Big Data, Cloud, Application Upgrades, Application Retirement, Data Warehouse, Disk Backup – Why I Love “Data Validation”

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Earlier this year, we moved our office to a new location. The move was painful. We realized just how much stuff we had accumulated over years, including many things we never use but were sitting around, collecting dust. We had to look at every piece of furniture, every server, every software CD, and decide whether we need it. The best part of that exercise was that we used it to teach our non-technical staff about database archiving and application retirement and how we do a similar exercise for data centers and applications.

Having gotten through the move, the year seems very encouraging. We are feeling good vibrations from multiple indicators, about an economic resurgence. We also started the year very well, announcing Solix EDMS SE – Data Validation.

I love this tool. It provides tremendous value to DBAs and application owners. Data is always moving. Think of Big Data, Cloud, Data warehousing, Application Upgrades, Migrations, Hardware Upgrades, Application Backups – you are constantly moving data. How do you ensure that the data has indeed moved correctly, and how do you automate the process of comparing a copy of a data set with the original to determine the accuracy of the copy?

Invalidated or poorly validated data is a huge issue. Imagine the inaccuracies in your analytical reporting and the decisions based on that. Imagine a disaster situation leaving you trying to recover your core database from the backup and realizing that that backup is incomplete or garbled. The impact on the organization could be enormous.

Data validation is the first step in assessing data quality, an analytic and domain-specific process to determine the quality of the data set. In general, IT departments handle this with custom scripts and custom programming. The news, with our new announcement is, you no longer need that. Check out Solix EDMS SE http://www.solix.com/company/news-events/press-releases/solix-technologies-inc-announces-free-data-validation-download/. This is a FREE tool that you can download now and start using across your enterprise today.

Mitigating Oracle Upgrade Risks

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In the wake of Oracle Application de-support notices, many Oracle customers are planning upgrades. We all know they are always tense, even a minor glitch can have major impact on business operations and therefore the company.

The Oracle Applications User Group recently conducted a survey of members to determine the benefits they anticipate and the risks that give them the most sleepless nights. The testing process came out on top of those risks, cited by 63% of respondents. Just behind with 61%, was concern about staffing the upgrade. About half were concerned with bringing customizations forward into the new release, while 47% are worried about the downtime and disruption that the upgrade may create (see Figure 11 of the full report).

If those are among your concerns, I have good news for you. Solix can help you minimize or eliminate those problems:

  • Testing Process:Solix EDMS Test Data Management is designed to bring the efficiencies of automation to the creation and management of database clones, it automates database cloning and subsetting for automated creation of databases for testing, QA while reducing infrastructure costs and improving development cycles.
  • Staffing: As you bring outside firms to staff your project, how do you ensure data privacy. Solix EDMS Data Masking product can help you deal with the data security for your test environments. Any leakage of sensitive data by a careless contractor can result in significant legal fees, loss of credibility and brand loyalty and exposure of corporate accounts and strategic business information. In the case of regulated industries, such as medical and financial industries, a data breach is sure to result in government scrutiny and repercussions.
  • Customization: As you consider migrating your customizations, often it ends up as a complete re-implementation. Should you consider that, Solix EDMS Application Retirement can help you optimize that process. This can speed up the migration process as well reduce the licensing costs of maintaining two different application systems.
  • Downtime and Disruption: Applying Solix EDMS Database Archiving tools before starting the upgrade of your production environment can reduce the size of the database significantly and reduce the downtime for upgrade. Experts agree that as much as 80% of data in enterprise production databases for core applications such as ERP, CRM, and corporate financials is no longer in active use and slows application performance by as much as 50%. Much of this data, however, needs to be retained for compliance and business needs such as decision support and trend analysis.

More importantly, Solix EDMS Data Validation which is FREE to download, can dramatically improve your testing as you move your data to your newer ERP system, it can ensure data integrity. Overall, Solix EDMS has a strategic role to play in your Oracle upgrades. If you have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to contact us. We are always in your corner.

Announcing FREE Solix EDMS Data Masking (Standard Edition)

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According to Gartner Fellow and VP Joseph Feiman, static data-masking market has reached the midpoint of maturity, while the technology is mature, adoption lags.

Why, while most Enterprises recognize the value of data-masking technologies that it prevents security and privacy breaches and in meeting regulatory and compliance requirements for data protection, most end up in a dilemma whether to buy off the shelf Software solution or invest in Custom Built Solution. We believe, this is partly because that most companies view data masking as a simple process that can be accomplished through simple scripts and then end up doing nothing. In this brief video, Feiman points out that data masking is an organization’s chief tool for protecting highly sensitive data from improper access and use by authorized users such as software development and test team members and is a very critical tool to protect vital data at rest from both external and internal attacks.

