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Revive your Oracle database consolidation projects

There are real cost savings available if you plan correctly

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Oracle launched the new Oracle Database 12c in July. This release is intended to address the needs of infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals for faster infrastructure provisioning and higher consolidation densities to lower overall support costs.

In the past, Oracle Database consolidation initiatives were hindered by product limitations in areas like data isolation, privileges, resource allocation, and naming conventions. However, with Oracle Database 12c, enterprises can consolidate databases more efficiently, without the need to worry about data isolation or application code changes.

Based on Oracle’s published pricing sheet, we estimate that existing Oracle Database customers can potentially save up to $27,500 per year on Oracle support fees and free up licenses worth an additional $125,000 by consolidating four Oracle databases (for a single processor license). We did not include Oracle’s Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) or any discount in this calculation.

The potential cost savings are clearly compelling to many I&O professionals. However, before deciding whether Oracle Database 12c is right for your organisation, consider some key recommendations:

  • Take another look at your database consolidation opportunities. Do this before purchasing new Oracle Database licenses or renewing the annual support contract with Oracle. The best place to start is by consolidating databases hosted on the same server. Consolidate these databases before buying a new Oracle Database license, as there are additional license and annual support fees associated with enabling the multitenancy feature within 12c. Your annual support fees will keep increasing if you do not act.
  • Don’t get sold on the cost-saving nirvana of Oracle’s database-as-a-service (DaaS) offering. While Oracle’s DaaS offering is not yet available on Oracle’s public cloud or Amazon RDS, it could prove to be a compelling option for many organisations based on the potential cost savings. But we believe that it will be more economical to host a large Oracle database on premises versus hosting it on Oracle DaaS. There should be a more compelling business justification for migrating databases to Oracle’s public cloud, such as fast infrastructure provisioning, disaster recovery, or elastic provisioning for dynamic workloads.
  • Let storage vendors handle tiering and data compression for now. Although Oracle has added a new feature for automatic data optimisation in Oracle Database 12c, we believe that Oracle has to bring more enhancements and features to entice customers to pay for the additional license required for advanced compression. For example, heat maps are not supported for multitenant databases, and the tiering is done in the maintenance window (10 p.m. to 2 a.m. by default), which is not suitable for real-time workloads that change extremely quickly. For now, let enterprise storage vendors such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, and NetApp manage the automated storage tiering.
  • Define a limited number of database templates around complementary workloads. A common mistake that I&O professionals make is segregating the database infrastructure landscape based on the environment (production, test, and development). Any Oracle Database 12c implementation discussion should start by articulating the different types of service-level agreements, high availability, and compliance requirements. I&O professionals need to break the environment silos and move to a more integrated infrastructure landscape that is grouped around complementary workloads. Oracle Database 12c Resource Manager will be able to control the competition for resources between the pluggable databases.

Oracle Database 12c is a major new release and we expect to see strong interest among existing Oracle customers. While the product includes many compelling features, I&O professionals should carefully evaluate each of them against their organisations’ current and future needs before making implementation decisions. The potential benefits are substantial, but so are the risks — so proceed with caution. Let me know what you think!

Posted by Sudhanshu Bhandari. Noel Yuhanna and Michael Barnes contributed to this post.

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