Putting replication software to use
Think that data replication is only useful as a redundant data protection scheme to ensure data protection and availability and avoid costly downtime? Well, there are some other uses for data replication that might not seem obvious at the outset.
- Server and operating system upgrades - setting up a new server can be tedious, when it comes to loading the applications, testing them to make sure they work and ensuring that the data set is current before cut-over. Replicating applications and data to the new server is simple and less time-consuming plus, the fail-over features of good replication software can enable a seamless cut-over.
- Testing environments - most testing environments are less than ideal in replicating an actual production environment. But they can be brought closer to reality if the actual server setup is replicated to the test server to exactly simulate the actual application and data structure of the production server. Since the whole point of testing new applications or hardware is to measure its impact on the production environment, it makes more sense to have that environment replicated as exactly as possible.
- Synchronizing files - data replication is a quick and dirty way to synchronize files residing on a laptop. Updating sales databases for road warriors can become as simple as calling in and letting the replicating software go to work.
- Automatic content distribution - many-to-one replication can simplify deployment of new content to multiple load-balance servers hung on the front end of a Web farm by simultaneously replicating identical content to each server.
About the author: This tip was submitted and prepared by Dale Mescher from NSI Software, makers of data replication software Double-Take and GeoCluster based in Hoboken, NJ. To find out more about NSI Software go to their Web site at http://www.nsisoftware.com/
This was first published in February 2001