Data Management: What You Need to Know Now

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For top-tier businesses today, databases are fundamental requirements. These businesses revolve around data and use the latest technologies to gather, process, analyze, and leverage this information while investing heavily in cybersecurity for data privacy and protection.

Database Management Systems

Data from Statista shows the most popular database management systems around the world as of June 2021, based on website mentions, search frequency, technical discussion frequency, current job offers, professional network profiles, and social network relevance. Oracle is in the lead, followed closely by MySQL. Microsoft SQL Server ranks third, while Postgre SQL and MongoDB rank fourth and fifth, respectively. Trailing, in consecutive order, are IBM Db2, Redis, Elasticsearch, SQLite, and Microsoft Access.

According to Database Trends and Applications (DBTA), a 2021 study by Unisphere Research in partnership with Aerospike shows that almost 75 percent of respondent organizations have budgets for digital transformation. Among companies with 5,000 or more employees, 94 percent have digital transformation budgets.

A late 2020 study by Unisphere Research in partnership with Dell Technologies shows that more than 80 percent of respondent organizations use two or more database brands, and more than a third use four or more. There are various database engines for different purposes. Moreover, the environment is now diverse, with other relational DBMSs and open-source and NoSQL choices available out there.
man in front of servers

Database Protection

Another article on DBTA walks businesses through the process of disaster-proofing an SQL server. The first question that a business must ask itself is how long the SQL server can be offline before it creates problems for the company. This is the company’s recovery time objective (RTO).

The company must quantify the cost of downtime because it must compare this cost to how much it is willing to spend on getting the server online sooner. The sooner the server is able to get back online, the more expensive that solution is. To be cost-effective, the company must choose a solution that matches the cost of downtime.

The second question that a business must ask itself is how much data it can afford to lose from the downtime. This can be measured in seconds, hours, or days, depending on how the company uses the data. This is the company’s recovery point objective (RPO). To have zero data loss means to recover data exactly from the point of downtime. That will be the most expensive solution. Once again, the company must determine how much it costs to lose a certain amount of data. It must then choose the data recovery solution that matches the cost of data loss.

If you do not have an in-house IT team and database administrator (DBA), it is best to get the services of professional SQL server database emergency support on standby. This way, your company will have immediate disaster recovery assistance on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

If the company has a very low RTO, this can be achieved through Windows Failover Clustering Services (WFCS) with a multi-node failover cluster in the cloud. To protect yourself from a problem affecting multiple availability zones (AZs) in a single region, two nodes must be in separate AZs within a single region, while a third must be in a remote region.

If the company has a very low RPO, this can be achieved through the Always On Availability Group (AG) replication features into the SQL Server. This fully replicates user-defined SQL Server databases data between the primary and secondary infrastructures in the same region, and it asynchronously does so with the infrastructure in the remote region. If the disaster affects the primary instance, the secondary instance immediately takes over with minimal RTO and zero RPO. If the secondary instance is likewise affected, a manual process will recover data from the third node in the remote region. Because data replication to the third node was asynchronous, there is a possibility that it was not completed when disaster struck. Hence, there is a risk of a data gap. However, this gap will be minimal. The AG solution needs the SQL Server Enterprise Edition. If you only have the SQL Server Standard edition and you need to upgrade, it will be costly.

You can still replicate data between two local nodes and one remote node with an SQL Server Standard Edition by using a third-party SANless Clustering tool with WFCS. This replicates everything in the target storage volumes from the primary instance to the two secondary instances.

Data management is a crucial aspect when handling information in business. Having a reliable database ensures that the operations are smooth. Of course, any business should also have maintenance and emergency support for this feature to function. Like any other disaster, you never know when a server outage will occur. Hence, disaster-preparedness is a must.

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