Friday Jan 17, 2014

BI for the Mid Market

Tammy Bednar, Will Hutchinson, Rob Klaassens, and Mike Mrazek, Oracle Corp.

Oracle and industry analysts have seen a rapid expansion of business intelligence and data warehouse solutions into midsize and smaller organizations.  The need to understand how they are serving their customers, how their suppliers are serving them and the opportunity to drive growth and cost reductions requires insights into data. ERP, Performance Management systems and CRM/CX systems are great way to collect data but do not provide and easy and flexible way to combine data from multiple sources for in depth analysis.

Traditionally, midsize and smaller organizations have relied on spreadsheets or downloads of data to a personal database to meet these needs. However these solutions do not scale and suffer from problems of inconsistent data, errors, manual work and non-repeatable processes for gathering and analyzing data, leading to the inability to respond quickly. In the past, these organizations have not invested in business intelligence because the perception was that a Business Intelligence or Data Warehouse Strategy was too expensive to install and maintain. One would have to buy and configure hardware, a database, BI and ETL tools, and other middleware. The time, effort and cost to support these types of solutions would typically overwhelm most midsize IT staffs. Also, deploying these systems can cost several hundred thousand dollars over five years, after taking into account both out of pocket costs and the time the staff spends on BI, time which if it were available could effectively be spent elsewhere.

Register today to attend and learn how you can replace those Excel spreadsheets and Access databases with the type of analytics big companies have, analytics you thought you could never afford.

Tuesday Jan 14, 2014

BI Solution-in-a-Box is coming

Tammy Bednar, Will Hutchinson, Rob Klaassens, and Mike Mrazek, Oracle Corp.

It’s coming.  The newest addition to the Oracle’s family of Solutions-in-a-Box, BI Solution-in-a-Box. It’s powerful and expandable. Most importantly, it’s surprisingly affordable and easy to manage, even for smaller companies who thought they could never afford enterprise class business intelligence.

Register today to attend and learn how you can replace those Excel spreadsheets and Access databases with the type of analytics big companies have, analytics you thought you could never afford on January 23, 2014 @ 12 pm ET.

Monday Jan 06, 2014

Some nice new features in Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8 (OAK 2.8)

Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8 (aka, OAK 2.8) has a number of new, useful, and important features that further enhance ODA product capability and flexibility. In a nutshell, the following are the key new enhancements in OAK 2.8.  You can find details of each of these new features in the Oracle Database Appliance Getting Started Guide.

Support for a shared repository for virtual machines and templates – If you are an ODA Virtualized Platform user, then this may be a big enhancement for you. In the earlier versions of Oracle Appliance Manager, the VM repository was stored only on local disks on each ODA server node. That restricted the amount of storage available for the storing and sizing VMs to the free space available on the local 600GB disks, which was 250GB on V1 ODA hardware and 350GB on the X3-2 ODA hardware. However, the newly available shared repository implementation allows for the creation of the VM repository on the shared storage, thereby significantly increasing the storage available for the VM repository.

You can create a shared repository using the “oakcli create repo <repository-name> -dg <disk-group-name> -size <size in GB>” command. You can place the repository in the DATA or the RECO ASM disk group. Placing the repository on the shared storage not only increases the capacity of the repository, it also makes the repository accessible on both server nodes, thereby facilitating VM failover capabilities.

Support for VLANs - With the 10GB network interfaces available on ODA, there is plenty of network bandwidth on the servers. VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) provides a means to secure network traffic and isolate networks using logical identifiers. Broadcast propagated in one VLAN is thus not transmitted to the other VLANs. This also improves security as by placing devices in different broadcast domains, it is possible to limit access through the use of address filters and access lists. For communication across VLANs the traffic must pass through a layer-3 routing device, which can be configured to control and monitor access among different devices.

