4 reasons to use real-time replication for database migrations

4 reasons to use real-time replication for database migrations

Aug 29, 2014


Database migrations can create significant disruptions for businesses, particularly when crucial applications need to be shut down while upgrades take place.

There is an increasing requirement for modern businesses to have 24/7 access to core IT systems, with every minute of downtime resulting in revenue losses and missed opportunities.

Traditionally, a migration involves stopping applications processing against the old database, performing a full migration over to the replacement database and then testing the new system.

Applications can then be restarted and run against the upgraded database. However, real-time replication software can streamline this process and make it faster and more reliable.

Here are four reasons why replication techniques are the ideal solution for businesses hoping to minimize the headaches associated with database migrations.

1. Almost zero downtime

Using real-time replication software, businesses can briefly lock their database to record its status, while the production application runs without pause.

Database content can then be migrated to the replacement database up until the point where the original database was locked, after which the replication process can start. This ensures all data generated since the recorded point can be updated incrementally.

The company can then switch from the legacy database to the replacement database without having to go through a planned system outage. The agility this provides gains importance as an organization grows because database migration projects typically become increasingly complex.

2. Switch-back options

One of the key limitations with a traditional migration is that if the replacement database has problems, the whole process must start again from scratch.

This all-or-nothing approach can be extremely frustrating for businesses trying to maintain maximum operational efficiency.

However, real-time replication offers a feature that reverses the flow of updates once the replacement database is in place. Therefore, if there is a problem, companies can revert to the legacy system without any data loss.

3. Enhanced testing functions

Real-time replication software also provides organizations with the opportunity to ramp up their testing capabilities by creating dedicated environments solely for this purpose.

A full-size replica of the main production database allows comprehensive and accurate testing, with replication ensuring the data within the secondary system is up to date.

Functional, performance-based and load testing are possible, making replication software a flexible tool for even the largest of database migrations.

4. Sophisticated security

When performing any kind of data migration exercise, advanced security measures are vital to ensure the integrity and safety of critical business information.

High-end real-time replication software uses public key cryptography when sending data between databases, while public and private keys protect information sent over either a WAN or the internet.

This gives businesses the peace of mind they need that data hasn't been modified when being transferred outside of a LAN.

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