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Amid explosion in DoD’s use of OTAs, myths abound

TAKE NOTE (Insights and Emerging Technology)

Other Transaction Agreements have been around since the days of the Space Race. But until recently, OTAs, which almost entirely bypass the government’s usual procurement rules, had been a little-used feature of the acquisition system.

At least in the case of the Defense Department, it’s not a small niche anymore. Since the 2015 Defense authorization bill, when Congress vastly expanded the types of acquisitions eligible for OTAs in DoD, they’ve seen explosive growth.

In fiscal 2016, DoD signed 342 OTAs worth just over $1.4 billion. In FY 2020, the numbers grew to more than 3,210 agreements, valued at $16.2 billion, according to figures from the Federal Procurement Data System. FY 2021 data haven’t been completely reported yet, but last year appears to be on track for an even larger total.

Despite the massive expansion in OTA use, the authority, and when and how it can be used, is still shrouded in a certain degree of mystery, even inside DoD’s own acquisition community.

DAU’s approach — as part of the university’s transition from mostly classroom-based instruction to a more online-focused learning “platform” — has been to offer regular training events under the banner of “OTA Today.”

Instead of teaching a few dozen students at a time, they reach hundreds per event, and by design, they’re open not just to government acquisition professionals but also to vendors and anyone else who has an interest in the subject. DAU also offers coaching to individual program offices who are looking for advice on whether an OTA might make sense for a particular project.

Part of the effort has been to correct myths about what OTAs can and can’t do, and where they are and aren’t appropriate. Although Congress set very few rules for how the authority can be used, it’s not a complete blank check to circumvent the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

The biggest constraint is that the work involved has to constitute something that DoD can defensibly argue is a “prototype” — something new or novel. That said, the definition of “prototype” became vastly more flexible when Congress expanded DoD’s authority in the 2015 NDAA. Before that, OTAs could only be used to prototype potential future weapons systems.

In a subsequent NDAA, Congress gave DoD explicit authority to move OTA prototypes directly into production — as long as the initial prototype was subject to some kind of competition, and as long as potential vendors were on notice that they might not have another chance to compete for a production award.

A myth being heard, even from attorneys in the federal government is — that [a production OTA] is considered a sole-source contract, and that the Government has to have to do a justification and approval before we move to production, That’s absolutely not the case.

GAO has specifically stated that it’s not going to go through OTA documents and look at things like strengths, significant weaknesses, deficiencies — those are all FAR-based terms. But they are going to look at whether the Government used an OTA appropriately.

OK, question to the Government — Are you using an OT arrangement to circumvent the FAR, or are you kind of cherry picking what you want from the FAR and calling it an other transaction?

Or, are you going into production before the prototype has been successfully completed, or going out of scope?

OTAs are certainly not free from litigation risks.

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UNDER DEVELOPMENT (Insights for Developers)

Data Recovery In SAP HANA


Data loss is a common phenomenon that software users often encounter at work. Although the largest data loss occurs from hardware malfunction, other factors such as software corruption, malware, and natural disasters also play a critical role. In a data loss, a good DBMS should ensure easy and faster data recovery.

The SAP HANA database is an excellent DBMS/appliance when it comes to data recovery. It stores data from the main memory to the secondary disk at frequent intervals during operation. Thus, if there is a power outage or database failure, your system continues running without interruption.

In this blog, we explore how SAP HANA Data recovery works and some essential features that enable easy retrieval after a data loss.

SAP HANA Data Availability After Recovery

A backup process helps reinstate the data toward its former state if a fault occurs. Backups of data and log sets can be either modular or automated. SAP HANA also automatically synchronizes your storage space across multiple servers and services. The platform backs all systems that require data persistence while the system operates.

SAP HANA Data Recovery Infrastructure

HANA DR Infrastructure

What Are Your Backup Options?

You’ll have several options for performing a backup of files and records, using the
SAP HANA module, namely:
Backing up to a specific framework, for instance a Network File System (NFS).
Endorsing a standby server using an SAP-certified agent’s execution of the programming interface.
Backing up to external disk space as a memory snippet.

Can You Recover Files After Backup?

It is much easier to retrieve all files backed up in the SAP HANA platform.
However, during restoration, the processes will temporarily halt your data sets. Thus, you can use the SAP HANA cockpit to initiate and track the restoration process.

Here are some alternatives to consider for data retrieval…

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– Dig Deeper –
High Availability Architecture

Q&A (Post your questions and get the answers you need)

Q. What for is this Code Pushdown necessary in HANA?

A. I am going to try and paraphrase your question…. I think you want to know what code pushdown is, as you are probably hearing the term at work. You also want to understand why it is needed or better in HANA? Let’s go with these questions…

OK, “Code Pushdown” is a paradigm also called “code-to-data” compared to the classic approach “data-to-code”; it is data-centric, meaning you should execute intensive, expensive computations in the database layer as much as possible to use the computing power of HANA fully. We don’t recommend putting the calculation logic in the NetWeaver ABAP application layer if the database can complete the task. What “Code Pushdown” offers is the enablement of fast retrieval of data and a reduced amount of application execution.

Simply put, with “Code Pushdown”, the program logic is moved down from the application layer to the database layer. However, it doesn’t mean that the ABAP program logic migrates to the HANA database. Implementing “Code Pushdown” requires utilizing the full strengths of ABAP and HANA, respectively. HANA is the best fit for modeling; on the other hand, ABAP’s responsibility is for programming. Thanks to HANA’s high-speed real-time computing capabilities, you can convert many computing logic units in ABAP to HANA Models. Therefore, ABAP only needs to be responsible for querying and aggregating those models to get results.

Take a look at the diagram below.

Starting with NetWeaver 7.4 onward, the “Code Pushdown” principle has been fully embraced.

Also, take a look at this Blog post There is a section devoted to the code to data approach.


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