One of the best-kept secrets in the IT industry is the depth of support Oracle offers to customers deploying its databases on Microsoft Windows platforms. Despite its highly visible support of Linux, Oracle was the first of the major database vendors to port its software to Windows in the mid- 1990s, and continues to support a large and robust Oracle-on-Windows user community.
www.ovum.comMaking the Case for Oracle Database on WindowsJuly 2007Dwight B. Davisdwight.firstname.lastname@example.orgUntitled Document1 of 10able of Contents.........................................................................................................................1aking the case for Oracle Database on Windows.....................................................................2Customers and industry trends drive Oracle/Microsoft interoperability......................................2Oracle Database leverages Windows platform..........................................................................4Development tools and technologies.........................................................................................5Oracle on Windows = the right combination for many users......................................................8Conclusion..................................................................................................................................9v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document2 of 101.aking the case for Oracle atabase on Windowsne of the best-kept secrets in the IT industry is the depth of support racle offers to customers deploying its databases on Microsoft Windows latforms. Despite its highly visible support of Linux, Oracle was the first f the major database vendors to port its software to Windows in the mid-990s, and continues to support a large and robust Oracle-on-Windows ser community. The vendor s Windows integration capabilities range rom ensuring interoperability with core Windows features such as Active irectory to making sure its databases and tools work seamlessly with the opular Visual Studio development suite. Customers ranging from mom-nd-pop shops to global enterprises run Oracle Databases on Windows latforms, but the sweet spot for this combination is squarely in the fast-rowing small and mid-sized business (SMB) market.ustomers and industry trends drive racle/Microsoft interoperabilityn the computer industry, things are not always as they seem at first glance. Take, or instance, the well-reported competitive battles that have flared for years etween Oracle and Microsoft. These clashes occurred first in the database market, xpanded into the operating system world as Oracle warmed to Linux, and have ncluded skirmishes on fronts ranging from development tools to middleware and pplications. ehind the scenes of the high-profile clashes, however, Oracle and Microsoft have ach been willing to address a hard market reality: the two powerful vendors share housands of joint customers that have deployed products sold by both companies. n particular, a significant number of customers have deployed Oracle s database oftware on platforms running Microsoft s Windows Server operating system. This roduct combination is hardly surprising given that various analysts estimates redit Oracle with owning almost 50% of the database market, and Microsoft with wning 50% or more of the server operating system market.racle doesn t publicize its platform-share data but, by some counts, the vendor ells roughly as many databases for deployment on Windows as for deployment on inux. Oracle s enthusiasm for Linux of late has tended to overshadow its sizable indows-based business, but the company has many years of experience and trong capabilities when it comes to leveraging the Windows platform. In 1994, for xample, Oracle became the first database to ship on Windows NT, and has ontinued to build strong Windows interoperability features into its products ever ince.v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document3 of 10.Oracle and Microsoft have even managed to put down their gloves at times in order to collaborate on efforts of mutual benefit to them and their joint customers. One notable example of this co-operation has been Oracle s participation in Microsoft s Visual Studio Industry Partner program, under which Oracle has worked to ensure that its development tools and databases work well with Microsoft s Visual Studio development suite. Oracle and Microsoft have also joined forces with other companies to develop and promulgate various XML web services standards and, of late, are working to allow customers to use Microsoft s popular Office applications as front-end clients for accessing Oracle s enterprise business applications.Although the Oracle/Microsoft base of shared customers includes many enterprise-level companies, the SMB market is clearly the sweet spot for deployments of Oracle s database on Windows Server. For some, this scenario may be counter-intuitive. Oracle made its name in the enterprise database market, but in recent years has made great strides in fielding easy-to-deploy and competitively priced database offerings, including Oracle Database Standard Edition and Oracle Database Standard Edition One. Oracle has also released the Oracle Database Express Edition, which is free to develop, deploy and distribute. For its part, Windows Server has always been quite popular among SMB customers, creating a strong demand for many Oracle-on-Windows deployments in this market sector.Industry trends drive, and support, cross-vendor integrationA number of industry trends are working both to increase the demand for cross-vendor interoperability and to help companies realize it. Ovum Summit tracks many of these trends and capabilities as elements of the overarching evolution towards dynamic computing . Simply stated, dynamic computing will leverage a range of enabling technologies to allow companies to build and operate more flexible and adaptable IT environments. Most important, in aggregate, these technologies will help IT respond more rapidly to changing business requirements, and will enable more fluid and automated synchronization between