1 Enterprise Data Management Solutions February 2008 IBM Information Management software Anatomy of an Oracle E-Business Suite archiving project
2 Page 2 Contents 2 Executive summary 3 What is enterprise data management? 4 Why archive? 5 Managing your Oracle E-Business suite archiving project 6 Seven basic principles for archiving Oracle E-Business Suite data 21 Archiving: the time to begin is now Executive summary Business-critical ERP applications, such as Oracle E-Business Suite, represent an ongoing corporate investment. These applications empower new business initiatives, support daily operations and drive revenue generation. They also collect and accumulate a wealth of business information a valuable asset that must be managed and preserved throughout its lifecycle. Companies worldwide are affirming the value of database archiving as a best practice for managing data growth, completing faster application upgrades and supporting data retention compliance initiatives. In fact, enterprise data management that includes database archiving as a best practice can deliver business value and a greater return on investment from your mission-critical business applications. So, what are the basics of an archiving project? What are the benefits? What factors should sites consider to successfully implement a full-lifecycle data management strategy? As with any major project, up-front planning drives success. This white paper explains how the seven basic principles for managing enterprise application data can help your organization: Establish effective policies for full-lifecycle enterprise data management to control data growth and lower storage costs. Meet service level goals to achieve the timely completion of key business processes for mission-critical applications. Support data retention compliance initiatives and mitigate risk for audits and e-discovery requests. Implement scalable archiving strategies that easily adapt to your ongoing business requirements.
3 Page 3 The IBM Optim Data Growth Solution for Oracle E-Business Suite is a consistent, scalable solution that includes comprehensive capabilities for managing enterprise application data across applications, databases, operating systems and hardware platforms. Learn how you can align the management of your enterprise application data with your business objectives to improve application service levels, lower costs and mitigate risk. What is enterprise data management? Your Oracle E-Business Suite applications simply must deliver measurable business value. So how can you capitalize on your investment? The answer rests in your ability to align continuous control of your application data with your business objectives through the power of enterprise data management. More Oracle E-Business Suite sites are realizing the benefits of a full-lifecycle data management strategy that includes database archiving to derive more business value and provide more options for: Managing continued application data growth and its impact on service levels, operational costs and risks, as well as storage requirements. Aligning application performance and service levels to meet operational and business objectives, for example, timely financial reporting and payroll processing. Supporting data retention compliance requirements and effective storage strategies that keep historical transaction records accessible. Improving the management of application upgrades to eliminate costly downtime.
4 Page 4 Why archive? According to a 2006 study conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), database archiving has helped companies mitigate the harmful impact of rapid data growth. 1 Archiving strategies, whether applied to ERP, CRM, custom or legacy applications, are shown to provide benefits to both the IT organization and the lines of business. Clearly, archiving has crossed the chasm to become an operational best practice. The research also reveals that enterprises are leveraging the deployment of archiving to address issues beyond data growth. For example, companies are applying archiving strategies to improve the application upgrade process. Archiving historical application data prior to an upgrade reduces the amount of data to convert and substantially curtails downtime. In short, enterprise data management and database archiving capabilities deliver benefits that support IT and business objectives. However, before you can get started, consider the following capabilities as essential requirements for any successful archiving project: Supporting full-lifecycle archiving. Focus on managing archives and retention periods cost-effectively and consistently over the full lifespan of your data. Capabilities for saving archives on a variety of storage media allow you to future-proof methods for managing data, based on its business value and access requirements. Keep business records accessible until legal retention periods expire and archives can be deleted. Archiving administration, integration and control. Focus on managing archive processing using capabilities that easily adapt to your Oracle E-Business Suite customizations. Look for capabilities that offer superior safety, control, job separation, administration and integration with Oracle E-Business Suite.
