A diverse set of tools available in the market can be used by businesses to replicate data. Businesses can either choose to go for paid or free open source data replication tools. There are a lot of advantages to using each of those options.

Paid tools usually have quality support, up-to-date documentation, and regular product updates to keep up with the database changes and customer requirements. Free open-source tools allow businesses to customize the tool as per their requirements.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what data replication is, its benefits, and which are the best open source data replication tools available in the market.

What is Data Replication?

Data replication can be defined as making copies of data and storing them in databases across different locations to improve their overall accessibility and performance in the network. In simple terms, it can be said that it is the process of copying data stored in a database from one server to another server, ensuring high availability so that all the users can access the same data without facing any consistency issues or putting too much data load on a single Server.

This results in the formation of a distributed database setup in which users can access data relevant to their requirements easily and quickly. The replicated database is regularly updated and synchronized with the source to ensure that the data is consistent across all its replications.

Also Read: Types of Data Replication

The Benefits of Data Replication

The key benefits of implementing data replication are as follows:

  • Improved data availability: Data replication improves the reliability and resilience of databases by storing the same data in multiple nodes across the network. This means that if one node goes down due to glitches or for maintenance, the data stored in it can still be accessed from a different node.
  • Increase in data access speed: If many users are trying to access the data stored in a single database, users might face some latency due to the high load on the database. Another situation in which users might face high latency would be when trying to access data stored in a single database from different parts of the world. If the data has been replicated on their user’s local servers, the high latency issue will be resolved.
  • Improved server performance: Data replication significantly improves the server’s performance by dispersing its load across various Nodes, thereby improving the overall network performance.
  • Data recovery: Data replication facilitates the recovery of corrupted or lost data by maintaining accurate backups across numerous well-monitored locations. 

Numerous data replication tools are available in the market. Many users prefer implementing an open-source solution because the tool’s source code is easily available, allowing you to change the tool based on the business use case and data requirements. Some of the best open source data replication tools available in the market are as follows:

1) ReplicaDB

ReplicaDB is one of the most well-known open source data replication tools designed specifically for transferring bulk data between NoSQL and relational databases.

Replica DB
Replica DB

ReplicaDB is a Java-based cross-platform solution with a simple architecture that supports data replication for most SQL and NoSQL databases and persistent stores such as Kafka, Amazon S3, etc. It can be used directly on the command line running on a server without any other remote agents on the database. 

Although ReplicaDB can perform well on large databases, it does not support pure change data capture (CDC) or streaming data.

Features of ReplicaDB

  • It provides flexibility through its three replication modes: complete, complete-atomic and incremental.
  • You can carry out data replication in parallel from most of the database sources. You need to highlight the number of parallel processes you are using during this.
  • It uses a help tool to ship ReplicaDB. A command can display a list of all available options.
  • It supports a feature for automatically expanding variables (like ${token}) while using Ant or Maven, when the configuration file is loaded.

2) SymmetricDS

Open Source Data Replication Tools: SymmetricDS Logo
SymmetricDS Logo

SymmetricDS is an open-source file and database synchronization tool that houses functionalities such as filtered synchronization, multi-master replication, transformation capabilities, etc.

It houses many powerful features that give users the flexibility to meet business requirements by easily scaling out the databases to increase the number of replications and handle many synchronization requests. It can also synchronize data between nodes across remote networks with low bandwidth usage and automatically handle periods of disconnected operation.

SymmetricDS is built on Java Runtime and can run on most modern operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Unix, etc. This cross-platform support allows SymmetricDS to run on almost all servers/computers/mobile devices and can be used to replicate data stored on the cloud, across a wide area network, or on-premise.

Features of SymmetricDS

  • It provides support for multi-primary replication, filtered synchronization, and data transformations.
  • It uses database technologies to integrate data asynchronously in a scheduled or near real-time way.
  • It allows you to function between various platforms, operates even in low-bandwidth connections, and can survive short network outages.

3) Tungsten Replicator

Open Source Data Replication Tools: Tungsten Replicator Logo
Tungsten Replicator Logo

Tungsten Replicator is another popular open source data replication tool that supports various extractors and modules. It allows users to replicate data from databases like MySQL, Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS MySQL, Google Cloud SQL, and Microsoft Azure, along with various transactional data stores, NoSQL databases, and data warehouses.

While performing the required data replication operations, the Tungsten Replicator assigns each data record a unique global transaction ID that enables row-based data replication. This allows data replication between different databases and different versions of a database. 

Tungsten Replicator also allows information to be filtered and modified during data replication. In order to ensure the best performance, Tungsten Replicator also supports advanced topologies and parallel replication.

Features of Tungsten Replicator

  • This tool allows to filter data into row-level.
  • It allows parallel replication.
  • You can transform your data in-flight​. It also extends support for active/active, star, and fan-in, and increased latency identification.

