PLATFORMS: The Public Service Commission (PSC) of Canada stores job applicant information centrally and regionally (updated daily) on HP9000/800 servers utilizing an HP-UX R10.01 operating system.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The PSC is responsible for external personnel recruiting for the Government of Canada. To handle the incredible cultural diversity, volume of applicants and expansive geography of Canada, the PSC turned to regional OpenIngres databases spread throughout Canada to store job applicant information. In addition, the PSC maintains a centralized warehouse of information at its headquarters location in Ottawa. Headquarters information is updated daily from the regional sites and to ensure up-to-date information is available to all regions, the PSC utilizes a dynamic replication facility to synchronize individual applicant information from one region to another.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The PSC uses OpenIngres/Replicator for full peer-to-peer replication in a hub-and-spoke configuration, permitting updates to the data at any site. Job applicant information stored at the regional level is replicated to the central HP server at the same time as it is added regionally. In addition, the central server is used to copy individual applicant information from one region to another on a dynamic ad hoc basis. In this way, up-to-date applicant information is available to all of Canada's government offices at the same time.
STRENGTHS: The key strength of OpenIngres/Replicator lies in its flexibility. The PSC required a facility which would handle large volumes of data replicated between fourteen regional locations and a centralized server in Ottawa without having to copy the contents of every database to every location. Even more important was the requirement to replicate data across regions--again the centralized server was used to handle this requirement utilizing a hub-and-spoke configuration. OpenIngres/Replicator met all of PSC's requirements to synchronize necessary data across the various regions of Canada.
WEAKNESSES: The hub-and-spoke implementation used by PSC forces a tremendous volume of replication transactions to occur at the central server. Because OpenIngres/Replicator R1.2 uses a single input queue and transaction ID table, deadlocks occur at peak transaction rates. In addition, the large number of rules generated by OpenIngres/Replicator R1.2 impacts response time during peak times. PSC notes that OpenIngres/Replicator R2.0 utilizes a more efficient replication strategy in which replication is tied more closely to the database server and rules have been eliminated. When PSC migrates to OpenIngres/Replicator R2.0, deadlocks should be eliminated and response time should improve significantly during peak load times.
SELECTION CRITERIA: OpenIngres/Replicator was selected over five years ago when PSC made its decision to go with the OpenIngres DBMS. At the time, OpenIngres/Replicator was the only mission-critical replication facility available on the market. Today, OpenIngres/Replicator stands as one of the leading replication facilities.
DELIVERABLES: PSC utilizes OpenIngres/Replicator to distribute critical job application information across fourteen regions within Canada. Public Service Representatives use this up-to-date information to help place job applicants all across Canada.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from the ASK Corporation (former vendor for OpenIngres) was slow and problems were numerous. However, since the CA acquisition of ASK, service support has improved tremendously and the quality of OpenIngres/Replicator has improved dramatically. CA has really made OpenIngres/Replicator a terrific product.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation for OpenIngres/Replicator is complete and provides an easy-to-use, step-by-step process for installation and implementation.
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