Replicate Databases: 2 Easy Strategies

on Data Integration, Tutorials • January 25th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

One of the biggest challenges that most organisations face today is ensuring high availability and accessibility of data over the complex set of networks they have in place. Having around-the-clock and real-time access to crucial business data can help organisations carry out processes seamlessly and maintain a steady revenue flow. Organisations, thus have a growing need to scale their systems & provide the support for accessing data seamlessly. Replicating data is one such technique that allows users to access data from numerous sources such as servers, sites, etc. in real-time, thereby tackling the challenge of maintaining high data availability.

This article aims at providing you with in-depth knowledge about how to Replicate Databases seamlessly. Upon a complete walkthrough of the content, you’ll have a great understanding of what data replication is all about, numerous strategies and tools that you can use and why you must start replicating and maintaining your crucial business data.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Data Replication

Replicate Database Logo.

Data replication refers to the process of generating numerous copies of complex datasets and storing them across various locations to facilitate seamless access. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the high availability of data for individual systems and numerous servers. Data replication makes use of two different types of storage locations, namely master and snapshot storage areas. Data replication follows the same concept as copying data from one database to another, however, it allows all the users to access the same data seamlessly & without any inconsistencies.

Understanding the Need to Replicate Databases

The following are some of the key reasons that make database replication a significant process:

  • Data Reliability & Availability: Data replication helps organisations ensure high data availability by allowing them to access their data even under extraordinary conditions such as server crashes, data breaches, loss, etc. Hence, it plays a vital role in maintaining accessibility and boosting the reliability of your systems.
  • System Reliability: With data replication in place, organisations can ensure a smooth operation of their complex business processes, even during unforeseen data losses, disasters and system breakdowns. It helps organisations maintain high data availability and accessibility, thereby allowing them to work in parallel with various issues such as server failure, software glitch or any malware attacks. Data replication further is remarkably beneficial in disaster-prone areas, where unexpected disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc. can result in significant damage to your on-premise hardware, servers, etc.
  • Robust Performance & Reporting: With data available across different locations, organisations can access, process and analyse data seamlessly to extract crucial actionable insights. It further helps business ensure robust performance by letting them leverage data and make data-backed decisions without querying the primary database. Strategies such as real-time data replication; help organisations replicate and access the updated data even before saving it on their disk. Hence, data replication helps ensure real-time availability of data even on low bandwidth, thereby allowing organisations to create compelling reports with ease.
  • Robust Disaster Recovery: With replication in place, you will always have a robust data recovery mechanism that helps provide you with multiple replicas of your data across numerous locations.
  • Enhanced Server Performance: When data is being processed & run on multiple servers instead of one, it makes data access very quick. Moreover, when all data read operations directed to the replicas, processing cycles on the primary servers are reduced for more resource-exhaustive write operations.
  • Enhanced Network Performance: Data replication helps significantly reduce latency by maintaining numerous replicas of your data across a diverse set of locations. It thereby allows users to access data seamlessly and in real-time.
  • Test Performance: Maintaining numerous replicas of the data allows users to distribute and synchronise data availability across various test systems with ease. Hence, it lets users boost the performance of their business applications, allowing them to make data-backed decisions with ease.

Understanding the General Process of Database Replication

Process to Replicate Databases.

Most in-use enterprise-grade databases such as MongoDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL, etc., house the support for replicating data with ease. These databases allow users to copy data, either by leveraging the in-built replication functionalities or use third-party tools to achieve replication. In either case, the general process of replicating data remains identical.

The following process represents the general steps a user needs to carry out to replicate data properly:

  • Step 1: The first step of replicating data is identifying your desired data source and the destination system, where you’ll store the replica.
  • Step 2: Once you’ve decided your data source and destination, you need to copy the desired database tables and records from your source database.
  • Step 3: The next important step is to fix the frequency of updates, that is how frequently you want to refresh your data.
  • Step 4: With the replication frequency now decided, you now need to choose the desired replication mechanism, selecting between Full, Partial or Log-based.
  • Step 5: You can now either develop custom code snippets or use a fully-managed data integration & replication platform such as Hevo Data, to carry out replication.
  • Step 6: With the Data replication process happening, you need to keep track of how the data extraction, filtering, transformation and loading is taking place to ensure data quality and seamless process completion.

Simplify Data Replication with Hevo’s No-code Data Pipeline

Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline, can help you replicate data from 100+ sources swiftly to a database/data warehouse of your choice. Hevo is fully-managed and completely automates the process of monitoring and replicating the changes on the secondary database rather than making the user write the code repeatedly. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

Hevo provides you with a truly efficient and fully-automated solution to replicate and manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. It allows you to focus on key business needs and perform insightful analysis using BI tools. 

