Getting Started

1. How do I get started?

You may access the getting started documentation here: Azure getting started

2. How do I start my first replication setup (channel)?

See the getting started guide in the wiki and watch the video. In the demo directory in the HVR installation you’ll find some sample channels which you can load into your HVR setup using the GUI.

3. Where do I obtain a license?

If you are just getting started then please request a free trial.

4. Where do I find additional documentation?

When obtaining the license and on-premises software, you will be given access to the documentation wiki. With the software comes on-line help and a pdf manual. Besides this FAQ, a quick start guide is provided with the Azure Image in the marketplace. Finally, a forum is available.

Systems and Setup

1. What sources and destinations are supported?

A rich set of commonly-used sources and destinations is supported, including Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 on commonly-used platforms. File systems including sftp and HDFS are supported as source and destination as well. For a complete overview check the Platform Support page. In Azure any of the supported sources and destinations can be used, including the Azure SQL Database.

2. What OS platforms are supported?

Commonly-used operating systems are supported including Linux and Windows, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX (virtual or physical). On most of these, based on supported databases available on these platforms, HVR is available for 32 and 64-bit architectures.

3. Do I need any on-premises software? If so, where do I get it?

When you obtained a license from HVR you will be given access to software downloads on our website. All functionality of HVR is contained in a single product in one download and installation.

4. Where do I run the HVR GUI?

The HVR GUI is part of the standard HVR installation. If you install the HVR hub on-premises on a Windows server, you can run the HVR GUI there too and operate it using a remote desktop connection. Alternatively, you can install the HVR GUI on a PC (using the standard HVR installation) and connect with it to a hub running on any OS (Windows, Unix ….). The GUI is supported on Unix (X) too.

5. Does the GUI run on my Mac?

At present the GUI does not run natively on a Mac. You must run a Windows or Linux-based virtual machine on a Mac, or use X-forwarding or a remote desktop to run the GUI on the Mac.

6. What are the network and firewall requirements?

If the recommended architecture is implemented with an installation of HVR on or very near the source and destination data stores then the HVR executables will be sending data and changes over TCP/IP on the port of your choice. The hub installation of HVR always initiates the communication which means that relative to the hub firewalls must be opened (on the port you select; default is 4343) to initiate connectivity. I.e. if the hub resides on-premises and the target is in the cloud then a firewall port must be opened to reach the cloud installation of HVR from the on-premises hub. If on the other hand for the same scenario the hub resides in the cloud then the firewall must be opened to reach the on-premises server from the cloud instance.

If you setup HVR to use a remote database connection then the database listener port must be open to allow the connection.

HVR supports the use of a proxy server to route requests and act as an additional security buffer.

7. In what region should I run HVR?

Generally, HVR should be deployed in the same region as your Azure data sources. If this region is far away from you, you will appreciate HVR’s efficient and robust communications. Connecting from the HVR Image to data in another region will involve communication using the slower and more expensive database protocol. If you have data in several regions, consider deploying the HVR agent multiple times (by deploying HVR Image for Azure in several regions) or deploy a HVR hub in one of your regions and connect from there to the other region.

8. Is network encryption supported?

Yes, bi-directional SSL using custom-generated SSL public/private keys can be setup to secure data transfers.

Installation

1. How much time should I set aside for installation?

Installation in Azure takes approximately 5 minutes, though the provisioning within Azure may take up to 15 minutes (which is an unattended process). In that 15 minutes you can install HVR on-premises, provided all prerequisites are met.

2. How do I perform the initial data load?

HVR refresh can be used to perform the initial load. Depending on source and target other options are available to perform the initial load including native database utilities. The advantage to use HVR for the initial load is the tight integration between the initial load and ongoing real-time replication.

3. How do I connect to HDFS / HDinsight on Azure?

The HVR Image for Azure currently does not support Azure HDFS locations. To connect to HDFS /HDInsight, deploy a Linux VM in Azure and install HVR there as described in the Unix installation chapter manual on the wiki .

4. Can I transform the data from source to target?

Yes, several transformations are possible:

  • Data type mappings between source and target are automatically handled by HVR.
  • Renaming of schemas, tables and columns is supported.
  • Replication of subsets of data (horizontal or vertical) is possible.
  • Column-level transformations and lookups can be defined.
  • Special commonly-used options like soft deletes in which an extra column marks a row as deleted, and auditing tables are supported out of the box.

Since data comes in as a flow of changes it is not recommended to perform heavy transformations that involve table joins and aggregations.

I want to learn more about HVR

1. What is HVR?

HVR stands for High Volume Replicator. Across platforms, including Azure, our software offers real-time heterogeneous data replication software. With HVR you get everything you need for data replication including schema creation, initial data load, real-time change data capture and delivery, and compare/repair. A typical implementation requires an installation of the software on the source and on the target server. The cloud image (HVR Image for Azure) as found in the Azure marketplace can be used if source or target is cloud.

2. Why would I use HVR in Azure?

The most efficient and secure way to transfer data between two systems is to use a copy of HVR close to the source and close to the destination. If your source and/or destination for real-time replication with HVR is in the Azure cloud then you should use HVR in the Cloud. The image saves you the effort to install the software and includes commonly used database drivers.

3. What is HVR for Azure?

HVR for Azure is a prepackaged Azure image of a Windows VM, offered in the Azure Marketplace. It contains a standard HVR installation which is preconfigured to be used immediately to connect to Azure with HVR. With a few clicks, the Azure platform is ready to receive or send data through HVR.

HVR image for Azure takes care of the firewall settings, necessary database drivers and required HVR components on Azure. Connecting from on-premises to Azure normally does not require any additional installation as the package contains all the drivers needed to connect to Azure SQL, Microsoft SQL server and Oracle.

4. What are common Azure cloud real-time replication use cases?

The two most common use cases are:

  1. Real-time reporting, from an on-premises or other cloud-based system into a database in the Azure Cloud.
  2. Database migration. Real-time replication software is used to minimize the downtime for the migration, and can be used to reverse the flow of data post migration to minimize the risk of the migration. On top of that with HVR data can be validated before systems are migrated.

5. What is the architecture?

HVR uses a hub and spoke architecture. In any setup one of the HVR installations must be nominated to be the hub. The architecture is flexible and modular which means the hub can be collocated with the source, with the destination, or the hub can be running on its own server or virtual machine. The hub requires a connection to a database (the hub database). Setting up (real-time) data integration in HVR is done through a GUI connection with the hub.

It is highly recommended to have an installation of HVR on the source database server, and on or close to the target. Such a setup optimizes resource utilization and generally minimizes latency. In some cases an installation on the source database server is a requirement to support log-based change data capture. This type of installation is called an HVR remote listener agent and acts as a slave from the hub – no local configuration.

6. How will HVR help manage my replication?

HVR will do most of the management tasks itself. Its robust communication will automatically recover from most errors. HVR can send alerts by email or SNMP if recovery takes too long or an unrecoverable error occurs. In the HVR GUI, graphs and reports are available on the past and current replication status.

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