Dude, You’re Getting a Del…ta Migration

Dell cuts Delta migration downtime with Quest® SharePlex®.

One day, my son, who I invented for this story, said to me, “Papa, what’s a database migration like?” 
And I said, “Well, son, it’s like getting attacked by a feral raccoon. The risk! The terror! The utter helplessness when the tiniest, little runt of a problem spirals out of control, wreaking havoc on your system, before taking you down!” 
As you might imagine, my fake son was terrified.

Because database migrations are horrifying.  
Why? I pondered this recently, whilst donning my pipe and smoking jacket, as I tried to find a reason to write about feral raccoons. And the answer is this: Because the fear of database downtime is intense.

As it should be.  
Sure, your career demise may only involve metaphorical rodent attacks, frothing at the mouth and talon-punching your beard region in a snarling mess of chaos, but it’s equally as unpleasant and also 72 percent as likely to cause an asthma attack.

With great downtime comes great respiratory distress.  
We’re talking huffing-into-a-paper-bag-at-your-desk kind of stress. Stage four, red alert, panicked thoughts, including, but not limited to:

  • If I don’t get this database back online – stat! – I’m gonna get canned and have to live in a van by the river.
    1. I don’t even know how to spear fish. I’ll have to steal discarded GoGurt tubes from behind the local Montessori. I’ll probably get arrested. This supple beard region was not meant for prison life!
    2. What if I wind up rooming with a Cyclopes, who slowly swivels to gaze at me with his glass eye before whispering, “I once stabbed a man 17 times to see if his thigh was made of cherry Kool-Aide. It wasn’t.”
  • I’m wrecking everyone’s productivity! We’re losing business. My boss thinks I’m worthless! I’ll never work in this town again! Throws wig at monitor and storms out like Nathan Lane in “The Birdcage.”
    1. Not sure why you’re channeling a frustrated actress in that scenario. Probably all the stress.
  • This is not okay. Twenty hours of downtime?! I’m freaking out, man! Freak. Ing. Out!
    1. I should’ve become a forest ranger. I’d be gazing at frolicking bear cubs right now in my Dudley Do-right hat. I always wanted one of those hats. Mother ^&*%#$, how is this database STILL offline?!!!!

But what if you could eliminate vermin, tubed yogurt and prison life from the database migration process entirely? *fancy magician hand flourish* 
DBAs at Dell did exactly that with what’s basically the coolest data replication toolset ever, AKA SharePlex®. Let’s get a gander at how SharePlex® puts an end to downtime stress by preventing it in the first place.

It’s called real-time data synchronization. 
And it virtually eliminates risk. Which was critical for Dell’s DBAs who were dealing with a Delta migration that included a web-based Siebel system with a 9-terabyte backend Oracle database. Did I mention this just happens to be one of the biggest Siebel implementations in the world? We’re talking 20,000 Dell partners and end users relying on this thing to serve 40 million customers worldwide.

No pressure there.  
So they did some nerd calculations. And let’s be honest. Is there any other kind? Math. Pshhh! With its numbers. And then those letters that try to sneak in? Like, hi, I can play, too. But no! No one ever knows what you’re doing in there, letters! That’s the whole point. You’re a mystery!

PEMDAS!  
But, somehow, somehow those DBAs at Dell solved those Agatha Christies of the math world, probably with the aid of calculators and graph paper and a chalkboard that looked like the inside of Steven Hawking’s frontal cortex. And they concluded their migration to a new Oracle database would take about three weeks and at least 20 hours of downtime during the cutover to the new system. Oh, yeah. We all know businesses love those kinds of estimates. Obviously, they had to find a faster, safer way to perform their Oracle migration.

Enter SharePlex data replication.  
While the DBAs were losing sleep over the thought of taking down the old database and having to build the new one from the ground up, a more efficient approach was out there. Like a floating green orb in “The X-Files,” just waiting to be discovered. And once Dell discovered they could use SharePlex to sync data between old and new databases? In real time? And move users to the new system once they were ready? Without all the fear of data loss and prolonged downtime? Oooo-eeee! They were Agent-Scully-lassoing-a-pod-of-aliens ecstatic. Obviously I never really watched “The X-Files.” What, do you think I’m some kind of genius nerd who does things like math?! I’m cool. I wear a smoking jacket and scare the $&*@ out of my imaginary children for sport – pay attention! Because it’s about to get interesting. Here’s what happened next…

Dell avoids feral raccoon party with Quest® SharePlex®. 
Yep. Using SharePlex, Dell’s DBAs cut projected database downtime from 20 hours to just 40 minutes. That’s like a bajillionty percent decrease! They wrapped up the migration to their new Oracle database with zero disruption to end users or critical business processes. No one had to hyperventilate into a trashcan. No adorable Zorro-looking rodents were harmed in the making of this migration. No DBAs were harmed, either.

Repel migration pests before they can give you rabies. 
I know it’s cliché. We’ve heard it a million times. But the key to surviving both a feral raccoon attack and a database migration is the same: proactively outsmarting risk.

SharePlex data replication can help.  See for yourself with a free, 30-day trial.

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