the fluctuating demands of business processes and the IT infrastructure that supports them.Among the most important of the dynamic computing enablers are web services and service-oriented architectures (SOAs), grid computing, virtualization and policy-based management. Because these and other technologies are increasingly based on broadly supported standards, they actually make it more palatable for IT shops to consider mixing elements from different vendors. In this context, the many ways in which Oracle s databases and tools can interoperate with the Windows platform and Microsoft s toolset have become even more important in recent years.v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document4 of 10.Oracle Database leverages Windows platformThroughout its history, Oracle has offered support for a range of operating systems, including Windows and Linux, and a variety of hardware platforms, so that customers could choose the environmentbest suited to their needs. When Oracle first started selling its database on the Windows NT platform in the mid-1990s, Windows NT itself was best suited to small-to-mid-sized deployments. The core of Oracle s enterprise-level installations, by contrast,ran on one of the major commercial Unix platforms. Even though Windows couldn t then scale like Unix, the Microsoft operating system did offer customers some attractive features. Unlike the process-based model used on Unix, Oracle Database on Windows was built on a thread-based design. This approach provided advantages specific to the Windows operating system, since each database ran as a single process with multiple threads, which resulted in relatively fast performance and lower overhead. When Linux began gaining traction in the late 1990s, Oracle was one of the first of the major commercial software vendors to deploy its products on the new open-source operating system(OS). During the following years, as Linux grew in functionality and performance, Oracle ramped up its backing of the OS. The company became so associated with Linux, in fact, that its ongoing support of Windows was sometimes eclipsed.Today, Oracle believes that both Windows and Linux can deliver roughly comparable capabilities as foundations for its database. Each OS, of course, has a unique collection of technologies and services, and Oracle tunes its database to leverage these respective features. The broad feature set of Oracle Database runs equally well on Windows, Linux or Unix. WhatWindows and Linux share in common is that they both run on low-cost hardware, making scaling out easier to manage and more cost-effective for both the database server and application server levels. For instance, many customers currently run Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) on top of two or more Windows Server nodes. Oracle RAC allows real applications, such as those sold by Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and others, to be deployed across high-availability clusters without any changes required to theapplication code. Inherent in Oracle RAC is its ability to run database applications on relatively low-cost, industry-standard servers that, when clustered, can significantly increase reliability and scalability.Beyond delivering its core features on Windows platforms, there are dozens of Windows Server integration points that Oracle exploits with its database. It isn t practical to examine each of these interoperability capabilities here; rather we ll briefly describe those that are of most value to customers when running the Oracle software on Microsoft s OS. Those key areas of integration includethe following.Leveraging Windows Server s Active Directory and Security FrameworkOracle supports extensive interaction between its database and Microsoft s popular Active Directory system and Windows Server Security framework. The capabilities users can tap into include:v m mmi 2 7. n hriz r r in rhii .Untitled Document5 of 10." creating mappings between users in Active Directory and the database" support for single sign-on, permitting users to access the Oracle Database once they re authenticated on Active Directory" support assignment of database roles through Active Directory group membership" using Microsoft Certificate Store to authenticate into an Oracle Database running on any OS platform using SSL" using the Microsoft Key Distribution Center to authenticate onto Oracle databases using Kerberos keys across heterogeneous systems " the ability to store database and network names and configuration data in Active Directory, rather than on client devices, simplifying configuration maintenance, security and updating" the use of Oracle s Network Configuration Assistant and Database Configuration facility to set up the Active Directory service" the option to use Oracle Internet Directory to provision to Active Directory, or vice versa, with the use of Enterprise Identity Management (a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware). Leveraging Windows Server s hardware support featuresAs noted earlier, Oracle has tuned its database to take advantage of Windows Server s thread-based model. As a result, database administrators are able to set CPU affinities and priorities for different Oracle processes and threads. Oracle Database runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Server platforms. In the case of memory-constrained 32-bit systems, the database can leverage various Windows Server memory management capabilities, including:" the operating system s 3-gigabyte (GB) switch, which improves scalability by letting the database use 3GB of the available 4GB of 32-bit address space, rather than the usual split of 2GB accessible to the application/database and 2GB allocated to the Windows Executive software" Oracle s use of Address Windowing Extensions (AWE), which provides access to up to 64GB of physical memory from within a 32-bit virtual address space. Normally, 32-bit systems are limited to 4GB of memory access" Oracle Database s leveraging of the OS s Large Page support, which lets the database establish large contiguous data sets, resulting in less fragmentation and improved performance. This is