By Henning Lund - November 17, 2021
Many companies operating in a distributed environment need to make sure they have accurate and good quality data.
In a distributed environment, data is typically generated at diverse locations. However, it needs to be available for all and at all times. It could be a company with hundreds of local retail shops, overseas production sites or simply sales or repairmen distributed over a large territory and each working from an individual laptop.
Distributed environments come with their share of challenges. For example, creating reports and analyzing data can prove to be difficult. To avoid these potential problems, organizations with distributed environments need to be able to access transactional data at all locations.
To make distributed environments work, all data captured locally needs to be automatically transferred between the systems. It prevents double data entry. And it allows management to make their decisions on accurate and up-to-date data, throughout the organization.
Linking the different systems is an absolute must-do. A data replication solution is the answer.
To simplify it to the extreme, data replication is the process of copying data from one place to another. Imagine a company with 10 different locations, for example a hotel chain. The company’s headquarters needs to be updated at all times with each of the locations’ data.
This gives everyone in your organization access to the same accurate data, faster.
The exponential increase of data collected, data centers, data lakes, big data and the need for real time data have made the need for data replication even stronger. The good news is that there are a wealth of data replication tools available.
There are different types of replication schemes - mostly you can perform full data replication or partial data replication. Full data replication refers to a full database duplication, while partial replication refers to the duplication of only certain fragments of your data.
The greatest advantage of full data replication is that you have a fully identical copy of your data in all your locations.
Whether you choose a full or a partial data replication scheme, your next step must be selecting the right data replication software solution. However, choosing between data replication technologies might not be an easy task.
What would you choose?
Data replication methods are also different:
Often, companies choose their usual IT vendor to provide them with a data replication solution. While it might be the easiest way to do this at first, this is not always the solution they need. Not if they want a future-proof solution.
Data replication can be a savior for your company when the worst happens. It can even become a cornerstone of your business’ data recovery strategy.
Because data replication takes a screenshot of a company’s data and moves it to another server, it allows them to protect and retrieve the data should they encounter server performance failure or a hacking disaster.
In fact, having a copy of your data at various geographical locations around the world is one of the safest ways to ensure that your business will go on despite a data loss disaster.
Data replication can come with multiple benefits:
While data replication has many benefits, it also has a few challenges. Having multiple data copies can tremendously increase your storage requirements.
Also, if you are not very careful, having to maintain many copies of your data can end up being a complex task requiring advanced data replication techniques.
These disadvantages can for the most be avoided with the right data replication solution.
Retailers, hotels chains, NGOs or any international companies with multiple sites are just some examples of organizations that could benefit from data replication between a central ERP system / database and several decentralized systems.
Rapidi A/S is a provider of Cloud data integration and data replication solutions. The Rapidi Replicator helps companies replicate their data across databases or instances of solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
Here are a couple of examples of companies that have benefited from the Rapidi Replicator technology.
IMAN Cosmetics produces make-up designed for multicultural women with all kinds of skin tones. IMAN Cosmetics needed a solution that would link their central Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution and their local warehouse solution, also based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Before implementing the Rapidi Replicator, IMAN Cosmetics had their data in both their local and our warehouse Microsoft Dynamics NAV. But the systems were not connected, so their employees didn’t have real-time access to the necessary data.
In a vision of having an integrated warehouse solution, they needed a stable and secure link between those two Microsoft Dynamics NAV systems.
IMAN Cosmetics benefited by:
1 - Improving their work routines: IMAN Cosmetics reduced manual work processes and cut the time spent on entering data in two systems.
2 - Improving data accuracy: by removing double data entries they ensured higher data quality.
3 - Allowing all resources throughout the company to have access to valuable data – real-time.
4 - Increasing control and flexibility : they no longer need to involve a 3rd party to manage their data and build reports.
REMA 1000 is a multinational discount supermarket chain headquartered in Norway and with a strong presence in Scandinavia. They needed to allow for smooth data exchange between close to 200 stores and their headquarters.
They found the best solution in the Rapidi Replicator. REMA 1000 needed to link 199 stores with their general financial system (Microsoft Dynamics NAV); which means a whole lot of data – about 1 million records – going back and forward every day between each store and the central headquarters.
Information about products, prices, special offers, campaigns, employees had to be up-to-date in each store and at headquarter level. They needed all that information to be managed and transferred in an efficient and secure way.
REMA 1000 benefited by:
5- Saving time and money , because they could eliminate double data entries and gain access to always updated data.
6- Concentrating on their core business , because all additional workload, worries and uncertainties about their data was removed.
7- Gaining a better overview of their business thanks to full control of their data.
These are just two examples but they could apply to any company in a distributed environment, regardless of the systems they are using and want to link. The challenges are the same and the solutions identical.
The Rapidi Replicator for example, is used by many companies running their business with Microsoft Dynamics ERP, but it can be used to link and replicate data between any two identical systems.