Database Replication as a Service (DbRaaS) is a managed service offering provided by Smart Associates which utilises the database replication features of our Smart Management Framework (SMF) product. It is designed to improve the performance, availability and recoverability of one or more of IBM®’s Pure Data™ for Analytics (aka Netezza) or Netezza Performance Server for IBM Cloud Pak for Data appliances.
DR as a Service allows customers to replicate their Netezza databases in near real-time (you choose how frequently you want to replicate changes between systems, according to workload, data volatility, bandwidth, and recovery time/point considerations). Disaster Recovery time can be measured in the minutes it will take to repoint your DNS servers to the DR system; but even without a disaster, database replication can potentially enable customers to divide their data, users, and workloads between multiple appliances for improved performance, concurrency and throughput.
A key feature of the DbRaaS is that customers don’t have to manage anything to do with Database Replication themselves - the service provided by Smart Associates includes: installation; configuration; initial synchronisation; ongoing monitoring; detection and resolution of replication issues; etc.
Here is a summary of the key features of Smart Management Framework, which incorporates Data Replication:
Although related, they are two different services. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), which is not offered by Smart Associates, is the hosting, or replication, of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a natural catastrophe, power failure or any other type of disaster that disrupts the business. Organisations may opt for a full disaster recovery solution, or one that restores only some business critical systems. Whether or not the Data Warehouse is included in the disaster recovery solution, Database Replication as a Service (DbRaaS) is useful not only in the event of disaster, and businesses can derive value from the service continuously.
Apart from the peace of mind and reassurance that comes with knowing that there is an up-to-date copy of all data stored in a different location, businesses can divide their workload between their primary and recovery data centres to get improved performance, concurrency and throughput for all their users' database queries. Furthermore, the database replication service offered by Smart Associates is multi master, meaning that you don't have to have one primary system and one backup system, you can have multiple primary systems. This allows an enterprise to divide up its source systems, applications and users between two or more Netezza systems and keep all of them synchronised.
When an enterprise maintains a replicated Netezza architecture, the replication that occurs between the primary and secondary systems is typically uni-directional, i.e. the primary system is fed by the source systems, and the secondary systems are mirror copies of the primary system. If the primary system fails, a secondary system assumes the role of primary, DNS changes are made to redirect the feeds and the user connections, and business carries on as usual until the other system is fixed and roles are reversed again.
Traditional Netezza Database Replication
Smart Data Framework database replication is multi-directional and allows all Netezza nodes to be primary systems.
An example of this is where you have two or more systems and each of them can be the primary system for a set of users, one or more applications and one or more source systems, and you can replicate the data between them all. This gives you a natural way of dividing your users across your infrastructure whilst still being able to have replication across all of those different systems. Moreover, in a multi-master scenario, each master also potentially acts as a Disaster Recovery site for one or more of the other masters.
Multi-master database replication as provided by Smart Management Framework
If you are thinking of buying a new Netezza Performance Server for IBM Cloud Pak for Data system or of migrating to Netezza in the cloud, Smart Management Framework Database Replication as a Service can be used to automate the migration between the old and the new environments.
Replicating the existing Netezza databases to the new environment allows the migration to be performed incrementally and in a highly controlled manner. It allows for a dual run of both old and new systems side by side which means that you can control when the cutover occurs between the old and the new.
For customers wanting to try out the cloud service, DR as a Service will allow you to do a dual-run whilst doing an evaluation as part of the migration process. So if you are not sure if the Cloud solution will cope with the volume of data, queries and users and be better and more reliable than the on-premise option, it could potentially be used to replicate some or all of your existing data to that cloud option. It provides a safe way of testing the new netezza platform without having to take a leap in faith, keeping existing systems in place until you are ready to do the transition and the switch over, without it having to be a big-bang approach.
For customers wanting to migrate from Netezza to an alternative platform we have a solution called Smart Data Frameworks which will not only automate the migration but can also keep trickle-feeding changes from the Netezza database to the new target database until you are ready to switch over.
So, in the same way that DR as Service can be used to do a parallel run of an old and new Netezza platform, SDF will allow you to do a parallel run between an old Netezza and a new non-Netezza system, as long as you have primary keys declared in your tables. Accordingly, this is a form of replication but it is not designed to be permanent, but rather to assist with the migration process.