April 2, 2012
According to a 2011 TDWI Best Practices Report, data replication is the second-most used data integration technique, second only to extract, transform, and load (ETL). In fact, almost half of data integration specialists are using some form of data replication today. Yet we seldom hear much about replication in the IT press.
Instead of taking data replication for granted, you should nurture its use for several reasons:
Data replication is a remarkably flexible technology. Fully modern replication tools can be configured to operate many different ways—ranging from real time to batch, from single database brands to broadly heterogeneous environments, from one to many databases, from small data sets to big data, and from unaltered copies of data to transformed data. Furthermore, replication is straightforward to set up and maintain, it’s less intrusive to source and target systems than most forms of data integration, and most data management professionals already have experience with it.
Data replication can satisfy many business requirements for data. For example, real-time configurations support fast-paced business practices, such as operational business intelligence and just-in-time inventory. Replication can synchronize 360-degree views of customers and other business entities across heterogeneous applications. Data replicas are an important component of business continuity, and the use cases for replication span both operational and analytic applications.
This TDWI Checklist Report gives data replication the recognition it deserves, as a highly useful data integration technique for real-world applications in business intelligence (BI), data warehousing (DW), analytics, and general data management. Your peers use data replication in these and other compelling business and technology use cases, as described in this report. You, too, should consider replication for those cases. But not all replication tools are created equal, and this report explains which capabilities you should look for in a tool.