Monday Apr 21, 2014

Solving the Data Growth Problem – Part 1

If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Now let’s apply this tenet to big data. Data growth is a primary driver of application issues and proves to be a pressing challenge faced by organizations. A logical conclusion might be that adding more disk space can solve the problem; however this method often proves costly and inefficient.


Enter Oracle Partners. Our partners are in a great position because they’re trusted advisors with an opportunity to take an integrated approach to addressing data growth. Partners don’t have to simply sell more storage or licenses. They can identify the issue and choose the proper solution.


Several Oracle approaches to easing the influx of data:

  • Leverage the features of Oracle Database such as Automatic Data Optimization with Heat Map technology as well as Advanced Compression option to compress and tier data at a higher density and maximize resource efficiency. In particular, Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) can compress data 10X-50X, reducing storage capacity, footprint, and TCO. 
  • Move your systems to Oracle Exadata Database Machine to free up space in existing storage environments for general storage use; see our January blog post on HCC to compress data in the Exadata environment;
  • Address non-database data with tiered storage; more on this topic in Part 2.


So for now – put away the hammer – remember that adding more storage capacity isn’t the only solution to combat the rapid influx of data into your systems. We believe the priority should be on looking at storage issues from Oracle Database and taking advantage of free features like HCC, which decrease storage requirements and improve query performance in real customer environments. The ultimate choice is yours.

Until Part 2!


- The OPN Comms Team

Thursday Jan 30, 2014

The Results Are In! Achieving Enterprise Data Performance

As big data continues to infiltrate transaction systems, appliances and devices from a variety of applications – including social media – organizations are facing a number of challenges as they attempt to capture and utilize this data. While industry solutions are offering new and more digitally compact forms of data storage, these solutions don’t get to the meat of organizations’ chief issue: data must be managed and integrated closely into the business from the get go.


How exactly do we do this? Good question.

We conducted a survey[1] on database growth with more than 300 data managers and professionals who are members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG). After reviewing the results, we took away the following top-line challenges related to managing and storing big data, and the opportunity for partners that lies within.

1. Business challenge: The need to reduce infrastructure costs. Organizations struggle as they attempt to manage large amounts of unstructured data without improvements and updates to their data environments.

2. Technical challenge: The need to improve performance and availability. Database administrators are mostly concerned with performance and consolidation efforts.

3. Application performance challenge: Survey results showed that the most critical performance issue is data growth outpacing storage capacity and the need to purchase additional hardware.

4. Data growth challenge: Half of our respondents stated that in order to combat and manage data growth they have to add more disk storage. Very few plan to use database level compression as a way to address growth.

Opportunity: Three words: Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC). As you may have caught above, challenge #1 is at odds with challenge #3. How can a business minimize infrastructure costs and put more hardware in place? You can’t, really. Enter HCC, an Oracle Database feature supported by Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3 Series, but unavailable to third-party storage systems. HCC uses both row and columnar methods for storing data. By doing this, HCC reaps the benefits of columnar storage while avoiding the performance shortfalls of a pure columnar format and can dramatically improve storage efficiencies. HCC compression ratios range from 6x to 15x, significantly reducing storage capacity required and enhancing performance, while enabling customers to significantly reduce their storage costs.

Partners, it’s up to us to engage our Oracle Database customers with storage cost saving messages by raising awareness and adoption of HCC. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Consult with customers: Run Oracle Advanced Compression Advisor to estimate potential storage savings. Use ’DBMS_COMPRESSION’ package included with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 or higher.
  • Use an HCC customer reference: This Starbucks case study is a great example. Architect, sell, and implement the ZFS Storage ZS3 Series.

Best of luck!


Joel Borellis is group vice president, Partner Enablement at Oracle. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship. Read all of Oracle’s guest blogs here.


[1] Achieving Enterprise Data Performance 2013 survey underwritten by Oracle Corporation and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc.