IT-Conductor Blog

SAP Basis Post-Copy Automation with SID-Refresh

Posted by Linh Nguyen on Mar 29, 2017 10:44:00 AM

SID-Refresh v1.1

Figure 1: System Refresh Process

SID-Refresh Solution Page

Announcement

Our top download of all time has been the SID-Refresh tool for SAP ABAP Post-copy Automation (PCA), replacing the need for SAP Landscape Virtualization Manager (SAP LVM), a chargeable tool from SAP.  As of February 2017, we have superseded this Windows-only version with a Java version for all SAP platforms on Windows/Linux/Unix.  It is offered as a subscription service included FREE in our monitoring, or for separate purchase.  If interested, please Submit an Inquiry or visit the SID-Refresh Solution Page for further details on cost, and user guide.

Introduction

Manual Data Copy from production server to QA server represents huge challenges. Data refresh is a necessary process to transfer data from production systems to non-production servers such as Development, Quality, Training and Testing for variety of reasons such as, process improvement and QA. Almost routinely, developments and upgrades are tested before they are released.

Time constraint expresses itself in multiple ways.

  • The actual time taken to refresh the non-production servers is high if post-refresh tasks are done manually. Production/QA system downtime happens as a consequence of data transport operations hampering business critical activities.
  • System downtime is significantly high when Production data is large. System downtime leads to unnecessary project delays. When new business processes and testing of these processes is critical to meet Release dates, regular downtime and delays can be avoided by deploying efficient System Copy tools.
  • Another time constraint is the coordination of multi-client environment, between users at different locations with different schedules, to align the refresh process. This effort is critical, since it is found that during the long and tedious data refresh process the production system’s resources are fully utilized. This, in turn, impacts the performance and the stability of the production system.

Restrictions of traditional System Refresh and Copy Tools:

  • High capital outlay and maintenance costs
  • Complex installation process that includes dry-run process and extensive Planning
  • Additional hardware to create intermediary server called Migration (TDMS) Server
  • Creation of shadow copy of production system is often recommended at operational level

Desirable features of Copy/Refresh Tools:

  • Minimal hardware resource requirement
  • Easy-to-implement system landscape
  • Easy setup and installation with quick turnaround time
  • Cross Platform operations – across OS (Operating Systems) and Databases (multi-Architecture support)
  • SAP multi-version and multi-module support
  • Short implementation time-span
  • Automated process
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Output review
  • Error reporting

There are two ways of copying production data into the quality system to meet the business requirements:

Extract only portions of business data

There are available tools like SAP’s TDMS which has several benefits, but also has some added overheads – additional hardware requirements, complex installation and cost!

Copy the entire production database

Platforms and DBMS of a business suite is the same for non-production and production system - so this is used by majority of installations.

The production system contains both ‘business data’ and ‘technical data’ (i.e. configuration). So the challenge of this solution is to ensure that after the system refresh, the quality system still contain pre-refresh information to ensure that it is fully functional (e.g. RFC configuration, transport systems) and does not create any integrity issue.

Some examples of ‘integrity’ issues are

  • Testing report does not go to production printers
  • Testing results are not sent/emailed/faxed to actual business users
  • Only quality (and unlocked) users can login to the quality system.
  • No testing data is send other production system. For example, refreshed ECC system does not send data to ‘connected’ production BW/SCM system due to RFC configuration still pointing to production.

SID-RefreshTM

SID-Refresh is a new tool designed to simplify, automate, and optimize the process of updating the ‘technical data and configuration’. It has the following advantages:

  • Additional hardware is not required.
  • Minimal resources for implementation and operations
  • No major changes in the existing landscape
  • Supports SAP ECC5.0 and ECC6.0
  • Supports the update procedure for other applications such as SAP NetWeaver, Solution Manager and other (BI, CRM, and SCM will soon be added)
  • Easy implementation with minimal process
  • Can be deployed on platforms that use different Operating Systems and Database
  • It’s an Automated process
  • Minimizes Downtime
  • Increased integrity

SID-Refresh satisfies the majority of the required functionality mentioned in the Desirable features above. The current limitations include:

  • Refreshing systems between Unicode and non-Unicode
  • Testing for SAP BI, CRM, SCM scenarios (basis technical configurations would still work, but module specific technical configurations may not be covered)
  • No support for NetWeaver Java

As per Figure 1, the steps are

  1. Using SID-Refresh, export ‘technical data and configuration’ of the quality system
  2. Database copy of the production system into the quality system
  3. Using SID-Refresh to import back the ‘technical data and configuration’ of the quality system

The result is a quality system with the production system’s ‘business data’ and the original ‘technical data and configuration’ of the quality system.

As already mentioned, the program does not require additional hardware, there is no complex installation and configuration.

