Zero downtime data migration from mission-critical Oracle Exadata clusters to a distributed computing environment

Source
Target
distributed
database

The second largest wireless provider in the US has relied on Oracle Exadata for many years to provide real-time insights on the health and wellbeing of the wireless network. 

Company Highlights
2nd
largest telecommunications company
120K
employees
$237B
market cap
Solution
Highlights
40
databases
120TB
data
500-1K
MB/sec throughput

With an indirect correlation to revenue generation and customer satisfaction, this mission-critical environment provided the Engineers and Management with critical information on a real-time basis. But with smartphone adoption rates at the highest level, the existing environment could not meet the SLAs promised to internal customers. Moreover, 5G’s impending rollout will result in an expected 20x increase in volume, so the company decided to migrate from Oracle to a newer distributed computing platform.

Challenge

This environment's staggering volume and business criticality made it nearly impossible to migrate. This workload was running on 4 Oracle Exadata full clusters. The dataset consisted of 40 databases, 12K tables, 25M partitions with 120 TB of data, and an uptime requirement of 5x9s. This was proving to be mission impossible.

Solution

The team had several requirements for a data migration tool. 

  • Minimal impact on the source
  • Scale to meet the volume and performance requirements 
  • Automated configuration 
  • Robust error handling with automatic recovery with minimal human intervention

After evaluating more than a dozen tools, the team selected Arcion. It met the requirements thoroughly, and the support from the Arcion team was outstanding. The Arcion team understood the requirements and provided 24/7 support to assist with the project. In addition, they provided timely guidance to ensure the success of the migration.  

Results

Arcion enabled a two-person team to complete the entire data migration over several weeks, with an average throughput between 500-1,000 MB/sec. Thanks to lightning-fast transfers and the ability to control the degree of parallelism at the table and partition(sub) levels, the team was able to fine-tune the migration, minimizing the impact on the source. 

And when encountered failures due to Oracle errors, Arcion was the reason they saw an easy and seamless recovery. As all configuration was in simple YAML files, automating the entire process with Arcion-provided tooling was trivial.

The rollover from Oracle to the new environment resulted in zero data loss with zero downtime on the source environment. The wireless provider runs this mission-critical workload on a scalable computing environment that can meet existing 4G requirements and scale to meet 5G demands.

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