Data today is growing, and SAP data is no exception. According to Datavard’s analysis of more than 300 SAP systems, the annual data growth is between 20-40%. Some organizations fail to implement archiving of old SAP data, data retention and housekeeping processes into organization’s standard IT processes. Often archiving does not follow a cloud-first and data analytics strategy.

Migrating existing historical SAP archives and document management to the cloud, as part of an SAP cloud strategy, is far cheaper than doing nothing and sticking with the existing on-premise SAP archive. Already, more than 40 of the Fortune 500 companies rely on Datavard solutions to bridge SAP with big data lakes which support having historical and recent SAP data stored within a single corporate cloud data lake.

Move archive solutions to the cloud while moving SAP to the cloud

It is no longer acceptable to keep SAP historical archives on storage that does not offer a good cost vs. performance ration and that does not meet the overall IT strategy. A typical scenario would be an organization that would like to move its SAP system to the cloud (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud) and move the historical archive with it. It is clear, that the archived SAP data should be moved to the same cloud, ideally leveraging the existing corporate data lake storage that is deployed or that which is in the organization’s big data roadmap.

Here are some of the typical storage options for SAP ERP or S/4HANA historical archives in the cloud: Azure BLOB, Azure Data Lake Service (Generation 1 or 2), AWS S3, AWS S3 Intelligent Tiering, Google Cloud Platform. These storage options perfectly follow organizations’ cloud-first strategies and are deployed in affordable and easy-to-extend storage platforms.

Advantages of keeping historical data in the cloud

Not only the overall IT strategy is of importance here. Cloud storage offers many advantages over the standard historical archives that organizations have been maintaining for years. Cloud providers provide the best cost vs performance balance, so that choosing the right access performance to the aged data and cost required to maintain the historical data will match. Cloud storage is easily extended, which is very important due to the constant data growth and the need to generate more and more data. Moving the existing on-premise SAP historical archive and document management to a new archiving solution on the cloud can save up to 40% of the annual costs related to maintaining the current solution.

Migration of the current historical archive to the cloud

The migration of historical SAP archives and document attachments, from content repositories and archives, to cloud solutions has been carried out multiple times. The process is fully automated, supports automated generation of variants and mass parallelization (as described in the blog by Tomas Lazar). Moving the archives and documents to the cloud, not only saves money on the annual maintenance and licenses, but also supports an accelerated process during the switch, which requires minimal involvement of people resources.

A typical as-is and to-be situation

A typical reference case, for migrating a historical SAP archive and document attachments to the cloud, is an organization that has been running an on-premise SAP ERP system for more than 10 years. They already have an Archive-Link or WebDAV enabled connection for SAP archives and content repository for document attachments. While the SAP roadmap expects them to migrate the existing SAP ERP system from an on-premise to a new SAP S/4HANA system on Microsoft Azure, the organization is also looking to move historical archives to the Azure cloud solution. This will optimize costs, access performance, disaster recovery and regional access to the document store from various world-wide locations.

Reference case – Move SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA on Azure

Reference case – Move SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA on Azure

What is the alternative to SAP data archiving?

More and more companies are searching for products that can support multiple cloud vendors – such as Datavard’s cloud ready tools OutBoardGlue or DataFridge – so that they can remain flexible on which vendor to choose, for which function. OutBoard ERP Archiving is a holistic archiving solution that moves data between the SAP database and external storage, regardless of the storage vendor (e.g. cloud-based or on-premises data lakes) according to its usage or age of data. Active data remains in the database during daily operations, cold or old data is archived. Archive data can still be used for reports and possibly for updates. This not only addresses the problem of increased total cost of ownership, but also legal, compliance risk and decreased performance.

OutBoard ERP Archiving is the only available solution that makes archived data available for further data analytics in the cloud data lake.

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