As the name suggests, data replication involves keeping identical data sets in more than one database node. There are two types of data replication in a database management system:
- Full replication
- Partial replication
Full replication is the process of taking an organization’s entire data pool and placing it in different sites, while partial replication involves duplicating select data bits. One of the most obvious downsides of data replication is that it calls for increased storage space. Many organizations, particularly small and understaffed businesses, also find data integrity maintenance to be an issue when there are copies of the same data in several different sites.
With that being said, the advantages will almost always outweigh the disadvantages. Read on for a few ways replication can benefit your organization.
1. It increases data availability
Data replication takes away the risk of an organization being locked out of its data if one of its systems becomes corrupt, is attacked, or malfunctions. A centralized system offers only one pool, making it impossible to continue processing queries when the system goes down. What’s more, with the help of automatic failover, system administrators can set up standby systems to transfer data in case of a system compromise. Read this PostgreSQL replication and automatic failover tutorial for insights into the process of creating these standby systems.
2. It improves test system performance
Data replication in DBMS can simplify and speed up the synchronization of data for test systems. It has also been shown to improve data distribution – a crucial test system performance factor.
3. It reduces latency
Data replication has been shown to improve overall network performance as various queries are directed to different database nodes. The reduced employee traffic in the same system reduces latency and increases load speeds.
4. It enhances read performance
Replication facilitates the spreading out of data reads into more than one machine on the network, enhancing the read performance of the application in question. This strategy is particularly helpful to users on remote network nodes who can now push the network to the limit for the best read performance. What’s more, in partial replication, the data in some of your replicas may have to be cached – a process bound to reduce cache misses.
5. It increases data analytics support
Data-driven organizations typically take data from various sources and put it in their data lakes, data warehouses, and other stores to boost their business intelligence activities. This simplifies the execution of shared projects by analytics personnel spread across different geographical locations.
Data replication in database management systems can be highly beneficial to an organization. However, it has its downsides too, and it is advisable for a business to know what lurks on the other side before implementing the strategy. The fact that there are several types and schemes of data replication also makes it necessary for a systems administrator to dig into the concept before committing. Don’t shy away from consulting an IT expert or even investigating your rivals if you have to. The more informed you are about data replication, the likelier you are to get the most out of it.