Replication Architecture - Part 1 | SansSQL

Monday, December 24, 2012

Replication Architecture - Part 1

Replication was something which I always wanted to explore... luckily had the opportunity of doing just that. To start off with anything that is new, we need to understand the "Architecture" and also working.

I have tried to put my understanding in words on the "Replication Architecture".

First of all, What is Replication?
In simple terms: Replication is the process of sharing data between databases in different locations. Using replication, we can create copies of a database and share the copy with different users.  This allows to make changes to local copy of the database and later synchronize the changes to the source database.

Next Question would be... Why do we opt for Replication?
Again, there can be many reasons for this; I have tried to capture few very valid reasons.
The primary concern for any organization is often the protection and availability of its data. Without reliable access to secure and relevant data, the smooth operation of a company comes to painful, unprofitable halt. Data should not only be secure, but also be accessible after a system or catastrophic failure. Replication - offers this accessibility.
In addition, Database replication can also supplement disaster-recovery plans by duplicating the data from a local database server to a remote database server. If the primary server fails, applications can switch to the replicated copy of the data and continue operations.

Now, we understand What is Replication and Why do we opt for Replication... The next would be to understand "How does Replication work", "What are the common entities used in deciding the type of replication?", "What are the types of Replication available or rather provided by MS" and much more...

So, let's move on understanding "How does Replication work":

Microsoft SQL server uses publishing industry model to represent the components and processes in replication architecture. The working is also similar to how publishing industry works(we can think of "Daily Newspaper as an example).
Publishing industry publishes Magazines/Books; there are Distributors and Agents who carry these publications to the Subscribers. Subscribers of the magazine obtain copies of the publication and read the articles of interest to them; this is exactly how the SQL Server Replication model works.

We can identify the following Entities for the SQL Server replication model.

Publisher
Distributor
Agent
Subscriber
Articles
Publications
Subscriptions

We will start getting into each of the above listed entities in my next blog... till then enjoy reading and also get some kind of know-how on types of replication provided by MS SQL Server!

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