OK, I realise there are going to be a few raised eyebrows after seeing a title like that. Archiving as a hot technology area? For some people it still conjures up visions of dusty basements full of long forgotten documents. And compared to the latest end user technology gizmo it perhaps lacks a little sizzle, right?
Wrong. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Here are three reasons (naturally it had to be three) why archiving is a hot topic right now.
1. Many companies now have mature SAP systems that have amassed huge volumes of data over several years. Throwing additional hardware at it is only going to work for so long (think ticking performance time bomb) – unchecked database growth can suddenly and dramatically increase batch response times, with unacceptable user response times following soon after. Data archiving removes the older and unwanted data to keep the database at a manageable size and optimize performance – and should be seriously considered by anyone who has 500 GB or more data on their SAP system.
2. Unlike many other IT investments there is a clear and compelling ROI in terms of saved storage costs – that’s quite apart from the productivity savings and risk avoidance due to improved performance. I will give you some pointers on building a business case in my next post and will also share a new online cost savings calculator that will allow you to plug your own figures into a cost comparison model showing storage costs and growth with and without archiving. So be a hero and save your organization some money! In these financially straitened times a no-nonsense cost saving project should grab management attention.
3. Compliance with SarbOx, FDA, Germany’s GDPdU, the UK’s FSA, the list is endless: regulations governing how long you have to retain data are not going away – in fact they are Why might you need Information Lifecycle Management?. The financial penalties for non-compliance are severe: however the good news is that the introduction of ILM (Revealed: SAP users’ attitudes to Information Lifecycle Management) just made it a whole lot easier to comply. Archiving as part of an ILM approach gives you unprecedented control over data retention and destruction and legal hold.
Just to underline what archiving can deliver, here are of some of the benefits realized by a major food processing company after introducing archiving (this is real data):
- Database growth rate reduced from 120GB a month to a more manageable 50GB per month.
- The Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) runtime was reduced from 1 hour to just 20 minutes.
- Average interactive response time was improved from 1.2 sec to 0.7 sec (SAP recommends responses below 1 sec).
- No more ABAP dumps caused by performance issues (compared with five ABAP dumps per day before introducing archiving)
- The problem of lengthy backup times (backups taking 16 hours and impacting operations) was eliminated.
The reasons for archiving have never been more compelling. So now is surely the time for archiving to shake off its slightly frumpy image and step into the light.
Watch out for my next post, where I will discuss the reasons why some organizations are not yet archiving and offer pointers on building a business case for archiving.