For copying SAP data, LIC finds Data Sync Manager™ the cream of the crop
Growth is one of the signs of success. With growth in size comes growth in data, which means that data in a SAP system needs to be regularly copied to non-productive systems. For LIC, copying these systems was disruptive, demanding a production shutdown of about 13 hours. This was compounded by the delete on the acceptance system as well as the insert and the post-configuration, making the full interruption last up to nine days. For these reasons LIC sought a solution that could copy quickly, reduce DB space, and copy production systems without interruption. EPI-USE Labs’ Data Sync Manager proved to be the perfect answer, meeting every need and more.
Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) is one of the oldest farmer-owned cooperatives
in New Zealand, working to increase livestock performance and yield through genetics and proprietary processes. They have grown from humble beginnings over a hundred years ago to become a market-leading, multi-hundred million dollar company today, with offices around the world and in excess of 2000 staff during peak seasons.
LIC’S CHALLENGE: GROWTH
LIC has grown dramatically over the last 5 years, and with this has come a substantial growth in data. This Business and Customer data resides in their SAP systems and, as with any software, updates need to be applied regularly and continually. These updates need to be tested before being released into live environments. In the past, creating a copy of one of the SAP systems was a disruptive and painful procedure. A production outage was required every time copies needed to be made and, for their ECC and CRM systems, this invariably meant a 13-hour shut down. Of course, nobody could use the system while the copy or export was happening and, when adding the time it took to do the delete on the acceptance system, the insert, followed by the post-configuration, the full interruption lasted up to nine days! Needless to say, it was a painful and costly exercise.
Another major problem for LIC was increasing storage costs. LIC operate an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model, which means that an increase in production system size impacts their bottom line, particularly when it came to refreshing the entire dataset into the non-Production environments. Before implementing the EPI-USE Labs solution, costs were steadily rising and estimated at $110,000 per year.
“We’ve been able to reduce storage costs and free up 4 terabytes of storage” – Darryl Edwards, Database Administrator, LIC
LIC’s IT team needed a solution that would enable them to copy Production systems without interruption, make copies quickly and use less database space. Their choice to do this was the Data Sync Manager™ (DSM) suite of products from EPI-USE Labs. One of the products in particular, Client Sync, which enables data to be time-sliced, proved unbeatable as a space and cost saver.
Zag (formerly Soltius) and EPI-USE Labs helped LIC to dramatically reduce their data footprint and time copy processes with Data Sync Manager. DSM Client Sync was excellent for both their CRM and ERP systems, which each hover at 300 GB worth of transactional data. The company has now reduced the size of transactional data in these systems from 300 GB to around 100 GB each, a reduction that works out at 33% of the Production source. For LIC, the real win is that they can now realistically build 3 instances using the same space as one – and the one they have already created has had no bottom line impact.
IMMEDIATE UPDATES, NO MORE WAITING
Time savings have also been huge. Object Sync™ is another product in the Data Sync Manager Suite which allows LIC to copy ECC objects in real-time from production to The functional team can copy these as needed with no waiting for the next client copy.
This functionality proved invaluable when the LIC finance team needed to do a depreciation project on fixed assets for a new building. Part of the requirement was the need to refresh an amount of General Ledger (GL) data in order to test it. This was not a normal process for LIC and they were concerned it would take a long time to complete.
Using DSM Object Sync, LIC was able to copy these assets and the GL data from Production, export it in real-time while staff were still using it, transfer it on to a flat file and simply import it. To the amazement of all at LIC, the process was completed within an hour. A nine-day exercise had been reduced to just one hour. Needless to say the accountants were saved from a week’s work and they were “really blown away”.
“We used Object Sync to take the GL data out of production, exported it in real time, transferred it to a flat file and imported it through acceptance. The whole process took only one hour! Before this it would have been a nine-day exercise. Our accountants were really blown away!” – Darryl Edwards, Database Administrator, LIC
Such tangible benefits have had a huge effect. Nowadays when data is needed at LIC, the team can respond quickly rather than having to schedule a copy in weeks or months after it is actually required. Having real data enables LIC to solve issues very quickly, test accurately and find solutions to matters in production environments. There’s another added bonus: the IT team has a lot more personal time. Previously they would have had to work late into the night to monitor activities but now are able to schedule the task and just check the logs in the morning.
HR payroll has also benefitted. In the past, it was necessary to maintain a separate client in ERP for HR payroll. Then the payroll data would have to be scrambled. Now, using DSM it is possible to refresh that data from production for just HR payroll – there is no extra transactional data on that client. As Darryl Edwards, Database Administrator for LIC puts it, “The best IT systems are the ones the business doesn’t have to worry about – EPI-USE Labs’ DSM is one of those systems.”