Near Zero Downtime Upgrades for Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management
By Irem Radzik-Oracle on Jun 13, 2013
Billing application is one of the key systems for a communications company. It is critical for not only revenue generation but also for customer experience. Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) solutions offers a flexible and reliable solution that helps service providers maximize customer value and profitability, and enhance business agility. Oracle BRM supports new business models including cloud, machine to machine (M2M), and mobile virtual network operators (MVNO). Many of the world's leading, and innovative service providers—including France Telecom, Vodafone, Swisscom, Savvis, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and Nintendo, rely on the BRM application for their critical billing operations.When it comes to upgrading a major system, such as BRM, things may get a bit tricky. Until recently there were only two approaches to upgrading BRM systems: In-place upgrades and the parallel system run. The in-place upgrade approach means the current BRM system would be shut down and brought back up after it is upgraded to the latest release of BRM. In addition to downtime, it puts heavy risk on the business. The parallel system run approach is an attempt in having two BRM systems running live in parallel. Unfortunately, this approach could only keep a portion of the data in-sync between the two systems as not all data feeds could be applied to both databases. Both of these approaches to upgrade resulted in downtime, which is not desirable for a system that drives revenue and impacts customer experience directly.
Oracle GoldenGate offers a third approach to upgrade BRM systems and fortunately this new solution delivers near zero downtime and minimized risk. Using GoldenGate's real-time data replication capability IT teams can create a full copy of the new BRM system on the latest software release without impacting the current BRM system. End users can use the old version, while a parallel system can be upgraded to the newest version of the release, kept in synch in real time with the active database, and tested thoroughly without time pressure before end users switch over to the upgraded BRM instance. GoldenGate's failback option also mitigates the risk to the business during the upgrade process. Oracle GoldenGate’s unique software platform does not require any changes to the source BRM system and uses minimal system resources. The solution supports BRM clients running BRM 7.2 or higher.
This is a very powerful solution for BRM users and we decided to explain the solution in depth via a screencast to help BRM users understand the new method better. If you have a mission-critical BRM system I highly recommend watching the screencast below to learn the detailed implementation steps.
You can watch the screencast also on Oracle Media Network, or Oracle's YouTube account. We have a white paper Near Zero Downtime Upgrade for Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) Application that you can download for more information as well.