5 Page 5 Archiving complete business objects. Focus on ensuring the integrity of the archived data in its complete business context. For example, archiving a complete paycheck business object would include time and labor transaction details, as well as the employee master data needed to fulfill reporting requirements, without ties to production data. Managing your Oracle E-Business Suite archiving project The process of planning and implementing an effective database archiving project must include some basic project management considerations. The following guidelines will be helpful: Involve all stakeholders to align the business and legal requirements with the technology infrastructure to meet them. Establish clear lines of accountability and individual responsibility. Ensure that IT, business units and compliance professionals work together. Establish common objectives for promoting archiving best practices within your organization. It is important to ensure that business functional users are appropriately involved with IT and informed about how their information is managed and how their business requirements for data access will be met. Monitor, review and update documented archiving policies and procedures. Continue to improve archive processes to support your ongoing business objectives for managing continued data growth, providing appropriate application service levels and supporting retention compliance requirements.
6 Page 6 Seven basic principles for archiving Oracle E-Business Suite data Every Oracle E-Business Suite archiving project begins with asking pertinent questions, as you consider a variety of options for managing application data. After you determine which approach best suits your organization s requirements, you can evaluate solution alternatives that support that approach. Field experience has shown that there are seven basic principles for archiving and managing Oracle E-Business Suite data: Table 1. Basic principles summary Principle Assess Classify Archive Store Access Tune Dispose Description Determine which applications and modules are most in need of archiving, grouping them into categories based on your business requirements. Document functional business rules and data retention policies to govern active, inactive and compliance-managed data. Segregate historical business objects or transaction records from current activity. Safely move them to a secure archive. Store archived historical records securely and cost-effectively, according to the evolving business value. Apply service levels that provide authorized business users with access to the historical records on demand. Monitor operations to verify that archive operations continue to support desired service levels and access requirements. Prevent information assets from becoming information liabilities by deleting historical records after they are no longer required for compliance or business purposes.
7 Page 7 Each of these basic principles and the questions you should consider in designing your archiving project are discussed in more detail in the remainder of this paper. Principle 1: Assess your Oracle E-Business Suite applications Accumulating current transactions and retaining historical transactions in the same database causes the volume of application data to increase exponentially. As a first step in assessing your Oracle E-Business Suite portfolio, determine which applications and modules are demonstrating the symptoms of rapid data growth: delayed report processing, slow response for ad hoc queries and increased downtime during upgrades. Are these problems more prevalent for some applications than others? When transaction processing slows down, how is your business affected? Consider also your future plans for upgrading Oracle E-Business Suite applications. Where might you save money by decommissioning application versions that no longer add value? What applications need to be upgraded, and when? All of these issues will impact your data management strategy. With these ideas in mind, you can group your Oracle E-Business Suite applications based on their unique parameters. Suggested categories are described in Table 2.
8 Page 8 Table 2. Assess your applications Mission critical Oracle E-Business Suite applications that are critical to your daily business operations. For example, the inability to meet SLAs for completing month-end close financial reporting or weekly payroll processing could potentially be devastating to your business. Candidates for upgrade Oracle E-Business Suite applications that are important to your daily business operations and must be upgraded to a newer version to take advantage of new features or ease maintenance requirements. Candidates for retirement Legacy versions of Oracle E-Business Suite applications that are no longer actively in use. Not only do these applications add clutter to your IT infrastructure, but they also drain valuable resources and increase operational risks. When designing your archiving project, keep in mind that each application category will have its own requirements. As an example, imagine a company called Acme Manufacturing, which has identified both mission-critical Oracle E-Business Suite applications, as well as upgrade and retirement targets that may benefit from archiving (see Table 3). Table 3. Application assessment example Application Assessment Module Business object Financials V Mission Critical General Ledger Journals Financials V10.7 Retirement (Sunset) General Ledger Journals Supply Chain V Upgrade Purchasing Purchase Orders to V
9 Page 9 Acme s goal for archiving historical data from its mission-critical Financials V application is to boost service levels and achieve timely completion of General Ledger (GL) period-end financial closing. Financials V will replace Financials V10.7, now targeted for retirement. Archiving from V10.7 will allow Acme to preserve historical financial records in a reference snapshot format to support compliance readiness. Lastly, archiving historical purchase orders prior to the upgrade from Supply Chain V to V will reduce the volume of records to convert to the new version and speed the upgrade process. Principle 2: Classify business objects Business objects such as, journals, ledgers, paychecks, purchase orders and invoices represent the basic building blocks of application processing. Classification schemes can be based on any criteria. However, as a simple example, you can classify a business object based on its business value or how often it needs to be accessed. By classifying these objects, you can begin to define the rules for managing them at different stages in the information lifecycle. Consider the following questions: What are the post-archive use cases? In other words, who needs access to the archives and for what purpose? Do access requirements change as the archives age?
