3 Questions to Ask Your Change Data Capture (CDC) Vendor

by Cesar Rojas

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July 16, 2019 9:00am

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Questions to ask your CDC Vendor

Is your organization equipped with the right tools to capture the gains from real-time data?

Change Data Capture (CDC) describes a set of techniques to capture changes from data sources in real-time. CDC is widely considered the lowest-overhead and most robust way to capture changes asynchronously without any change to the application code – a critical requirement for enabling real-time analytics.

CDC is a well-known methodology, and there are several legacy tools that leverage these techniques. These solutions are a natural starting point for technical leaders looking to empower the business with real-time insights.

But CDC technologies vary widely in their ability to meet critical business needs. Without proper vetting, buyers may find that legacy CDC tools fall short of delivering on essential business use cases – and don’t scale in an ROI-positive way as an enterprise’s needs evolve beyond a specific replication scenario to enterprise-wide adoption.

So how can an organization ensure that it has considered the most essential factors when deciding on a solution to power data in motion?


Question 1: What do you do beyond just data replication?

What to look for: Most legacy CDC tools are built primarily for data replication (reproducing data “as is” from a source to a target). However, businesses often rely on transformation to make the data useful for analysis. Transformation operations – which include aggregation, joining across multiple data sources, or otherwise modifying data – are essential for businesses looking to extract insights from raw data. While legacy CDC tools may offer limited transformation support as an add-on for specific replication scenarios, savvy buyers should look for robust, full-scale ETL capabilities for both streaming and batch data – which help enterprises harness the full power of data in motion and power better decisions, faster.


Question 2: What sources and targets do you support?

What to look for: CDC tools typically provide out-of-the-box integrations to major relational databases but may offer limited support for non-database sources and targets. Data-heavy enterprises, in contrast – in industries as diverse as manufacturing, finance, and media – are often looking to harness the power of sensor data, application layers, message queues, and more. Data from a broader range of sources means a more complete view of business performance. Technical leaders should ensure that a solution for data in motion has complete and proven support for data from any source to any target.


Question 3: What is your pricing model?

What to look for: The pricing model for legacy CDC tools – which typically involves a per-server or CPU usage-based fee – is optimized for isolated scenarios of data replication. While this may offer limited cost savings for one-off use cases, costs can add up quickly when a business looks to leverage the technology across a wider range of applications. Technical leaders charged with driving widespread usage of real-time insights should look for solutions that offer an enterprise license model designed to enable businesses to scale for enterprise-wide adoption while keeping costs contained.

Ultimately, solutions that leverage CDC technology vary widely in their level of technological sophistication – and their ability to address meaningful challenges for organizations. The most successful enterprises are those that are looking for a scalable, end-to-end solution that will meet the needs of business stakeholders and harness the power of data in motion.

With a full understanding of these needs, Equalum has built an extremely powerful and robust CDC solution that has been proven by large enterprises worldwide.

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