Environment Management 101
By Acshorten-Oracle on Nov 08, 2010
One of the common questions I have been asked over the years is "How many environments do I need?". Our product licensing is pretty flexible and once licensed sites can basically install as many copies of the product as they think they need. The problem is that there no standard number of copies to install and manage as site implementations have different requirements and different plans. They are environmental "snowflakes".
The real issue is that some implementations go overboard. I have seen customers with 60+ copies of the product running at their site. I have even seen more copies of the product installed than people on the implementation. It can get out of hand quickly.
So what is the problem with so many environments? Well, each environment needs resources (both computer and human) to manage the environment. Too many and your total cost of ownership increases. Even with automation (such as Oracle Enterprise Manager) the number of environments to manage can get unwieldly.
- Ownership - Each environment must be owned by someone at the site. The owner decides the operational aspects of the environment including who should access it, backups and when it is available. No owner, no environment.
- Planned - Your site would have a plan with all the implementation and support activiites on it. If the environment does not support the activities on that
- Sharing - Not everyone on an implementation needs their own copy of the product. You can look at techniques to help sharing like lining up the plan with the environment to see where you can convert an environment from one group to another group, using data ranges to support concurrent testing activities etc.
- End of Life - When you create an environment, agree the end of life of the environment. Too many times this is ignored by staff and results in ever growing numbers of environments.
The above list is only a subset of the techniques documented in the whitepaper but they do help. The whitepaper is available from My Oracle Support at KB Id:560401.1.