10 Page 10 An example of a data classification scheme, based on business value, is shown in the Table 4. Table 4. Classify business objects Critical Used in key business processes. Required to support minimum acceptable work levels in the event of a disaster. Must be retained for legal reasons. Vital Used in routine business processes. Represents a substantial investment of company resources that may be difficult to recoup. May not be required immediately in the event of a disaster. May be considered company confidential or secret. Essential Used in routine business operations for which there are alternate sources available. Can be reconstructed fairly easily in case of loss. Non-critical Can be reconstructed easily with minimal cost. Duplicates existing data that has minimal security requirements. Again, archive deployment requirements will vary across applications, business objects and use cases. Continuing with our example, Acme s classification scheme might be planned as shown in Table 5.
11 Page 11 Table 5. Data classification example Application/ Business object/ Production Online Offline Delete module classification archive archive Financials Journals/Critical Years 1 to 2 Years Years Yes, after V / 3 to 5 6 to 10 Year 10 General Ledger Financials Journals/Vital N / A N / A Years Yes, after V10.7/ n to 10 Year 10 General Ledger Supply Chain Purchase Orders/ Years 1 to 2 Years Years Yes, after V11.5.5/ Critical 3 to 5 6 to 8 Year 8 Purchasing Acme plans to archive historical GL Journals in the Financials V application. For the first 2 years, records remain in production. In years 3 to 5, these records move to an online archive, where Finance Department analysts will use them for trend analysis and reporting. In years 6 to 10, the records move to an offline archive to address retention compliance requirements. Should Acme receive an e-discovery request, the Controller can query the archives to generate financial reports. If necessary, she can even retrieve archived records and restore them to a reporting environment. After year 10, the legal retention period expires, and the records can be deleted. In retiring the Financials V10.7 application, Acme will archive the GL Journal records and maintain them in an offline environment for 10 years and then delete them. Lastly, the approach differs for the Supply Chain V application, which is targeted for upgrade to V Archiving purchase order records more than 2 years old prior to the upgrade will speed critical database conversion activities.
12 Page 12 Principle 3: Archive historical business records Archiving is the process of segmenting business objects (application transaction records) based on business rules, such as age and status. These records are then safely moved to a secure archive. Consider the following questions: Does archive processing capture complete business objects, including both transaction detail and master or reference data? Does archive processing perform the appropriate functional condition checks? Archive complete business objects. Conceptually, the complete business object represents a historical point-in-time snapshot of a business transaction. This historical snapshot must include both transaction details and related master and reference information. Archiving complete business objects helps ensure that all the related details, master and reference data remain together. When the complete business object is captured, your archives serve as an intact, accurate, standalone repository of transaction history. You can query this repository to respond to customer inquiries or e-discovery requests, without the need to retrieve information stored in a production or history database. In contrast, when a history database is simply split off from the production database, it contains only the transaction details. Storing master and reference data separately from transaction details introduces unnecessary risk into your archiving project, possibly creating orphans for any transaction records, where master information records have been changed or deleted. Acme Manufacturing has validated that its selected archive solution captures the complete Financials and Supply Chain business objects, leaving no orphan records behind.
