Oracle GoldenGate, it's not just for Oracle DBs anymore!
November 06, 2015
Oracle GoldenGate, it's not just for Oracle DBs anymore!
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Oracle GoldenGate
At a previous job, bi-directional Oracle GoldenGate replication was used to support a highly available application model. It was used across the whole IT DBA organization. At my current position Oracle GoldenGate is being used in a uni-directional manner to replicate data from 10 different application databases to an ERP platform that is used for our enterprise reporting needs, this also helps in offloading the reporting from the application databases.
- Replication. Oracle GoldenGate's strength is it's main feature, replication. GoldenGate is able to quickly replicate transactions in a method that maintains transactional integrity and give you a like to like replica on the other side.
- Transformation. Oracle GoldenGate is able to do some data transformation as it replicates, this is very key if you need your data to appear a certain way, especially important in Reporting.
- Recoverability. Oracle GoldenGate has many fail safes to ensure data is not lost, some examples of this are trail files its own system of recording changes that works with the DB SCN.
- Multiple Data Sources/Targets. Oracle GoldenGate is not limited to just Oracle Databases as a target it can support most of the popular databases in the industry today such as SQL Server, MySQL, DB2 and more.
- Setting Up Oracle GoldenGate as HA in an Oracle RAC environment. While this is possible to do and there is documentation out there, I've found that specific Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle RAC experience is needed in order to make this happen. That level of experience does not exist everywhere.
- Monitoring Oracle GoldenGate. Currently there are two main options for monitoring Oracle GoldenGate, the first, GoldenGate Monitor, does not scale well as it becomes very non-performant when you have more than 10-15 GoldenGate Managers reporting to it, the second, Oracle Enterprise Manager, while getting better still requires a lot of manual configuration to have Oracle GoldenGate talk to the OEM agent. While this has got a lot better with 12c GoldenGate, I still feel that there is room to improve here.
- Unable to replicate certain Data Types. Again, less of an issue in 12c Oracle GoldenGate, but there are still some Data Types that Oracle GoldenGate is unable to replicate.
- Increased Availability. Through using Oracle GoldenGate we were able to completely eliminate customer experienced downtime when applying patches and upgrades to our databases. This led to a increase in our availability numbers company wide for database. The key though was architecting our applications to allow them to work in a multi-site fashion that allowed us to leverage Oracle GoldenGate for this.
- Being able to move data/processes off of the main application databases to put less strain on those resources. Being able to replicate data from 11 Application DBs to one ERP DB running on Exadata has increased performance on the application databases as they no longer needed to have a report run against them. It also allowed us to create new reports for our customers which has many times over paid for our investment in Oracle GoldenGate.
- Oracle Streams
Oracle GoldenGate is much faster than Oracle Streams in all of the testing that we did. Oracle Streams is also deprecated as of 12c. There's a reason Oracle went out and purchased GoldenGate, what Oracle GoldenGate is able to do from a replication perspective is amazing. As Oracle GoldenGate gets more and more intertwined in the Oracle world, they keep finding additional efficiencies and more ways to make the replication even faster without sacrificing transaction integrity.
I think Oracle GoldenGate is well suited for replication when you want the data, in whatever form, to be available on the other side in a very short amount of time, the two use cases that I'm most familiar with, bi-directional replication to support multi-site applications and uni-directional to support a reporting DB Platform are two instances where Oracle GoldenGate is very appropriate. I feel its limitations, such as data types supported make it a less than optimal choice for migrations, unless all of your used data types fit in to the currently supported data types. I also feel that it is not a good choice to replace Oracle DataGuard for Disaster Recovery implementations due to the data types concern.
Oracle GoldenGate Feature Ratings
Using Oracle GoldenGate
- Replicating data between DB platforms.
- Bi-Directional Replication to support highly available application architecture.
Evaluating Oracle GoldenGate and Competitors
Yes - Oracle GoldenGate replaced Oracle Streams in our organization. We wanted to replace Oracle Streams because it was becoming too slow for the amount of transactions that we were pushing from system to system and the lag was becoming a high profile issue with the business. When we switched to Oracle GoldenGate these problems disappeared.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Analyst Reports
The single most important factors in our decision were the product features. It was able to do everything we needed for replication and do it fast. This helped make this a very easy decision to use Oracle GoldenGate over other products in the market. The multi-DB platform support also made it highly appealing from an organizational perspective.
I don't know that we would want to change in our selection process, I believe what we looked at and what we tested made sense. I think if we had known about the monitoring challenges ahead of time we could have maybe worked with the vendor to understand the best practices around that a little better from the get go and that would have helped some of our operational challenges around Oracle GoldenGate.
