Assess Oracle`s Role in the Enterprise Database Strategy

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Transcript Assess Oracle`s Role in the Enterprise Database Strategy

Assess Oracle’s Role in the Enterprise Database Strategy
“If all application vendors supported both Oracle and SQL Server, we would try to simplify our
lives by eliminating one, probably Oracle. But we cannot eliminate SQL either, because the
opposite is also true; there are applications that we have that don't provide Oracle as an
option. So it turns out that we have to keep multiple platforms."
-- Info-Tech Client
This research is designed for:
 CIOs or IT directors.
 Data center managers.
 Shops with Oracle
 Shops that are
considering Oracle.
This research will help you:
This research is not designed for:
 Save grief by having a strategy
that mitigates the top databaserelated challenges.
 Database administrators (DBAs).
 Those looking for the technical
details of database management.
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 Save money by reducing
licensing costs.
 Save time by minimizing
complexity and increasing
• Oracle is used by the majority of businesses for their critical enterprise apps. It is also a
relatively expensive database platform.
• Determine Oracle’s fit with your organization, and if it is necessary to keep paying for it. Use
an inventory to document app dependencies and other factors that limit changes to the
database ecosystem.
• Cautiously consider virtualization and cloud database options.
• Make a final decision on what to do with Oracle: ditch it, downgrade it, or deal with it. Use
Info-Tech’s Oracle Necessity Assessment Tool to help in your decision.
• Calculate TCO by fully understanding the myriad licensing options and features that Oracle
offers. Use Info-Tech’s Oracle TCO Tool to help calculate and document potential costs…
they may surprise you.
• Compare with other database options and tie up loose ends to decide on a database solution
that is optimal for the business.
Executive Summary
• Certain database practices are more successful than others; know which activities the
happiest Oracle customers engage in.
• Know the top database challenges identified by Info-Tech clients.
• Develop a strategy that simplifies the database collection to its leanest and meanest, then
optimizes it to mitigate and meet the top challenges.
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Oracle users don’t just use Oracle; develop a strategy that
involves the whole messy database collection
The enterprise database is not a heterogeneous environment,
but most IT leaders wish it was.
• Databases are not “greenfield”; nobody wakes up and
decides to go buy a database.
• 93% of Oracle users also own at least one other
database platform. Yet, cross-platform database
management was identified as the largest databaserelated challenge.
• Simplify. Reevaluate Oracle’s fit in your business’s
database collection. If Oracle stays, review licensing to
identify savings in cost and management hassle.
• Calculate. Use this set to determine exact costs. The
results are often surprising.
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• Come out of this solution set with fewer database
platforms, fewer operating systems, and/or fewer
servers. Then formulate a plan to deal with the top
database-related challenges.
Understand where Oracle fits in; it might not be with you
Oracle Database Strategy Roadmap
• Figure out if Oracle Database is the right fit for your organization.
• Gather application and infrastructure needs to understand the limits of database
• Dump Oracle if it doesn’t fit. If it does, develop strategies that maximize
efficiency and minimize cost.
Determine Oracle’s fit with your organization’s size & complexity
Large organizations, or those with complex database requirements, will benefit
most from Oracle over other database options.
• An Info-Tech survey found that large organizations are more
satisfied with Oracle (performance, availability, management
complexity, security, and backup) than small organizations.
• Despite paying more for Oracle, large organizations are most
satisfied with what they pay for it.
• Satisfaction with Oracle itself was linked with satisfaction with its
price. Organizations that pay too much for Oracle are also
unhappy with its features.
• Some of Oracle’s features, whether built-in or available as paid
add-ons, are only necessary in a complex database ecosystem
where performance would suffer without them. If features go
unused, the premium paid for Oracle is wasted money.
Info-Tech Recommends:
If your database needs are simple, Oracle may not be the
right fit for you. Consider a consolidation plan that cuts costs
by cutting down on Oracle licenses, or migrating away from
Oracle entirely.
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Determine Oracle’s fit with your organization’s database
Oracle is the preferred database platform for critical enterprise applications and
reporting, but SQL Server is not far behind.
• Oracle DB and SQL Server are the top two
database platforms used by Info-Tech clients.
• Oracle is preferred for enterprise apps,
warehousing, and BI. It is also used far more
for online transaction processing.
