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Fivetran looks to Teleport Data for database replication

Fivetran is expanding its data integration capabilities with data validation technology that takes a different approach than change data capture for database replication.

Fivetran is looking to provide its users with more options to improve database replication operations.

Fivetran, based in Oakland, Calif., on June 24 made public its acquisition of privately held early stage startup Teleport Data, marking the first acquisition Fivetran has made. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Fivetran builds a data integration and database replication platform. Teleport Data, based in Denver, was led by Jason Nochlin and developed a new proprietary algorithm for data replication. Nochlin has joined Fivetran as a staff software engineer.

Fivetran plans to make the newly acquired technology available to users in a product, named Fivetran Teleport Sync, later this year.

Enterprises continue to modernize their data architectures by replicating transactions from heritage databases on premises to cloud data warehouses and data lakes, making data replication technology such as that of Fivetran's increasingly important, said Kevin Petrie, vice president of research at Eckerson Group.

He added that organizations need to make the replication process as simple as possible for overburdened data engineers.

"Fivetran already provides ease of use with a graphical interface that automates the configuration, execution and monitoring of data replication," Petrie said. "By acquiring Teleport, they aim to make things easier still by simplifying access to source databases."

Fivetran already provides ease of use with a graphical interface that automates the configuration, execution and monitoring of data replication. By acquiring Teleport, they aim to make things easier still by simplifying access to source databases.
Kevin PetrieVice president of research, Eckerson Group

Moving beyond change data capture

The most common way that many vendors, including Fivetran, enable database replication is with change data capture (CDC). Petrie noted that Fivetran's CDC approach, like many other vendors, typically scans log files to identify and capture source data updates.

Though Petrie said he hasn't directly seen Teleport Data in action, he said that in his view, the technology seems to make it easier to capture source data updates because users don't need to get into the log file. As such, Petrie stated that with Teleport Data technology, users will be able to implement Fivetran's product faster, with less setup time, and start sending data to analytics platforms on the cloud faster than before.

George Fraser, co-founder and CEO of Fivetran, said the CDC approach for database replication is fast, but it's often also complicated to set up, as it requires database administrators to make configuration changes on the source database.

Fraser explained that the Teleport method is a query-based method for database replication.

"It's very simple to set up. You don't have to do any configuration; all you need is read access to the database," Fraser said. "It has the ability to detect what has changed just with read access and to send a very small amount of data."

How Teleport works to improve database replication

Fraser said Fivetran will seek to obtain a U.S. patent for the technology behind Teleport, because the technology is an original innovation.

The core idea behind Teleport is based on a set of computer science algorithms that Fraser said had not previously been used in the SQL database world. Fivetran plans to offer Teleport Sync as an alternative method to CDC for database replication to its customers. Teleport will also complement existing CDC deployment.

The Teleport approach to data replication can provide an extra degree of assurance and data validation alongside a CDC deployment, Fraser said. He noted that Fivetran had not previously been able to easily verify that a given CDC operation was actually working. With a secondary replication method, it will now be possible to provide that validation.

"If you have a good verification method, that ends up just being another implementation," Fraser said. "So, Teleport will give us a completely different way of doing things that we can run to verify that the primary method of database replication is working correctly."

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