While data replication may sound like a complicated technology used in complicated applications, the fact of the matter is that it is virtually everywhere. To put it simply, data replication is the process of copying or moving data from one location, say a main server, to another, say a “slave” hard disk or a mirror database. Put this way, it’s much easier to see how database replication come into play in our daily lives. Here are just a few of the services that we use everyday that use some form of database replication solutions.
If you’ve ever withdrawn money from an ATM or used a mobile banking application to transfer funds to your own or another person’s account, then you’ve seen database replication at work. At its core, database replication in banking ensures that the correct amount is always reflected in all accounts, ensuring that customers have access to the most updated information, 24/7.
Database replication also helps with tracking account activity, so that customers are aware of what is happening to their money and if any fraudulent transactions were made using their accounts. Auto-debit arrangements between a bank and third parties like another bank or an online retailer are also made possible with the help of replication.
Closely linked to banking, database replication is also in play in eCommerce. Once a customer makes a payment, it is almost instantly reflected into the database of the eCommerce company. This, in turn, triggers activities like the pulling the customer’s order from the inventory, packaging, sending the parcel to the customer’s desired delivery address. Because customer information is already saved in the database, the next transaction from the same customer will proceed much more smoothly.
Data replication is also critical in inventory management, ensuring the timely replenishment of stocks. It also helps prevent incidences of selling a customer a product that has already been paid for by another.
Whichever cloud storage service you use to save your photos, videos, documents, and various other files, it needs a large and powerful database and a matching replication solution in order to “call” your data and only your data, whenever you want to access a certain file. Any additions and deletions you make are also saved accordingly in the main database and then synced onto your chosen devices, so that whenever and whichever gadget you use to access your personal storage, all the changes you have made are there.
Using social media almost seems second-nature nowadays, but what many people don’t realize is that these platforms are data intensive. They cross-reference various data, like a person’s friends lists, account activity, “liked” posts and pages, ads they have interacted with, and more, in order to recommend and serve relevant content to the user.
Social media platforms also use data replication solution in order to instantly reflect changes to a person’s settings, such as new usernames and passwords, photos and other posts, preferences, and other settings.
Data replication is important in gaming, especially if it’s online-enabled. The right database replication solution helps avoid so-called “lags” and achieve a smoother gameplay experience overall. This is not to mention the various in-game features such as items and currencies that need to be updated in real-time.
Entertainment services like Netflix and Spotify also use database replication solutions, not just for content availability (or unavailability, as the case may be) but also for curation and customization purposes, among many other applications.
Various Mobile Applications
The list of mobile applications that use database replication solutions in some form is practically endless. Apart from banking and eCommerce, as earlier mentioned, there are also ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, traffic management and navigation services like Waze, and weather updates, just to name a few. The continuous flow of data in these applications requires database replication so that all users are working the same level of information, allowing them to make choices and changes accordingly.
These are just a few of myriad applications of database replication. Just put it this way: as long as the industry deals with huge volumes of data, all or some of which could be accessed or even changed by customers, then it needs database replication solutions, one way or another.