Data replication allows businesses to get more from their data.

That might mean implementing disaster recovery, creating a sandbox for testing, or enabling business intelligence applications to run without impacting production systems. No matter what application data replication is used for, though, one thing is true: For replication to be effective, it needs to be approached strategically.

Databases are complicated. Different DBMS’s come with different idiosyncrasies and considerations. Configurations can be complex.

We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll review five helpful tips to help your business craft an effective data replication strategy.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Identify business objectives.

First, any data replication strategy will be ineffective if it’s not aligned to business objectives.

That’s a straightforward statement, but as you’re designing your data replication strategy, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of technical considerations. The starting point should always be your organization’s “why.”

Why is data replication needed? What applications will be accessing data? What stakeholders will be involved in the process? How should a successful outcome benefit your business?

These questions are simple, but they’re crucial to ask and answer if you want to design an effective solution.

2. Match the timeliness of your replication solution to your business objectives.

One of the questions that will be worth drilling into is the timeliness required of your replicated database.

Data is only valuable if it’s timely. But the definition of “timely” will vary from context to context.

Does data need to be replicated with sub-second latency? This is common in (although not exclusive to) databases with relatively little data volatility – that is, where only a small percentage of data is changed in a given interval. This might be the case for something like a hotel room reservation system or a bank ledger system, where it’s crucial to have real-time data on individual transactions.

For other applications, data may still be timely even if it’s only replicated once each day. This might be the case for business intelligence systems that run end-of-day reporting, or for industrial inventory systems that completely turn over on a daily basis. In this case, the snapshots at the end of a day may make more sense to replicate than each individual transaction.

If you don’t define how timely data needs to be in order to be useful, your replication strategy won’t be effective.

3. Use log-based data replication.

This is a simple, practical tip: If you require transactional replication, we recommend using log-based change data capture as a part of your data replication solution.

The reason for this is that log-based replication is the most efficient method on the market today. Modern databases use logs that track changes as a fundamental design principle, and these logs are stored outside of production resources. Accessing logs to replicate data minimizes impact on the production system and results in highly accurate and robust replication.

4. Audit replicated databases.

Once you’ve implemented a data replication solution, a key part of your strategy should be to audit the replicated databases.

You’ll want to make sure that the outcome of data replication matches your application requirements. Is data timely enough? Is it in the right format? Are users and stakeholders satisfied?

You can use the results of your assessment to improve your solution – both immediately, and if there’s a need to replicate a database in the future.

It’s worth noting that StarQuest Data Replicator (SQDR) software virtually eliminates the need for auditing at the DBMS level; verification of connections and data accuracy is built in.

5. Use data replication software to make the process seamless.

Finally, in most data replication scenarios, we recommend that enterprises use data replication software to make the process easier.

It’s possible, of course, to build a custom data replication solution. This can be prohibitively costly, though, and any benefits that come from an increased level of customization tend to pale in comparison to the price tag.

Additionally, software solutions like SQDR can be tailored to a wide range of database management system (DBMS) types, meaning that our existing software tools work well for most use cases. So, as you design your data replication strategy, look carefully at what’s on the market before jumping in to build something yourself.

Ready to Implement a Great Data Replication Strategy?

Hopefully, the information above has helped you to further understand the process of data replication and has allowed you to take the first steps toward building a strategy that will benefit your business.

If you’re ready to move forward with a data replication using an industry leading tool, get in touch with us.

At StarQuest, we’re experts in data replication. Our powerful SQDR software can be utilized for replication from an extensive range of data sources. It uses a log-based approach to power real-time change data capture.

And, importantly, our customer service team is regarded as some of the best in the business, with clients calling us “The best vendor support I have ever encountered.”

Get in touch with us to discuss your data replication needs. We can set you up with a no-charge trial of our software using the DBMS of your choice, and help you take the first step toward a strategy that will benefit your business