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An Audience with Rocket - Part 1 - Rocket Unidata 8.1 Release

Published over 6 years ago by Elkie Holland

An Audience with Rocket – Part 1 

Rocket UniData 8.1 release

With:  Elkie Holland,  Vinnie Smith, John Zagnoli, Jonathan Smith and John Nunziato for their time.

ELKIE:  Vinnie, as Managing Director of R&D for Rocket U2, could you open with a some words regarding the recent Rocket UniData 8.1 Release

VINNE SMITH:     8.1 marks the largest release in a decade in terms of number of new features  - since UniData 7 in June  of 2005. 

Here’s a quick list of its benefits to users:

  • First release with a true 64-bit architecture
  • Added Support for IPv6
  • Even better assistance for system admins to monitor replication
  • Cloud based solution help with things like account-based licensing
  • Installation help - improvements to install and upgrading from previous versions, 
  • Also in the age of extreme security consciousness, some enhancements were made with OpenSSL and Automatic Data Encryption 

The benefits are that it is more secure, more reliable with better scalability and it’s more efficient and easier to upgrade and install.  Also UniData is better with the Cloud environment and also Big Data. 

If you have seen the marketing around this release, you are familiar with the image of a metal chain breaking.  We’re talking about breaking the boundaries in so many ways from our previous versions of UniData prior to 8.1.

ELKIE:  There’s a lot in this 8.1 release. Could we do a quick walk through on each of the major enhancements BUT making sure to focus on the benefit to the business or user (not so much on the technological improvements).

ELKIE:  For starters, you mentioned 64-bit.

JOHN ZAGNOLI:  This is approached 2-fold: 64-bit File support and 64-bit architecture.

With 64-bit file support, the user experiences increased I/O performance and ability to work with larger file sizes.  Essentially, there is no more 2GB limit on file sizes. The users can have substantially larger files and bigger data. 

With 64-bit architecture, there is no longer the memory limitations posed by 32-bit software. Also with 64-bit architecture, there is the internal benefit that there’s no need to maintain a mixed-architecture environment and users see a potential performance benefit when the database is fully cached in memory. 

Let’s reiterate those benefits for the user:

  • Reliability, usability, play better with Big Data, static files would break / fail when exceeding 2GB boundary and that is now longer the case now.
  • More performance on larger files and increased efficiency of dynamic files
  • Fully 64 bit compatible. Larger data volume and velocity. Improved memory management, play better with Big Data

For more information, read our White Paper: The 64 Bit Question: What Does It Mean for Rocket U2 Customers?

ELKIE: And what about support for IPv6?

JOHN ZAGNOLI:  Being IPv6 compatible is necessary in order to play in the bigger data environment. As the world is running out of IPv4 Internet addresses for all web-enabled devices, IPv6 compatibility provides the ability to create more IP addresses for years to come, and also utilizes a more secure data pack in the process.   IPv6 now internet standard to get round the problem.

VINNIE SMITH:  Elkie, you have probably heard of the “The Internet of Things”  and essentially, more IP devices demand more addresses (both inbound and outbound).  So we need more IP addresses into the future – more and more devices being added to the mix.

JONATHAN SMITH:  I’d like to emphasize that with being IPv6 compliant – we  also got a more secure data pack in the process.  This is a definite benefit for security conscious users.

ELKIE: Right. Now, could someone speak about the enhancements to the Replication Performance Monitor?

VINNIE SMITH:  The benefit of the Replication Performance Monitor is in its use for business continuity. Now, System Administrators can monitor traffic, system state, and metrics across multiple publishers and subscribers.  They can clearly identify performance bottlenecks in real time that could be tuned by changes made in the repconfig settings.

The need for replication comes from the necessity of having adequate failover capabilities. Not only a  hardware solution but to be also covered with a software solution with U2 Replication. The Replication Performance Monitor reports on how the replication is performing or its current status.

Also, datalink compression is now smaller with an even more efficient footprint.  The result is a 50% increase in speed and over 50% decrease in footprint.

JONATHAN SMITH:  These advancements also aid movement to the cloud and SAAS with its logical account or grouping accounts together.  These can then be subdivided between logical accounts and easy to control.  And with no changes are required to software and monitoring.

ELKIE:  What about account based Licensing?

VINNIE SMITH:  Account based licensing allows application service providers to manage licenses and allocate them based on the account being used.  This way they can prevent lower priority accounts from consuming licenses intended for higher priority accounts.  As the world moves to a cloud-based environment SaaS, assists with building, multitenant and adds to capabilities.

ELKIE:  Alright, what about the install / upgrade improvements made with UniData 8.1?

JOHN ZAGNOLI:   With UniData 8.1, the installer and update process has been completely overhauled, with significant customer input applied to the consideration for design changes.  We identified the pain points and have made changes this so it’s now easier to upgrade. Protection for the data during the the upgrade process and easy-to-use custom scripts are available pre and post upgrades.  Now with 8.1, upgrading UniData is reliable and safe.

With this version, it’s easier deployment in addition to DevOps, with a silent install, and it takes a back-up of the UniData environment prior to install (removing a previous challenge which was heavily reliant on the user to preserve the environment previous to the upgrade, now automatic). Really, a completely controlled installation.

JONATHAN SMITH: With 8.1, I now have no concerns about upgrading automatically.  It now preserves and protects to prevent accidents.

ELKIE:  You also mentioned security enhancements. Can you tell me about those?

JONATHAN SMITH:  Security is a BIG thing now and we’re very aware of it with a team of experts on this very concern. With this release, we’ve quite a few updates to aid data security.  Now data is secured with the latest in OpenSSL updates, @ID & Index encryption, and other Automatic Data Encryption improvements.

JOHN NUNZIATO:  In the age of HeartBleed and Poodle, security is first and foremost on many people’s minds. Sensitive data as well as business reputations need to be protected. Yes, we have made many enhancements with UniData 7.3 but we have also made even more with 8.1. OpenSSL updates, increased options, latest libraries, and Automatic Data Encryption (ADE) with key index encryption to protect not just data in flight but also extending to safeguard data at REST. 

ELKIE:  Is there anything additional that you believe UniData users should know that might be helpful?
VINNE SMITH:   Yes, this release is also the foundation for integration with external development languages.  Currently, we are in Beta for Python with UniData

Also, we are meeting or exceeding the modern data environments: with Saas, Cloud, Big Data and Hashing Algorithms: (new hash type 3 and "WHOLEFILE" file hashing of dynamic files).

To learn more about UniData 8.1:

For a deeper dive, watch for registration information for Rocket MultiValue University coming soon. The event will be in Las Vegas, Nevada during October 2015 with a number of sessions related to the 8.1 features. 

ELKIE:  So to recap on the benefits for the user with UniData 8.1 are:

  • More Secure
  • More reliable
  • More scalable
  • More efficient
  • Easier to upgrade/install
  • Better with Cloud environment and Big Data



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