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What are SQL Server replication types?

Here you will find out:

  • what SQL Server replication is
  • what SQL Server replication types are
  • when DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

SQL Server replication

Microsoft SQL Server (MS SQL Server) is a Microsoft database management solution for its Windows Server operating system. An effective database contains a lot of information about an organization or business. It can be centralized or distributed. Different database systems are used by different companies to manage their business data. This includes employees' information, business finance data, etc.

However, MS SQL Server replication makes it possible to clone a primary database and retain every piece of data that's contained in it. Also, this helps to synchronize changes between multiple databases. Here, this article will explain how SQL Server replication works and the many types of replication you should know.

What are SQL Server replication types?

Simply put, MS SQL Server replication is the process of copying and/or synchronizing data between different databases. There are basically four types of MS SQL Server replication: transactional replication, snapshot replication, peer-to-peer replication, and merge replication. These replication types work for different purposes, which are explained below.

1. Snapshot Replication

This is widely regarded as the simplest among the four. It is applied when there's a need to replicate data exactly the way it was generated or obtained from a source. Snapshot replication is best to use when the original database is not regularly updated.

This MS SQL Server Replication type does not support tracking. Plus, the replicated data has to be distributed from the central server to other guests/branch servers. Maintaining this SQL Server replication is easy, and it doesn't require a primary key.

2. Transactional Replication

Transactional replication allows you to replicate data from a table in your SQL Server instance to remote databases. It allows for the synchronization of multiple tables in different databases. This type of SQL Server replication is a little more complicated than Snapshot Replication. Transactional replication also clones all transactions on the primary database/server to the branch/cloned database.

In a transactional replication process, a snapshot of the primary database is generated, and changes are passed on to the subscriber, where they are immediately recorded on the primary database. This method is commonly described as one-way replication. A few scenarios where you need this type of database management include:

  • When your primary data storage is constantly updated with new entries.
  • When you need a reliable database backup when the main one is attacked or hacked.
  • If your business tends to obtain reports on operation in branch offices.

3. Peer-to-peer Replication

In peer-to-peer replication, a database is replicated to multiple subscribers at once. This type of replication is best to use when you have database servers in different locations around the world. Hence, when changes are made on any part of the database (irrespective of the server location), the changes will propagate to all other connected database servers.

Application developers are the ones who use this SQL Server replication technique the most. However, this replication type is based on transactional replication.

4. Merge Replication

This is a bidirectional replication typically used in server-to-client environments. It is deployed to synchronize data across servers that cannot connect indefinitely. For example, when two database servers are connected to a network and merge replication is used, it detects both databases' changes and modifies and synchronizes them to keep data updated.

Merge replication is almost the same as transactional replication, but here, data is replicated from a publisher to a subscriber, or vice versa. This is perhaps the most complicated replication process for SQL Server.

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