REVIEWER: Carl Baylis, assistant director for Montefiore Medical Center.

BACKGROUND: Montefiore is a 1,062 bed medical center, serving patients and their families in New York, the tri-state area and beyond. This teaching hospital and research facility ranks among the top one percent of all U.S. hospitals based on its investments in medical innovation and cutting-edge technology and has been meeting health care needs for more than 100 years.

PLATFORMS: We currently run the GoldenGate Veridata agent on two HP NonStop S86000s running OS version G06.26. The server portion runs on a VMWare server.

PROBLEM SOLVED:  As part of our disaster tolerance initiative, we needed to be able to verify that our production and secondary systems remain fully synchronized through all of our daily processing. For synchronizing the two databases, we use Veridata, GoldenGate Software's core transactional data management solution. It is extremely important that the two system databases are fully synchronized because if we need to switch to the secondary system in the event of a planned or unplanned outage, it will be business as usual and completely seamless to the end users. Accuracy and data integrity are paramount when treating patients and delivering care.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We began with two databases of identical structure. One database is our production database; the other database resides on our disaster recovery (secondary) system and is the database of record during any type of production outage. The size of the databases is approximately 500 gigabytes each, and ensuring that both databases are synchronized and identical can be a daunting task. Veridata allowed us to offload the comparison processing onto an "outboard" system, freeing resources on our HP NonStop while also providing us with the facility to compare multiple files and tables simultaneously.

STRENGTHS: The feature that primarily attracted us to GoldenGate's Veridata was its ability to compare databases while the application was running and the files were open.

WEAKNESSES: Although Veridata can be configured to run any time, as often as desired from an XML-based front end or in batch mode, the product isn't truly real time. A comparison of two files must be initiated manually or run in a timed batch run, and a large file or table comparison could potentially take minutes to hours to complete. In that time, it is possible that the two files or tables being compared can become out of sync (OOS) without warning until the comparison is completed.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated two other products in addition to Veridata. With one  the only interface to initiate the comparison was a GUI front end. There were no batch facilities for scheduling comparisons.  The other required that files be closed at the time of comparison, which would force us to quiesce our application. That feature was a showstopper for us as our application must run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

DELIVERABLES: Veridata's reports contain performance data such as read rates in rows per second from both production and backup files, record hash data and record counts. The application will also provide comparison data such as total record counts from both databases, number of records that are not identical and OOS data for records that have been updated on the production side but not yet applied to the backup side. These reports are contained in separate files (one for each comparison) and can be used by other management applications or stored for later retrieval. Overall, the product provides copious output data, all of which is very useful.

VENDOR SUPPORT: GoldenGate Software provided an on-site technical resource during the initial installation and testing who had access to all of the people necessary to ensure proper support. Additionally, phone support by GoldenGate's technical support staff was knowledgeable and responsive. We have not yet encountered an issue that was not resolved or explained in a relatively short period of time.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was relatively easy to understand, if not complete; however, several configuration details were insufficient. In fairness to the Veridata product, we can say that we were an initial user of the product, and the documentation that we were using was also the first release.

GoldenGate Veridata
GoldenGate Software Inc.
301 Howard Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 777-0200

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