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Data Archiving Product Information in Teamcenter

Siemens Experimenter Siemens Experimenter
Siemens Experimenter

Improved Data Archiving in Teamcenter

 

DataArchiving-1.jpgTeamcenter 11.4 adds support for the Near Line Archive feature allowing you to archive data from a production Teamcenter instance to a second Teamcenter instance designated as an archive.  

 

The goal of Near Line Archive is to move both database metadata and associated volume files that are not expected to be retrieved again from your production Teamcenter instance to the archive.   Archived data is searchable and can be restored quickly and completely back to the production instance as required.

 

 

When to Consider Archiving Data in Teamcenter

Over time as large volumes of data accumulate in Teamcenter there are several operational, technical and compliance reasons for archiving data.

DataArchiving-2.png

 

  • Database performance: as database size increases the database System Global Area (SGA) usage can be managed to help improve performance.
  • Ability to restore: having the ability to search and restore archived data on-demand, quickly and completely.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: You may have legal or regulatory requirements for long term retention and storage of data as part of a wider business strategy
  • Hardware: Near Line Archive can added to a production deployment with minimal additional hardware requirements and can help in reducing the window of time required to backup your production Teamcenter instance.

 

Installation and Deployment

DataArchiving-3.png Based on TcXML-enabled Teamcenter Multi-Site Collaboration, Near Line Archive leverages existing Multi-Site Integrated Directory Services Manager (IDSM) and Object Directory Service (ODS) services.  This allows fast data transfer, consistency and maintains data integrity.  

 

Near Line Archive can be added to a single-site Teamcenter instance or deployed into an existing Multi-Site federation seamlessly with a range of flexible deployment options.   It is also simple to integrate multiple archive Teamcenter instances into your infrastructure.

 

You can install and configure Near Line Archive manually or use new Teamcenter Environment Manager (TEM) installer options that have been added to streamline the deployment process.

 

 

To streamline the installation and configuration of Near Line Archive into a single step, enhancements to the Teamcenter Environment Manager (TEM) provide two options:

 

  • Connect to an existing database is an option allowing you to connect your production instance to another existing Teamcenter instance and designate it as an archive

 

  • Populate archive database allows you to populate a new database instance and setup Teamcenter volumes, designating that database as an archive

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Where required, File Server Cache (FSC) services are installed, as are Multi-Site Collaboration IDSM and ODS services.  Teamcenter site preferences are configured for both the archive and production instances and a new TC_DATA is created for the archive.   This ensures Near Line Archive is set up and configured and available for use after using the new TEM installer options and allows the archive to deployed using a Teamcenter shared binaries install with the production deployment.

 

Archive and Restore Functionality

The archive and restore functionality in Near Line Archive has seen enhancements made to the Teamcenter rich client, command line utilities and a new workflow action handler.

 

Rich Client

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In the Teamcenter Rich Client (RAC) new Archive and Restore menu options are exposed for system administrators to use under Tools à Multi-Site Collaboration à Unused Data menu option.   

 

The archive option is enabled when Item or 4GD Model or Element objects are first selected.

 

Once archived, data is searchable in the archive by using the Multi-Site Remote… saved query to search the archive from the production site.  Items returned in the search results can be restored back to the production site from which they were originally archived from.

 

The Teamcenter rich client has a number of user interface enhancements to provide an intuitive yet simplified user experience in selecting archive and restore options and scoping data to be excluded from the scope of an archive operation, such as standard parts in an assembly.  Options for both archive and restore include:

 

  • Background processing allowing you to continue to work with the rich client whilst archiving and restoring data.
  • Include BOM option which allows assembly components at all levels to be included.
  • Dry Run option to allow you to validate the archive or restore operation without making any changes to either instance.
  • Generate Report which creates an HTML report for the archive or restores operation once completed.DataArchiving-6.PNG

     

 

Command Line Utilities

In addition to the rich client features, new archive and restore administrative utilities have been added to allow system administrators to archive and restore data from the command line.  Where possible, all operations are performed by a system administrator at the production site without the need to login to the archive.