13 Page 13 Perform archive condition checks. In addition to archiving complete business objects, the archive process should also perform the appropriate functional condition checks. These condition checks identify which specific records in a defined group are safe and appropriate to archive. For example, an invoice should not necessarily be archived simply because it is two years old. Before moving to the archive, the invoice must first be fully paid and posted. You should validate that the archive process applies all the necessary condition checks. Principle 4: Store archives throughout the full data lifecycle Storage decisions play a major role in project planning, and archiving offers the potential for substantial storage savings. Focus your analysis on full-lifecycle archive capabilities so you can easily manage archives and retention periods cost-effectively for 3 years, 7 years or 10-plus years into the future. Consider the following questions: In what format should we store our archives? Can we compress the archives to maximize storage savings? Can we index archives for faster retrieval? How many storage tiers and what types of storage devices should be deployed? NAS or SAN? WORM devices? Optical disk? Tape? What business objects should be placed on which storage devices, and for what periods of time? How do we manage archives throughout the full lifecycle? Alternatives for archive formats. Determine whether to store archives in a database, in a file, or perhaps in different formats at different points in time. Each alternative offers benefits. For example, when you begin an archiving project, your staff can probably manage an archive database easily. However, as time progresses, the archive database can balloon to the size of the original production environment, forcing you to archive that database as well. Any potential storage savings are erased, and project management efforts quickly become burdensome.
14 Page 14 In contrast, compressed archive files require a smaller footprint, so you can maximize storage savings. What if you could compress archives by up to 20 percent and retain full SQL read support? Compression capabilities would reduce storage requirements and costs. Compressed files can also be indexed, enabling rapid retrieval of archived data. Most importantly, managing archives in a file format offers the broadest range of access methods over the full lifespan of the archive. You can use a variety of industry standard access methods, like ODBC/JDBC, XML and SQL, and reporting tools, like Business Objects, Cognos or even Microsoft Excel. Leveraging this access path, you future-proof your archives because you can retain access long after the originating application has been upgraded, changed or even retired. Tiered storage options enable greater cost savings. Consider storing archived data based on its business value and access requirements. Over time, the value of a business transaction naturally declines unless needed to respond to an immediate request. However, as long as transaction records remain within their legal retention period, the business value will never be reduced to zero. Accordingly, Acme must have the capability to access to its archives throughout the retention period. If the company should receive an audit inquiry, it will require flexible access alternatives to provide a prompt and accurate response. When Acme Manufacturing first books a sales order, its highest priority is to fulfill that order. Once the order is shipped and payment collected, Acme will shift its resources to fulfilling the next order, and so on. Yet, without an archiving strategy, Acme must use the same expensive storage resources for all orders regardless of priority.
15 Page 15 Archiving enables Acme Manufacturing to deploy a tiered storage strategy and assign the appropriate level of resources to each transaction, based on priority, age, status or other parameters. Tiered storage strategies can be managed manually or using an integrated storage controller, such as IBM Tivoli or Symantec, to improve control and administration throughout the lifecycle. As an example of full-lifecycle management, new sales orders are maintained in the production environment, on the fastest (and most expensive) storage devices available. After two years, shipped and paid orders are archived and stored in a less-expensive, nearline storage environment, where they remain until the end of year five. In year six, the records shift out of the nearline archive and onto a secure WORM ( Write Once, Read Many ) device. They are deleted upon expiry, in year eight. Principle 5: Access the archives Early in the project planning process, you determined your post-archive use cases; that is, who needs access to archived data, what they do with it and so forth. These use cases become the primary driver for selecting the optimal access method. Consider the following questions: What access methods are available to us? What are the costs and benefits of each? What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are appropriate for accessing the various archived business objects? Do these SLAs vary over time? Would we ever want to retrieve transactions from an archive and reload them to a temporary environment? Your goal is to analyze the use cases versus the cost-of-access to determine the optimal SLAs.
16 Page 16 Alternatives for accessing archives. Typical alternatives for accessing archived data include native (application-based) access and applicationindependent access. Some archive solutions provide only one access method or the other, but few provide both. You need to weigh the advantages of each method for meeting your specific access requirements. For example, native access allows you to interact with archived data through Oracle E-Business Suite forms. This method allows functional users to access the information they need, using familiar formats and processes. However, if you plan on retiring an application and still want to retain access to your archives, application-independent access may be the better alternative. Application-independent access provides the most flexible range of access alternatives over the life of the archive. This approach enables authorized functional users to interact with archives using industry standard methods, such as ODBC/ JDBC, XML tools, and report writers, like Cognos and Business Objects. Most importantly, application-independent access allows you to future-proof your data. This approach makes it possible to access historical transaction records long after an Oracle version has been retired. Apply distinct access and service levels. While government regulations require that certain records be retained for specific periods of time, subsecond retrieval is not necessarily a requirement. In fact, archiving makes it possible to apply discrete service levels for different use cases and business objects. Accordingly, Acme Manufacturing will provide more resources and faster service for mission-critical business activities. However, where priorities are less urgent, the company can reduce resource allocation and still meet user needs. Incorporating both distinct service levels and optimal access methods for each scenario, a sample of the company s full-lifecycle archiving deployment is shown in Table 6.
