IN THIS CHAPTER
Replication is an optional native SQL Server 2008 component that is used to copy data and other database objects from one database or server to another.
Replication is used for many purposes, listed here in order from most popular to rarely used:
Offloading reporting from an OLTP server to a reporting server
Data consolidation—for example, consolidating branch office data to a central server
Data distribution—for example, distributing data from a central server to a set of member servers to improve read performance
Disaster recovery—replication can be used to keep a DR (disaster recovery) server synchronized with the main server, and clients can be manually redirected to the DR with minimal interruption
Synchronizing data with a central server and a mobile sales force
Synchronizing data with handheld devices (such as PDAs and smartphones)
Replication processes can be made to be highly scalable, and typically can synchronize data between servers/databases with acceptable latency. Latency reflects the lag of time between when data is sent (replicated) from the source server and received at the destination server.
Replication is not the only way to move data between servers. There are several alternatives, each with its own pros and cons:
Copy Database Wizard
Backup and restore
Log shipping and database mirroring
Bulk copy program (bcp) is a command-line tool that ...