What is our primary use case?
The primary use case, generally speaking, is either data migration or data loading from an OLTP system to a data warehouse. It's probably Oracle's primary product for migration to the cloud, to later migrate from on-premises into cloud with zero downtime.
How has it helped my organization?
It allows us to migrate from one system to another, from one server to another, with no downtime, no outage. We can get the data synchronized with multiple databases and then switch the connectivity across to the new servers. Whether that's taking us from on-premise to the cloud or whether that's just going from server to server, either on-premise or within the cloud itself, it's an excellent solution.
What is most valuable?
It's the simplicity. It's very simple to configure, it's very simple to implement. In addition, the ability it has to capture data and transmit it with incredible speed is better than any of the product out there. It's extremely powerful.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's extremely stable. It's one of the most stable products that I've ever used.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It scales well. You can either have it working in with the databases, or you can move it outside. It's got the ability to parallelize up, so you can certainly extract and replay the data from your databases in parallel. So it does have horizontal scalability. That is probably one of its stronger features, the ability just to automatically parallelize the replay and playing of data to allow to scale to large volumes.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
This is a new solution for us. We did a proof of concept for all of the systems out there and discovered that, from a performance perspective, Golden Gate certainly met all of our requirements, which is not necessarily the case with some of the rivals out there.
Oracle has implemented a slightly different technology. Instead of scraping the redo logs, the way the traditional replication of this type of system works, it's actually using a new technology, with its integrated Extracts and Replicats, to effectively use Oracle's streams to double the performance. It can literally run twice as fast as anybody else. We needed that to keep up with our transaction volumes.
For me, the most important criteria when selecting a vendor is that it does the job.
How was the initial setup?
I've done the initial setup of Golden Gate for many clients. It's extremely straightforward. It's probably the simplest replication tool I've ever used.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The one feature that I think Oracle could perhaps consider is, at the moment, the Veridata option is an extra cost. Golden Gate is an expensive product. You pay a lot for the best. But not including the Veridata license to prove that everything is working correctly... The big improvement for me would be to have that license built in. That would take it to the next level. That would make it a much better product.
You may want to look at buying term licenses if you've just got a single migration to do. In that situation, you might want a term license for perhaps a year to save a lot of money, rather than buying a perpetual license.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Other vendors that we were looking at were Dbvisit Replicate and Continuant, although the latter didn't have a product ready at that time (they do now). And there was also VMware Shareplex.
Those are the main rivals in the marketplace and, whilst they are substantially cheaper than Golden Gate, around a fifth of the price, they couldn't quite keep up with our transaction volumes.
What other advice do I have?
You've got to balance the cost with your requirements. You may find that using something like Dbvisit Replicate is good enough for what you are doing, and it is substantially cheaper.