17 Page 17 Table 6. Access your archives Application/module/ Storage tier Archive SLA business object deployment access method Financials Online Years 1 to 2 Native On Demand V /GL/Journals Nearline Years 3 to 5; Application Standard reports Offline Years 6 to 10; Independent on demand; Delete after Year 10 Ad-hoc queries, based on access capabilities of storage hardware Financials Offline Years n to 10; Application Ad-hoc queries, V10.7/GL/All Objects Delete after Year 10 Independent based on access capabilities of storage hardware Supply Chain Online Years 1 to 2 Native On Demand V11.5.5/Purchasing/ Purchase Orders Nearline Years 3 to 5; Application Standard reports Offline Years 6 to 8; Independent on demand; Delete after Year 8 Ad-hoc queries, based on access capabilities of storage hardware Principle 6: Tune archive operations Tuning involves monitoring operations to verify that archiving processes operate efficiently and continue to support service level goals. Consider the following questions: How quickly does data continue to accumulate? How often, and when, should we archive? Should our processes be automated or manual? Online or offline? Does archive administration have a native Oracle look and feel? Does processing incorporate our site-specific Oracle customizations? Do our routine archive processes operate according to our expectations? How well is database archiving supporting our business objectives?
18 Page 18 Determine the optimal frequency for archive processing. Periodically monitoring data growth in the application database is the best way to determine the optimal frequency for archive processing. Your goal is to maintain response times and application availability to support your defined SLAs. Continued rapid data growth may signal a need to increase the frequency of archiving or to expand the scope to incorporate additional business objects. Databases are architected to perform at high speed when you add or update data, not necessarily when you delete it. The process of deleting data is expensive, meaning that it creates overhead for the database. Therefore, it may sometimes be necessary to evaluate indexing and partitioning strategies and tune the SQL to make the delete process run more efficiently. With these points in mind, Acme s IT group will periodically review the effectiveness of their archiving operations, looking for ways to refine their deployment for even greater business value. Initially, General Ledger data will be archived annually. Purchasing records older than two years will be archived before the Oracle upgrade and quarterly thereafter. Evaluate archive administration and controls. Ensuring archiving administration, control and job separation, as well as integration with Oracle E-Business Suite, are important considerations. Consider an archiving solution that provides separate design and run-time components that allow you to define and manage archiving business rules and processing jobs. Capabilities that support complex relationships, third party application integrations and interfaces would provide needed flexibility for archive processing.
19 Page 19 Since the majority of Oracle sites have implemented customizations to meet specific business needs, verify that the archive process incorporates and adapts to your sitespecific customizations. For example, the solution should offer a clean visual editing environment where custom tables can be added easily. As validation, preview the table traversals, including the custom tables, before executing the archive process. Also consider capabilities to preview archived data prior to a delete or load process for validation, as well as capabilities to set commit rates and perform selective undo. Principle 7: Dispose of expired business records In a business climate conditioned to strict retention requirements, the concept of data disposal seems counterintuitive. Both business executives and IT managers hesitate to delete application records for fear of legal repercussion. However, it is not only expensive to retain everything forever, it is also risky. Any data that exists can become a target for discovery. As a prudent and cost-effective alternative, organizations are mapping retention policies to defined business objects, enabling an orderly disposal. Consider the following questions: Who decides the retention policies for each business object? How should we dispose of archived data after the retention period expires? Can the process be automated? What audit trails will prove that data has been deleted according to our policies?