You can create and manage VLANs using OAKCLI commands. For example, use the "oakcli create vlan <vlan name> -vlanid <vlan tag id> -if <interface name> -node <0|1>" command to create a VLAN on ODA. Similarly, "oakcli show vlan", "oakcli delete vlan" commands are available to see VLAN configuration, delete a VLAN configuration, etc.

Database setup is now optional at the time of initial deployment – In the earlier versions of Oracle Appliance Manager, during the initial deployment, you had to create an initial database as part of the deployment. Sometimes, at the time of initial deployment users were not quite ready to create the database and needed to plan for its size, naming, and other configuration settings etc. With OAK 2.8, you now have the option to forgo the creation of this initial database.

Instead, you may choose to create the database after the initial deployment using the “oakcli create database …” command. Note that you may use the default parameter file (/opt/oracle/oak/install/dbconf/default.dbconf) that specifies the block size, database language, characterset, etc. or create a new db configuration parameter file using the “oakcli create db_config_params …) command before issuing the “oakcli create database…” command.

Hardware monitoring using OAKCLI – OAKCLI becomes even more powerful. From OAK 2.8 onwards, you can now monitor all hardware components (except storage, currently) of ODA using the OAKCLI command-line interface. This includes monitoring of servers, processors, memory, network interfaces, cooling units, and power units, etc.

To monitor a component, simply issue the “oakcli show <component-name>” command. Where component name may be “server”, “processor”, “memory”, “power”, “cooling”, or “network”.

Flexibility to have additional customizations – In the earlier version of Oracle Appliance Manager, standard UID/GID and usernames were used for Oracle and Grid users. If you need to adhere to certain local standards for usernames and ID numbers that you may have in place within your organization, then using the advanced deployment option of Appliance Manager you can now specify non-default UID/GID and usernames for Oracle and Grid owner users.

The advanced deployment option is invoked simply by issuing the “oakcli deploy –advance” command.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Managing Oracle Database Appliance

There are three key tools that you can use to manage the Oracle Database Appliance. Together, these tools are adequate to completely manage, maintain, and operate Oracle Database Appliance including the hardware platform, the operating system, and the databases running on the system.

Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (a.k.a., Oracle ILOM)

Oracle ILOM provides a “just like being there” experience and allows you to completely manage your system remotely (including powering it up and shutting it down) over a dedicated network interface. You can start the Remote Console over a web interface to connect to an Oracle Database Appliance server node, check status of hardware components, manage faults (if any), monitor system temperature and ambience, re-image server, and so forth. Point your web browser to the IP address you have configured for the server’s ILOM network interface, and there you are. You typically configure Oracle ILOM interface on Oracle Database Appliance server nodes at the time of initial deployment using the Configurator (when you issue the "oakcli deploy" command). Alternatively, you can configure ILOM before the deployment using the server’s BIOS utility (pressing the F2 key during system boot), or using the “ipmitool” utility from the server operating system command line. You can also configure Oracle ILOM on Oracle Database Appliance after the initial deployment of the system using any of the latter two methods (BIOS or ipmitool).

Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control (OEM)

Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control is a no-cost tool to manage Oracle databases and it can be automatically configured at the time of initial deployment of Oracle Database Appliance. Database Control provides a web user interface to manage, maintain, and operate the Oracle database. This includes administering users, data structures, database and instances, user sessions, backup and recovery, analyzing performance, tuning SQL, instance, and database, and so forth. Alternatively, if you use Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control or Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control in your organization, you can use it to manage databases running on Oracle Database Appliance. An Oracle Database Appliance plug-in may also become available for Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control in the future.

