Database provisioning just got a lot easier – and a lot smarter

Cambridge UK, Monday 27 February – Redgate Software today released its long awaited database provisioning tool, SQL Clone, which allows copies of SQL Server databases and backups to be created in seconds, using only around 40MB of disk space per instance.

The release directly addresses – and resolves – the two big concerns Database Administrators (DBAs) face when provisioning copies of databases or backups for use in test or development environments.

Firstly, it can take hours to duplicate a large database. In the recent SQL Server Database Provisioning Survey, 28% of respondents were provisioning databases daily, and 54% were provisioning weekly or more often. A lot of time is therefore expected to be saved for DBAs.

Secondly, there is the disk space issue. Quite simply, multiple copies of databases or backups have to be stored somewhere and with the average database now often 1TB or more in size, there are capacity concerns.

SQL Clone sidesteps the time and size problems by creating a single data image of a live SQL Server database or backup. This is then used as the source data for clones, which can be provisioned in seconds and, even for a 1TB database, are only around 40MB in size.

Importantly, clones work just like normal databases and can be connected to and edited using any program, so developers often don’t even notice the difference. They can work locally on up-to-date, isolated copies of the database to speed up development, testing, and fixing issues.

For DBAs, the release marks a significant shift in the way they work as well. Rather than manually provisioning databases, SQL Clone’s web app provides a central user interface to create and manage clones, and access can be administered easily.

The new PowerShell functionality in the release also enables DBAs to automate the creation of data images and the provisioning of clones so that, for instance, the process can be scheduled for night time maintenance windows.

“This is the most significant software release from Redgate in a long time,” concludes Simon Galbraith, Redgate CEO. “When we gave a demo of the beta at PASS Summit last September, lots of people were very excited about it. This kind of capability has been restricted to large enterprises with big budgets in the past. We’ve deliberately positioned SQL Clone as a mass market tool, so anyone who’s serious about database provisioning can use it.”

The release of SQL Clone completes the suite of Redgate tools that enable true Database DevOps, from development through to deployment. As with every Redgate tool, it is available as a fully functional trial download so DBAs can test its new functionality for themselves.