Friday Jan 24, 2014

Why Virtualized Platform is the best deployment option for Oracle Database Appliance

Recently a user asked, what are the considerations for using the Virtualized Platform configuration or the Bare Metals configuration on Oracle Database Appliance? Certainly, the Virtualized Platform configuration seems to provide everything that the Bare Metals configuration does plus more.

Listed below are some of the considerations for why you may want to prefer to use the Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform option.

1. A single hardware environment for deploying both database and applications

2. Database runs in a Virtual Machine (ODA_BASE) with direct access to storage (for native performance)

3. Control licensed CPUs by configuring ODA_BASE domain with the required number of CPU cores (and memory)

4. CPU cores (and memory) not assigned to the ODA_BASE domain are not wasted and are available for use by other, non-database Virtual Machiness

5. Oracle provided pre-configured VM application templates enable rapid deployment for both the database and applications

7. Use VLAN to provide separate networks to different Virtual Machines

8. Use shared repository to grow storage for VM repository

9. No VM expertise needed; Oracle Appliance Manager (oakcli) makes it easy to setup and manage the virtualized environment

Thursday Jan 23, 2014

BI-In-A-Box Webcast Replay

In case you were unable to join us today for the Oracle BI-in-a-Box webcast, the replay can be found here.

We look forward to your feedback!


Wednesday Jan 22, 2014

BI Solution-in-a-Box -- Enterprise Class BI for the Mid Market

Attend the Webinar on January 23rd @ 12 noon ET, 9:00 am PT 

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


Since the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) started supporting Oracle Virtual Machine (OVM) twelve months ago, we have seen several groups develop purpose built offerings on top of it, called “Solutions in a Box,” where they combine an application or middleware on top of the robust, cost effective ODA platform. The newest member of this family combines enterprise class business intelligence, data integration and Oracle’s enterprise class database at a price mid market organizations can afford. In our prior post, we described the need IT industry analysts see for mid market organizations adopting business intelligence. In this post, we will talk about how Oracle addresses this need.

To address this need, Oracle has developed the BI Solution-in-a-Box. It contains the Oracle database with partitioning, diagnostics, and tuning, BI Foundation Suite, and Oracle Database Integrator, all running in two virtual machines on the Oracle Database Appliance. It is packaged to let customers license only the cores they need, expand as they grow, and be easy to buy and support, all supported by a single vendor. Because it is based on standard Oracle products, one can add other hardware, database or BI products if desired, like more storage, RAC, Advanced Analytics or an Oracle BI Application.

By providing enterprise class BI in a pre integrated package, Oracle has brought enterprise class functionality to the mid market. Enterprise class organizations, no matter what size, recognize that they stay enterprise class by adopting solutions that minimize their total cost of ownership. By pre integrating the hardware, firmware, operating system, virtualization, database, ETL, and BI, Oracle has provided a package that minimizes the total cost of ownership by eliminating integration challenges and minimizing the effort needed to stand up a business intelligence system. In addition, the tools themselves are regarded as having industry leading total costs of ownership. All these advantages help midsize organizations increase their agility while minimizing their labor costs. Labor costs, according to Gartner, are at least 75% of the total cost of ownership of a business intelligence system.

In addition, to make this solution easier to buy, Oracle has pre arranged financing through Oracle Finance Division to make the purchase either a loan or a lease depending on whether customers would prefer to treat the expenditure as a capital expense or an operating expense.

Oracle will be introducing and discussing the Oracle Database Appliance and BI Solution in a Box on a Webinar on January 23rd. For more information and to register for the event, please register to attend the event:

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.


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.


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