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Redgate showcases new database cloning tool at PASS Summit

Cambridge, UK, 21 October 2016Redgate Software today announced it will demonstrate a ground-breaking new database cloning tool at the 2016 PASS Summit in Seattle. SQL Clone allows copies of databases to be created instantly while saving up to 99% of disk space.

The latest in a long line of products developed by Redgate for the Microsoft data platform, including SQL Prompt and SQL Compare, SQL Clone promises to revolutionize the way development teams work with databases.

In order to develop applications and their related databases faster and more efficiently, teams are increasingly asking for copies of the production database when they start working on new sprints, hotfixes or features.

“It’s a perfectly reasonable request,” says Grant Fritchey, Microsoft SQL Server MVP and Redgate Product Evangelist. “With that copy in hand, they can try out new things and different approaches, knowing that if they break the database it doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s preferable. Far better to find out something doesn’t work early on in the development process when you can find out why and get it fixed.”

The problem comes when database administrators provision database copies. It takes a lot of time as well as disk space, and is incredibly difficult to administer. Data needs to be cleaned before it can be used in development or testing, and complying with data governance requirements muddies the water yet further.

To resolve the issue and satisfy the needs of everyone from DBAs to developers to auditors, Redgate has taken a novel approach. Instead of duplicating databases many times over, SQL Clone creates a single data image of a SQL Server database or backup. This data image is a full copy of the database at a single point in time and contains all of the source data the tool needs to create clones instantly.

Once the data image is created, clones can be created in, literally, the seconds it takes to set up a local differencing file and mount the cloned database. Crucially, the disk space required is tiny – typically, around 40MB for a 2TB database.

The clones work just like normal SQL Server databases and can be connected to and edited with any program. The changes are specific to each clone and are persisted to the local differencing file – the rest of the data is accessed using the data image. Changes can then be shared simply by creating a new data image of the clone. This only requires the differencing disk to be loaded back to the repository of data images, so is also typically a quick operation.

To demonstrate the simplicity and speed SQL Clone brings to database provisioning, Grant Fritchey will be hosting a breakout session at PASS Summit on Thursday, 27 October, to showcase the beta version of the software. “We’ve reached the point in development where we just have to show it to people,” he says. “This is a sea-change in how to provision databases and we want to prove how easy it can be.”

The development team at Redgate is now enhancing the tool so that users will be able to manage clones from a central user interface, and automate usage with PowerShell. They will also look at masking sensitive fields with generated yet realistic data shortly after the initial launch.

“The live demo at Pass Summit is just the appetizer,” says Grant Fritchey. “When SQL Clone officially launches at the end of the year, it will change database provisioning forever.”

Companies and organizations who want to join the beta program and discover the advantages that SQL Clone already offers can do so by simply visiting the Redgate website.

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