For many data driven organisations the Oracle database represents the customer facing, revenue generating
engine that defines their business. Without it, there is no business and so it is often listed as a critical piece
of business infrastructure the BC/DR plan.
For those of us that are ‘Users’ of the Oracle Database we are usually blissfully unaware of the complexity
behind the development of the schema (objects, tables, rules, views, layouts, interdependency etc) that
defines how the database operates. There is no doubt that when you step back and think about the work
done by transaction intensive databases handling many thousands of concurrent transactions every second,
then the words Consistent, Repeatable, Predictable, Visible and Manageable count.
They count because of the rapid change in human expectation over the preceding 30 Years. Today the young
decision makers and influencers of tomorrow have ZERO attention span and certainly no tolerance to poor
response online. I know this because I have teenagers, the later Millennial Generation. I, being more retro,
have a more forgiving, more tolerant approach to questionable response times and service online, but I am
For organisations, whose shop front is online the psychology that drives this generation cannot be ignored.
The ways that they consume and use technology are the new normal. The expectations and perceptions they
place on their suppliers in the digital world often dictates the development of service levels and objectives.
For the millennial generation good service equals ‘I will return’. For the company it equals the ‘holy grail’ of
repeat business, while positive sentiment potentially drives growth in existing and new markets.
Here are a few video thoughts I put together on the recent All Flash FAS Announcement where I discuss the
characteristic of Enterprise class Flash storage and why consistent Application integration and Data
Management capabilities matter.
There are so many angles to why performance matters today For example a colleague recently
reminded me how fickle the mobile telecoms business has become. Gone are the days
of exponential growth as the market becomes saturated. Today’s mobile telco goal is customer retention.
When one telco reacts with a new offer the competing telcos have to respond or see their customer base
eroded. In this case the ability to respond and protect the customer base is key. New market programs,
promos database tables and instances prevail and have to prevail quickly. Again a phenomena driven by
the younger generation who demand so much out of modern mobile communications devices today.
To meet the changing business demands Oracle database and storage administrators are under constant
pressure to exceed consumer expectations. They have to solve this puzzle while continually driving up
agility and driving out cost, complexity and inefficiencies. As in the telco case above everything will change
and the business landscape demands nonstop operations, performance, availability.
Planned maintenance time is a thing of the past. Non-disruptive data mobility is a normal running mode,
as are scalability and database licence cost reduction through consolidation opportunities. However, in
the past the majority of database performance issues could be traced to the storage. Elongated transaction
times, growing queue depths and poor analysis tools are the misery of the DBA. A well architected database
and storage system integrates data management, protection and productivity improvement capabilities. It
exposes these capabilities at the application layer. It does not leave the data management functions to
languish in the storage tier.
One other observation of the database world, everybody loves to make copies. Copies for security and
protection, copies for testing, copies for development. I once presented at a Large UK Utilities organisation
where 90% of their data capacity consisted of copies of their prime production database. These were
physical copies taking up valuable online capacity. Capacity efficient copies are now the order of the day.
Copies and Clones that do not consume additional physical capacity. When taking copies of databases
consistency is crucial. You cannot just take a copy at anytime and expect that copy to be viable. The data
base has to be prepared. Made consistent. Only then can you take a viable copy.
NetApp has worked with Oracle for many years. If you do a quick search on the NetApp Customer Showcase
you will find pages of examples where NetApp has enabled Oracle customers drive improved business value by
integrating Enterprise Data Management capabilities into the Oracle application.
The two companies recognised the need to develop integrated database data management and protection.
The DBA is immediately empowered to control data management and protection processes without having to
defer to the Storage Administrators. This not only enables the DBA role, it also enables acceleration of the business.
NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF)
If you are looking to accelerate your Oracle Database keep in mind that while performance matters,
the requirement for Consistent, Repeatable and Predictable Data Management and Protection remains.
In fact with the impending European GDPR legislation it is likely to increase.
Laurence James on behalf of the NetApp EMEA Product, Alliances and Solutions Marketing Team