Humana Case Study: Implementing a Highly Available Oracle E-Business Suite Architecture (OpenWorld 2008 Recap)

I'm highlighting OpenWorld 2008 presentations that cover some of the most popular E-Business Suite technology stack topics. A catalog of all of the Applications Technology track sessions with links to the presentations is available here:

Every EBS system administrator knows that you need to consider high-availability requirements when planning your E-Business Suite implementation.  You need to account for the peak number of concurrent users who will be using the E-Business Suite at any given time.  You also need consider worst-case scenarios and your plans if one or more servers in your environment go down.

Elke Phelps, co-author of the Oracle Applications DBA Field Guide (mini-review), discussed Humana's recent experiences in upgrading their E-Business Suite for high availability in this session:

Physical architecture diagram showing Humana High Availability disaster recovery E-Business Suite deployment between two data centers using Oracle DataGuard replication and Real Application Clusters

Elke covers the following topics in her session:

  • Pre-upgrade E-Business Suite physical and logical architecture (with Self Service Applications, iStore, iSupplier, iProcurement, and Human Resources)
  • Single Points of Failure (SPOF) risk areas in entire architecture: servers, network, NAS and SAN, data center, web nodes, forms nodes, concurrent nodes, database node
  • Options for eliminating SPOFs for each area
  • Load-balancing web nodes
  • Load-balancing Forms nodes
  • Implementing Parallel Concurrent Processing
  • Adding EBS application tier nodes
  • Implementing a shared application tier filesystem via Network Attached Storage (NAS)
  • Implementing Oracle DataGuard with physical standby on the database tier
  • Implementing Real Application Clusters (RAC) on the database tier
  • Humana's replication strategy for spanning EBS between two data centers
  • Humana's tips and techniques for implementing high availability
  • Project considerations: 
    • Service Level Agreements (SLA) between customers and providers
    • Recovery time
    • Cost of delivering on SLAs vs. cost of downtime

As an added bonus, Elke is a regular reader of this blog, so I suspect that she'd be happy to answer your questions about Humana's implementation if you post them as comments here.

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