Oracle White Paper Puts Axxana Phoenix System in the Spotlight

Oracle White Paper Puts Axxana Phoenix System in the Spotlight

Thanks to the Axxana Phoenix System and Oracle’s Far Sync technology, disaster recovery just got simpler, more reliable, and more affordable for Oracle customers. That’s the takeaway in a recent white paper by Oracle. The global technology leader is teaming with Axxana to offer a best-of-breed solution that combines Oracle Active Data Guard Far Sync with Axxana Phoenix System to ensure zero data loss in any data center topology.

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The cost saving dilemma

The cost saving dilemma

Every IT team is looking for ways to cut costs. How can this be done without affecting the level of service to the business owners? In my previous blog, I discussed how enterprises are compromising between quick recovery time (minimal RTO) and Zero Data Loss (RPO=0). Which of the two is more critical to the business owners? There is no one correct answer and it was very challenging, until Axxana arrived on the scene, to maintain both. Organizations had to choose, based on the nature of the application, whether Zero Data Loss was more critical than potential down time when switching to the disaster recovery site after a serious failure at their main site. We already established the fact that with Axxana, there is no need to compromise anymore. Axxana’s Phoenix System for Oracle cuts down time to the absolute minimum, by maintaining full application consistency and lowering data reconciliation efforts to zero.

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Data Center Consolidation

Data Center Consolidation

Using the Phoenix System® for Oracle to Eliminate the Nearby Data Center in a 3 Data Center Topology   Most enterprises, governments, and other organizations are under pressure to consolidate data centers in order to control costs, improve security and compliance, and become more agile. The challenge, though, is to find a data center solution that ensures zero data loss even as coverage expands and business grows. Fortunately, the Axxana Phoenix System for Oracle takes the risk out of doing more with less. With just two data centers, organizations can now achieve the benefits of real-time, geographically distributed data replication without incurring the costs of data replication topologies that usually require three or more data centers.

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Is Data Guard Max Availability Over Any Distance with Zero Loss Possible?

Is Data Guard Max Availability Over Any Distance with Zero Loss Possible?

The short answer – YES! We are all familiar with the most common challenges related to Asynchronous and Synchronous replication. To be reminded, you can refer to my colleague’s post on this issue. With all that has been said about the gap between the two, no company so far presented a combined solution within one product that can bridge this gap. Following a successful solution for EMC Storage and Replication systems, we came up with our new product for Oracle users.

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Sales insight on the DR challenges businesses face these days.

As part of my role as VP of Sales at Axxana I get to visit many of our customers and prospects, from different segments of the Enterprise market and from around the world. I recently visited several large organizations in Europe, who traditionally use storage-based replication between their Production and DR sites in order to protect their data and critical applications. All of these enterprises have stringent data protection requirements. Their requirements often lead to the implementation of synchronous storage based replication between their data centers. Synchronous replication is used to achieve RPO=0 (zero data loss) and this is the main advantage of using sync replication. On the other hand, synchronous replication affects application performance and therefore the DR site needs to be in close proximity to the production site, thus increasing the risk of losing both sites in a regional disaster. This topology was the only option to achieve zero data loss so far. Now, with changes in technology and increasing awareness and business needs, there are new solutions that should be considered. New business requirements call for: • Better performance of OLTP applications without affecting the tight SLA the organization was used to. • Shorter RTO. Fast recovery for critical applications in case of a disaster or hardware failure. The questions that many infrastructure architects are facing and debating revolve around the following topics: – How to achieve zero data loss without impacting application performance? – What is more important: RPO or RTO and how do we decide which of them to compromise on? – Is active-active topology the new way to go? I would like to share some of my insights regarding these challenges; More and more organizations today utilize a design topology that entails two local sites at the same data center in an active-active configuration for High Availability purposes and a 3rd copy in a distant, DR data center. The data is being replicated asynchronously to the DR site. This topology can provide an answer to the first challenge of improving the OLTP applications performance. Nevertheless, when disaster strikes, the organization will suffer from data loss and applications’ inconsistency, leading to a long recovery and reconstruction process. This replication method, therefore, provides only a partial solution to the failover challenge. Another common practice is to move from storage based replication to a host based, similar to Data Guard in the case of Oracle databases. Moving to host based replication will improve the RTO dramatically, since the hosts and databases are active at the DR site, as opposed to storage based replication, where both the hosts and databases are usually dormant. This topology improves RTO, but affects RPO. In most cases I encountered Data Guard replication that is not configured in Maximum Protection but rather in Maximum Performance, and that creates a tradeoff between RTO and RPO. The real questions are • Why implement a costly solution with three data copies, at three different sites , that in a real life scenario will not protect the business from data loss, regardless of improving the OLTP’s performance, and; • Why compromise with an RPO>0 (guaranteed data loss) for a seemingly shorter RTO (which at the end of the day, due to the data loss, may actually be longer…) when implementing Asynchronous replication? I invite you to watch our latest video, explaining the value of our solution and why it can overcome the challenges organizations are facing today and read our latest post about  The Is and the Ought… What a swift and complete recovery of mission critical applications really looks like!. Cheers, Doron.  

