Maximum Availability Architecture – Oracle’s industry-leading set of database high availability capabilities

  • February 23, 2021

2021 - The Year to Start Implementing Decades of MAA Improvements

Markus Michalewicz
Vice President of Product Management

The beginning of a new year is commonly the time to review the previous year to plan ahead. For 2021, this means catching up on a rather unprecedented year, which concluded “A Decade of Change”. Thus, let’s see what 2020 had in the cards for Oracle Database, especially in the area of high availability (HA), scalability, and Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) in order to plan ahead.

Availability is Key

The need to deliver increasing levels of availability continues to accelerate in 2021. 2020 being a year during which the world largely relied on remote work and online (contactless) access to various systems has once again proven that the availability of systems delivering those services is key for small, medium and large enterprises. Luckily, Oracle’s Mission Critical Database has met respective expectations for decades and will continue to do so in and beyond 2021. 

Cloud is the New Default

Oracle’s customers and partners have implemented Oracle Database on-premises for the longest time. Lately, and even more so in 2020, Oracle Cloud-based deployments of mission critical Oracle Databases not surprisingly have become somewhat of the default deployment among Oracle’s customers, as Oracle Cloud is best for Oracle Database, especially when it comes to providing high availability. Similar has been confirmed by various analysts: 

What sets Oracle Database apart? 

Research has revealed that “97% of the FORTUNE Global 100 depend on Oracle Database”. This means that at least some of these customers trust that Oracle Database can guarantee the required level of high availability, scalability, and the necessary response time for mission critical systems. But what sets the Oracle Database apart to successfully deliver those qualities? On high level, the following three areas distinguish Oracle Database High Availability from other solutions: 

  1. Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)  – When it comes to delivering maximum availability, Oracle MAA remains to be the industry-leading standard. 
  2. High Availability as part of the design – New Oracle Database Features are developed with “Mission Critical” in mind – on-premises and in the cloud. 
  3. Comprehensiveness of the solution – Oracle Database supports all high availability, scalability and disaster recovery functionality available on the market today. 

Comprehensiveness of the Solution

Oracle Database has supported all high availability, scalability and disaster recovery features available for relational databases for decades, which includes some of the (new) features highlighted below: 

  • A New Generation Oracle RAC - How can a product that has been on the market for decades still innovate? Simply by continuously making incremental improvements based on customer feedback in each new product version released. Especially for Oracle Database customers that adopt long term support releases (such as Oracle Database 11g Release 2 followed by Oracle Database 19c), the combined effect of those changes, particularly using Exadata Database Machine, can be significant. With all the new features for the New Generation Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) matured in Oracle Database 19c, 2021 is certainly the year to not further delay the adoption of a new scaling and HA experience.  For more information see this white paper

  • Autonomous Data Guard - What improvement can be rolled out for Oracle Generation 2 Cloud in 2020 that would truly take the current Oracle Autonomous Database to the next level in 2021?  One answer lays in the most requested feature for Autonomous Database which is disaster recovery that leverages all the fantastic capabilities of Active Data Guard which are available in Oracle’s Exadata Cloud Service and Database Cloud Service offerings combined with all of the advanced automation and self-management capabilities of the Autonomous Database. With that in mind, Larry Ellison recently announced Autonomous Data Guard for Oracle Autonomous Database!  See also: https://blogs.oracle.com/maa/autonomous-data-guard 

  • Oracle Sharding - Oracle Sharding enables hyperscale, globally distributed, converged databases. Sharding as a technique has been around for decades, but Oracle Sharding adds the extras that one would expect from an Oracle provided sharding solution. With Oracle Sharding available for many deployments, including Kubernetes as well as Oracle Sharding on the Oracle Cloud, 2021 is the ideal year to adapt applications requiring linear scalability, elasticity, fault isolation and geographic distribution of data for data sovereignty, to use Oracle Sharding.  Learn more: https://blogs.oracle.com/database/sharding-oracle-database-cloud-service-v2

  • Fleet Patching & Provisioning for Autonomous Databases - Managing the lifecycle of large database deployments has caused challenges for decades. Most of these challenges can be addressed by running Oracle Databases in the Oracle Cloud, especially using Oracle Autonomous Database. The opposite, however, holds true, too. Using Oracle Fleet Patching and Provisioning (FPP), which is the standard for the lifecycle management of Oracle Autonomous Database, will help managing on-premises Oracle software estate easier and more efficiently starting in 2021.  See https://blogs.oracle.com/maa/fleet-patching-and-provisioning-with-oracle-autonomous-database-19c to learn how.

  • ZDM-based Cloud Migration - Getting databases into the cloud is easier said than done. Oracle Zero Downtime Migration (ZDM) supports Oracle Database versions 11g, 12c, 18c, 19c and newer versions and can migrate to Oracle Cloud Database Services Virtual Machines, Bare Metal, Exadata Cloud Services and Exadata Cloud at Customer. Zero Downtime Migration Release 19.7, which was released in late 2020, enhances the existing functionality of ZDM, providing bug fixes and more control of the migration process. ZDM performs Oracle Database migrations to the Oracle Cloud in eight simple steps, which can be scheduled and monitored as needed in 2021.

  • Application Continuity for Developers - Envision users running an application and not dreading ‘planned outages’ or wondering why their latest data entry disappeared into a black hole. Imagine one could make some simple configuration changes and all those problems would just go away in 2021. This is when you should configure Application Continuity (AC) so that users will no longer be impacted by rolling patching, database configuration changes or even rare database crashes. Last decade, this was a DBA task, but in 2021 and the new decade, Application Continuity is a Database Feature for Developers.

Learn More: MAA Virtual World Tour ’20 / ’21

The need to deliver increasing levels of availability continues to accelerate in 2021 as enterprises reengineer their solutions to gain competitive advantage after a turbulent 2020 and especially in the area of digital transformation. Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) provides Oracle customers with valuable insights and expert recommendations which have been validated and tested with enterprise customers to address this need. It is therefore never too late to join Oracle Product Management for the Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) Webcast Series to get the latest updates on High Availability (HA), Scalability and Disaster Recovery best practices for Oracle Database. The series started in 2020 with replays available and will continue its successful run in 2021. 


2021 has just begun. Now is the time to plan ahead and benefit from all the improvements that were built into Oracle Database 19c for over a decade. Looking forward to welcoming you on MAA train ’21. 

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Hamza Fayyaz Thursday, February 25, 2021
    It feels great while learning and building solutions using continuously growing Oracle technology.
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