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Definition: replication

In database management, the ability to keep distributed databases synchronized by routinely copying the entire database or subsets of the database to other servers in the network.

There are various replication methods. Primary site replication maintains the master copy of the data in one site and sends read-only copies to the other sites. In a workflow environment, the master copy can move from one site to another. This is called "shared replication" or "transferred ownership replication." In symmetric replication, also called "update-anywhere" or "peer-to-peer replication," each site can receive updates, and all other sites are then updated. Failover replication, or hot backup, maintains an up-to-date copy of the data at a different site for backup. See mirroring, disaster recovery and distributed database.