September 30, 2014
Replication For Reporting Servers
When most people think of the c‑treeAMS Replication Agent, they think about synchronized data backups for high-availability. You may not realize this tool has other uses, such as creating an off-line copy of your data for reporting and analytics. This handy tip explains how to off-load applications from your main server and still give them access to up-to-date data.
Business Intelligence (BI) applications, such as Tableau Software, Oracle BI, Crystal Reports, and GrapeCity ARS, have become important tools in today’s competitive landscape. The ability to analyze up-to-the-minute data can give a company the competitive edge it needs to stay ahead of the market.
The volume of data processing done by these applications poses an increasing challenge to your IT infrastructure. To extract strategic information out of your data sources, the data must be readily available for the intense processing queries executed by BI applications—without interfering with day-by-day operations.
The c‑treeAMS Replication Agent
Engineers at FairCom were quick to realize that the Replication Agent’s real-time database synchronization technology facilitates up-to-date data availablity wherever it is needed for reporting and other analysis. The Replication Agent allows reporting applications to run independently on servers not interfering with front line OLTP servers. Because data can be replicated to various servers—even different platforms—the c‑treeAMS Replication Agent allows you to allocate hardware resources as needed.
The Replication Agent was developed with the requirement of using a very low bandwidth for low-latency data updates, thereby achieving near real-time replication. Replication support is built into the heart of the c‑treeACE engine and has minimal impact on your production OLTP server and applications running alongside.
By offloading secondary applications from your main server, you maximize your investment and preserve costly CPU and memory for the main application. Non-mission-critical uses, such as reporting, data warehousing, and data mining can run on a server that is separate from your primary application—while using the same data.
The Replication Agent runs invisibly in the background. It is easily set up with a few entries in a simple text-based file. Little to no administrator intervention required. An easy-to-use administration utility and test tools are also provided.
What You Will Need
To replicate your live data to a single reporting server, you will need to establish one-way replication from the production server (called the “source” or “Master Server”) to the reporting server (called the “target” or “Replicated Server”).
This architecture will require the following:
- c‑treeACE or c‑treeRTG installed on the live, production server (which you should have if you are already in production). This server will be the source (master) for replication.
- c‑treeACE on the reporting server. This server will be the target for replication.
- Replication Agent, which will manage one-way replication from the live, production server to the reporting server.
The Replication Agent will run on nearly any machine that can connect to both the source and target servers. Its low bandwidth requirement makes network installations practical. The only restriction is that it must be on a system with the same byte ordering as the master server so it can read the transaction log correctly.
If the Replication Agent is installed on the same server as the source or target server, it must be located in a different directory than any other c‑treeACE (or c‑treeRTG) servers.
This is one of the easier configurations for the Replication Agent, requiring only a few entries in a configuration file. Performance can be tuned for minimum impact on the live, production server.
For more information about installing and configuring the Replication Agent, see Configuring the Replication Agent in the on-line documentation.
Contact FairCom to learn more about how you can put the Replication Agent to work in your business.