Oracle Appliance Manager (oakcli)

Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface (oakcli) provides unique abilities to manage, maintain, and operate the Oracle Database Appliance platform. This includes setup and deployment of the system, running diagnostics on servers and storage, patching server, storage, and network, and creating multiple Oracle homes and database environments, and so forth. Starting with Oracle Appliance Manager 2.8, you can also monitor the hardware (servers, CPUs, power, cooling, and so forth) using oakcli. You can invoke Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface using the /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli command from an Oracle Database Appliance server node.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Comparing Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) with manually built and assembled systems

I thought I ought to have this note to outline the differences between typical old-style system building approach and the engineered system approach used for Oracle Database Appliance. Oracle Database Appliance is a unique, modern product that is revolutionary and disruptive. It is an Oracle engineered system that serves as a highly available database and application server. Its benefits are unique and unparalleled. However, as with any new, disruptive product, users may not readily recognize all the benefits. Often new customers ask for the benefits of choosing Oracle Database Appliance versus building your own system. The matrix below tries to summarize the benefits.

Oracle Database Appliance

Manually assembled systems

Single vendor – Customer only needs to contact Oracle for any and all problems with the system. Oracle is able to rapidly diagnose the problem, match it with a fingerprint of the issue, and provide immediate solution.

Multiple vendors – Servers, storage, networking gear, and software components may be sourced from different vendors, that causes finger pointing and makes it hard to obtain support quickly and effectively

No integration required – Oracle Database Appliance is a pre-integrated, pre-tested, pre-tuned configuration. It requires no integration, other than simply plugging in some cables.

Extensive integration required – The components sourced from multiple vendors must be compatible and interoperate successfully.

Instant deployment – Deployment of Oracle Database Appliance in a customer environment is as easy as plugging in the cables, powering on the system and issuing a command.

Long drawn error prone deployment process – Deployment of a manually built system requires setting up and validating each component, going through multiple steps to configure operating system, networking, storage, database, and so forth. A missed-step can be costly.

Best practices are included – Oracle Database Appliance is built from the grounds up with Oracle’s best practices in mind. These best practices cover operating system, networking, storage, database, and performance and availability best practices.

Best practices implementation requires considerable extra effort - Best practices must be identified and implemented for each component. This may not be an easy task by any measure.

Patching is quick and predictable – With a known hardware and software configuration, Oracle is able to provide pre-tested, complete patch bundles that cover the entire firmware and software stack. Further, Oracle is able to structure and tune the patching process so that it executed flawlessly in an optimal amount of time with predictable results.

Patching is time consuming, risky and unpredictable – Customers often patch one component at a time, thereby increasing the frequency of patching. Patching process is unpredictable and therefore risky. Vendors have no way of testing the exact configuration that a customer may be using.

Problem diagnostics are immediate – Oracle knows exactly which information and logs are required for instant diagnosis of problems as well as how to collect it. Oracle makes it trivial for customers to collect the information. Quick diagnosis results in rapid problem resolution.

Problem diagnostics is complex and long drawn – Multiple experts may be needed to diagnose problems. Often it may not be readily apparent what information is relevant and required for a corresponding problem. Longer diagnosis results in delayed problem resolution.

Performance is predictable – An engineered system makes deploying workloads a science not an art. The system capacity and capability can be quantified exactly and workloads can be deployed using simple mathematics.

Performance may not always be predictable – Making workloads perform on manually assembled systems remains an art. Due to the various components and stack layers from different vendors, typically configured using an imprecise math, it is usually not possible to define capacity and capability correctly.

Service requests can be opened automatically – In case of a problem, such as hardware failure, a service request can be opened automatically by the system using Oracle Auto Service Request. A solution may be available even before the customer recognizes the problem.

Service request initiation and management is complex – In case of a problem first the correct vendor needs to be identified. The service request needs to be manually managed and diagnostics data needs to be identified, manually collected, and sent to the vendor. Manual analysis of diagnostics further delays solution that may need to be tested before it is deployed.

Storage is integrated and managed as a whole – Storage is pre-integrated with the servers and the system is managed end-to-end as a whole, including monitoring, management, diagnostics, and repair of storage.