Oracle GoldenGate Implementation
If Oracle GoldenGate is new to your organization, expose as many DBAs as possible to it. Having your whole team fluent in it will overcome early operational hurdles and allow it to more quickly become an accepted and supported part of your supported platform for your team that will enable the business to use it to its fullest.
Yes - There were three main phases to the implementation. Proof of concepting that Oracle GoldenGate would work in the way and the manner that we needed it to, operationalization of Oracle GoldenGate at our organization so that it could be supported by the DBA Team and the final phase was to implement in our non-production and then production environments.
Change management was minimal - Change Management was not a factor in the implementation as it was well-handled and most of our changes were non-impactful and thus, less scrutinized.
- How to Monitor at Scale. This was before the OEM Oracle Golden Gate Plugin, so Oracle GoldenGate Monitor was our only alertnative and it became very slow when we started getting a larger Oracle GoldenGate footprint.
- Configuration. Some of our earliest implementations were some of our most cumbersome, in hindsight it would have been better to begin with easier implementations and work our way up there, but unfortunately the biggest need from the business was in that most challenging implementation.
- Knowledge distribution. The SMEs for Oracle GoldenGate were very busy and were not able to give the time necessary to properly train the entire team on Oracle GoldenGate, this let to some siloing until the whole team could be brought up to speed through Oracle University Training.
Oracle GoldenGate Training
We've had Oracle consultants come as well for training days to talk about new features, parts of Oracle GoldenGate we may not be using and things of that nature. The consultants they send are great as they're very knowledgeable about all things Oracle GoldenGate and great resources for any questions or concerns you may have with the product.
We used Oracle University for our Oracle Golden Gate Training and it was top notch. We were able to turn our whole DBA team to Oracle GoldenGate newbies to Oracle GoldenGate troubleshooting experts in a matter of a few days, while this obviously did not come cheap, the company felt that it was worth the investment.
While you can learn without training, I would not recommend it. The Oracle documentation can only get you so far. If your implementation is very basic you may get away with it, but ultimately it will come back to bite you. I strongly advise getting Oracle GoldenGate Training if at all possible.
Configuring Oracle GoldenGate
Configurability is mostly just right but can be too complex in some scenarios where there is a large amount of mapping statements in the configuration files.
If installing Oracle GoldenGate on a RAC System, use RAC Services to make it highly available!!!
Oracle GoldenGate Support
Oracle Support for Oracle GoldenGate has been quite responsive and quite helpful in the few situations where we've needed it. Furthermore, the documentation on Oracle GoldenGate is so good that we often do not need to contact support with issues as the fix is already documented and able to be run by us without needing to open a ticket.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Oracle has sent us their best Oracle GoldenGate consultant on multiple occasions, Valerie Bedard. She has been an absolute joy to work with and her Oracle GoldenGate knowledge is just amazing. She has been consulting on Oracle GoldenGate since before the company was acquired by Oracle. She knows the ins and outs of the product and her support has been invaluable in supporting Oracle GoldenGate at our organization.
Using Oracle GoldenGate
Once set up, it's very easy to use and keep running, it's getting to that point that can make it cumbersome to some. Also, depending on the data that you want to replicate, the configuration files can become quite cumbersome to maintain. Learning curve can be high for some who are not as experienced with databases and transactions.
Like to use
Easy to use
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
- Creating a replicat extract.
- Hooking Oracle GoldenGate in to enterprise level monitoring.
Oracle GoldenGate Reliability
Have never had any issues with scaling Oracle GoldenGate itself, however Oracle GoldenGate Monitor does have scaling issues, but with Oracle GoldenGate now able to be monitored by Oracle Enterprise Manager, this is no longer an issue, in my opinion.
Oracle GoldenGate has only gone down for us when the data being sent was bad.
Integrating Oracle GoldenGate
It's very easy to integrate Oracle GoldenGate with a wide variety of tools since Oracle GoldenGate was not originally an Oracle product and was created to be able to integrate with multiple platforms.
- Oracle Data Integrator (ODI)
Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) takes the data replicated by Oracle GoldenGate and transforms it for our reporting needs. This was not very difficult to achieve as these were both Oracle products that can be fairly easily integrated together.
Relationship with Oracle
Oracle was very easy to work with during the process as our UELA already included Oracle GoldenGate.
Upgrading Oracle GoldenGate
Yes - Release went very smoothly with very minimal down time, this was an 11g to 11g upgrade. There were no unexpected impacts with the new release in that case. Having said that, the 11g to 12c upgrade looks to be slightly more complicated so there may be some challenges there.
- Additional Data Sources/Targets especially in the Big Data Space.