Choosing the best data archiving solution when decommissioning legacy systems

Erin McGann
| 3 min read

Decommissioning systems means taking archiving to the maximum – archiving a complete SAP system. This is a common scenario when talking about mergers and acquisitions, but also relevant for system upgrades and transformations, including migrations to S/4HANA. How do you deal with legacy systems while moving to S/4HANA? What happens with the data left behind? There are compliance and structuring issues to consider before choosing the right data archiving strategy for your organization.

Take care of data archiving during your transition to S4/HANA

In the context of moving to S/4HANA, we see that customers usually take a BLUEFIELD approach where not all data is taken over to S/4HANA. This has the benefit of cost and time savings, as your teams are only transforming the data that is currently in use. However, that also means some organizations end up with a couple of SAP systems which are not productive anymore. Those systems have to be maintained, which adds to license and hardware costs while draining on expert resources.

For compliance reasons, these systems need to be kept for an average of 10 years (sometimes up to 80 years!), depending on the industry and local legislations. Data needs to be available for auditors, users, or investigation teams in case of legal disputes. It’s also important to delete legacy data as soon as it’s legally possible to do so. Rather than keeping the old systems running, it’s better to move legacy data to storage where you can govern it and delete it selectively as needed.


How to choose a good data archiving solution for your legacy system

For decommissioning purposes, you don’t want to store your legacy data in your online SAP database, especially when running on HANA. Why? The more data you have on HANA, the more expensive this system will get. Ideally, that data would be stored in less expensive storage.

If you have a data lake (running on AWS, Google Cloud, Hadoop, Azure etc.) then you already have a perfect place for storing your legacy data. The question is how do you move it there and make it easily available for users? Fortunately, SNP Outboard ERP Archiving cuts and pastes data from SAP to any other storage. And yes – it’s almost as easy as Ctrl+C Ctrl+V.

We take all data from an SAP legacy system, convert it into business objects and put it into our SNP Outboard DataFridge solution. The beauty of this solution is it means users can access this data through the familiar SAP GUI through DataFridge’s out of the box browser which also supports custom HTML views on the decommissioned data.

For example, if you were doing a selective migration to S/4HANA, taking only the data from the last two years to the new system and the rest is left behind as cold data in the classical ERP system. In such a scenario, your users can access the legacy data through their current work environment. As they log into the S/4HANA installation, they can access the legacy data directly from the same place where they are managing their hot data. 

Data archiving best practices means more than just deletion

SNP Outboard DataFridge not only supports 20+ databases, including the most popular ones such as Hadoop, Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platform. It also comes with a built-in control system for data governance. This ensures compliance with GDPR, legal hold and retention rules. It’s like putting your data on autopilot – you can set the retention rules and the data purges itself whenever needed or legal holds to ensure specific data is skipped for the determined time.

Decommissioning and data transformation projects are time-consuming and resource intensive. SNP Outboard DataFridge makes things easier by streamlining the decommissioning process. If you use SAP’s standard decommissioning process, you have to comply with archiving conditions before you can fully decommission a system, like making sure all invoices are in a final or closed state before archiving. With DataFridge you can skip this step and decommission your system directly.

Make your structured data archiving strategy easy to implement

By using a tool like SNP Outboard DataFridge, you can simplify your data archiving without worrying about compliance issues or setting up complicated and time-consuming processes. It’s the easy way to save costs on your SAP HANA systems. Want to get started? Talk to us today. 


900-pixels (002)_Gartner SDA report

Gartner Market Guide for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement 

Data growth, M&A activity and continuous application modernization create siloed and unmanaged legacy data plus infrastructure technical debt.

This research gives I&O leaders a market overview of the technology that improves data management and enables application retirement.