What Is Data Replication?
You may have heard your IT team referring to data replication. But what is it really, and why is it so beneficial to your essential operations?
Data replication refers to the process of storing data by copying data from your database from one server to another. This data usually is stored across multiple nodes to improve the availability of your data. Sharing the data across servers means that all users can share the data without inconsistency.
Data replication helps to create a lightweight, distributed database that allows all of your users to access the data they need without stepping on anyone else’s toes.
The way data replication works is the replicated data is constantly in its most updated state, synchronized with the source. You can choose to have a full data replication of everything within your enterprise, or you may utilize a partial replication to replicate the fragments of your database that are essential to critical business functions.
Data Replication Equals Disaster Protection
Data replication is the protection against any number of disasters, protecting against three categories of outages:
- Local: problems inside your enterprise data center
- Metro: a disaster within your building like a fire or something affecting your entire campus
- Regional: a larger disaster that affects your greater area, like a hurricane or earthquake
The value of a distributed system is that this information isn’t just stored in one place. Your data replication is stored across an array of nodes, both local and far away, to protect against any kind of imaginable issue.
No matter the disaster, your enterprise should be protected. You need a data replication system to keep your enterprise running whether your problem is a small power outage or a massive natural disaster.
The Daily Benefits of Data Replication
Why is data replication so crucial to your enterprise system? What kinds of advantages are there to using data replication?
- There is a copy of data across all the nodes in your database.
- The data availability and data reliability are increased.
- Data replication gives high performance and supports multiple users accessing the data all at the same time.
- Your system can execute queries and access in record time, especially in enterprises across multiple locations.
- Data redundancy is eliminated by merging databases and reducing outdated and incomplete data.
Not only is data replication a worthy insurance policy that protects your business from coming to a grinding halt during outages and failures, but data replication also eliminates latency and enhances the functionality, speed and performance of your system when things are up and running.
Data replication is a great way to improve the resiliency and reliability of your overall system. Of course, it’s great for disaster recovery since you have stored data at all times if there’s a catastrophe, hardware failure or system breach. But it also improves your daily functions too.
What’s the Difference Between Data Replication and Making a Backup?
Data replication sounds a lot like making a backup, right? So how are they different?
Replication and backup may sometimes be used interchangeably, but they’re very different things, which means that if something goes awry, they provide extremely different results. How does data replication vary from the process of making a backup?
Making a Backup
You may already have a system in place to create backups—and that’s great. Accurate, regular backups of all of your data to a specific location is a great way to maintain the data you have. Incremental and full backups allow you to copy data and store it offsite in case the original is damaged, lost or not retrievable.
It’s important to note here that this does not give your business much-needed continuance. Things take time to be rebuilt. You have the security and benefit of keeping all of your data, but it still has to be put together.
Data replication duplicates the data from one location to another on top of the backups that you are already doing, which makes it ideal for mission-critical applications that have to be up and running at all times. Why is this so valuable?
In the event of your system going down, you don’t have to manually build the system again and restore all of the data piece by piece when you utilize data replication. Everything is replicated on another server, which can just be fired up and it’s ready to go. There’s no rebuilding or restoring like you have to do with backups—you just switch to your existing data replication server and carry on, fully operational, while you are in the process of restoring the data you have saved from your regular backups.
Data Replication Is Indispensable
What’s the real value of replication? The real value has a lot to do with how expensive it could be to be out of order for any given period of time.
Can you afford to lose online orders or queries for an hour? Or a day or more? If you end up with a longer outage thanks to a fire, flood or natural disaster, can you afford for your organization’s data to be inaccessible?
You don’t want your customers to be without your services for any amount of time, and you don’t want them to start to look elsewhere for similar services.
Violin Systems Offers Synchronous Data Replication for Unbroken Performance
Violin Systems' Quartet portfolio offers synchronous data replication. Ultimately, synchronous data replication means that your data is being replicated in more than one place at a time across multiple nodes. This means that your data is more resilient if anything happens to your system.
With synchronous replication, your data replication system updates two—or more—data storage nodes at one time. Why is this so important? Because your system is always protected. Asynchronous replication might mean that there are real-time discrepancies because the data is only being replicated in one place instead of two or more.
And in the event where disaster recovery is necessary? Asynchronous replication could mean that some information gets lost in the shuffle, whereas synchronous replication means that information always is stored across multiple nodes in real time. Everything is up to date and accessible in the event of a worst-case scenario.
At Violin Systems, our Quartet product portfolio incorporates data replication at the scale and price point you need so no matter the size of your enterprise, you can trust that your data is safe from disaster and your systems are distributed, optimized, and lightning fast.
Curious about what data replication can do for you? We’re passionate about data replication and how it can enhance your whole operation. We’d love to share our ideas and our system options with you. Contact us today!