Six things to consider when Implementing Nearline Storage for SAP BW

The Nearline Storage topic is extremely popular with SAP customers especially those migrating to SAP HANA. In this post I would like to share with you the lessons learnt during the many NLS archiving implementations we have done in the past.

#1: Find the business case and the best storage strategy for SAP NLS

The importance of data management is the key of success for creating the business case. Our experience shows that with the combination of NLS archiving and housekeeping in SAP BW can result in shrinking the database size by 43%.

The effect of Lean Data Management


#2: Where to start?

When it comes to the selection of the right InfoProviders for the Near-line Storage archiving, there are some rules to follow. First find out whether your potential is in the offloading infrequently accessed InfoProvider data or in the deletion of aged temporary data. Secondly, analyse your InfoProvider data and categorise based on frequency of access and usage in loads and lookups.

Typical Data Distribution in SAP BW

#3: Old data analysis

Near-line storage interface by SAP supports the read-only access to the NLS  Therefore it is necessary to check your archiving strategy carefully.


#4: Manual adjustments

There are not many publications and documents describing Near-line storage implementation steps. Most of the implementation effort is used for the manual adjustments. Before going into a NLS implementation project evaluate how much resources and time you will spend when running the archiving project from start to the end.


#5: Performance tests

Applying the NLS to your SAP BW strategy has clearly impact on most of the BW processes (from loading, development of new or adjustments of existing InfoProviders, to reporting). Testing phase is an important step in the NLS implementation. Try to create your test cases so that all BW processes are verified before moving DAP’s to the production system.


#6: Initial archiving

Before you apply the NLS archiving in your process chains, InfoProviders must be cleaned up from the very old data. This long running process is called initial archiving. The good news is that it must be done only once, the bad news is that during the NLS archiving there are BW processes that must not run in parallel (e.g. data loads). If the initial archiving takes longer than 24 hours then these can collide with daily process chains.


Phases during a NLS project

This is just a summary of the most critical phases during a NLS project, if want to know more I do explore in more detail in a free report I have created. To download the report click the button below.

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There is little information publicly available as to “How to implement Near-line Storage in BW (NLS)” therefore I hope this will help you to find the best data management strategy to optimize costs of the data storage in BW.

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