Nowadays, data is growing at an exponential rate and that leads to increased costs for maintenance, licenses, and storage. A past analysis of SAP document attachments growth showed an increase of 700,000 attachments per month in a single SAP ECC system. This corresponds to a monthly storage and licenses growth of 170 GB – 350 GB which adds up to 4.1TB annually. With growth so high, it is vital to start migrating SAP historical archives and business document attachments such as purchase orders, billing documents, incoming payments, or invoices to affordable and easy to extend cloud data lakes as soon as possible.
In this blog I will focus on the best practices of moving an existing SAP archive and documents to the cloud. If you want to read about the benefits of migration, e.g. reducing the total cost of ownership or improving the access performance, these are well-described in the blog by Jan Meszaros.
Best practice of moving the historical archive and document attachments to the cloud
Architecture and security
During the initial phase of the migration project, we need to understand the status quo of the historical archive of the entire SAP system landscape. The first important outcome of this phase is a decision about appropriate integration scenarios between an archiving client, a service, and the chosen data lake. In my previous blog, I introduced the integration concept of Outboard ERP Archiving with SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA and the key difference between available architectures, as well as the necessity of the security. In this blog, I will focus more on the migration scope which represents the second important aspect of the initial project phase.
Analysis of the current SAP archive and document management
In this phase, we analyze the current SAP archive and content management. There are two possible scenarios depending on where the current SAP archive is stored. The first scenario is a historical archive stored on the application server of the SAP system. In such cases, Outboard ERP Archiving enables an archive file to be stored from the application server to the data lake via the Storage System. The second scenario is a historical archive stored in an external archive server, connected to an SAP system. During the migration, the archive files are read from the source’s external storage by leveraging Datavard archive migration tools and stored on a dedicated cloud platform that is enabled by Outboard ERP Archiving.
Migration of document attachments to the cloud data lake
Similar to the historical archive, we distinguish between multiple migration cases for document attachments too. The SOFFCONT1 table is often found in the top 10 largest tables in the system since it contains SAP Business Workplace/SAPoffice Document attachments. The content tables like DMS_CONT1_CD1, T5ASRCONT02 and others serve the same purpose. Ways of reducing the size of the SOFFCONT1 table can be found in the following post.
The content tables are not the only location where SAPoffice, DMS (Document Management System) or SRM (SAP Records and Case Management) attachments can be stored. Some organizations have already implemented the mapping between storage category and content repository pointing to archive servers which means that such attachments are stored directly in the storage not in SAP.
ArchiveLink attachments when their links are maintained in the link tables TOA01-03 and TOAHR are usually also stored in the same storage. Although, we logically differentiate between the group of SAPoffice and ArchiveLink attachments during migration projects, Datavard Outboard and Archive migration tools are the key factors in enabling the migration of both attachment groups, as well as the storage of newly created attachments to the cloud platforms – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform.
Best practices to automate and secure the migration of SAP archive to the cloud?
The migration of historical SAP archives and document attachments from content repositories and archives to cloud solutions is carried out by Outboard ERP Archiving and Datavard Archive migration tools which contain the features that help to accelerate and secure the migration project.
- Automated generation of the migration portions – the selected scope (archive files or document attachments) is automatically split into multiple migration portions based on pre-defined settings.
- Mass parallelization – the software enables running of multiple migration portions in parallel.
- Automated update of the storage location – the storage location in SAP tables is automatically updated.
- Retaining the same Document ID – a unique identification of the archive file or document attachment is retained which simplifies the work of the application team.
- Load balancing – the selection of the application server, application server group for the migration process.
- Hash validation – this ensures a secure migration process.
- Switch process – the fully standardized process of switching content repositories.
Moving the archives and documents to the cloud, not only saves money on annual maintenance and licenses, but also allows usage of the data from various data sources, e.g., SAP systems, file systems, social media, or sensor data in one place, enabling further analytics, diagnostics, and predictions, thus helping to make business decisions easier. Cloud-based storage options from Google, Microsoft and Amazon or on-premise Hadoop data lakes are suitable platforms which can be integrated with SAP ECC, SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW, SAP BW/4HANA and SAP HANA Native, using Datavard’s OutBoard Suite.
OutBoard ERP Archiving is the only available solution that automates the migration of current SAP archives to the cloud and enables archived data for further data analytics in the cloud.