Storage is separate and managed separately – Storage is managed, monitored, diagnosed and repaired separately, typically provided by a different vendor and managed by storage administrators

Pay-as-you-go licensing saves costs substantially – Significant CPU power available but only CPUs used need to be licensed while the remaining CPU power is available for instant deployment if and when needed

Must pay for all CPUs on the system upfront – All CPUs present in the servers must be licensed upfront whether fully used or not. Additional CPU addition typically requires costly hardware upgrades

Versatile system with support for both native and virtualized environments – The same system and software supports both native and virtualized implementations, switching from one to the other is easy

Typically vendor specialized hardware sold for native or virtualized implementations – Implementation of native and virtualized environments could be fundamentally different.

Host both application and database in a single system (system in a box) – Supports hosting of entire application stack in a single system; virtualized platform makes it possible to segregate different tiers of application stack into different virtual machines that are easy to size and tune

Application is typically hosted on separate hardware (one system many boxes) – Application, web, and database tiers are typically hosted on separate hardware and storage; it is not easy to resize these environments unless hardware is replaced

It is amazing!

Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Implementing Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) using Oracle Database Appliance (ODA)

Oracle Database Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) is Oracle’s blueprint for maximizing database uptime and availability for important business system and mission critical architecture. Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and Oracle Data Guard and Oracle Database Best Practices are some of the key components of this architecture.  Oracle RAC provides high availability in the event of intra-site failures (failures that occur within the primary database environment, such as node failures, network failure, etc.) while Oracle Data Guard provides high availability in the event of site level failures, storage sub-system failures, and planned downtime. Within Oracle MAA, Oracle’s Database Best Practices ensure a consistent and optimal implementation of a database environment.

Traditionally, implementing Oracle Database MAA has been a complex and time consuming initiative, sometimes requiring weeks to months of efforts to fully implement. However, you can readily deploy Oracle Database Maximum Availability Architecture using Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). Oracle Database Appliance can provide the pre-built Oracle RAC highly available environment for each site and includes database best practices embedded in the pre-configured system.

Check out the white paper titled “Deploying Oracle Data Guard with Oracle Database Appliance” as it provides a reference sample implementation of Oracle Data Guard across Oracle Database Appliance environments.

Thursday May 23, 2013

Leverage the Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform

In my opinion, one of the best things to happen to Oracle Database Appliance recently was the availability of virtualization on the system. The virtualized Oracle Database Appliance (or "Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platorm" as it is officially called) allows you to run multiple virtual machines, hosting different tiers of your system architecture all within a single Oracle Database Appliance. And users love it! This is a major development for those looking for drastic cost reductions in managing their traditional multi-tier systems or even consolidating many systems into one, etc. Now you can have one single platform, that is already extremely easy to setup, operate, and manage, and host many virtual servers, deploying everything from your database to application logic tier to the web-tier and other supporting systems such as a load balancer, security server, etc. all in a single environment. Some ISVs are already looking for building and selling ready-to-go complete systems for their customers with everything inside one Oracle Database Appliance. 

The Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform can be used with Oracle Appliance Manager (OAK) 2.5 and above for V1 hardware and with OAK 2.5.5 and above with Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 hardware. If you are on the non-virtualized deployment of your Oracle Database Appliance (and all new systems are currently  shipped from the factory with the non-virtualized ISO image), then you must re-image the server with the Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform ISO image. Once you have re-imaged the servers with the virtualized platform ISO image, Oracle Appliance Manager lets you deploy a special virtual machine or domain called (ODA_BASE domain) to host all your databases. You allocate CPU and memory to this ODA_BASE domain as per your need (and available database licenses). Dedicated access to shared storage is provided to this domain by design (bypassing any negative performance impact of virtualization that it would otherwise incur) using the PCI pass through technique. The rest of the server capacity is available for deploying additional virtual machines for your application and web tiers and for other purposes.

You can check out the Oracle Database Appliance Getting Started Guide for more information. Also, the updated Oracle Database Appliance Setup Poster provides the details on setting up the Virtualized Platform on the Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 system. Virtualization for real!

