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Doing more for less with your Oracle database

12/05/2014 by


Workshop Database services are constantly increasing in demand, but while demand might be expanding, budgets in general aren’t. The Independent Oracle User Group’s 2013 Database Manageability survey showed that data volumes – along with the business demand for database services to manage them – grew by more than 20 per cent on average throughout the year. And yet most organisations reported budgets that were flat, or in decline.

As a database administrator, you are likely facing the challenge of doing more with less in terms of your database and its operations. But you do have options in terms of shaving costs here and there to improve your database function on an even tighter budget. Here are several ways that you can do more with less.

Standardise your database hardware

It’s a common problem for database managers: Over the years, as hardware and software evolves, different pieces are added to the database infrastructure to suit various business needs, usually by different managers, leaving you with a mishmash of parts forming your data center ecosystem.

While each addition or removal may have seemed like a sound idea at the time, no one may have realised the overall inefficiencies that they introduced into the system. In fact, according to Oracle, you could be spending as much as 30 per cent of your IT budget simply on getting the different components to interact correctly with each other.


Don’t just manage individual systems, which are often over-provisioned with spare processing and storage capacity and thus both inefficient and costly, Instead, you can standardise the platform used for all business applications with a consolidated data processing and storage infrastructure, which can now exist in shared environments.

According to Oracle, its software enables significant commoditisation of consolidated environments, greatly reducing the cost of hardware, often by a factor of 4x to 6x. It’s no surprise that around 40 per cent of organisations in that IOUG survey are considering moving to private cloud infrastructures to squeeze more performance out of their systems for less money, or already have.

By using Oracle Real Application Clusters, for example, you can integrate low-cost commodity servers in a single shared database grid or private cloud to enable consolidation, faster performance, higher availability and scalability on demand. Correcting such inefficiencies with this improved architecture can save you a noticeable amount on your annual budget.

Toad for Oracle, one of the most popular third party administration tools for Oracle, has an edition specifically for the RAC environment. In the Oracle parameters window, for example, you can see an additional instance column showing you that you’re connected to a RAC connection, as opposed to an instance connection. It is also RAC-aware in the way that it collects information, showing information from the GV$ view, for example, which monitors information across all instances in a RAC configuration.

Toad also handles the management of virtualised systems pretty well. For example, its health check screen includes a whole section of tests purely focused on virtualised systems.

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