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Workflow Action Handler 

 

DataArchiving-8.pngA new workflow action handler OBJIO_archive_target_objects has been added to allow a system administrator to perform an archive of target objects as part of a Teamcenter workflow process.

 

This capability was added to allow users to identify data to be archived and provide send the workflow to a system administrator who can then perform the archive operation.   As part of the workflow process, the originating user can receive notification of the completion of the archive. 

 

 

 

 

 

System Administration and Maintenance

 DataArchiving-9.pngWhen using the TEM installer options discussed earlier to install and configure Near Line Archive, TEM adds an archive configuration and records a connection between the production and archive configurations.  

 

When TEM is subsequently used to add additional features to the production instance, this connection is then used to automatically add these features to the archive database in the same operation ensuring the two instances are kept in sync and data models are aligned.   

 

 

Built on Teamcenter Multi-Site Collaboration, Near Line Archive has the same dependencies and can support different versions of Teamcenter (version 11.4 and later) in line with the published version compatibility for using Multi-Site collaboration.

 

 

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Site definitions are added – either manually or through TEM – to the Sites listed in Organization at both production and archive instances.   A site is designated as an archive by selecting the site option Archive enabled Multi-Site.

 

This checkbox cannot be set interactively and will be shown as read-only.   A system administrator can use the site_util administration utility to check or uncheck this option.

 

 

In Summary

By adding rich functionality with simple, streamlined and flexible deployment options coupled with low administration and maintenance, it is easy to take advantage of Near Line Archive without needing significant additional hardware or having to deal with a complex install.

 

 

About the Blogger:

 GuyBursell.jpgGuy Bursell is a Product Manager for the Teamcenter platform.   With over 15 years of experience with Teamcenter deployments, his focus is on the foundation platform for Teamcenter as Product Owner for multiple core platform features and capabilities.

 

Comments
Solution Partner Honored Contributor

@Guy_Bursell, thank you for introducing such a valuable feature. Database size has been a constant stumbling block for several of my customers due to prolonged database backups. This solution, while introducing some new complication for multisite administration, is the best by far than any others I've seen. And at least this solution is supported. Thank you!

Siemens Experimenter

Thanks @RandyEllsworth for your comments.  We have worked to make the multi-site administration and maintenance as minimal as possible, to the point almost all operations - archive and restore related - can be performed from the production site and deployment of related services is simple and streamlined in a single operation.   Please try out near line and archive and we would appreciate your feedback.

Creator

In your command line example if the item_id=000121 is used in 100 assemblies, what would be the impact on the assemblies  ( if 000121 is archived ) ? Can we still open the assemblies in NX  ? Or Do we have to remove the item 000121 from all 100 assemblies before archiving ?

 

Can we archive only released revisions instead of items ?

Siemens Experimenter

@intlwebkeyuser if the part you are archiving is used in multiple assemblies, any archived part is identified as a "Remote object" when the assembly is opened.    You can still open the assemblies in Structure Manager in Teamcenter or NX.  This is the same behavior as normal multi-site collaboration usage.  

 

At this time, Near Line Archive supports archiving Items with all associated ItemRevisions.   Support for archiving individual ItemRevisions in an Item is a feature we are evaluating for future support. 

Creator

Can we archive only the volume files and keep the meta data of the item ?  Or do we always have to archive both metadata and volume files ?

Siemens Experimenter

@intlwebkeyuser both database metadata and associated volume files are archived.   Together this helps address the need to not only reduce volume storage but also database size and as both are archived together in a seperate Teamcenter database instance, data integrity is maintained.   A system administrator could then access and review the data in the archive instance, just a they would in the production database.

Siemens Enthusiast

Interesting to hear about. Does exist any further official information on sales center? Is it plant to have the functionality available in Active Workspace? What is the difference between these solution and professional archiving systems and how close we like to come it in future? Who and why was asking for it? Customer?