Businesses and enterprises these days are increasingly appreciating the importance of data replication software when it comes to dealing with real-time information. With the 24-7 nature of many types of operations these days—from news information dissemination and stock market updates, to social media use and logistics planning—the data generated among these channels are a goldmine for companies that want to swiftly predict and ride trends, in addition to making more profitable business decisions.

And that’s just a couple of the many other responses that businesses can take. Real-time data can generate valuable insights into customer experiences, for instance, which they can then use to further ensure that it is continually positive and meaningful. Real-time data is also vital to important to sectors such as banking and finance, homeland security and law enforcement.

Indeed, real-time data replication is key to keeping a pulse on the world’s ever-changing moods and behavior.

Working with Data in Real Time

So just exactly how does it work? Through the use of data replication software, information as it occurs is captured or collated not directly from the source, but through points such as logs or particular event triggers. Changes in these indicators are the ones monitored and replicated into another system for analysis. Thus, the flow of information is not disturbed, while analysis is underway.

This is a big change from the way companies used to do business analysis and planning. Business intelligence used to be guided by information collected directly from the source. Take for instance customer relationship management or CRM information. Customer profiles, preferences, buying habits and feedback used to comprise information under specific individuals, and this collection could be massive.

It took a great deal of time to sift through these and to generate analytical reports based on these metrics. Such data warehouses were not designed and created to work with modern real-time or streaming sources of information, such as social media.

Performance of Data Replication Solutions

Real-time data analytics are greatly in demand these days among both the private and government sectors, such that many software providers are now offering this service—from well-known industry brands to specialty vendors alike. It is important to know what to look for in a data replication solution in order to ensure efficient return on investment and continued smooth business operations.

  • Speed

It is important to point out that the term “real-time data replication” is actually quite relative. Replication can only be as real-time as the data according to the speed with which the software can do the task. Thus, speed is an important consideration in assessing the transaction log generation rate. In short, the data replication tool should be able to keep up with the transaction log generation. Of course, speed depends on many factors such as the nature of the transactions (whether large or small), the type of data involved, the percentage of the transaction log that needs to be replicated, and many others. It is also useful to determine how long it takes to catch up, or get to current real-time if replication is lagging behind.

  • Resource Consumption

Comparing two data replication software with almost equal speed, next to consider is resource consumption. This involves how the CPU, memory, data storage and other network resources are utilized. For some specialty vendors, CPU resources are traded for network resources, and transactions are always compressed. This is usually ideal for hybrid cloud environments, or replication across a network with limited network bandwidth. A different approach may be needed in another circumstance, such as replication within a data center on a highly busy database system with high CPU usage (around 90 percent).

  • Maintenance

It is important to consider the effort required not only to set up the data replication system but also to maintain its real-time capabilities and accuracy. Also get a feel for how easy it is (or otherwise) to work with the data replication technology.

With the variety of data replication solutions in the market today, users are at an advantage of choosing the best vendor and technology to work with, but they should also be discerning and careful so as not to make a decision that might cost more in the long run.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].