Telecom Databases for the E-services Industry
The Internet has revolutionized the business landscape over the last decade. Eservices is about externalizing business processing to customers and partners. As more customers and partners use the e-services infrastructure, managing availability and performance becomes a crucial business goal. This level of interdependence has uncovered a class of problems that telecommunications vendors have typically solved in the past. Next generation e-services platforms will need to address similar data management problems as those handled in the telecom systems today.
Providing non-stop, always-available service to large numbers of concurrent users is a major challenge today for e-services providers. Database technology is needed for storing session-oriented data that reflects the state of ongoing connections and communication services. Preserving session data during partial system failures is crucial in achieving high availability. But this is considered hard and expensive to achieve. Low cost shared-nothing clusters are beginning to be used to distribute processing over several processors and automatically mask out partial system failures.
Major application server vendors have started to introduce support for running their platforms in clustered environments. This has been necessary in order to satisfy the scalability requirements of large e-business sites, e.g. online banking portals. There is still an availability challenge that is to distribute and replicate in-memory sessions within the cluster in order to avoid disruption of service. Solutions based on conventional disk-based RDBMS have not been suitable, the main problems being high response times, high switchover times and asynchronous replication.
In the case of mobile portals, there are other types of data that need to be handled almost in real-time. Examples are logging, personalization, security, micro payments etc. Records are fairly simple, usually a few hundred bytes, but volumes are growing constantly as more and more users start using these services.
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