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HPE Highlights Gravic’s HPE Shadowbase Solutions in Major Zero Downtime Migration

A Japanese customer moves its payments solution off Oracle RAC to NonStop SQL/MX with HPE Shadowbase Zero Downtime Migration (ZDM) …




This year’s Connect HPE NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) was both well attended and content rich. Presentations concerning migrations to NonStop systems – whether as a complete replacement for an installed system or just the migration of an application – were popular with all attendees. Increasing the population of NonStop systems deployed worldwide is a message that is always well received by the NonStop community.

During the keynote presentations by HPE, it was revealed that Asia Pacific/Japan (AP/J) lead the way this year with the addition of eight “new logos” to the NonStop community. Replacing an aging system with NonStop may represent the pinnacle of achievement for NonStop sales but moving an application that is in production while it continues to support its users often represents a bigger challenge both to HPE and to the partner involved. For those who attended one of the presentations where Gravic was referenced, there was perhaps none more compelling than the HPE talk: HPE Shadowbase Realized Data Migration from Oracle RAC to NonStop SQL/MX with No Downtime, by Takeshi Kisu of HPE Japan.

The customer was running its payments system on an Oracle RAC cluster (four nodes, Linux) with 300 Oracle tables. Experiencing a rapid increase in its payments services’ users that far exceeded its expectations, this customer came to realize that the lack of scalability, together with diminished availability, was causing serious response issues. Since simply adding additional Oracle RAC clusters was not a solution that it felt comfortable using, it approached HPE for a plan to move the application and the databases to a new NonStop X NS7 X1 system and to NonStop SQL/MX.

This migration was initially considered to be a zero downtime migration that would follow the modern practice of first moving the database to NonStop, followed by the application’s move to the NonStop. The ZDM approach works well in these cases, eliminating or at least substantially reduce application downtime, while removing the inherent risk inherent.

However, there were a few wrinkles to this process that led HPE to approach Gravic for help, because after review, there were no resources remaining on the Oracle RAC cluster to run additional processes, nor was NonStop SQL/MX compatible with some of the SQL statements of the payments application. Furthermore, backups of the database were only performed monthly. The use of multi-byte Japanese characters also needed special consideration as the data from Oracle RAC was imported into NonStop SQL/MX.

Starting with the backup database, the data was first manipulated via scripts and then exported to the NonStop X system via FTP, where it then went through additional formatting to ensure correct handling of the multi-byte characters before inserting data into NonStop SQL/MX databases. For synchronization of the data between the systems, the customer relied upon HPE Shadowbase Log Source to read the Oracle logs and to push the database change data to the intermediate server. HPE Shadowbase software was installed on both the NonStop system and the Linux intermediate server.

When it came time to redeploy the payments application on NonStop X, HPE worked with the customer to convert all SQL statements using SQLWays from Ispirer – a company that specializes in providing tools to better facilitate database migrations converting database schema (DDL), data and server-side business logic from SQL Oracle. According to HPE, “After completing the data replication, the customer migrated the online application from old Oracle systems to new NonStop SQL in 15 minutes.”

Gravic was pleased that it was approached by HPE Japan at a time when the NonStop community welcomes every new application that is migrated to NonStop from another platform, particularly where the resulting implementation takes full advantage of NonStop SQL/MX. If you would like to know more about how this migration was accomplished, then please feel free to contact Gravic management at

Paul J. Holenstein | Executive Vice President
Gravic, Inc. | Shadowbase Products Group
17 General Warren Blvd. | Malvern, PA 19355-1245 USA | tel +1.610.647.6250