4) Talend

Open Source Data Replication Tools: Talend Logo
Talend Logo

Talend Open Studio is an open-source tool by Talend that can be used for data replication and various other data integration operations. Talend Open Studio houses a wide range of features that allow users to access more than 1,000 possible components that can be used to connect to virtually any data source, including all Cloud and On-Premise solutions.

Along with its free, open-source tool, Talend also offers a variety of paid tools with many features that businesses can leverage to manage their data.

Features of Talend

  • You can carry out change data capture for real-time data integration.
  • You can easily pull, transform, and map data from a wide spectrum of sources into a clean, complete destination.
  • You can reuse data pipelines with scalable capabilities completely in the cloud.

5) Rubyrep

Rubyrep is an open source data replication tool released under the MIT license. It incorporates various data replication features that possess the ability to perform the following operations:

Features of Rubyrep

  • Automatically set up necessary log tables, triggers, etc.
  • Automatically discover newly added tables and synchronize the content of tables between the source and destination.
  • Implement both Master-Master and Master-Slave replication based on the business and data requirements.
  • Automatically resolve data conflicts between source and destination or allow users to set up custom Conflict Resolution Models.

6) MariaDB Replication Tool

Open source Data Replication Tools: MariaDB Logo
MariaDB Logo

MariaDB is among the popular database replication tools open source supported by HVR software. It provides data access through the SQL interface. MariaDB is available as a single software and also as HVR’s own data replication software. Some of the features of MariaDB that make it one of the best Open Source data sync tools are given below.

Features of MariaDB

  • Performance and Scalability: MariaDB is one of the database sync tools that offers superior query speed and scalability. Thus it is efficient for both small-scale projects and large-scale, high-demand applications. 
  • Compatibility with MySQL: It is highly compatible with MySQL. Thus, MariaDB can replace MySQL without any modifications to the existing applications in most cases
  • Community-Driven Development: MariaDB receives contributions from a global community of developers as it is an open source tool. This helps in the rapid introduction of new features and quick resolution of bugs. 
  • Advanced Security Features: MariaDB ensures security considerations for open source data replication as it provides robust features like data-at-rest encryption and role-based access control.

Hevo Data

1000+ data teams rely on Hevo’s Data Pipeline Platform to integrate data from over 150+ Data sources in minutes. Billions of data events from sources as varied as SaaS apps, Databases, File Storage, and Streaming sources can be replicated in near real-time with Hevo’s fault-tolerant architecture.

Features of Hevo

Monitoring and Observability – Monitor pipeline health with intuitive dashboards that reveal every stat of pipeline and data flow. Bring real-time visibility into your ELT with Alerts and Activity Logs.

Auto-Schema Management – Correcting improper schema after the data is loaded into your warehouse is challenging. Hevo automatically maps source schema with the destination warehouse so you don’t face the pain of schema errors.

Reliability at Scale – With Hevo, you get a world-class fault-tolerant architecture that scales with zero data loss and low latency.

In-Depth Analyses of Popular Open Source Tools

Conclusion

This article provided you with an in-depth understanding of what data replication is and the benefits of its implementation for your database. It also lists the best open source data replication tools available today.

You can compare open source data replication tools described in this article to make an informed decision according to your preference. It is a comprehensive tutorial for using open source data replication tools from the available tools. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the two basic styles of data replication?
  • Synchronous Replication: In synchronous replication, data is simultaneously written to the primary and secondary (replica) databases.
  • Asynchronous Replication: Data is first written to the primary database and then propagated to the secondary database.
  1. What is data replication in Kafka?

In Apache Kafka, data replication is a mechanism to ensure fault tolerance and high data availability across the Kafka cluster. Kafka topics are divided into partitions; each partition can have multiple replicas. 

  1. What is the Alternative to Database Replication?

An alternative to database replication is Database Sharding. Sharding involves partitioning the data across multiple databases, or shards, based on a specific criterion (e.g., user ID, geographic location). Each shard contains a subset of the data, and they make up the complete dataset. 

  1. How to replicate a database in MySQL?
  • Configure the master server.
  • Configure the slave server.
  • Verify the replication.
  1. What are Common Database Replication Methods?
  • Snapshot Replication
  • Transactional Replication
  • Log-based replication
  • Merge Replication
  • Bi-directional Replication
Manik Chhabra
Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Manik is a passionate data enthusiast with extensive experience in data engineering and infrastructure. He excels in writing highly technical content, drawing from his background in data science and big data. Manik's problem-solving skills and analytical thinking drive him to create impactful content for data professionals, helping them navigate their day-to-day challenges. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computers and Communication, with a minor in Big Data, from Manipal Institute of Technology.

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