SAP data archiving - The Need to Archive your SAP data

Reasons for Archiving

  • To improve system performance by reducing the size of the SAP database. Data growth in the SAP system adversely affects performance. Cannot just delete certain data to government regulations, taxation (IRS) regulations, FDA requirements, Govt. organizations, internal organizational requirements, and audit requirements.
  • To reduce the amount of time and effort required for systems administration back-ups, client copy, upgrades, month-end processes, etc.
  • To reduce the amount of storage required for data. Significant savings in storage space are realized through archiving.
  • To avoid expenditures in hardware -both storage and processing power.

To perform effective archiving the process utilized must provide the required access to the archived data in order to satisfy regulatory and organizational requirements. We will discuss archiving and storage options in the next article.

An effective archiving process saved expenditures in hardware (storage and processing power) in addition to making systems administration activities more efficient.

A simple analogy

Many organizations that have implemented SAP are still delaying the decision to archive SAP data. One reason is that they regard archiving as an activity that deserves very little priority. However, in reality archiving should be a top priority if the optimum performance of an SAP system is to be maintained.

To use an analogy an SAP system is like a train with several carriages being pulled by the engine. If the carriages that exist are full the reaction is to add additional carriages. This process is only be a short term solution as the engine just has enough power to pull a prescribed load after which it begins to stall.
Also the longer the train runs there is a need for more services such as food and facilities and the need becomes greater as there are more people getting on to the train .
Getting some of the load off the train is a more logical solution; and the earlier this process is undertaken the greater the benefits. There will be savings in the purchase of new carriages or even having to add a new more powerful engine.

With respect to the SAP system the data accumulates rapidly therefore an archiving strategy and process should be implemented early. Apart from the deteriorating performance due to the increased load, other activities take longer. These include backups, client copies, upgrades and even regular month end jobs. Deletion of the SAP data is not an appropriate solution in many instances as access to the data is required by certain organizations; such as the FDA, the IRS/taxation, Other govt. and regulatory agencies, and internal organizations.

Archiving early reduces the size of the SAP database and maintains system performance at an optimum level. If retained in the file system, the archived data is stored in compressed form there is a significant savings in storage space. You can also store the archived data off-line on external devices such as optical devices, tape etc. depending on the frequency of access.
The strategy you choose should be able to cater to all of the organizational requirements-both internal and external and at the same time reduce the load on the SAP system by removing data from the SAP database.

In short, archiving is a must if an SAP system is to function at its best.

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