We are offering this FREE Solix EDMS Data Masking (Standard Edition) because we believe that once enterprises start using this data masking tool in a few applications they will realize its value for data security and compliance, and their needs will quickly grow for Solix EDMS Enterprise Edition.

Data Breaches are continuing to rise, some noteworthy this year in Health Care sector, Utah Department of Health, Emory Healthcare, South Carolina Department of Health, Howard University Hospital and St. Joseph Health System. Recently, with our partner Allen Systems Group (ASG), we put together a webinar targeting Health Care SectorData breach announcements in the Healthcare Industry are commonplace. Is your organization prepared?

On another note, our partner Wipro has now archived approximately 15 Billion transactional business objects from a CRM and Billing application for a telecom giant using Solix EDMS Database Archiving. We have long argued that many enterprise production databases are clogged with huge amounts of historic, inactive data that costs the enterprise money and kills application performance. This figure provides evidence of just how valuable Solix EDMS can be for companies – imagine the ROI in backup/recovery and primary storage cost savings this company has achieved through Solix EDMS. And then add the potential savings from preventing potential theft of sensitive, private data through Solix EDMS data masking. This adds up to one inevitable business conclusion – if your company is still on the fence on Information lifecycle management tools, it is time to jump to Solix EDMS.

Best Practice for Structured Data ILM=Data Partitioning + Data Archiving + Data Retirement

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Customers often ask us whether archiving or partitioning is the best practice for ILM. This question usually is based on a misunderstanding, because both can be used to address performance and storage cost issues. Partitioning and archiving is not an either/or choice. Rather they are complimentary, as evidenced by this from Gartner. So the correct answer to this question is yes, and Solix EDMS supports partitioning, archiving, and retiring data to the cloud for all your applications across your enterprise.

According to Orafaq, database partitioning is an option that database companies sell on top of a database license . Partitioning allows DBAs to split large tables into more manageable "sub-tables", called partitions, to improve database performance, manageability, and availability. It supports scaling of certain applications and provides the ability to leverage tiered storage to take advantage of lower-cost storage options. Whether partitioning is a good data management strategy depends in large part on how the individual application is architected. For instance, d ata warehouse applications are generally good partitioning candidates because date is usually a key dimension and can be used to spread the data out evenly (by years, quarters, months, etc.) This segregation can be used to improve query performance by excluding ‘offline’ partitions that are no longer needed for day-to-day operations. If applications are not architected with partition elimination strategy in their queries  it doesn’t significantly improve database performance as partitioned data still resides in the database as against moving complete sets of data out of the database does.

Database archiving, on the other hand, is the process of moving data that is no longer actively used to a separate data storage device such as SATA disk or tape, for long-term retention. This strategy is recommended for older data no longer active in the production environment but important for reference or regulatory compliance. Generally, this is achieved by creating two versions of each table, one for active data, and one for archived data. However, this means that all queries that need to access the archived data must now select a union of the active and archive tables. Database archiving products manage this data movement in an optimized manner while maintaining the integrity of the application.

Oracle, in its white paper “ Using Database Partitioning with Oracle E-Business Suite", for instance, recommends partitioning for improving performance and saving cost and reducing maintenance activities by moving old partitions to read-only table spaces (pg 49). The biggest problem when defining partition strategies for the Oracle E-Business Suite is that the application code has been prebuilt, which limits the choice of keys. Furthermore, changes to the partitioning strategies delivered with the base product are not recommended or supported. Therefore, the introduction of partitioning is complex, requiring both substantial analysis and robust testing of its effect on different components in your workload. This makes archiving of older data more attractive. A lso, by itself database partitioning does not meet long-term archiving and compliance requirements. On the other hand, transaction-based archiving alone may not be able to keep up with the volume demands of certain applications. Together they can provide a highly complementary solution that maintains performance of the production database while saving money.

Solix EDMS is designed to help with your partitioning and archiving strategy, as Gartner acknowledges in reports such as “ Solid Vendor Solutions Bolster Database Archiving Market ” by Sheila Childs and Alan Dayley. In that report, Solix is listed along the four important vendors for database archiving. Solix EDMS can be used to apply a consistent set of company ILM policies for data archiving and data retirement across all your data and applications. And it can provide a solution for retaining read-only access to data when retiring obsolescent applications, an important strategy for data center efficiency that is strongly supported in the Gartner report cited above.

 

On another note, I am happy to announce that we will co-sponsor www.ilmsolutions.net . This is an excellent resource for end-users researching ILM strategy, as it publishes all the information on the market, including industry white papers, analyst reports and customer case studies.


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