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 Generally Available Now

Good news! The second generation Oracle Database Appliance to be known as "Oracle Database Appliance X3-2" was released on March 5th, 2013. Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 is built using the Sun Server X3-2 servers (the same servers that are used as compute nodes in Exadata environments) and is a substantially more powerful system with a small price differential from the earlier model. Storage Shelf consists of a 2 rack-u unit and an identical expansion storage shelf is also available. You now have 18TB of raw storage which is expandable to 36TB of raw storage (all ASM managed) within a single Database Appliance architecture and configuration. The maximum CPU power increases from 24 cores before to 36 cores, while the new system now has 512 GB of memory (2x256 GB), a quantum jump from the 192 GB (2x96GB) before. The local available disk storage capacity increases from 500GB to 600GB.

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 when used as a Virtualized Platform (support for virtualization on Oracle Database Appliance was announced in February 2013) can be an extremely powerful system with very substantial further improvement in the already compelling value proposition of Oracle Database Appliance. On Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 you can consolidate multiple database environments. With the Virtualized Platform deployment, you can consolidate entire multi-tier environments within a single Oracle Databse Appliance X3-2 system. The older model continues to be available until May 31st, 2013. You can find more details on the newly announced Oracle Database Appliance X3-2 at

Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Oracle Database Appliance Performance White Paper Released

A new white paper titled "Evaluating and Comparing Oracle Database Appliance Performance" was recently released. This white paper outlines a quick and simple process to evaluate the performance of Oracle Database Appliance for both OLTP and DSS workloads and compare it to the same workloads when run in your local environment. The testing for this paper was conducted using Swingbench's Order Entry (OLTP) and Sales History (DSS) workloads. Users can review already the documented results and conduct a reverse-POC (proof-of-concept) in their legacy environment by running Swingbench and then simply compare relative performance. 

For the testing conducted during the course of writing this white paper, Oracle Database Appliance was able to support up to 10,000 Swingbench users for the OLTP workload (while maintaining sub-second response times) and provided throughput of more than 2400 MB/Second for the DSS workload. Both are significant numbers. The white paper provides the results of various core configurations tests (related to the pay-as-you-grow feature) in a matrix form.

The paper also covers some minor tweaks to the standard configuration that can enable even greater workload performance. I invite you to take a look at

Friday Dec 21, 2012

ASM Normal Redundancy versus High Redundancy on Oracle Database Appliance

The availability of normal redundancy configuration option for Automatic Storage Management (ASM) on Oracle Database Appliance starting with OAK version 2.4 allows for additional usable space on Oracle Database Appliance (about 6 TB with Normal Redundancy versus about 4 TB with High Redundancy). This is great news for many customers. Some environments, such as test and development systems, may benefit significantly as a result of this new option. However, the availability of Normal Redundancy option obviously should not be taken to mean that choosing Normal Redundancy may the best approach for all database environments. High redundancy would still provide a better and more resilient option (and may be a preferred choice) for mission critical production systems. It is therefore an option and not the default configuration choice. Many customers may choose to use Normal Redundancy for test, development, and other non-critical environments and High Redundancy for production and other important systems.

In general, ASM supports three types of redundancy (mirroring*) options.

High Redundancy - In this configuration, for each primary extent, there are two mirrored extents. For Oracle Database Appliance this means, during normal operations there would be three extents (one primary and two secondary) containing the same data, thus providing “high” level of protection. Since ASM distributes the partnering extents in a way that prevents all extents to be unable due to a component failure in the IO path, this configuration can sustain at least two simultaneous disk failures on Oracle Database Appliance (which should be rare but is possible).

Normal Redundancy - In this configuration, for each primary extent, there is one mirrored (secondary) extent. This configuration protects against at least one disk failure. Note that in the event a disk fails in this configuration, although there is typically no outage or data loss, the system operates in a vulnerable state, should a second disk fail while the old failed disk replacement has not completed. Many Oracle Database Appliance customers thus prefer the High Redundancy configuration to mitigate the lack of additional protection during this time.