• SQL is, however, still common among most use
• For critical apps, Oracle has a slight
advantage, but SQL is a viable
alternative for many businesses.
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Review app dependencies to determine the limits on your
ability to make database platform changes
Application limitations can leave IT’s hands tied
• Today, many apps come pre-packaged with their own database
management and support.
• This limitation can force IT to add new databases that
come tagging along with new apps.
• Such ties can also prevent consolidation if a critical app
(whether developed internally or from a third party) only
supports one database. You may be stuck with that database
until the app is no longer needed or updated to support the
consolidation target.
• Work around app limits to identify where changes for the better
can be made.
Case Study: Oracle as a Black Box
The business: MCCG Inc.;
provides software solutions for
insurance companies.
They manage the Oracle databases.
Their customers’ hands are tied; they
have no choice but to use the DB that
comes with the solutions.
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This limitation is also a benefit.
There is no choice in database
platforms, but it is not a big deal
because management and tuning are
handled by the software provided.
Flexibility is traded for simplicity.
“We abstract most of the Oracle
administration away from the client. It's
essentially a black box for them. We
maintain it. Now, a few of our companies
have IT shops, so we integrate with them
as much as possible, but in general, we
have one code base that we then deploy
across our 30 clients.”
– Steve Goris, VP of Research & Development
Use the Database Inventory Tool to inventory apps & hardware,
and identify where there is freedom to cut
Regular assessment of apps & hardware can identify opportunities
to cut down on database licenses or consolidate platforms.
• The Database Inventory Tool is a workbook
to help you keep track of apps & hardware.
• Why inventory? An Info-Tech survey found
that regular inventorying was strongly
related with Oracle success.
• Follow the included instructions to record
data that will inform database decisions, and
identify opportunities for cutting down on
database platforms or operating systems and
reduce TCO.
Info-Tech Recommends:
Info-Tech’s solution set, Manage Software Assets Efficiently, may also be
useful for keeping track of applications.
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Beware of other factors that stand in the way of
database re-platforming
Even if the decision to move off of Oracle is made, it might be derailed by the people
and situations that compel you to “remain with Larry.”
Corporate Standardization
• Especially in large companies, a desire for consistency
between departments and locations can force the choice of
database platform—even if it is not always the optimal one.
Skill Sets
• If IT staff are already
with a platform, switching to
another one can be expensive and difficult. Oracle,
especially, can require specialized skills; moving off of it
may be seen as wasting talent.
Unplanned Downtime
• People can get attached to IT choices. Oracle’s advanced
features may also attract people who want to use them,
whether needed or not; it is difficult to resist the allure of
“nerd cred.”
• Non-technical issues can also work the other way (see
quote, right).
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“Unfortunately, in a larger
company, the job of the CIO is
about politics , budget, whatever
personal agenda they have and
bragging rights among his peers.
A new CIO has to make his boss
think he's the right man for the
job by doing something
impulsive (e.g. get a new
database, re-engineer something
that's been working extremely
well for the last 100 years)
without consulting anyone. So,
they are going to put the entire IT
department through hell the next
few years with user complaints
and firefighting (because stuff
that was working, all of a sudden
stopped working).”
-- Sherman Chen,
IT Director, Health Legal Service
Don’t forget the operating system; it matters for
performance & management complexity
• Oracle is internally developed on Linux then ported to UNIX and Windows. The resulting OS
deployment flexibility allows Oracle to find a home in nearly any enterprise.
• Therefore, if the majority of your server architecture is Windows, then adopting Oracle on
that OS leverages existing management tools and processes, resulting in improved TCO.
• However, the majority of businesses run
on UNIX:
• And a case can be made for Linux too:
“Even in an MS environment, if I were to put
up an Oracle database, I would rather put it on
a Linux box than on an MS box, knowing that I
can have better performance and uptime on a
Linux box . Not to mention all the restarts one
has to do on a weekly basis because of memory
leaks and weekly critical/security update from
-- Sherman Chen,
IT Director, Health Legal Service
Info-Tech Recommends:
Take advantage of Oracle’s flexibility. Run it on the OS that is the least hassle for your organization,
and use the Database Inventory Tool to find opportunities for simplifying the OS situation.
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