Check out what makes Hevo amazing

  • Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a safe & consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Minimal Learning: Hevo, with its interactive UI, is simple for new customers to work on and perform operations.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow, so you can check where your data is at a particular point in time.
  • Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to export. 
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Completely Managed Platform: Hevo is fully-managed. You need not invest time and effort to maintain or monitor the infrastructure involved in executing codes.

Simplify Data Replication with Hevo today! Sign up here for a 14-day free trial.

Strategies to Set up Database Replication

There are multiple ways in which you can set up database replication:

Strategy 1: Using Custom-Code Snippets to Replicate Databases

You can develop robust custom-code snippets to leverage either of the following methods to start replicating your databases with ease:

Full Table Data Replication

Full table data replication mechanism allows users to Replicate Databases by making a replica of the entire database by copying the existing, new and updated data from their data source to a destination of their choice. This method is exceptionally beneficial for users that delete records manually or if their source databases do not have a suitable column for carrying out log-based or key-based replication mechanisms.

Limitations of Replicating Databases using Full Table Data Replication
  • It requires more processing power.
  • Generates/Provides larger network loads instead of copying only edited data.
  • Cost increases as the number of rows getting copied increases.

This is how you can use full table data replication to start replicating your databases.

Key-Based Incremental Data Replication

Numerous prominent databases, sources and streaming applications such as Snowflake, Oracle, Kafka, etc., use the key-based data replication mechanism that involves leveraging a replication key to identify the new & updated data. The replication key can be an integer-based, timestamp and datestamp based column of an existing source table.

Carrying out data replication using the key-based data replication mechanism requires users to ensure the following steps:

  • While a replication job executes, the “PipelineWise” store will automatically fetch the maximum value of the target table’s replication key column.
  • When the next replication job begins executing, the key-based replication mechanism will automatically compare the key-values associated with the previous and current replication jobs. 
  • Replication will occur if the replication key associated with the table is greater than or equal to the stored value.
  • You will then have to repeat the same steps until the data replication process is complete.

Key-based data replication is a crucial process when your desired data source does not support log-based data replication. It further does not detect the “SourceKey” deletes.

You can carry out key-based data replication by using an SQL query as follows:

SELECT replication_key_column,
      column_of_choice_1,
      column_of_choice_2,
      [...]
FROM schema.table
WHERE replication_key_column >= 'last_saved_maximum_value'

This is how you can use key-based data replication to start replicating your databases.

Log-Based Data Replication

Log Based Data Replication.

Log-based data replication allows users to Replicate Databases by monitoring and recording changes such as updates, inserts, deletes, etc., happening on their source database. Log-based replication method is available only for PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MongoDB backend databases because they support log replication.

This is how you can use log-based data replication to start replicating your databases.

These are some of the mechanisms that you can leverage by creating custom-code snippets to start replicating your databases.

Strategy 2: Using Automated Tools to Replicate Databases

Using custom-code snippets to carry out data replication allows you to develop a customised data replication mechanism that supports your unique business and data needs. However, writing robust code that carries out data replication for your databases is no small feat and requires you to have a great deal of technical expertise. Hence, if you don’t have the technical bandwidth to develop code or require real-time replication of data, leveraging an automated tool can be the right choice for you. There are a diverse set of tools available in the market today that can help you achieve this. Some of them are as follows:

  • Hevo Data
  • Rubrik
  • Carbonite Availability
  • SharePlex
  • NetApp SnapMirror
  • Fivetran
  • IBM Spectrum Protect

You can click here to check our detailed guide on some of the best data replication tools that you can choose from to start replicating your business data. It will provide you with in-depth knowledge about these tools, their advantages, disadvantages, use case and pricing to help you make the right choice.

Conclusion

This article teaches you how to Replicate Databases seamlessly & equips you with in-depth knowledge about the process of data replication, its advantages and disadvantages & answers all your queries about it. It provides a brief introduction of numerous concepts related to it & helps the users understand them better and use them to perform data replication & recovery in the most efficient way possible. These methods, however, can be challenging especially for a beginner & this is where Hevo saves the day. Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline, can help you replicate data in real-time without writing any code. Hevo being a fully-managed system; provides a highly secure automated solution to help perform replication in just a few clicks using its interactive UI.

Want to take Hevo for a spin? Sign up here for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. You can have a look at our unbeatable pricing that will help you choose the right plan for your business needs!

Share your experience of learning in-depth about how to Replicate Databases! Let us know in the comments section below.

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