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The Is and the Ought… What a swift and complete recovery of mission critical applications really looks like!

This week, we released a new tutorial video on how the Axxana Phoenix System for Oracle protects your data in a way that was never possible or perceived ever affordable before. Recovering critical applications in case of disaster, without running into consistency issues that would dramatically prolong the recovery time, is a real challenge when protecting and recovering data. The newest member of the Phoenix Systems family, the Phoenix System for Oracle, is dedicated to Oracle databases and any applications running on the Oracle infrastructure. Phoenix for Oracle now enables zero transaction loss of Oracle environments, utilizing any storage and any replication infrastructure, including Data Guard. Phoenix for Oracle is now integrated with Exadata as well, and will even protect hybrid Oracle environments, such as Exadata and host-based Oracle databases.     In short – this is what we do best: • Zero transaction loss • Full protection and recovery over any distance • Maximum protection with Minimum RTO Watch our video on our website and on our YouTube channel – watch our Oracle playlist I would love to hear from you. What did you like about our new videos. What did you think we should add… or just about anything that comes to your mind when watching our new videos. Take care, Liat

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Axxana @ Northern California Oracle User Group

Axxana @ Northern California Oracle User Group

I recently attended the NoCOUG Spring Conference. NoCOUG stands for Northern California Oracle User Group. Axxana was one of the sponsors of the event and we had the opportunity to engage in the most important activity – meeting our end users. Unlike other, bigger, vendor focused, events, the Oracle User Group gatherings are a great opportunity to intimately spend time with people who are actually the ones using your product at the end of the day. We had the pleasure to spend quality time in lengthy conversations about the concept of Zero Transaction Loss, about our new Phoenix System for Oracle solution and about the Axxana Black Box. For some, it was the first time they have heard of the concept. With everyone, we were able to dig deeper into the different Data Guard topologies they are deploying and disaster scenarios they are concerned about. The day passed by so quickly. It was packed with DBAs, who came to educate themselves on the latest and greatest we can offer them and the organization of the event was impeccable.                                 Here are a couple of the topics of conversation that repeated themselves time and time again during the day. The Conversation Begins With a Few Simple Questions  Of course, everyone that approaches our table is immediately intrigued. They have never seen a Black Box like device in their data center, unless of course, they own the Axxana system, and they equally never dreamed of achieving zero loss of transactions when a disaster hits their data center. We never want to waste anybody’s time, so we ask a few questions, to help us qualify our guest’s business need for the Axxana system. The first question would be if they are replicating their applications’ data remotely, meaning, do they have another one or more data centers with a redundant setup, to which they can failover, in case a disaster hits their primary site. Most of our visitors do replicate, which is no surprise, given the increasing awareness of organizations today of the absolute criticality of having a strong DR/BC plan established. Then we ask whether they replicate using Storage based replication or Data Guard. Here, it is interesting to observe that most people we talk to indeed replicate with Data Guard, rather than with Storage based. This is somewhat of a shift in the direction of the wind, if you will. In the past, numbers were very strongly tilted towards Storage based replication. Not anymore. Be it Oracle, who are strongly recommending that their customers use Data Guard to replicate and maintain full consistency of the database, or be it the DBAs who are demanding to control the entire gamut of the database’s operation, including Disaster Recovery. Either way, Data Guard is proliferating. Truth is, we don’t care. Why? Because as you will see, with the new Phoenix System for Oracle, we protect both Databases which are replicated using Storage based replication and databases replicated using Data Guard. Next on our quick list of questions would be what the distance is between the two sites, primary and DR. Here, we establish the type of replication their organization would be using. Sure, we can ask whether they replicate Synchronously or Asynchronously, but by asking about the distance, we can establish the “level of pain”, if you will, that they will be experiencing and the level of risk they are taking when replicating Asynchronously. I will not go too deep into the differences between Synchronous and Asynchronous replication here, but in a few simple words – Asynchronous type replications always lose most recent data and transactions and therefore carry a very real risk of inconsistency among the different applications in the secondary site, resulting in inability to recover in a timely manner.  