Not surprisingly, Getinge North America wants to leverage as much value as possible from its data. The problem is that reporting and, particularly, data analytics, which tend to draw large volumes of data very quickly, can consume considerable processing power and overwhelm storage I/O channels. Getinge needs a way to give its employees the analytical and reporting tools they need to mine value from data, without degrading operational response times.
No user wants to sit and wait for a response from an application, particularly when a customer is waiting for a transaction to be processed or when it is holding up the employee’s other work. Consequently, Getinge North America, a leading supplier of equipment and services for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of medical instruments, always strives to maintain superior performance on its transaction processing systems.
This presents a challenge. Companies prosper most by accessing and analyzing their data to better understand business processes and customers’ behaviors, as well as identify any issues that might arise. However, because queries, reports and analytics access a lot of data very quickly, they can put a heavy strain on disk I/O channels, slowing down access for other applications. Furthermore, analytics typically requires considerable processing power, competing heavily with transactional applications for CPU resources if they share a single server.
Adding to that challenge, Getinge’s platform of choice for operational applications, Power Systems, IBM i and Db2 for i, was not the platform of choice for queries, reporting and analytics. Getinge prefers to use Windows-based servers running Microsoft SQL Server for that purpose. Getinge needed a way to allow users to query, report on and analyze realtime data, without negatively impacting transaction response times.
- Subsidiary of Getinge Group (Sweden)
- Founded: 1904 (parent company)
- Employees: 15,200 (parent company)
- Net sales: SEK 25,287 (parent company)
“If we had to go back to the old way of doing things it wouldn’t be a pleasant situation.”Randy F. Senior Systems Analyst
Precisely’s data replication solution, Connect helps Getinge to successfully meet these challenges. Connect allows organizations to replicate data in near real-time between most common hardware, operating system and database platforms, including from one type of platform to another.
Getinge uses Connect to replicate data from its ERP Db2 database running on an IBM i-based Power System server to a Microsoft SQL Server database running on a Microsoft Windows Server system. Rather than wasting storage and bandwidth copying data that isn’t needed for queries, reports or analysis, Getinge uses Connect’s filtering functions to replicate only about 120 of its North American tables.
Beyond just filtering at the table level, for some tables, Getinge selects only certain columns for replication. And, for a smaller number of tables, Getinge also makes use of Connect’s ability to filter rows based on column values.
The benefits of Connect are clear. Because querying, reporting and analytics don’t impact production operations, users can put their data to work in more complex ways that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do because of the effect on transaction response times. And because replication happens in near-real time, users can work with fully up-todate data despite not working on the production system.
Furthermore, because Connect is platform-agnostic, users can work on the platform they are most comfortable with, Microsoft Windows Server, while the production systems continue to run on IBM i.
Andy F., Senior Systems Analyst at Getinge, appreciates that Connect requires almost no day-to-day monitoring or management. “Once you have it configured, it runs without the need for any interaction,” said Andy. “And, when it comes to setting up the replication model, there’s a lot of metadata to help you with that and it’s quite intuitive.”
The bottom line on any software solution is the value it delivers. Getinge rates Connect very highly on that score. “It’s a very popular product here because users see a lot of value in it,” said Andy. “If, for any reason, we ever had an issue with funding the maintenance contract, the departments would pool some funds to make sure we could keep it because it would be very disruptive to our business if it ever went away.”
- Connect (CDC)
- IBM i
- Db2 for i
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Windows Server
- IBM Power Systems Servers
- Facilitates extensive querying, reporting and analytics without impacting transaction processing
- Allows users to do more with their data and perform analytics they couldn’t do otherwise
- Makes it possible to develop secondary applications using primary data sources without affecting primary applications
- Requires virtually no ongoing monitoring or management