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Prepare Your Enterprise Data for a Move to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA

Live Q&A with Dolphin Experts on Crafting a Successful Information Management Strategy

June 13, 2017

Panelists: Dolphin's Dr. Werner Hopf and Ken Campbell
Date: Tuesday, June 13

Whether you are planning a move to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA or to SAP S/4HANA, the same principle applies: a sound information management strategy is key to your success. A well-crafted strategy will help you reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for these new in-memory systems, decrease downtime during the migration, and minimize risk by enforcing compliance with internal and external retention requirements.

Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Senior Solution Architect Ken Campbell joined SAPinsider for a discussion on how proven data management strategies and best practices can simplify the move to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA, and how to achieve this goal in your own project.

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Meet the panelists: 

Dr. Werner Hopf, CEO and President, as well as the Archiving Principal at Dolphin
Dr. Hopf is responsible for setting the company’s strategic corporate direction. With more than 20 years of experience in the information technology industry (14 years focused on SAP), Dr. Hopf specializes in SAP Information Lifecycle Management initiatives including Data and Document archiving, SAP Archive Link Storage Solutions, and Business Process solutions. His experience spans both large and mid-sized companies across all major SAP modules. Having worked on SAP projects across North America and Europe, he has extensive experience in global markets and is well known for his expertise. Dr. Hopf earned a Masters of Computer Science degree and a PhD in Business Administration from Regensburg University, Germany.

Harold (Ken) Campbell is a Senior Solution Architect at Dolphin Enterprise solutions. Ken has almost 40 years experience in enterprise applications and spent 19 years at SAP where he was a member of the Performance, Data Management and Scalability team. He has deep knowledge of SAP performance management with specialization in data archiving product management and SAP ILM. He is a graduate of Illinois State University and is a sought after speaker at conferences.

Prepare Your Enterprise Data for a Move to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA

Matthew Shea: I am very pleased to be joined by Dolphin's Dr. Werner Hopf, CEO and President, and Ken Campbell, Senior Solution Architect. They will be answering your questions on crafting a successful information management strategy. Please give them a warm welcome!

Werner: Hi Matthew, thanks for inviting us. Looking forward to today's session

Ken Campbell: Hello — Nice to be here today.

Matthew Shea: Thank you to everyone who has posted a question so far. Please enter your questions in the chat window below, set your display name, enter your question, then select Send. Questions will go to moderation, and then will be published in the chat window once answered by the panelists.

Comment From Casimiro Hernández: Which would be recommended for an on-premise customer if they want migrate to SAP S/4HANA — cloud migration or on-premise migration?

Ken Campbell: Once a corporate decision as to the new environment is made, the data management storage solution in general should follow the same path.

Comment From Hernando Paez: Our company is interested in migrating to SAP S/4HANA but would like to save money on hardware. Is there a way to decrease costs?

Werner: Assuming your current database size is 30TB, there is a high probability that you can significantly reduce the total cost for your migration to SAP S/4HANA by archiving older data before starting the migration to SAP HANA. How much reduction you can accomplish depends on how much history is still in your current system that is no longer needed for day-to-day operations. For large systems like yours, we’ve seen space savings of more than 70%. This would significantly reduce the hardware cost for your SAP HANA environment. Please check with SAP if reducing your database size would also lower license cost.

Comment From Ned: When should I start preparing my data for the move to SAP HANA?

Werner: Start as early as possible for the best results. You may want to read this case study as an example of how a planned information management strategy can deliver immediate benefits and make the transition to SAP HANA faster and easier:

Comment From Jamie: What are the top three things I should know about data management before moving to SAP HANA?

Ken Campbell: OData management or housekeeping will be an important step as you move to SAP HANA, particularly if you are converting an existing system. Even companies choosing to do a greenfield implementation can benefit from having a data management strategy in place to manage the data left behind in legacy systems after the move. Here are three ways that data management can help you prepare for SAP HANA:

  1. Reduce cost by shrinking the size of the existing SAP database before moving to SAP HANA. As discussed by Carl Dubler of SAP in his presentation, “The SAP S/4HANA Journey from October On” ( — “The number one way to control the cost of SAP HANA is to really be smart about your data archiving strategy.”
  2. Reduce time and effort for upgrade/migration with smaller systems and easy access to archived data for users. For example, our customer Dr Pepper Snapple Group was able to reduce the time required to complete the migration to SAP HANA by almost one day, which is significant when you consider the company had only a 72-hour window to complete the task. See the full presentation from SAPPHIRE at
  3. Reduce risk by archiving business complete data — purging data that is no longer needed and decommissioning legacy systems that are replaced by SAP HANA. According to a survey by SAP, approximately 50% of data in SAP systems is over 2 years old (see “TechEd 2016: ITM211 Data Volume Management in the Context of SAP S/4HANA Conversions” for more information). Some of that data does need to be retained, but all other data should be purged when it reaches end of life.

Comment From Caitlyn: Will I still be able to access data archived from my legacy systems once I move to SAP HANA?

Werner: Absolutely! Data archived in previous SAP releases can still be accessed after moving to SAP HANA.

Comment From Theo: How does data management change when I move to SAP HANA?

Ken Campbell: OData aging is one way to manage data after moving to SAP HANA, but you’ll find that practicing good data hygiene before you move to SAP HANA will significantly improve the conversion process and keep costs low once you’re on the new platform.

Comment From Brianne: Is there a difference between data aging and data archiving in SAP HANA?

Ken Campbell: OData aging manages data volume from within the database environment for SAP S/4HANA simplified structures, while data archiving remains the solution for data management in SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA applications which have not been updated to the simplified structures (storing archived data external to the database environment while providing for occasional access as required).