On the other hand, Synchronous replication is limited to short distances and therefore requires a nearby data center to be part of the topology, cost of which would be prohibitive. Synchronous replication also requires very costly communication lines, the likes of Dark Fiber to carry data between the two data centers. Most DBAs we talk to use either the Maximum Performance or Maximum Availability modes, with both, for all practical matters, baring the risks of Asynchronous replication – losing last transactions upon disaster and posing a significant risk of applications inconsistency and ability to failover in a timely manner. So we have qualified that our guest is indeed replicating her critical databases remotely, from one data center to another. It is not complicated – if you are using Oracle for your databases and are replicating asynchronously – you should listen to our story. Simply put: Zero Transaction Loss, Full Consistency across all applications, guaranteed swift and painless recovery.                                           What is The Phoenix System for Oracle?  The Phoenix System for Oracle is our brand new member of the Phoenix System family. It is dedicated to Oracle databases and any application running on the Oracle infrastructure. Axxana started its journey with a tight relationship with EMC. We worked on our first product for several years, both designing and developing the first ever “Black Box” hardware, built specifically for the Enterprise, as well as a truly seamless integration with EMC’s RecoverPoint replication platform – the Phoenix System RP. We quickly became an EMC Select partner and started our wonderful journey with the EMC teams. We grew from support of the VNX platform, to VBlock. We then expanded our supported array portfolio, under RecoverPoint, to EMC’s VMAX and last but not least, very recently announced support for VPLEX, EMC’s hugely successful Storage Virtualization and High Availability solution. We attracted customers from various verticals, including Government, Manufacturing, Retail, Financial and many others. The new Phoenix System for Oracle is our expansion, up the chain, from the infrastructure level, to the application layer. Whereas with the Phoenix System RP (for RecoverPoint), we provide bullet proof protection to any application running on EMC Storage or connected to EMC VPLEX, replicating with RecoverPoint, with the new Phoenix System for Oracle, we will be able to provide zero loss protection to Oracle environments utilizing any Storage and any Replication, including Data Guard. That is the rationale behind the Phoenix System for Oracle. I invite you to browse our recently updated web site and dig deeper into the Oracle story. Be sure to read our new white paper, dedicated to the Phoenix System for Oracle. The Exadata Angle When our table top visitors at the NoCOUG conference have deployed Oracle Exadata, things get even more interesting. Why, you ask? Because when your business is running on Exadata, you are replicating only with Data Guard and, as I mentioned above, most DBAs replicate with Data Guard using either Maximum Performance or Maximum Availability. For us, as some sort of a “Zero Data Loss Switzerland”, it is interesting to watch the growing fight between Oracle and EMC/VCE, over who wins the “Engineered System” battle in the data center. We don’t care who wins. We care about the end user and we want to make sure their business is protected with whatever infrastructure or application they are running. One of the “claims to fame” of the Storage vendors, in trying to fight off Oracle’s sweet Exadata deal, is that once you have deployed Exadata, you can’t completely protect your data in case of a disaster. I don’t know if this is true and why it would be true, but… with the new Phoenix System for Oracle, connected to Exadata and protecting its databases, we are eliminating this argument altogether. Exadata coupled with Axxana means zero transactions lost, no matter what Data Guard mode you are replicating with and how far your data centers are apart. The Next Conversation By now, we got our visitor’s attention. But this is not the end of the story. Here comes the punchline question. When you are using Data Guard and are replicating several applications, running on multiple databases, each database will run its own Data Guard thread. How do you guarantee, in an Asynchronous scenario (Maximum Availability or Maximum Performance), that your business will smoothly failover to the secondary data center when a disaster hits your primary site? Yes, each database will asynchronously failover to the secondary site. But your databases will each failover to a slightly different point in time, which means that your applications will each restart at the secondary site from a slightly different point in time. But, in most cases, your applications are interconnected, interdependent. If each application is recovered to a different point in time, how can you be sure that you will be able to failover your entire business operation right after a disaster?! There was almost consensus among our guests at the NoCOUG conference – you can’t be sure! Failing over most probably will become a manual process that may take a lot of time and severely impact the organization’s down time upon a disaster. Here is where Axxana comes in. If all databases failover with zero loss, it means that the secondary, DR, data center is going to be an exact mirror image of the primary data center, databases and applications, right when the disaster hit. This means that when you failover with zero loss, all of your applications will be completely synchronized and in a fully consistent state to the last committed transaction. There’s much more to say about this and again I would encourage you to take a look at our new web site and browse through the different documents and white papers we have prepared on the topic. NoCOUG Spring Conference was great. It was well organized and well attended. People were savvy and engaged and the conversations were very interesting and insightful. One particularly lucky participant went home with our raffled Amazon Fire TV…                                   We very much look forward to seeing you all at the next conference, on August 21st in sunny California! Eli    