External Redundancy - In this configuration there are only primary extents and no mirrored extents. This option is typically used in traditional non-appliance environments when the storage sub-system may have existing redundancy such as hardware mirroring or other types of third-party mirroring in place. Oracle Database Appliance does not support External Redundancy.

*ASM redundancy is different from traditional disk mirroring in that ASM mirroring is a logical-physical approach than a pure physical approach. ASM does not mirror entire disks. It mirrors logical storage entities called ‘extents’ that are allocated on physical disks. Thus, all “mirrored” extents of a set of primary extents on a given disk do not need to be on a single mirrored disk but they could be distributed across multiple disks. This approach to mirroring provides significant benefits and flexibility. ASM uses intelligent, Oracle Database Appliance architecture aware, extent placement algorithms to maximize system availability in the event of disk failure(s).

Friday Nov 16, 2012

An Unstoppable Force!

Building a high-availability database platform presents unique challenges. Combining servers, storage, networking, OS, firmware, and database is complicated and raises important concerns: Will coordination between multiple SME’s delay deployment? Will it be reliable? Will it scale? Will routine maintenance consume precious IT-staff time? Ultimately, will it work?

Enter the Oracle Database Appliance, a complete package of software, server, storage, and networking that’s engineered for simplicity. It saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of database workloads. Plus, it’s based on Intel Xeon processors to ensure a high level of performance and scalability.

Take a look at this video to compare Heather and Ted’s approach to building a server for their Oracle database!

If you missed the “Compare Database Platforms: Build vs. Buy” webcast or want to listen again to find out how Jeff Schulte - Vice President at Yodlee uses Oracle Database Appliance.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2012

Build vs Buy Webcast: November 8, 2012

Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012, 1:00 PM EST

You have a choice. Do you build your own database platform or buy a pre-engineered database appliance?

Building a high-availability database platform presents unique challenges. Combining servers, storage, networking, OS, firmware, and database is complicated and raises important concerns: Will coordination between multiple SME’s delay deployment? Will it be reliable? Will it scale? Will routine maintenance consume precious IT-staff time? Ultimately, will it work?

Enter the Oracle Database Appliance, a complete package of software, server, storage, and networking that’s engineered for simplicity. It saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of database workloads. Plus, it’s based on Intel Xeon processors to ensure a high level of performance and scalability.

Attend this Webcast to hear customer stories and discover how the Oracle Database Appliance:
  • Increases ROI by reducing capital and operational expenses
  • Frees IT staff by reducing deployment and management time from weeks to hours
  • Takes the worry out of supporting mission critical application workloads

Register For this WebCast today!

Monday Nov 05, 2012

Normal Redundancy (Double Mirroring) Option Available

The Oracle Database Appliance 2.4 Patch was released last week and provides you an option of ASM normal redundancy (double mirroring) during the initial deployment of the Database Appliance. The default deployment of the Oracle Database Appliance is high redundancy for the +DATA and +RECO disk groups. While there is 12TB of raw shared storage available, the Database Backup Location and Disk Group Redundancy govern how much usable storage is presented after the initial deployment is completed.

The Database Backup Location options are Local or External. When the Local Backup Option is selected, this means that 60% of the available shared storage will be allocated for the Fast Recovery Area that contains database backups and archive logs. The External Backup Option will allocate 20% of the available shared storage to the Fast Recovery Area.

So, let’s look at an example of High Redundancy and External Backups.

  • Disk Group Redundancy – High --> Triple Mirroring to provide ~4TB of available storage
  • Database Backup Location – External --> 20% of available shared storage allocated to +RECO
  • +DATA = 3.2TB of usable storage, +RECO = 0.8TB of usable storage

What about Normal Redundancy with External Backups?

  • Disk Group Redundancy – Normal --> Double Mirroring to provide ~6TB of available storage
  • Database Backup Location – External --> 20% of available shared storage allocated to +RECO
  • +DATA = 4.8TB of usable storage, +RECO = 1.2TB of usable storage

As a best practice, we would recommend using Normal Redundancy for your test and/or development Oracle Database Appliances and High Redundancy for production.