Comment From Jonathan: What kind of data compression can I realistically expect when I move to SAP HANA?

Werner: Based on experience from actual migration projects, you can expect compression ratios between 2.5x - 4x, depending on compression in your existing database.

Comment From Stan: Do I need to think about data management if I’m doing a fresh install (greenfield) of SAP S/4HANA?

Ken Campbell: Yes, consider decommissioning to reduce the risk, cost, and complexity of your SAP landscape. All structures in the SAP S/4HANA environment which have not been simplified will need to be archived to manage the growth of the related business objects over time.

Comment From Greg: How is a data management strategy for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA different from one for SAP S/4HANA?

Werner: The overall goal for data lifecycle management stays the same — keep information online as long as it needs to be updated and/or is frequently used. But there are differences in details: SAP S/4HANA introduces a new, simplified data model compared to SAP Business Suite. This will require new aging/archiving objects, while existing objects will no longer be required.

Comment From Peter: When migrating to SAP HANA, how concerned should I be about the limitations of the runtime SAP HANA database license? I'm used to having full database usage rights.

Ken Campbell: Data management functions are part of the core SAP processes and therefore a database runtime license should not impact the application's ability to manage data growth.

Comment From Niket: Is there a tool for attachment and notes migration to OpenText?

Werner: If you are referring to SAP Office attachments, they can be migrated from the SOFFCONT1 database table to any SAP-certified external content repository.

Comment From Philip: Are there any differences in preparing data for a move to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA from SAP ECC 6.7?

Werner: The primary goal for both scenarios is the same: reduce the database footprint as much as possible before starting the migration in order to minimize hardware cost and shorten the downtime during the migration.

Comment From Guest: Are you talking about an SAP archiving tool or a third party tool? What would be the strategy to store the archived data: all in SAP or other platforms/VMWare?

Ken Campbell: Data archiving is accomplished using standard SAP ADK methodology. Third party tools can be used to increase efficiency and usability of the standard capability. Storage of the archived data usually is in a third-party ArchiveLink certified storage.

Comment From Philip: Should companies try to reduce any size of data before migrating to SAP HANA? Our data is less than a terabyte (around 0.8TB) and we have almost eight years of data.

Ken Campbell: In your case, SAP HANA compression will reduce the database size by a good amount and archiving data may not seem to be a priority in this case. Data management is still a function you may want to look into for a couple of reasons. First, simply to ensure that only active and relevant data is moved into your SAP HANA environment, but just as importantly, that your organization's legal retention policies are being addressed by removing data no longer meeting those policies.

Comment From Terri: My company has a 7TB database. We have never archived but now we have a project to move to SAP S/4HANA and a mandate to reduce the database to 5TB before the migration. How quickly can an archiving project be up and running and providing quantifiable results?

Werner: Using the right tools, you should be able to meet your size reduction target within about 3 months. The keys to success are:

  • Shorten the implementation time by utilizing add-on tools for transparent access to archived information. This will eliminate pushback from users/data owners and reduce your change management effort.
  • Use automation to speed up the archiving process and avoid slow, costly, and error-prone manual activities
  • Store archived information in a modern, highly-efficient content repository to ensure high performance for storage and retrieval of archived information

Matthew Shea: We have time for a few more questions before the chat wraps up at 1:30pm EDT! Thank you everyone!

Comment From DuaneFlier: SAP S/4HANA literature talks a lot about not storing inventory position data and instead calculating it on the fly from material documents. How does that work with archiving policies?

Werner: There is not much experience yet in how data aging will impact the performance for on-the-fly calculation of balances and totals in large systems. For archived information, balances/totals have to be pre-aggregated since archived data could potentially be completely offline.

Comment From DuaneFlier: Are there any particular areas where data aging provides a significant benefit even when an archiving strategy is also in place? For example, archived sales orders and purchase orders older than five years.

Ken Campbell: Data aging and data archiving provide data management functions. Simply put, data aging applies to simplified structures in the SAP S/4HANA environment. Data archiving remains the solution for data management in SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA environments as well as for the functional areas of SAP S/4HANA still executing on standard structures.

Comment From Sankara, BAVIRISETTI: What is best way to handle Internet of Things (IoT) data coming into SAP HANA? What is best way to manage the history of data and response time if a customer moved cold data to external storages?

Werner: A great way to store IoT data — or any other high volume data that does not change anymore — is by utilizing a columnar database like SAP IQ. It combines high compression ratios with very good read performance.

Some of our customers use SAP IQ for indexing and caching of archived high volume data (several billions of records) with very good results.

Matthew Shea: Thank you everyone who submitted a question. The panelists are answering the last few now.

Comment From Susan Topping: What is the SAP S/4HANA migration cost difference between 7TB vs 14TB database sizes?

Werner: Total cost reduction depends on several factors (hardware architecture for SAP S/4HANA, number of copies of your production systems, cost for downtime during migration, and so on). Reducing your database size from 14TB to 7TB should allow you to also reduce your in-memory capacity by 50% — multiply the cost savings per system by the number of PRD copies in your environment.

Comment From GURAMRITPAL SINGH: What are the prerequisites for data migration from a legacy SAP system to SAP S/4 HANA? What would be the key features of a cutover strategy for such migrations?

Ken Campbell: SAP provides the system level prerequisites. Operationally, the key component will be to limit the migration effort only to relevant and active data in the new environment.

Matthew Shea: Thank you, Werner and Ken, for your time and all your insightful answers! I will send everyone an email when the transcript of the chat is posted.

An email has been sent to:

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