Zero Time to Recovery, Zero Distance Limitation
By Irem Radzik on Sep 22, 2010
Chris Uriarte, CTO of Retail Decisions, presented today at OpenWorld, about their continuous availability solution that delivers 99.99% availability for their fraud prevention and payment processing systems running on Oracle and SQL Server databases. These systems are mission-critical because they provide real-time payment authorization and fraud detection services to Blue-chip retailers such as Walmart, Sears, Macy's. When we go and shop in retail locations or online, Retail Decisions's fraud detection and payment processing platforms run in the background before the retailer accepts our payment. If Retail Decisions' systems are down, it means that merchants cannot receive payments or they may have to pay for fraudulent transactions. Chris gave really interesting examples how credit card fraud occurs. Unfortunately it is a major organized crime, and much easier than we think, how these crime groups steal and sell credit card information.
Chris told us how they implemented Oracle GoldenGate to build multi-master replication solution for their data centers across continents. With this architecture transactions can be processed in any data center. With real-time, bidirectional replication capabilities, GoldenGate synchronizes it with other data centers in sub-seconds latency without distance limitations. This multi-master replication architecture includes decision support systems/operational data stores and allows analytical information to be passed to the OLTP systems in near zero latency. A true closed loop solution to bring in the BI into operational systems.
Chris listed several benefits of this architecture:
- Real-time disaster-recovery architecture where data is always 100% up-to-date during a failure scenario. Time to recovery is ZERO, failures are transparent to end users
- Ability to distribute load across data centers. Allows for scalability to any "connected" geography and facilitates an "Any Transaction Anywhere" infrastructure
- Allows for the use of much lower-cost hardware. No requirement to buy into large, expensive server chassis
- Shared infrastructure not required when scaling. New systems do not have to be attached to an existing SAN or cluster - they can operate independently on the other side of the world
He emphasized that with this Active-Active set up there is no concept of DR sites, all of the systems are active and supporting transactions. And there is no need to failover. Disaster recovery is built in to the core architecture.
When the audience asked about why he preferred GoldenGate Chris mentioned:
- High performance and scalable
- "Lean" platform protocol. Non-intrusive, low-impact.
- Highly efficient with very low bandwidth requirements
- Low (or near-zero!) data latency
- Single high availability replication technology for all database platforms.
He added that GoldenGate has very minimal impact on the source database and is loosely coupled with the database.
You can read here how GoldenGate enables Active-Active database configuration.
It was a very enlightening session with great wealth of information on how to maximize system availability and flexibility, while minimizing costs. With this innovative architecture and the results Retail Decisions has achieved, it is not suprising to hear that Chris Uriarte was awarded the CTO 25 Award by InfoWorld Magazine few years ago.