supported on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems with the larger page sizes of 4MB and 16MB, respectively. It is particularly useful in 64-bit systems with large memory. Development tools and technologiesWindows is the most popular application development platform for Oracle products, so it is hardly surprising that Oracle has worked hard to ensure that its v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document6 of 10.development tools and platforms interoperate well with their Microsoft counterparts. By joining Microsoft s Visual Studio Industry Partner program in 2004, Oracle made clear its intention to make it easy for Windows-based developers to exploit the capabilities of the Oracle Database. That effort is ongoing, with Oracle already working, for example, to ensure that its products interoperate with the next iteration of Visual Studio 2008.Oracle s database server support of .NET is completely platform and Oracle Database version independent. .NET applications can run against any supported version of Oracle Database server running on any platform.Oracle offers three main solutions (listed below) for developers working with Oracle Databases and .NET. Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET)This facility lets developers create .NET-based applications that can access data stored in Oracle s databases, as well as take full advantage of Oracle s database capabilities from within .NET. Accessible features include Oracle RAC, automatic load balancing, Oracle XML DB (the database s native XML capabilities), native Oracle data types (including XML documents, Microsoft documents, large objects, REF cursors and user-defined types) and PL/SQL stored procedures. ODP.NET leverages Microsoft s ADO.NET application programming interfaces(APIs). Because the ADO.NET APIs are familiar to most Windows developers, including those working in the SMB sector, ODP.NET provides an easy-to-use solution for integrating the Windows .NET and Oracle database worlds. ODP.NET allows developers to use any .NET functionality they need without limitation, such as .NET DataSet.(ODP.NET is free and can be downloaded from the Oracle Technology Network website at http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/dotnet/index.html)Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET This free add-in for Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 lets developers use the popular Microsoft integrated development environment and interface to access various Oracle services and capabilities during design time (see Figure 1). These features many of which require little or no SQL expertise make developers more efficient at building their .NET application for Oracle. Features include:" numerous designers and wizards to easily perform various database tasks such as table creation" automatic code generation from simple drag-and-drop operations allowing developers to easily create working code for ASP.NET web applications, Windows applications and Microsoft Office applicationsv mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document7 of 10." a PL/SQL Editor and Debugger that allows the editing of PL/SQL stored procedures along with complete PL/SQL debugging support, using the same Visual Studio debugging features that .NET developers already know" a SQL Script editor, a SQL Script Execution engine, script management and database source control integration" support for exploring and creating Oracle User-Defined Types (UDT), as well as a custom-class code-generation wizard that makes creating .NET applications that use Oracle UDTs easier and faster to build" an Integrated Help System, including SQL, PL/SQL and Oracle Error Reference Manuals, permitting developers to stay within the Visual Studio environment if they need to look up Oracle-specific information.Figure 1 Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NETOracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET makes it easy to perform Oracle database operations from inside of Visual Studio Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET makes it easy to perform Oracle database operations from inside of Visual Studio Source: Oraclev mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document8 of 10.Oracle Database Extensions for .NETOracle has integrated .NET inside the Oracle Database. Oracle Database Extensions for .NET is an Oracle Database option that allows developers to create Oraclestored procedures and functions using .NET languages such as C# or Visual Basic .NET.Developers create their .NET procedures and functions in Visual Studio, and then use the Oracle Deployment Wizard to deploy the .NET code into Oracle Database. These .NET stored procedures and functions can then be called from within .NET application code, from SQL, from another .NET, PL/SQL or Java stored procedure,from a trigger, or from anywhere else a stored procedure or function call is allowed.Oracle on Windows = the right combination for many usersIt s impossible to fully characterize the types of users and usages for which the combination of Oracle databases and tools working on Windows-based platforms represents the most attractive solution. Windows Server users now range from the smallest of companies to large, multinational enterprises, and customers across this span have chosen to deploy Oracle s products on the Microsoft OS. That said, the bulk of the Oracle-on-Windows deployments are and are likely to remain within the SMB sector.One company that falls within this sector, Kroll Factual Data, illustrates some of the reasons many SMB customers are interested in the Oracle/Windows combination. A subsidiary of Kroll, Inc, Kroll Factual Data provides a range of Internet-delivered business information services to the mortgage industry. The company is a major Windows user, counting more than 600 Windows Servers in its Loveland, Colorado data center. By contrast, Kroll Factual Data has only about 25 Linux servers in production, including several Red Hat Linux-based servers running Oracle s E-Business Suite of enterprise applications.In late 2006, Kroll Factual Data decided to migrate its 10TB of relational data from