What is SmartSafe Database Replication as a Service?

SmartSafe 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 Frameworks (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.

SmartSafe 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 Point Objectives (RPO) considerations). Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) 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 potentially enables customers to divide their data, users, and workloads between multiple appliances for improved performance, concurrency and throughput.

Key Features

Fully Managed

  • 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.
  • It requires no custom development/scripting
  • It has metadata driven automation, with command line interface for metadata management
  • It uses the same TCP/IP ports as the NPS itself (e.g. 22, 5480), so there is no need for complex firewall rules
  • There is no need to perform any storage management (cluster configuration) on the NPS Hosts - devices only need to be mounted
  • It is compatible with any desired backup storage or device supported by NPS (e.g. SAN, NFS, GPFS, Tivoli, EMC Networker, Symantec/Veritas NetBackup)
  • It is multi-master bi-directional replication (BDR), by database (i.e. one single NPS could be both the source of one replicated database and the target of another replication set at the same time)
  • Source databases can be restored using a different name on each target, and can be replicated to multiple targets
  • All management of DR, backups, and other administrative tasks, is performed outside of the Host NPS environment
  • Replication failures do not affect Netezza/PDA operations, and are recoverable at any subsequent point in time

Effortless Migration to NPS / CP4D

If you're upgrading your existing Netezza appliances to IBM NPS for Cloud Pak for Data, the migration process is substantial and not without risk. The recommended approach often requires engaging costly professional services to undertake this task, which you can avoid by using SmartSafe.

SmartSafe allows you to undertake an effortless and virtually risk-free migration to your new platform as part of the service. In a nutshell, you run your old and new Netezza systems in parallel, replicating the databases.

So no drawn out migration plan with rehearsals and outages - when you are satisfied that the new solution is fully functional, you cut over. You can even migrate your users gradually to the new system.

How Long Will Your Migration to CP4D Take?

The IBM recommended approach to migrating to CP4D involves using the nz_migrate command. Even using this approach, planning and executing your migration is a complex task and there are a number of variables that will determine the effort and duration of the migration. We have developed an estimating tool that will show you what you can expect based on your particular system.

The Bottom Line

Businesses can save more than $1million per downtime event (and often much more) by reducing Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) to minutes to using SmartSafe's database recovery functions.

While the cost of downtime during data recovery will vary for each customer, and each customer should have a good idea of what their own cost is, Gartner have calculated that the average cost is over $300,000 per hour. Other similar methods give a range starting from at least $140,000 per hour even for smaller firms. In our experience getting a 20Tb+ Netezza system back on-line and up to date can take a minimum of eight hours when restoring from a full backup (or significantly longer depending on the number of streams that are used, or if multiple differential and cumulative backups also need to be restored). SmartSafe will reduce this to minutes, reducing expensive downtime to a fraction, assuring business continuity and enabling your business user and analytics workloads to continue with the minimum of disruption.

Further Information

If you would like more information, contact us here and we'll get in touch.

To download the SmartSafe brochure, click here.

See how SmartSafe can guarantee business continuity to Netezza users in the event of a system failure in this video.

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