20 Page 20 Promote cross-functional ownership. Typically, the business units own the data and set the data management policies, while IT owns the infrastructure and controls data management processes. Accordingly, business managers are responsible for defining who can touch the data and what they can do with it. IT must implement a technology infrastructure that supports these business policies. Promoting cross-functional ownership for data management, archiving, storage and retention policies is perhaps the greatest indicator of project success because all groups have a vested interest in a positive outcome. In practice, organizations build cross-functional teams to define data management and archiving policies. So that all relevant issues can be considered, these teams will commonly include line-of-business representatives, application owners, DBAs, storage administrators, legal counsel, risk managers and other subject-matter experts. Business managers can define use cases, legal counsel can map retention requirements to deletion policies, and IT can validate that the archive process meets the defined requirements. Plan and practice an orderly disposal. After all stakeholders have signed off on the archiving and data retention policies, IT can develop a plan to implement those policies. Consider solutions that generate notification reports, identifying which archives are nearing expiry. You may want to initiate the delete process manually at first, until the practice of deleting expired data becomes more comfortable. Later on, you may want the option to perform automated deletion upon expiry. Finally, verify that the archive process provides an adequate audit trail, so that you can verify compliance to your stated deletion policies. To conclude our example, Acme s CIO consulted with both General Counsel and the CFO to determine how and when to delete expired data. The group was most concerned about General Ledger transactions, which are subject to legislative requirements. Based on the General Counsel s input, Acme will delete its General Ledger archives upon expiry of the legal retention period; that is, after year ten.
21 Page 21 Archiving: the time to begin is now Effective enterprise data management strategies that include database archiving capabilities provide companies with a full-lifecycle approach for managing Oracle E-Business Suite application data. The basic principles for managing application data presented in this paper can help you initiate and plan an archiving strategy that meets your organization s requirements. Database archiving is a recognized best practice for managing data growth that offers significant advantages. Only the IBM Optim Data Growth Solution for Oracle E-Business Suite provides proven, full-lifecycle capabilities for archiving and managing application data, with the broadest range of implementation options to support your long-term success. Now is the time to exploit the power of enterprise data management for Oracle E-Business Suite so you can realize measurable business value across your enterprise: Align application performance with business processes and profit from superior performance and availability. Simplify database administration, help support business continuity and speed disaster recovery. Streamline application and database upgrades and reduce resource requirements for key IT operations. Automate data retention to support compliance initiatives and respond quickly and accurately to audit and discovery requests. Leverage existing investments in applications, databases and storage, and eliminate IT budget variances.
22 Page 22 Optim supports all leading enterprise databases and operating systems, including IBM DB2, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Informix, IBM IMS, IBM VSAM, Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux and IBM z/os. And it supports the key ERP and CRM applications in use today Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Siebel and Amdocs CRM, as well as your custom and packaged applications. Optim provides the flexibility to manage large volumes of data over long periods of time, allowing you to deploy whatever business policies you determine are appropriate for managing your valuable application data. Our enterprise data management experts and our partners work with your project team to define business objectives and processes for managing enterprise application data in your environment. After implementation, you can count on continued optimization and technical support.
23 Page 23 About IBM Optim IBM Optim enterprise data management solutions focus on critical business issues, such as data growth management, data privacy compliance, test data management, e-discovery, application upgrades, migrations and retirements. Optim aligns application data management with business objectives to help optimize performance, mitigate risk and control costs, while delivering capabilities that scale across enterprise applications, databases and platforms. Today, Optim helps companies across industries worldwide capitalize on the business value of their enterprise applications and databases, with the power to manage enterprise application data through every stage of its lifecycle. For more information To learn more about IBM Optim enterprise data management solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or visit:
24 Copyright IBM Corporation 2008 IBM Software Group 111 Campus Drive Princeton, NJ USA, Fax Produced in the United States of America All Rights Reserved. 1 Brian Babineau, Database Archiving: A simple approach to Intelligent Information Management with tangible benefits, Intelligent Information Management Brief, Enterprise Strategy Group, May DB2, IBM, the IBM logo, IMS, Informix, Optim, VSAM and z/os are trademarks or registered trademarks of the IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. Windows and SQL Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other company or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates or does business. IMW14020-USEN-00
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