Challenges in the Clouds

I’ve been interested in weather, meteorology and clouds in the sky for as long as I can remember; which may explain why one of my favorite songs is Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”.  I’ve learned that some clouds are pretty, and harmless; but other clouds can bring bad weather and storms.  As computing continues to move toward “The Cloud”; it’s easy to discover “I really don’t know clouds at all.”

Just like atmospheric clouds, IT clouds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Public, Private, Hybrid, Community.  Software As A Service, Platform As A Service, Infrastructure As a Service.  As the old Herbert Block cartoon goes, “Ya can’t tell the players without a scorecard”.

Fortunately, Quest is here to help you make sense of the cloud, and in the case of databases (my area of specialization), help make your move to the cloud as seamless as possible.

Cloud Characteristics

Unless your cloud environment is completely contained in your own local data center; one of the things you’ll have to live with “in the clouds” is that access to your data will be through a relatively slow network.   For most applications, like e-commerce, this is perfectly OK; but for moving large amounts of data, this could be an issue.

Your data may not be always accessible.   Even the largest cloud service providers have outages.  If the only copy of your data is “in the cloud” and your network cable gets cut by backhoe, you’ve lost access to your mission-critical data.

You data might not be as secure as it needs to be.  If you can’t afford a completely isolated, remotely-hosted private cloud; your only choice for data that needs to remain completely secure may be “on-premise” systems.

Cloud Challenges

So, how do you move terabytes of data to the cloud in a timely fashion, without having to “freeze” your applications while you do so?    Or, how do you protect your sensitive data, like patient identifying information from Electronic Medical Records, while still allowing clinicians to access aggregated data for analysis and research?  Or, how do you keep regulated data in the “country of origin” while still sharing other corporate information across borders?  Or, how do you keep copies of your data “in sync”, so that you can always guarantee access to the most current data?

SharePlex Can Help

SharePlex 9.0, our premier database replication product can help you address all of these issues.  Here’s a matrix that outlines the cloud replication sources and targets we support today.

                                                                                          TARGETS

 SOURCES

 

Oracle OnPrem

Oracle EC2

SQLServer On Prem

SQLServer EC2

SQLServer Azure (IaaS)

Oracle RDS

Aurora MySQL

Oracle On Prem

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Oracle EC2

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

SQLServer On Prem

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

SQLServer EC2

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Migrations

As you migrate your large databases to the cloud, SharePlex can help keep your downtime to a minimum.  SharePlex can capture transactions from your on-premise database while you create a consistent copy that you can move to the cloud, taking as long as you need.   Once your new database is available in the cloud, you can apply the transactions captured by SharePlex, and then SharePlex will keep the two databases in sync.

Selective Replication

To protect your sensitive data, or keep data in the “country of origin”, SharePlex can replicate only certain columns, or only certain rows, or a combination of only selected columns and rows.   SharePlex offers complete control over what gets replicated and where it gets replicated.

Synchronization

No matter what other features you use, SharePlex keeps your source and target data in sync, in near real-time.   Several of our customers are processing hundreds of gigabytes of data per hour, with latencies under 5 minutes.   With SharePlex, the latest version of your data is always available, everywhere.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short blog about clouds.   For more information on SharePlex, visit our data replication tool to help you on your journey to the cloud.

About the Author
Clay.Jackson
Clay Jackson is a Database Systems Consultant for Quest, specializing in Database Performance Management and Replication Tools. Prior to joining Quest, Jackson was the DBA Manager at Darigold. He also...