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  • Writer's picturekyle Hailey

IT operations made easier!


What kinds of things keep a IT ops person up at night?

What kinds of things make IT Ops people have to work over the weekends?

What keeps me up:

  1. outages

  2. performance problems

  3. running out of disk space

  4. corruption requiring recovery

These things are stressful.

One the most stressful things is recovering from corruption. Usually when there is a corruption, some important data and/or system is not accessible and won’t be until I recover the data. Now data recovery is not something I typically do everyday, so when I have to so it under pressure and using backups that probably haven’t even been tested for viability, then it’s a hugely stressful situation.

How can I make my life easier? How can I address all these bullet points to reduce the stress level and make life easier?

What I can do is use Delphix. Now you may say “what does Delphix, the development acceleration guys, have to do with IT operations?”

Delphix is known for being able to spin up development environments along with full copies of large production databases in minutes for almost no extra storage per copy and on top of that mask the data for usage in development.

What’s this technology have to do with making IT life easier?

First and one of the greatest stress relievers is using Delphix for backup and recovery. For example backup and recovery of Oracle can be expensive and time consuming and complicated. Backing up Oracle is complex enough that it requires it’s own tool, RMAN. RMAN syntax can be challenging and complex. Usually the back up itself is automated and put into motion to run on it’s own. Problem with this is that we often don’t know if the backups actually work and when it comes to recovering, we have to remember where all the files are and all the correct syntax for recovery. Recovery often requires copying the data from a backup location  to a location where it can actually be used. The backup strategy proposed by Oracle is to take a full backup on the weekends and incremental backups during the week, which means if the database has a problem on Friday, 5 days after the last full backup, then it will require taking the full backup and replying multiple incremental to that full backup as well as any archive required and online redo. If anything goes wrong it might be hours before we find out. If we do anything wrong it might mean hours of work to redo everything.

This is why I love Delphix.

With Delphix, all I have to do click a button in a web UI, and Delphix will start up a copy of the recover database without having to move any data around. Delphix uses the backup data in place for the recovery. Delphix takes care of all the recovery commands behind the scenes, starting up the database down to the second or SCN that I request from a graphical slider. It only take a few minutes. It’s so easy. It just eliminates the stress. I don’t have to think about how to do something, I just have to think about what I want. I’d rather think about the business goals than about RMAN commands. 

And using Delphix radically reduces the amount of disk space I have to use for backup. Let’s look at an example of a 9 TB database with 1TB of changes per day and compare the standard Oracle recommended backup strategy of full back on the weekend and incremental during the week vs using Delphix:

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.25.35 PM

The Oracle strategy has to save 9 TBs every weekend and 1 TB a day.

The Delphix solution links to the 9 TB once and only once and using compression saves this in about 3TB. Then and forever Delphix never takes another full backup. Delphix just collects the changes and the 1 TB of changes a day is stored in about 300 GB, so the Delphix storage foot print never even reaches the size of the original database for almost a month, despite the fact that we can recover the database down to the second in minutes for almost no extra storage anywhere in that 30 days.

Delphix also has the option of automatically recovering the database, say every 5 minutes to prove that the backups are correct. With this automation we have caught Oracle redo log bugs that would have otherwise gone unnoticed until it was too late.

If you have a 25GB or less Oracle database (or MySQL, Postgres, Sybase,  or SQL Server)  you can set up this backup architecture with Delphix for free!

Delphix makes recovery effortless, bullet proof,  fast and  inexpensive.

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