"What options are available?"
Data Virtualization & Cloud Options
The world of data management for developers, QA, testing, reporting, and other non-production environments is crowded and complicated. The answer is not always going to be one tool or another. There's a chance multiple tools are necessary. Every situation will have a solution (or solutions) appropriate for its circumstance with varying costs and benefits.There are enterprise level products that are great for replicating large amounts of data almost instantly. The efficiency at which they can replicate large data sets is impressive. Similarly, cloud services can virtualize servers and database images in a snap.
Data Virtualization & Cloud Method Issues
Money, Money, Money: In most cases these tools require a significant investment in hardware (money), software (money), time (money), training (money), and technical resources (money). In some cases, the end result even produces a new full-time resource for managing the enterprise virtualization system.
Implementation: A tool is only as useful as the ability to utilize it. Companies typically have outlying systems that are not part of the virtualization environment or applications that are not suited for the cloud. There are geographical, architectural, or other restrictions that don't lend themselves to these solutions. In these cases, the tool doesn't satisfy all the needs of the business.
Required Skillset: A wrench may be a basic tool but without significant skills the average person won't be able to replace a crankshaft. The same holds true for technical tools. If the goal is to save your IT staff time, some tools may not allow the average end-user to perform basic operations like generating a new database. Rather than save resource time, it just gets reallocated to managing a virtualization tool.
Not an End-To-End Solution: Replicating a database may be easy for the right technical staff. However, replicating the actual database is only one of the typical steps. After the new database is created it may need configuration changes, sensitive data scrubbed or removed, and other ancillary steps provided by yet another tool or manual process.
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The Northflow Solutions Team
- Revolutionizing Data Movement