By Matt Wendroff, Partner & President and Deanna Mollett, Partner & Director of ILM Services
Attending SAP TechEd Las Vegas is always an educational and stimulating experience. In addition to co-presenting with our client from Florida Power & Light in October of this year, we also attended a wide variety of sessions. After the 5-day convention came to an end, we were left reflecting on a recurring theme that surfaced time and time again:
Even with a shiny new “toy” like HANA, the basics of a data archiving strategy remain an important and vital step in maintaining a healthy system.
Let’s provide some further details and background on establishing a foundation for an optimal HANA implementation: First, SAP recommends archiving before going to HANA. As part of the archiving process, you’ll be getting rid of whatever you don’t need, therefore bringing over a smaller footprint. As a result, your organization will require a smaller sized HANA appliance for main memory, which will save you money.
When considering main memory in HANA, it’s important to remember the concepts of warm and cold data. Warm data is stored in main memory, while cold data is stored on disk (near-line storage).
When it comes to cold data, custom written SQL scripts retrieve and save it in a partition format. This way, you don’t have to load everything in cold storage to view the data in SAP. Typically it is partitioned by year, quarter, or month, depending upon how much data there is to manage.
Next up: data volume management. This is now split into two concepts: aged data and archived data. This is brand new for HANA, as we previously had just archived data.
Aged data refers to the process of moving data from warm data storage to cold data storage. This requires a strategy. The online strategy defined for archiving is a direct parallel to that concept. Having an archiving strategy serves as a foundation for how to dashboard data aging settings in HANA.
The need to create a strategy for the “online portion” of archiving doesn’t change and can actually serve the needs for HANA data management. At Simply ILM, we specialize in providing facilitated design services that help companies create the right strategy for their organization. That strategy must have the ability to easily transition from archiving to aging.
Here’s the big kicker in the aging approach: Standard aging processes will check “business complete” status of records and related document flows before moving from memory (warm data) to disk (cold data). The indication in this revelation is that change management–not HANA–must address the challenge many companies have with data stewardship, closing documents, and/or completing transactional processes. Data archiving programs check “business complete” status definitions for various business objects, and the same principles apply for HANA. The key motivation to adopt HANA is the desire for high-performance, high-speed, highly accurate processing. When adapting to HANA, your organization must close the loop on business process gaps in order to achieve the full potential of the transition. The expression “garbage in, garbage out” applies here.
The key takeaway is clear: Anyone transitioning to HANA who is currently archiving needs to further customize their archiving strategy so that it will allow for the transition of archived to aged data. And for those of you who haven’t yet established an archiving strategy? It’s time to do it now–before you get into the process of HANA implementation.
Data archiving and HANA implementation are intricate processes that require detailed research, preparation, and planning. If your organization isn’t sure how to proceed, or your staff needs full support from an experienced partner, we invite you to contact us at Simply ILM today.
Special recognition goes to these SAP TechEd Las Vegas 2015 presenters whose sessions inspired this blog post:
“Data Management for SAP S/4HANA” – Robert Wasserman, Senior Director Product Management, SAP SE
“Data Aging for SAP S/4HANA: Introduction and Roadmap” – Robert Wasserman, Senior Director Product Management, SAP SE
“Data Management for SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA” – Robert Wasserman, Senior Director Product Management, SAP SE and Santosh Vijayan, Product Owner, SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd.