Thursday Apr 14, 2011

Solutions Nirvana

NirvanaNirvana is described as a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self. One would associate none of these attributes with meaningful enterprise solutions. Indeed, many of us have experienced "solutions hell" most of our careers: cobbled together, evolving like a pride of feral cats in your neighborhood, to the point where at best the solution's long-term maintenance is viewed as "job security" by the sys admins – and "the money pit" by the CFO.

"Solutions nirvana" would probably involve the total absence of hardware and software. Even better, how about problems that solve themselves: that's what we really want! Time to wake up from this lovely daydream... Fortunately, there is a way to bring peace to your enterprise: build your IT solutions from carefully designed architectures with pre-tested components and configurations. Like Oracle Optimized Solutions.

I remember a decade ago Sun tried creating specialized solutions packages built around "VOS," the Veritas/Oracle/Sun combination. Lots of engineering went into these, but the results weren't what we hoped: they were both too rigid and didn't complete enough of the stack. They were fundamentally too general. The Oracle Optimized Solutions go a lot farther because each is optimized to a different stack.

I mentioned last week that we had just published a new optimized solution. I'd also like to mention that we updated a passel of previously published Oracle Optimized Solutions. These are all larger technical white papers. Just in case you missed them, these are:

All of these papers will help you understand how we fit the pieces together. We now know there is no one-size-fits-all, but one of these integrated stacks may provide a rational starting point for your move toward solutions nirvana.

- Kemer

Thursday Mar 31, 2011

Magic Solution

Solution"Solution" is defined in the New Oxford American Dictionary as a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. (Also, a liquid mixture in which the minor component (the solute) is uniformly distributed within the major component (the solvent)...) "Solution" as a term in our industry has been used and abused for as long as I remember. Everything is a solution if the problem is sufficiently atomic. I'm rather passionate about this because I have argued for years that a computer isn't a solution: solutions are built with computers, networks, software, procedures... everything it takes to resolve a problem. I'm on thin ice here, because I know there are those even more passionate, ready to pounce on any attempt at a definition, but I will define a solution as a comprehensive combination of components and procedures to solve a well-defined problem. The more non-trivial the problem, the more interesting the solution.

Since Oracle acquired Sun, we have been in a position to build complete, tested solutions to real problems. I know there are many who feel compelled to roll their own using what they consider to be best-of-breed components, but that shifts the burden of integrating, testing, and ongoing maintenance to a panoply of vendors. Do you want to get work done, or spend your resources grooming the tools that should be doing the work?

We have had a series of Oracle Optimized Solutions released over the last year. Most recently, we published Oracle Optimized Solution for Oracle Secure Backup. The problem? End-to-end archiving across a heterogeneous network in a manner that preserves system wide security, assures high availability, and that can scale to meet expanding needs. Simple? Not at all! The generic Oracle Secure Backup architecture supports multiple Media Servers working together under the administrative control of an Admin Server. Additional Media Servers can be deployed or multiple backup domains can be configured to address evolving scalability requirements. Using Oracle servers and the Oracle Secure Backup software, companies can implement cost-effective and powerful backup solutions for the largest, most diverse environments.

This comprehensive guide discusses the details: setup, sizing, and tuning best practices. At 41 pages, this is no marketing slideware and well worth the time to absorb.

- Kemer

Optimized Solution

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Rick Ramsey
Kemer Thomson
and members of the OTN community

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