Database cloning (also known as database virtualization) is the technology that creates instantaneous writeable copies of databases without using additional storage, no matter how big the data. No additional storage is used by the clone when it is first created. When a clone is created, both the original and the clone use the exact same disk blocks. Any writes to a clone are stored separately for each clone, but the common content is all stored on the same location on disk.
|Database cloning||Volume cloning||VM cloning|
|Specific database files are cloned||Entire disk volumes are cloned||An entire VM with all its volumes is cloned|
|Example: Windocks database cloning||NetApp, Actifio, Cohesity volume cloning||PureStorage VMDK cloning|
|Ideal for database delivery for devops, testing, development, reporting, ML||Suitable for production database backups, disaster recovery. Requires substantial code for database delivery||Suitable for backups of entire production machines with applications and data|
|Works on standard storage in Linux and Windows||Requires proprietary storage||Requires proprietary storage|
Database cloning is ideal for delivery of databases for dev, test, reporting, support, ML and DevOps. Windocks also automates volume cloning operations, saving organizations from complex code development and maintenance in programming storage infrastructure.
|1. Install Windocks||Download the Windocks Community Edition or email email@example.com for a full featured evaluation edition. Provision a Windows Server VM (Server 2016, 2019, or 2022), install SQL Server (for SQL database delivery) and then install Windocks as described here. For Oracle database delivery, also install the Windocks service for Linux as described here|
|2. Provide the spec to the Windocks orchestrator to build the image||
Specify the path to one or more SQL backup or database files, Azure SQL BACPAC files, or Oracle RMAN backup, or Oracle oradata files. Specify which database cloning to use (Windocks database cloning or volume cloning from other companies), where to deliver the database clones (Windocks SQL Server Windows containers or SQL Server instances or docker Oracle containers), how often to refresh from production, customizations such as database scripts to be applied, which masking software to use (Windocks masking, other masking solutions or scripts), and authorization controls.Provide the spec in the form of a dockerfile and build the image via a web application, command line or REST API.
|3. Deliver customized database clones on demand from the image||From the image, deliver database clones to containers or instances. The image you built defines where the databases are delivered to. You may define an image that delivers containers with clones as well as clones to instances. To deliver containers and clones, use the web application or use the docker command line or the REST API.|
|4. Use the writeable clones||Database clones are delivered either to containers or instances based on the image you built. If you delivered to an instance, then connect to that instance for the database clone. Clones are writeable. Containers are delivered on the machine running Windocks on specified ports. Access these containers with regular database tools or command lines or connection strings.
SQL Server containers are accessed with SQL Management Studio or Azure Data Studio or SQLCMD. Connect with the instance name (such as INSTANCE10002 when the container port is 10002). Or you can use the form IPAddressOfWindocksServer,10002 to connect to the SQL container running on port 10002.
Oracle containers are accessed with SQLPlus, RMAN or UI tools for Oracle. You may put in entries in tnsnames.ora for the containers as you would for Oracle instances. With SQLPlus or RMAN, use the form SQLPLUS sys/password@IPAddressOfWindocksLinuxServer:HostPort/orclcdb as sysdba