Both large and small companies within all industries have a great need to generate useful business information from fast-growing volumes of data. However, the management and analysis of the huge volumes of data require use of the most up-to-date technology and corresponding investment in hardware and software.
Large volumes of data significantly increase the effort and costs involved in operating SAP ERP and BW systems. At the same time, performance is usually reduced, resulting in increased dissatisfaction among users. In-memory databases should provide relief in future. However they are expensive.
The consistent implementation of an Information Lifecycle Management concept prevents numerous problems that are caused by large database systems. Data archiving, by which application data is removed in a controlled and secure manner from the database and transferred to an archive, plays a central role in this context. SAP provides high-performance components for this purpose so that regular archiving is mostly performed in data-intensive applications. As a consequence, a huge volume of archived data accumulates over the years. To be able to use this data for flexible analyses, external nearline databases that are connected via an SAP-specific nearline storage interface are used in SAP NetWeaver.
PBS provides nearline storage solutions for SAP BW and ERP that directly address the problems of high-volume SAP applications. The respective PBS solution for SAP ERP with its deep integration of both nearline as well as classical archiving technology is currently unique.
Both PBS solutions enable the processing of large volumes of archive data at a speed that was previously unknown. Alongside fast processing, the high degree of data compression saves additional memory space.
The new SAP in-memory platform "High Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA)" saves and processes application data directly in the main memory. This enables much faster data analyses, but requires server hardware with main memory capacity in the terabyte range and corresponding solid-state disks to guarantee system stability. In order to reduce the costs associated with this, PBS also recommends a consistent Information Lifecycle Management approach when HANA is being used. Application data that is not required for a very fast evaluation should be transferred to archive areas. The PBS nearline storage solution for SAP NetWeaver BW transfers archived data for direct analyses into a column-oriented database. It uses traditional hard drives and no expensive in-memory technology, thus enabling costs to be kept within reasonable limits.