Wednesday Oct 10, 2012

Is Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) A Best Kept Secret?

There is something about Oracle Database Appliance that underscores the tremendous value customers see in the product. Repeat purchases. When you buy “one” of something and come back to buy another, it confirms that the product met your expectations, you found good value in it, and perhaps you will continue to use it. But when you buy “one” and come back to buy many more on your very next purchase, it tells something else. It tells that you truly believe that you have found the best value out there. That you are convinced! That you are sold on the great idea and have discovered a product that far exceeds your expectations and delivers tremendous value! Many Oracle Database Appliance customers are such larger-volume-repeat-buyers. It is no surprise, that the product has a deeper penetration in many accounts where a customer made an initial purchase.

The value proposition of Oracle Database Appliance is undeniably strong and extremely compelling. This is especially true for customers who are simply upgrading or “refreshing” their hardware (and reusing software licenses). For them, the ability to acquire world class, highly available database hardware along with leading edge management software and all of the automation is absolutely a steal. One customer DBA recently said, “Oracle Database Appliance is the best investment our company has ever made”. Such extreme statements do not come out of thin air. You have to experience it to believe it.

Oracle Database Appliance is a low cost product. Not many sales managers may be knocking on your doors to sell it. But the great value it delivers to small and mid-size businesses and database implementations should not be underestimated. 

Monday Aug 06, 2012

Oracle Database Appliance Value Proposition for Small and Mid-size Businesses

Today most customers want their databases and systems to be always available (always on!). No one, whether it is a customer, an employee, a partner, or anyone else, wants to deal with a down system. The “seven second rule” that summarizes customers’ patience threshold is all well known in the internet driven world. In today’s fast paced world with a plethora of information and product sources available at one’s fingertips, the general level of consumer patience is greatly reduced. High availability and good performance is ever more important. But many a times, customers leave their HA and performance needs unfulfilled. Why? Because they think,

1. For middle sized businesses reliable HA hardware is expensive

2. There are significant upfront costs in setting up HA systems

3. HA systems are just hard to implement

4. There is substantial on-going management cost associated with HA systems, etc. 

If a small or medium sized business used the “traditional approach” to assembling and building HA systems, then it may indeed be true that it is simply out of reach for many of these customers to deploy real HA systems.

The Oracle Database Appliance addresses this problem for these small and medium sized businesses. Not only is the Oracle Database Appliance hardware more cost effective, it is extremely easy to deploy (the deployment process takes about 1 hour total). The pay as you grow licensing model for software really directly addresses the high up-front cost issue. You can buy the highly available, robust Oracle Database Appliance at a fraction of the cost you would incur if you put a system of such capabilities together yourself. Not only that, you only pay for what you need in terms of software licensing. And you still enjoy the capability to scale WHEN you need more capacity, without the need to dump old hardware and migrate to a new hardware! I think, there cannot be a greater value proposition than this.

The other major challenge that customers have in deploying HA systems is that they may not currently have the skills within their staff to implement high availability solutions. Again, Oracle Database Appliance addresses this problem directly. With the Database Appliance the need for local HA expertise is significantly diminished. The processes associated with the entire life cycle of the product from deployment to patching to diagnostics data collection and maintenance are all streamlined and substantially automated. Customers can deploy, operate, and manage their Database Appliance environments without deep technical skills. Further, dealing with mundane things is not necessary either and the staff can focus on more important, strategic work!

What is more is that due to a standard configuration and pre-tested software and hardware, the processes associated with the deployment, management, maintenance, and diagnostics are extremely reliable and predictable. This virtually eliminates the risks typically associated with building HA systems. Now SMBs can deploy HA systems to compete in today’s world, do so at a fraction of the normal cost, and be confident that their investment can generate immediate returns.



The Oracle Database Appliance saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high-availability database solutions. This blog is dedicated to sharing updates about the Oracle Database Appliance from your product team.


« October 2015