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Here’s to the next 5 years!

Here’s to the next 5 years!

A few days ago, I found myself on a plane to Vegas, again, as I do every year pretty much around that same time – second week of May. What’s so special about this specific week in the year? Well, it’s EMC World, of course! I love this show. It is vibrant. It is welcoming. It is informative and it has always been a great combination of Work and Play. Yes, you work hard as a partner vendor at EMC World. Customers are coming to see our Phoenix System for EMC RecoverPoint. Some planned visits and some spontaneous. This is always a good time to get to know your future customer-partners over a good dinner or lunch conversation. EMC Technical Consultants and SEs are coming from all over the world to learn about EMC’s partners, all in one place, all at their best. EMC Select is offering fantastic ways for us partner vendors to shine, with special “Passport” programs, encouraging visitors to pay attention to the exhibitors on the floor and not just the food and drinks… and the rock concert on Wednesday nights… to come see partner presentations at the EMC TechConnect booth, with the Select team members drawing the crowd into their booth, just to see you present. Yes – it is a fabulous week with many friends around, with the Axxana team of worriers all bonded together to fire up the exhibit floor with our fire-proof Black Box! But this year it was a special year. This year it was EMC Select’s 10 year anniversary, and Axxana was invited to receive the 5 Years Service Award from the EMC Select team. All partner programs are now combined into one program – The EMC TechConnect program, but allow me to call them Select just a few more times. It was a good feeling to accept this award. It was a good feeling, because it’s not just a good opportunity to be mentioned and celebrated, but also a great opportunity to look back at the past 5 years. To enjoy the business we created together. To reflect on the obstacles that were there and had to be overcome. To reimagine that enormous web of links to tie and connections to make and strings to attach and threads to follow – all for the sole purpose of making this partnership work and work well.   It is never easy. People have their own agendas and groups have their deadlines. But at the end – it is all well worth it. We are proudly singing this duet with the #1 Storage company in the world and we get to work with a fantastic group of people, who make it their goal to help us thrive in that relationship and to grow, not only in revenue, but in widening our scope of integration with the EMC products and business units. Just this year we announced Axxana/RecoverPoint integration with both the VMAX platform as well as the VPLEX system – two major achievements for this growing relationship. We have one more special announcement to make in the coming weeks, combining forces with yet another central BU but we’ll have to keep this under the radar for now…   Thank you EMC Select, for your friendship and partnership during the past 5 years and here’s to the next 5!! From all of us at Axxana.

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One announcement we have been dying to talk about

Finally! After building, proofing, testing, qualifying and then some… we are proud to announce the Phoenix System RP’s new VPLEX support. Data Protection and Data Availability go hand in hand, but are not the same. It is the RPO and RTO requirements that will eventually dictate the configuration of your desired system and DR topology. We all know VPLEX is a powerful tool, providing metro area high-availability. Couple VPLEX with RecoverPoint, and you start getting to where you need to be in our fast pace IT environment – High Availability on the metro distance and Disaster Recovery on the long hauls. What if your two nearby data centers are hit by the same disaster? What then? You are back to good’ol Asynchronous recovery, with data loss and the real risk of a much lengthier RTO and much larger RPO than you signed up for…! In our day and age, where business continuity, revenue and reputation all go hand in hand and, if I might add, are pretty fragile, do you really want to take that chance? Add Axxana to the mix and here’s a trio that can’t be beaten in the market today. With VPLEX, RecoverPoint and Axxana combined, customers using any Storage can achieve a combination of continuous operation, high availability and zero data loss over any distance, resulting in true 100% data protection and availability no matter what disaster occurs or distance applies. Local disaster or regional disaster – you are still covered! To the wonderful Product and Engineering teams at EMC VPLEX and EMC RecoverPoint – thanks again for your amazing partnership and friendship!

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