Microsoft SQL Server to a three-node Oracle Database RAC. The company s main motivation for the move was its concern about SQL Server s high-availability clustering capability, which was provided by a third party and could have required 2 3 minutes of downtime when failing over from one node to another, according to Russ Donnan, chief information officer at Kroll Factual Data. Failover happens instantaneously with Oracle RAC, Donnan says. Donnan also liked the scalability characteristics of the Oracle Database in relationto SQL Server. Moving SQL Server from a two-socket node to a four-socket node requires a massive migration and an enormous amount of planning , he explains. I can add two processors to my Oracle plant fairly inexpensively . v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document9 of 10.Despite its shift to the Oracle Database, however, the company wasn t interested in moving from Windows to a Linux platform. For Donnan, the main barrier in moving to Linux wasn t so much tied to technical characteristics as to staffing realities. Kroll Factual Data has a strong collection of Windows experts already on its staff, and has generally found it difficult and expensive to find and hire Linux experts. Leveraging our Windows expertise, has reduced our overhead costs significantly , Donnan says.Kroll Factual Data is running its Oracle RAC on 64-bit Windows Server, so doesn t need the database s ability to exploit Windows 32-bit memory management features. The company uses Active Directory to centrally manage its entire user credentialing, rather than putting the credentials on each local machine. This central management pays off when the company s IT facility is audited, since regulators prefer to have usage logs centrally stored, and processes such as regular password recycling centrally enforced. Theoretically, Donnan says, Kroll Factual Data could achieve the same type of central directory control using Linux, but it s a heck of a lot easier for us to own, operate and maintain that type of infrastructure under Windows than under Linux .Kroll Factual Data has found the migration to Oracle Database 10g RAC to be relatively straightforward, and says that the Oracle-on-Windows integration capabilities have lived up to their billing right out of the box. For starters, the company was able to port its custom applications to the three-node RAC without modifying any of the applications code.Furthermore, according to Donnan, it has been very straightforward using the Oracle Database on Microsoft IIS [Internet Information Server] and with Visual Studio Team System. Microsoft s SQL Server plug-ins are excellent , he continues, but I like the way the Oracle tools [ODP.NET] integrate with Visual Studio even better. They let you do all the things you need to do as a developer to access the database. ConclusionIn this paper, we ve touched on several of the core integration capabilities that Oracle offers to users deploying its databases, and using its tools, within Windows-based environments. It s worth noting that these capabilities are far from the only Windows interoperability services that Oracle provides. Oracle s applications team, for example, is working with Microsoft s Office Business Application set of APIs to let customers use Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and Outlook as front-end clients to Oracle s enterprise applications.Oracle Fusion Middleware also provides strong support of, and interoperability with, Microsoft products and technologies. The middleware is well integrated with the Microsoft Windows Server platform and with products, including Microsoft Active Directory, IIS and Microsoft Cluster Services. It also supports applications built using .NET and web services, and interoperates with products such as Microsoft BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server. Fusion Middleware also facilitates v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.Untitled Document10 of 10.the effective use of Microsoft Office front-end products with back-end enterprise applications and solutions. Another major vehicle for interoperability is Oracle s Enterprise Manager, which has evolved to become a broad, heterogeneous systems management framework. Oracle currently offers Enterprise Manager plug-ins for seven different Microsoft servers. The vendor also offers a bidirectional connector for integrating Enterprise Manager with Microsoft s Systems Center. Furthermore, Enterprise Manager can access Microsoft s website to look for new patches to Microsoft s software, and can then deploy the patches as necessary.There are no signs that either Oracle or Microsoft will falter from their respective positions of industry strength. There may not be much love lost between the two rivals, but both recognize that there are situations in which co-operation and integration are preferable to competition. For more than a decade, Oracle has had a sizable and strong database business in the Windows market, although the vendor hasn t always trumpeted this fact very loudly. As it looks to capture more market share in the promising SMB sector, Oracle is likely to ramp up the volume when it comes to touting its extensive range of Oracle-on-Windows capabilities. As we ve suggested here, it has plenty to talk about.This paper was commissioned by Oracle.Ovum Summit is a leading analyst and research firm tracking the evolution of enterprise and mid-market dynamic computing strategies, including virtualization, SOA, IT management, and related enabling services. Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this report. The facts, estimates and opinions stated are based on information and sources that, while we believe them to be reliable, are not guaranteed. Ovum Summit maintains final editorial control over its research and does not endorse specific vendors or offerings. No liability can be accepted by Ovum Europe Limited, its directors or employees for any loss occasioned to any person or entity acting or failing to act as a result of anything contained in, or omitted from, the content of this material, or our conclusions as stated.v mmmi 2 7. nh rizr ri n r hi i.