Oracle Database Appliance – A DBA’s Perspective

Dec 8, 2011

oracle-database-appliance-toronto-resized-152Let’s Be Blunt…

Anybody who tells you that you’re going to save money by reducing your DBA costs after implementing the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) is a moron.  There… I said it.

Is ODA faster to install and configure than a database server where you buy the hardware/software separately?  Sure.  The reality is that once you have a database running on ODA, you’ve still got the same production support tasks that you’ve always had.   A DBA does much more than simply create a database on a new server.

Remember how we were told that Oracle 10g was “self-managing”?  ‘Nuff said.

ODA Advantages for a DBA – Initial Setup

The reality is that ODA is extremely easy to configure mainly because you don’t need to coordinate the activities of your Oracle DBA’s and your System Administrators (or hardware vendor installation team).  All those pesky hardware and operating system pre-requisites are taken care of so the Oracle DBA can get down to work immediately.

Once you’ve plugged it in, finished the configuration using the “wizard”, and built your core database, the DBA’s real skills are required.  Data needs to be migrated, backup/recovery processes must be monitored and tested, security must be enforced, performance bottlenecks must be examined, application issues must be troubleshooted from the database side, etc.

Ongoing Advantages of ODA for a DBA – Integrated Support

Once ODA is setup, the “fast deployment” advantage is over.  Fortunately, there are many ongoing advantages for a DBA.  The key advantage is Top-to-Bottom database server support from Oracle.   In the past, there was nothing more frustrating than having Oracle Support tell you that your issue must be cause by a “hardware problem”.  It just got better when your hardware vendor blamed the problem on Oracle.  Ugh!!  With ODA, Oracle supports the entire optimized hardware/software stack – at least on the database server end of your infrastructure.  Very sweet!

Ongoing Advantages of ODA for the Organization – Easy Scalability

One of the most visible advantages of ODA is that you can start off by licensing just a handful of CPU cores with the ability to activate more as you need them simply by licensing them.  You don’t have to replace the server or open it up for any reason.  Enter the new license code and BINGO… more CPU horsepower becomes available.

Easy Entry into Real Application Clusters (RAC)

One of the biggest advantages of ODA is the ability to easily configure a two-node RAC environment.  Installing and configuring RAC is very challenging for those DBA’s new to the technology.  The biggest and most time-consuming challenge revolves around properly configuring the underlying hardware infrastructure.  With ODA, the infrastructure is ready to go!

ODA Advantages for the “Money People”

OK… so not really a DBA’s main concern but ODA does provide your finance people with many ways to finance the database server infrastructure through a combination of capital budgets, departmental budgets, and project budgets.  Not to mention the fact that the entire hardware/software costs are lower than a “build it yourself” solution.  Our licensing specialists can help your finance people with this.

Final Words

  • Is ODA “self-managing”?  Nope.
  • Is ODA “self-supporting”?  Sort of.  It will “call home” to Oracle support if there are specific issues, but it won’t replace the DBA activity that goes along with any support issue.
  • Will DBA’s still be required?  Of course – ODA is still Oracle 11g R2 running on a Linux Server.

For more information, contact one of DesTech’s Oracle Licensing Specialists (416-368-8455 / 1-866-368-8455) or click here

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