Oracle Data Replication- Data Guard vs Shareplex Vs GoldenGate

This is a little bit of off-topic study, I recently performed and I thought somebody else will benefit from it, at the same time would love to get feedback. Data is something very important for every organization. Replication is even more important when you want to have high availability Oracle RDBMS. Organizations have their business on Oracle when you move Oracle DB from on-premises platform to cloud platform which is totally different, for example, Oracle RAC clustering on Solaris on-premises to AWS RDS instance. Option boils down from Replatform to Rearchitect and lot of time organizations are not even ready for this big change.

Till you re-architect or redesign the application, we definitely need answers to some of the questions like below

  • How to ensure high availability?
  • How can you achieve Oracle RAC like high availability in AWS RDS?
  • Robust disaster recovery plan.
  • How to perform DB upgrade without downtime or data loss?
  • How to Increase scalability?
  • How to do realtime but offload reporting?

I have evaluated these three products which are applicable in the Oracle RDBMS area. Two are Oracle native but the third one is not Oracle native.

Let us start with,

Data Guard

It certainly guards data in case of a disaster this product is made for DR replication without any issues & it works active-passive replication for high availability of data. In-flight transformation of data is not supported. Golden Gate picks up which data guards cons are mentioned below but this is a poor man’s HA solution also with cons.

Dataguard is meant for Oracle DBs.Data Guard configuration contains a primary database that transmits redo data to a standby database.

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Data Guard Pros:

  • Great tool for active-passive replication.
  • The Data Guard database, however, can be opened but only in the Read-Only mode.

Data Guard Cons:

  • Supports only Oracle DBs
  • No in-flight data transformation
  • Upgrading with no downtime is a question
  • Switchover takes time during an issue

Shareplex :- A tool that is basically used when you are looking for high availability using active-active replication. This product can be compared with Oracle’s in house product for Oracle DB, which is Data Guard & GoldenGate. GoldenGate will more of apple to apple comparison.

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Shareplex Pros:

  • It is the cheapest solution as compared to Golden Gate for high availability.
  • Simplicity in installation
  • Data accuracy in terms of data loss in flight with built-in monitoring, conflict resolution, data comparison, and synchronization. Replicates data and updates immediately.
  • It works & provides replication in terms of non enterprise editions of Oracle DB also
  • In-Flight Data Integrity and Instantiation
  • It can support multi-platform data replication like Linux-windows & vice versa

Golden Gate:

It is certainly worth its weight in Gold & it is a gate made up of gold, which is your data when you need high availability. It can be compared with Shareplex & it picks up some of the areas in which Golden gate leaves vacuum-like non RAC clusters.

Golden gate is a fully matured product with multiple options to replicate

Golden Gate Pros:

  • Oracle product & support
  • Better reporting as compared to Shareplex in terms of support as per the online community
  • Veridata plugin with Golden Gate is great for out of synch data verification
  • Supports heterogeneous DB replication
  • It can support multi-platform data replication like Linux-windows & vice versa

Golden Gate Cons as compared to Shareplex

  • Oracle Golden Gate transactions are stuck in trail files on the source database that could lead to lost transactions in the event of an outage or could consequently cause network spikes during batch transmissions
  • Costly solution

Conclusion:-

Offcourse Shareplex is the clear winner in terms of feature set but again GoldenGate features can not be matched either. At the organization level if Oracle ULA covers GoldenGate then that should be your first preference but if it is not covered by your ULA and you are low on budget then your default product choice is Shareplex.

Further, if your Oracle database is not facing 24/7 customer & it is allowed to have some seconds for flipping over from active instance to standby instance then you can go for Data Guard as well.

Having said that I do see value if you want to make use of this product once your DB is operational in the cloud & you are not going to have RAC cluster then you can make use of Shareplex for high availability of Oracle DB. But for active-passive replication, I really don’t see any value in shareplex.

Written by

Sachin Kapale works as a Technical Solution Architect.His articles are available on http://www.sachinkapale.com

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