SAP Basis teams have provided us feedback over the last year which has led to this multi-platform version, one step closer to SAP Basis Automation of the common SAP system copy process.  Through our learning, we've prepared a series of usage videos, solution documentation.  Below is an FAQ list of ‘technical data and configuration’ that may be exported/imported using SID-Refresh. Note that selected options are saved on initial use, and can be reused on subsequent execution of the refresh.

SID-Refresh Features - v1.3

  1. What SAP ABAP Systems can SID-Refresh support?
    • Post activities for ALL Netweaver ABAP instance TYPEs (BW, ERP, HR, CRM, Solman)
  2. JOBs (T-Code SM37): Is it necessary to deschedule jobs on source or target using T-Code SE38 → BTCTRNS1 before or after DB refresh?
    • Not necessary, Stop SAP, only the connection with the database is required for import
    • SAP Job scheduling (saved from target) will be restored as part of SID-Refresh
  3. RFC Destinations (T-Code SM59): Do they need to be recreated or manually maintained in Target after DB refresh?
    • SID-Refresh will restore them
  4. Users (T-Code SU01, SU10): Is it necessary to run SU10 to block all non-system users?
    • Not necessary, Stop SAP on Target, only the connection with the database is required for SID-Refresh import
    • SID-Refresh can restore User Masters data (created with SU01)
  5. SAP LICENSE (T-Code SLICENSE): is manual re-installation of license files required?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import licenses
  6. System Check (T-Code SICK): Does it need to be run after DB refresh?
    • Manual execution, if necessary - Perform after SID-Refresh
  7. Change system settings(T-Code SE03):  Is it necessary to manually “Set System Change Option" after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import settings
  8. CTS (Customization & Transport System) settings(T-Code STMS):  Is manual re-adjustments of Transport Management System needed?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import TMS configuration
  9. SAP System Profile (T-Code RZ10):  Is it necessary to manually maintain or reimport/activate Start and Instance profiles after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these profiles
  10. CCMS Operation Modes (T-Code RZ13):  Is it necessary to manually maintain or adjust Opmodes after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these opmodes
  11. Printer Definitions (T-Code SPAD):  Is it necessary to manually maintain SAP printers after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these printers
  12. CCMS Logon Load Balancing Groups (T-Code SMLG):  Is it necessary to manually delete SOURCE logon groups and create TARGET logon goups after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these LOGON Groups
  13. CCMS RFC Processing Groups (T-Code RZ12):  Is it necessary to manually delete SOURCE RFC processing groups and create TARGET RFC processing groups after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these RFC Groups
  14. DBA Schedules (T-Code DB13):  Is it necessary to manually maintain SAP DBA Schedules after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these scheduled DBA actions
  15. Database Connections & Settings (T-Code DB02):  Is it necessary to manually maintain SAP DB Administration settings after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these DB settings for DB02/DBACOCKPIT
  16. SAP Mail Server Settings (TCode SCOT):  Is it necessary to manually maintain SAP SMTP Server Settings after DB Refresh ?
    • No,SID-Refresh will re-import these SAP mail configuration
  17. SAP EarlyWatch Settings (T-Code SDCCN):  Is it necessary to manually maintain EWA (EarlyWatch) service connections and verification jobs after DB Refresh?
    • No, SID-Refresh will re-import these SAP EarlyWatch configuration
  18. Delete Old Spool Requests (T-Code SPAD):  Is it necessary to delete old spool request after DB Refresh?
    • Yes, SID-Refresh can do this in future enhancement
  19. Clean Old CCMS Statistics DATA (T-Code ST03N):  Is it necessary to delete old CCMS stats after DB Refresh?
    • Yes, SID-Refresh can do this in future enhancement
  20. BW-Only (Report RS_BW_POST_MIGR):  Is it necessary to execute SAP BW cleanup after DB Refresh?
    • Yes, SID-Refresh can do this in future enhancement depending specific actions required
  21. CRM:  Is it supported?
    • Yes, SID-Refresh v1.3 supports Netweaver CRM 7.0 and above
  22. Customer-specified Config Tables:  Can custom tables be added to the list for export/import?
    • Yes, SID-Refresh v1.3.  This is for expert, customer understands and takes responsibilities for tables they specified.
Linh Nguyen

Written by Linh Nguyen

Linh was born in democratic Vietnam, escaped from the communist after the war as a boat-people refugee to Malaysia, subsequently immigrated to Australia where he attended high-school and completed dual-degrees in Computer Science & Computer Engineering in just 5 years. He started SAP career in Melbourne, then came to the US in the mid-1990s as a SAP technical consultant. He built a software and consulting company in Silicon Valley in 1996 named OZSoft and has been an entrepreneur with a passion to automate IT processes. In 2014, he started IT-Conductor, Inc. as CEO and co-founder along with David Stavisski, with the goal to help IT organizations to Stop Guessing and Start Managing by automating IT operations using a cloud-based platform IT-Conductor.

Topics: SAP Basis Automation, SAP LVM, SID-Refresh

FREE IT-Conductor Trial to Monitor SAP

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts

Subscribe to Email Updates