Quest SharePlex Review

Excellent replication with good stability and very helpful support

What is our primary use case?

We use Quest SharePlex for a specific reason. We are migrating from on-premise to cloud.

SharePlex is a replication service. We are using it to do the migration of our databases to AWS Cloud. Once everything is migrated, then we won't be using the solution.

We have small to very large databases in terms of size. We were looking at a solution where we could cut down the migration window. We wanted to cut down the outage window and reduce the overall cost of migration to the cloud. For example, if there was a very large amount of data, e.g., five or 10 terabytes, and we were trying to migrate that database over a weekend, then that it is a risky proposition. We were looking for a solution where we could do a migration before the cutover time, then keep it in sync. So, when we were at a point when we were ready to switch, then we could just stop the replication and bring everything up in the cloud. That was our main use case for using SharePlex.

We started on version 9.2. Now, we are on version 10.

How has it helped my organization?

Our primary goal was to reduce the cutover time since we are dealing with hundreds of databases for our migration. Using Shareplex helped us to achieve that goal. It was an important variable because it helped us reduce our risks during migration and resource time and efforts. We were able to do most of the validation checks before and during the migration which helped us a lot to mitigate risks and reduce cost and time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the replication feature, since we are dealing with multiple projects at the same time. We are migrating close to 25 to 30 projects. If I just count the number of environments, it turns into probably 200 databases (more than 100 from the production environment).

There are some capabilities within SharePlex where you can see how the data is migrating and if it still maintains good data integrity. For example, if there are some tables that get out of sync, there are ways to find them and fix the problem on the spot. Since these are very common issues, we can easily fix these types of problems using SharePlex utilities, like compare and repair. So, if you find something is out of sync, then you can just repair that table. It basically syncs that table from source to target to see if there are any differences. It will then replicate those differences to the target.

What needs improvement?

I don't know how easy it would be to change the architecture in an already implemented replication. For example, if we have a certain way of architecting for a particular database migration and want to change that during a period of time, is that an easy or difficult change? There was a need for us to change the architecture in-between the migration, but we didn't do it. We thought, "This is possibly complicated. Let's not change it in the middle because we were approaching our cutover date." That was one thing that we should have checked with support about for training.

Also, maybe if we could have a seperate section of showing out-of-sync tables in Foglight, instead of looking into the "warning" messages.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SharePlex for the last year, including the time we spend in PoC. Actively, we have been using it for the last nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been pretty good, except for a couple of instances where we had to do the migration again due to some issues with the initial setup and migration. Whatever failures or issues we had, we were able to resolve them. It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability wasn't really something that we tested for, since we have been using it mostly with one-to-one relations, i.e., one target for one source.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been very helpful overall. 

Whatever root cause analysis we have done was mainly on the SharePlex side. For that, we have pretty much worked with their support engineers. Since we are a Premier customer, we have always gotten a very good response from SharePlex support.

There have been some critical moments where the Premier support has provided valuable insight when resolving some issues that were critical to the project's success.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not previously use a different solution.

When we cease to use SharePlex, we will also stop using Foglight because we usually use OEM for the Oracle Database management and haven't really explored Foglight for database monitoring purposes. So, we will probably continue with that for database monitoring.

How was the initial setup?

Since we had multiple scenarios to test out, it took us a few months to test out all our use cases. It was a long process. However, with the help of Quest support, we completed our PoC. It was a long process because we wanted to test all the scenarios.

Our main goal was to have seamless replication that could help us with smooth turnover. 

What about the implementation team?

We did not use a third-party integrator to assist us with the implementation. We handled the process ourselves.

During the PoC, we had someone guide us through all the use cases for the process. That took two to three months.

What was our ROI?

The ROI will come from us being 100 percent in the cloud by the end of June this year. This was a necessary deadline, and we will meet it. Therefore, the product was worth it in our books.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is not as expensive as Oracle GoldenGate and has worked really well within our budgets.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Previously, we did look at AWS DMS service, which is a data migration service. Whatever tests we did there, we were not really satisfied with the overall results. We found out that DMS doesn't handle LOB column migrations very well. It also isn't really that stable and recovering from failures wasn't that straightforward. Those were the two biggest factors that made us move away.

What other advice do I have?

SharePlex provides real-time activity screens. You need to install a separate tool for this, which is also provided by Quest called Foglight. These solutions work well together. Right now, we are using Foglight only for SharePlex monitoring. The Foglight interface is pretty neat. Whatever presentations I have given to my management, they have been pretty impressed by its GUI. It gives a pretty cool description and display of your replication status.

SharePlex has been a good fit for us because it was not as expensive compared to GoldenGate. It was also stable compared to AWS DMS. It was a good product for what we were looking for and within our budget too. Overall, we have been satisfied with this product. There is no reason not to use it.

I would rate the solution at a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

9.2 to 10
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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