiar with it would do well to read this brief article on the concept.
Datavard’s Outboard product is my favorite solution for this because it integrates deeply with SAP making access seamless in terms of interface, but at the slightly lower performance threshold for the non-critical data.
Here is an excerpt from their description sheet:
The lean Near-line Storage solution for SAP® BW. No separate database and no additional software required. Read more about Outboard here .
Since the first release of SAP’s Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) in 1997 (it was shipped to six customers only in the first release) the reporting and data warehousing solution from SAP has evolved and grown up. Not only is today’s SAP BW a comprehensive and complete solution for all reporting needs, it is also widely accepted and used with a huge installed base of many thousand businesses.
The most recent IT Spending Intentions Survey by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) reveals that 54% of the surveyed organizations will increase their spendings on storage hardware in 2010 (38% in 2009). Therefore, the challenge today is to keep cost at a reasonable level while not compromising quality and speed of reporting in large volumes of data.
To facilitate the necessary Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), DataVard offers a holistic ILM approach based on SAP®’s Business Information Warehouse. This prevents proliferate growth of large scale reporting databases. This is where OutBoard™ comes into play: Customers are able to move historical data to a near-line storage where it is still available for reporting, yet, in a cost optimized system on the basis of offline archives.
Benefits of OutBoard™ for SAP BW
DataVard’s “OutBoard™ for SAP® BW” provides near-line NLS storage functionality with reporting capabilities without the need of any additional database or software, thus keeping the system landscape simpler and easier to maintain. This is achieved by using effective data compression technology directly within the SAP® BW system’s database and ABAP™ stack – no installation and operation of additional software technology is required. Installing DataVard’s OutBoard™ for SAP® BW solution requires only the import of a standard SAP® transport request with our ABAP™-based implementation of the near line storage solution and database tables. Instead of an external second database which coexists with the main SAP® BW database the OutBoard™ solution stores all data directly within the BW database – albeit in separate database tables and with effective data compression. OutBoard™ uses compression technology which is not only very fast, but which can easily compete with external near line systems in terms of compression ratio. Typical compression ratios for Business Warehouse data are approximately 10:1. OutBoard™ can provide a compression ratio of up to 20:1. Thus, significant improvements of database sizes can be achieved while keeping the data ready and available for reporting. In order to decide for which InfoProviders it makes sense to relocate data into the OutBoard™ NLS solution, OutBoard™ offers flexible data analysis capabilities in the OutBoard™ Cockpit to help administrators of SAP® BW systems decide which and how much data to move to the NLS storage. These analysis capabilities include the determination of space which is used by each InfoProvider in the system, and a drill down with powerful capabilities to decide which data in these InfoProviders should best be moved into the NLS system. Contact us for a live demo of Outboard today.