Database Cloning for Oracle Test Data Management.
Accelerate application test and release cycles with rapid cloning of multi-TB Oracle databases to test environments.
Every enterprise wants to roll out new features, security patches, and perform analytics faster than ever. These activities need high fidelity copies of production Oracle databases.
Actifio software helps enterprises to provision rapid clones of Oracle databases to test environments in a self-service manner.
Enterprises using legacy test data management tools create subsets of production data for testers. Testing software against such data subsets lead to high defects with poor software quality releases.
To overcome this problem, enterprises create physical copies of production databases. For large Oracle databases, this leads to high storage costs and also leads to long wait cycles with too much time wasted in creating and refreshing physical copies.
To overcome this problem, some enterprises try to use storage snapshots with no self-service automation and also leads to a weak security model with no automated data masking and no role-based access control.
Additionally, in many environments, users can’t perform functionality and performance testing simultaneously to cut down testing cycles.
Lastly, most of these point tools are not cloud-ready.
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HOW Actifio HELPS
Actifio helps enterprises accelerate Oracle Devops for application test and release cycles by enabling users to provision multi-TB Oracle database clones instantly, in minutes, in a self-service manner.
The database clones are rewritable thin-clones which means they don’t consume any extra storage, and thus helps reduce storage costs.
Actifio’s ability to integrate via APIs to CI/CD tools and provision dozens of Oracle database clones to test environments enables quality assurance (QA) testers to iterate through testing and refresh cycles rapidly and improve software quality.
For enterprises with sensitive data in Oracle databases, Actifio helps increase security by automating the sensitive data masking process, along with role-based access control.
Enterprises can enjoy all these benefits while leveraging Actifio in any public cloud or on-premises.
How Actifio Works for Oracle Database Cloning.
How to Get Data into Your DevOps Environments.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Yes. Actifio is certified for RAC, ASM, Exadata, In-Memory, 12c support, including Multitenancy.
Actifio’s pricing model is very simple and easy to understand. It’s based on the amount of source data protected. For example: If an enterprise wants to use Actifio to provision 20 clones of a 10 TB Oracle database, the enterprise would need Actifio license for 10 TB of source data. Enterprises can create as many clones as they want and can retain any amount of point-in-time history. Enterprises can also use this license anywhere in the public cloud or on-premises.
Actifio VDP is the patented core Virtual Data Pipeline technology that can be consumed in multiple form factors. Actifio Sky is a VM appliance that runs Actifio VDP engine and can be provisioned in a public cloud VM or on-premises in VMware, Hyper-V VMs. Actifio CDS/CDX is a physical appliance cluster that runs Actifio VDP engine with High Availability and is typically used on-premises.
Yes. Actifio supports all major public cloud providers such as Oracle, AWS, Azure, IBM, and Google. It’s also available in some of the public cloud marketplaces.
Following are the key comparisons:
- Oracle ASM: Physical vs Virtual Clones: Delphix can provision physical clones to test environments requiring Oracle ASM, thus increasing the storage costs and the amount of time spent in creating clones. Compare this with Actifio which can provision virtual DB clones to ASM test environments, thus reducing the time and storage costs by up to 20x.
- Oracle RAC: Single vs Multi-Node Data Ingestion: In Oracle RAC environments with multiple nodes, Delphix can ingest data from a single RAC node. Compare this with Actifio which has the ability to ingest changed blocks from multiple RAC nodes, thus decreasing the refresh cycles even further.
- Low vs High Performance: Many enterprises have investments in Fibre Channel and want to provision virtual database (VDB) clones over their high-performance Fibre Channel network for better performance. Delphix can not leverage Fibre Channel to provision VDB clones as it supports NFS only. Compare this with Actifio which has the ability to provision VDB clones over Fibre Channel, NFS, and iSCSI, thus delivering not only high performance, but also the flexibility to pick and choose any protocol.
- High Availability: Many enterprises expect high availability when there are 100s of testers using virtual DB clones because any downtime means delays in testing and application release cycles. Delphix does not offer HA capability. Compare this with Actifio which offers the option for enterprises to buy its software in a 2-node HA cluster that ensures that testers don’t have any downtime in the event of losing one of the nodes.
- Total Cost of Ownership: High vs Low: Delphix requires a very large amount of compute and memory to run their software as compared to Actifio Sky software. Additionally, Delphix recommends an on-premises staging server for large or mission-critical databases. Unlike Delphix, Actifio offers a global manager to manage one or more Actifio software instances running in multiple data centers or public cloud. Actifio also offers an enterprise-grade backup, disaster recovery, long-term data retention solution with the same license. Such rich functionality with simple software licensing, the high amount of data managed per software instance, and global management drives down the total cost of ownership for enterprises significantly as compared to Delphix.
None of these vendors have test data management where they can enable users to provision dozens of database clones with high scale and performance, with automated data masking, and provide flexibility to users to pick and choose any storage, any cloud.
Yes, Actifio leverages Oracle’s native Block Change Tracking (BCT) technology to capture just the changed blocks in its incremental forever data ingestion. After the first backup, which is an Image Copy (RMAN ‘BACKUP AS COPY’), Actifio does an incremental backup and incremental merge. Thus, if 5% of a 10 TB production database changes, only 500 GB of data will be ingested by Actifio. When testers have to refresh, they just unmount their database clones and provision clones again in just minutes.
Actifio stores the Oracle backups in native Oracle format. This ensures that after instant mount and provisioning a database clone, there is no performance overhead because of format conversion. The other factor to consider is the storage on which the Oracle backups are stored by Actifio. Depending on the performance requirements, enterprises can specify the right storage tier to use with Actifio. And lastly, Actifio also offers the flexibility to instantly mount and provision database clones over Fibre Channel or iSCSI or NFS depending upon the user preference. Thus the performance can be as good as the underlying storage and the protocol the user wants to use.
Yes. Actifio integrates with Oracle Data Guard and provides the flexibility to ingest data from either the primary or the standby database so testers can then provision virtual DB clones.
Yes. Actifio can support all those environments. Actifio has the ability to mask sensitive data and replicate the masked data to another Actifio Sky instance in any public cloud such as AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM cloud. Within the cloud, Dev, QA testers can provision virtual DB clones on-demand. This architecture ensures that sensitive data is masked on-premises before getting replicated to the cloud.
Yes. This is possible with two approaches. In the first approach, the enterprise can use Commvault/Netbackup to backup Oracle databases from the primary Oracle instance, and Actifio can ingest data from the standby Oracle instance or vice versa. In the second approach where Commvault/Netbackup and Actifio are forced to protect from the same Oracle instance, Actifio can still ingest data for Test Data Management in an incremental forever manner using Oracle Block Change Tracking (BCT) without impacting Commvault/Veritas backups. But only one product can manage the Archive log backups.
Yes. In fact, almost all the customers who use Actifio for Oracle DevOps & Test Data Management replace their other backup product with Actifio either on day one or over time. This helps them not only reduce their overall costs, but also simplifies operations with a single platform for backup, recovery, test data management i.e. Copy Data Management for Oracle databases.