by Analytics Insight
January 1, 2022
Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer. But as a beginner, the company started by selling books, which eventually expanded by including other products as years passed. To be precise, Amazon has grown from being a small start-up to a big corporation over time. On the company’s journey towards development, Amazon has faced many challenges over the expansion of databases. One such setback was the growing size of the Oracle database and other databases that were causing backup problems. The issue got spiralled and impacted Amazon’s business directly.
After expanding its services, Amazon has to combat a big challenge with the growing content in the database. It has led to more time and capital being spent on tape hardware, data centre space for this hardware, and enterprise licensing fees for tape software. Besides, the ballooning infrastructure also required Amazon to recruit highly skilled staff to spend time with the tape infrastructure setup, certification, and engineering archive planning instead of taking up higher-value projects. Because of the existing database, the company also has to spend more time on audits, forecasting, and budgeting. When Amazon tried to automate the software backup process using tape robots, it didn’t go well. Although robots can engage in basic read or write works, the infrastructure demanded tape backup software to fully utilize the information. It has built pressure on cost management and impacted on budget.
On the other hand, the data stored on tape databases were also very critical that Amazon can’t afford to lose it. They were often retrieved from the tape. The company used tape robots or backup software to find the mandated data. Although the process was mostly automatic, it carried challenges like hardware failure. Once the process goes down the stream, human workers have to intervene and restore the tape. Unfortunately, multiple tape requests slowed down the restoring process.
To address the underlying challenges of expanding the database, Amazon.com evaluated Amazon S3 (Amazon Web Services) to make improvements in the data backup. During the evaluation process, it was assured that Amazon S3 was leveraging extraordinary functionalities in terms of security, availability, and performance. Besides, Amazon.com also ran an analysis to ensure that it is economically fit to move from the existing infrastructure to Amazon S3.
A major element that Amazon.com wanted to keep under control while migrating the database was the cost spent on it. On the other hand, the company also demanded faster backup and recovery performance. Fortunately, Amazon S3 turned out to be a perfect fit that could save time by running 2 to 12 times faster while restoring from the tape. The new medium also addressed both the pressuring concerns and provided improved performance and reduced the overall cost. Besides, Amazon.com looked for better durability and availability while switching models. Thankfully, Amazon S3 was created with 99.99% durability and availability that making it a better suit for the company’s requirements. One more thing that concerned Amazon.com was the capability of Amazon S3 to avail viable database backups. However, the service proved to be outstanding as it provided a seamless connection between the company’s tape database and Oracle RMAN. It also leverages next-generation security and met with Amazon.com’s security standards.
Finally, after carefully evaluating the concerns of Amazon.com and its counter impacts by Amazon S3, the company employed the service and found it to be highly beneficial. Amazon.com’s growth is inevitable. As years passed, the company expanded its services both product-wise and geographically. Amazon S3 has enabled the company to keep pace with the rapid expansion. The solution has also cut down the time spent on listing the backup plans, cost, and frequency of tape resources. Amazon S3 has completely ruled out the need for formal planning as it has no upper limit on data storage, so the infrastructure wouldn’t run out of resources anytime. It has also kept away the lengthy time consuming and cost-damning process of acquiring tape robots, tape drives, tape inventory, data centre space, networking gear, or enterprise backup software.
Generally, during the tape restoration process, finding the correct file, locating the correct tape, reading the data, and restoring the content is a lengthy process. It gets even more critical when the restoration process involves multiple tapes and crashes happen due to a data centre outage. But at Amazon S3, data restores can begin immediately and even multiple tape findings can happen simultaneously, reducing the time and fast-tracking the process. Due to its direct connectivity with Oracle RMAN backups, Amazon S3 can take care of the backup processes easily. Besides, Amazon S3 has also addressed the durability concerns of Amazon.com. Oftentimes, the company experienced hardware failure during the restoration process with the incapable tape infrastructure. But with Amazon S3, Amazon.com feels less worried about crashes.
A major pain point that Amazon S3 touches while addressing tape database challenges is freeing up the valuable time on human resources. Previously, in order to deliver a proper tape infrastructure, Amazon.com hired engineers and data centre technicians. They were solely dedicated to troubleshooting hardware issues. Fortunately, with the help of Amazon S3, the company can free up its employees’ time on repetitive tasks and ask them to engage in intellectual operations. The disruptive service can even slash the cost spent on transporting, securing, and storing the company’s tapes offsite.
On Amazon’s mission to innovate and leverage futuristic services, Amazon S3 emerged as a major breakthrough that has replaced the tape with storage for database backups.
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