Information is stored in the various systems, and today’s technology allows us to unlock this. Due to the increased amount of information, and related to data storage, the need to also increase disk space arises. As for the growth of the database, fast drives are necessary, meaning that additional costs also will occur. The result of the growth of available data and information is an increase of data in the database resulting in an increase in the throughput of the reports. Also follow-up processes can be adversely affected.
Broadly speaking, the information can be divided into two main categories: active and passive data. Active data is generally the most recent data and is characterized by the frequent querying the stored information. Because information is supplemented (by adding new figures), the stored data in the longer term are less relevant. This allows the stored data to get more and more the character of historical data and passive data. Passive data is thus characterized by little or no more questioning. Since these data indeed be part of the database, to be collected by conducting a consultation on the database entries, but is not used. The consultation period on the database is prolonged, it can appear that performing a report takes longer, while the data portion (active data) has remained the same. If made for BW systems also use an Accelerator, all data stored on the accelerated proportionally, which is an unnecessary burden on the resources of the accelerator.
What to do?
Ensuring a physical split between passive and active data is a strategy to create reports faster again. The well set up a split can also have a positive effect on the behavior of the accelerator, because only the active data is going to the accelerator. If we are in a position where we can park the passive data outside the database, which has also a positive effect on the growth of the database. An adverse effect arises when we have to keep the ‘parked’ data. There is storage, but there are no expensive database disks are required.
The “parking” of data outside the database, possible by the so-called archiving, is standard in SAP. During the archiving files are created in a directory where the data is stored and it will disappear from the database. For BW there are some remarks. If structures change (does not happen often), the changes will not apply to data already archived. Consulting these archives therefore is difficult or they may even be no longer consulted. Another disadvantage of archiving may be that it takes longer for the passive data to read again, since the data is stored as files and not be accessed from a database. Due to this kind of problems archiving is in BW almost done.
A flexible alternative through the use of near-line storage
The concept remains the same: use archive technology available in SAP, but write it off to a separate database that can catch the archived data. This is based on the characteristics of the existing structures in the BW-environment. By using a RFC link the accessibility of the data remains easily and quickly. A good database is Sybase IQ, this because of its characteristics, is able to store compressed data. It is “recurring” data replaced by one feature that a reduction may be up to 80% (depending on characteristic data and data volume). In the event that an info cube is changed (adding attributes / fields), the first data can be loaded into the original structure. Then, then the mutation can be carried out and, finally, these can be archived again.
Due to the flexible archive possibility and the availability of data in nearline storage the mentioned disadvantages are no longer valid. By removing the information of the passive data cubes in a BWA / BIA they also become smaller, so that even there again space and resources are spared. This allows now more infocubes be made available, allowing the BWA / BIA process provides more opportunities for other business functions.
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