Database Cloning

Setup a Pre-Production Environment

Setting up a clone of the production environment is a daunting task. A key component of that environment is the data (Db2, VSAM,..) which must be refreshed regularly (daily, weekly, monthly,..) depending on the company requirements. The data used in creating this production image can be used to supply fresh data for other test and development test beds. The Db2 data can be passed on to Linux, Unix, Windows, Oracle or MSSQL, so that these alternate platforms can also support the proper testing, development or enhancement of existing applications. Consistent production data is needed in order to populate a pre-production or staging environment for QA, User Acceptance, Stress Testing and to refresh application playpens. Obtaining this data should not entail stopping production. XDM-DC has been designed from the ground up with the latest technology to satisfy the most demanding of shops. It obtains Db2 data without needing to quiesce Db2; it can create a clone of the data; it can distribute the data to other platforms; it can do almost any reasonable task requested by a systems programmer or DBA.

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Create a clone
A clone is an independent, consistent, 1:1 copy of a database at a fixed point in time. XDM-DC is able to copy data in-flight throughout the cloning process. The source database does not need to be stopped. Any changes, which occurred in the active source system during the cloning process (for example with INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE-statements), are applied after the process to update the clone to a fixed point in time. In order to achieve consistency, XDM-DC uses the database logs of the source system. The point in time at which both databases are to be identical is defined by the user, or automated by XDM-DC. After the refresh of all open transactions, a fully functional and consistent clone database is ready to be used.


Clone a heterogeneous database system
If the source system consists of multiple databases which are interconnected with different DBMS, the creation of a consistent clone is not possible without a considerable amount of effort. A standard clone of these databases would result in an inconsistent system. XDM-DC is able to handle databases from different DBMS’s, provides parallel cloning and refreshes the relevant logs. An identical target system including all relations between databases can be established for a desired point in time.

Pre-production as a basis
XDM-DC is optimally designed for the creation of pre-production or staging environments. It is a data source for release, acceptance- and regression tests. It is often used for making subset copies at the table or dataset level. The clone completely segregates the production data from the test data. If required, XDM-DC is able to anonymize the data during the cloning process in order to meet regulatory compliance rules.

Decoupling of production and test
Production no longer needs to be stopped to allow for consistent data to be extracted. XDM-DC is able to provide clones “on demand” without having to wait for an open window in production. This has substantial benefits for testers and developers. If required, XDM-DC´s users can receive email notifications with all relevant information concerning status, results and working steps of cloning tasks.

Working with fast hardware components
When fast hardware components, like Flashcopy1, EMC Timefinder, HDS Shadowimage, or SnapShot, are available, XDM-DC utilizes them and creates the fastest possible pre-production clones. Of course, data consistency and 24×7 operations are not compromised.