Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Defining & Executing a Robust & Proactive BI System Content Storage Strategy

APOS Storage Center is your electronic vault for SAP BI report objects and instances, and all other system objects (e.g., universes, connections, calendars) that need safeguarding.

Your BI system content has value, but that value changes over time, depending upon a number of factors, which is why you need a rules-based system content storage strategy that takes those factors into account.
  • The value of content can be operational, in which case that value will decrease with time.
  • System content can have governance and compliance value, in which case its value will remain constant until a point in time at which it is no longer required for regulatory purposes.

Because BI provides operational value, there is a tendency for it to proliferate. Your system content's value should be reflected by its availability. If it has operational value, then it should be readily and quickly available via search, which means that content that no longer has operational value should be eliminated or archived in order to streamline the system and provide better search performance.

Backup, Archive & Selective Restore

APOS Storage Center backs up your system objects and archives instances. Just as important, it allows you to restore objects and instances selectively, to their original location, or to a new location, and in the original or neutral format.

If you have ever tried to restore an object from a network backup, you will immediately see the value of APOS Storage Center's selective restore feature. Read the County of Santa Clara Social Services Agency case study to see how this works in practice.

Combined with APOS Storage Center's report versioning capabilities, selective restore makes it possible to return to a report as it was at a point in time, so you can protect the viability of your report objects.

Selective restore also allows you to address audit requests quickly and efficiently. You can restore instances in a neutral format as documents of record to a folder and grant access to that folder for audit purposes without exposing the instances to scrutiny outside of the audit group, and without exposing other parts of your BI deployment to the audit group.

APOS Storage Center greatly simplifies the migration process, because it allows you to migrate only necessary system content. You can archive content not seen as essential. Should some of that archived content be needed, Storage Center gives you the ability to restore it selectively, to its original location or to any other location you specify.

APOS Storage Center gives you the flexibility to promote reports to your choice of locations, with or without a folder structure, and with your choice of instance and backup options. Because APOS Storage Center provides the ability to back up not just universes and reports, but all object types within your SAP BI system, you can use it to replicate an entire deployment, including user groups and all security settings. Using the LCMBIAR archive method, the whole system can be archived, then restored to a new environment.

Automated Cleanup

Because Web Intelligence reports are frequently user-generated, report instances tend to proliferate. Storage Center's archive capabilities allow you to archive instances to ensure continuity, while also allowing you to purge instances from your deployment with confidence to improve system organization and performance. Automating the cleanup of your SAP BI environment provides a simple means of mitigating content proliferation.

You can use the date the report was last run to trigger the backup of a report to APOS Storage Center and deletion of the report from the SAP BI system. Better still, if you are also using the APOS Insight metadata management, monitoring and audit solution, you can use the report's metadata from the Insight database for a more refined approach to automated cleanup. For example, you could use the date on which the report was last accessed to determine whether it should remain on the system or be backed up to APOS Storage Center.

Automating Your BI System Content Storage Strategy

A proactive BI system content storage strategy requires the technological capabilities to allow you to remove all unnecessary system content from the system, but make that content selectively restorable, and make your content replicable via promotion to another system.
APOS Storage Center gives you this and much more:
  • Back up of objects & instances
  • Archive of instances
  • Report versioning - retention of multiple versions of objects
  • Export to neutral formats
  • Granular, targeted, selective restore
  • Integration with content management systems
  • Automated purging of objects & instances
  • Automated clean up of unused objects and instances
  • Promotion
  • System replication
  • Migration preparation

A system content storage strategy is only as good as its execution, which is why finding ways to automate your BI system storage strategy is equally as important as formulating it. APOS Storage Center provides the means to gain and maintain control over your BI content.

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