Copy Data Management for Oracle and the Cloud

Catalogic Briefing Note

Managing all the copies of the data in your environment is one of the keys to managing cost and making dev/test and analytics more efficient. Most organizations do a very poor job of managing their copies. A recent IDC report pointed out that 77 percent of organizations have more than 200 databases, and 82 percent of them have more than 10 copies of each database. Depending on the size of the databases in question, this could mean from several terabytes to several petabytes of wasted data.

Eliminating the waste of extra copies is what copy data management (CDM) is all about. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a single copy of your production data is sent to the CDM system which then stores it efficiently as possible. Each workload that needs access to a copy of production data is given its own unique view of the copy (via writable snapshots), and it can read and write to this copy without impacting the other copies or the original copy. This allows dozens of workloads – including development, test, analytics, and reporting workloads – can all use the same copy as their main source of data.

Catalogic has been in the CDM market now for over two years with its ECX product. Version 2.4 includes Oracle integration. Using a lightweight agent, ECX fully integrates with Oracle including integrating with Oracle’s redologs and RMAN. This will ensure copies it stores in the Catalogic system will be application consistent images that require very little media recovery that are usable by any workload. Any media recovery that is necessary will, of course, be handled by the redologs also integrated into the system. Integration with RMAN means copies from the ECX 2.4 are usable for RMAN-supported recoveries using either a local or a remote RMAN catalog.

This brings up another advantage of CDM: integrated backup. In addition to inefficiently creating many more copies than they need, most organizations also create an additional copy for backup and recovery purposes. A CDM system on the other hand can create a single copy available for multiple purposes. As mentioned previously, multiple writable snapshots of a single copy can are available to multiple workloads including development, test, and analytics workloads. But since a CDM system also has historical versions of the production data, it is also usable for backup and recovery – including the idea of instant recovery. This is where an application mounts a writable snapshot as its primary storage while the real storage is under repair.

ECX 2.4 also has support for the EMC Unity platform and complete integration with Amazon S3. ECX copy data policies can now be directed to S3 via an AWS storage gateway. Finally, IBM’s Bluemix lists ECX, increasing its value to IBM customers.

StorageSwiss Take

A CDM system is a bit of a Swiss Army knife. In addition to supporting development, test, and analytics workloads, it can also act as the first line of defense for recovery. Catalogic’s integration with the Oracle, S3, EMC, and IBM platforms should make them more interesting to customers using these platforms.

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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