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9/26/2013
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Oracle On The Ground: Customers Speak

Oracle OpenWorld attendees discuss the products they're implementing, from Fusion software to hardware appliances.

Freed's IT shop, with a staff of 60, has found the demands on it have expanded, along with a need for a bigger budget, to make the changeover. Right now, he explained, he's forced to run three ERP systems as he's "trying to get down to one." Each new Oracle application tends to replace five or six legacy applications, with long-term savings in store further down the road.

The Exadata hardware is a key part of the consolidation strategy, with much of its system maintenance coming from Oracle rather than Overhead Door's database administrators (DBAs) and system administrators. It will end up with 16 Oracle databases running on four nodes of the appliance, Freed said.

Gautham Sampath, CTO of Pinellas County, Fla., with a population of 1 million surrounding St. Petersburg, uses a single console of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to manage the county's 100 database systems. Enterprise Manager is lifecycle systems management for Oracle database systems, Fusion Middleware and Oracle applications.

Sampath said system administrators can see how well the parts of the software infrastructure are running from the management console. "We can be more proactive, less reactive," when admins see that a system is running low on CPU or memory, or a database response time is slowing as it works through a poorly formed SQL query.

Pinellas County can manage its 100 databases with four full-time-equivalent DBAs. Without Enterprise Manager, it would take at least six, and it would be "a much more manual process," Sampath said.

For example, Pinellas County uses a 1-TB database system that needs 10 copies to be used by dev, test, patching, updating and production-staging teams. Theoretically, he needs 11 TBs of storage for each team's copy, but Oracle 12c allows "subsetting" of the database with a limited set of all the data available. Dev and test can work with two years of back data, instead of the full 10 years available. Through subsetting, implemented through the Enterprise Manager 12c management console, he can make many of those copies 100-GB instances, bringing his total storage needs down to 2 TBs.

Even though they're only subsets, Enterprise Manager doesn't let them fall into inconsistencies with the full-sized system; it maintains referential integrity across all of them. Enterprise Manager 12c to Sampath is "a very big achievement," with a utility helping the DBA create subsets. The subset copies are easier to back up then 10 full-sized systems, thanks to "the lesser data footprint."

Pinellas County uses an Oracle Exalytics appliance to run the data warehouse system with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise and Hyperion analysis software. Modeling and analysis and reporting on the county's $1.7 billion budget is done with those tools. In effect, Exalytics "is a decision-maker" when it comes to facing the county's largest challenges, he said.

Learn more about how IT can influence business decisions by attending the Interop conference track on the Business of IT in New York from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
9/27/2013 | 4:49:45 PM
re: Oracle On The Ground: Customers Speak
I sat down with representatives from the State of Texas, which is doing an Exadata database consolidation initiative that will see 14 major state agencies taking advantage of the same footprint by next spring. Three agencies are up and running, six more will be up by the end of the year and the balance moved over early next year. The driver is cost savings, with the objective to "get to enterprise agreements and structured to drive down unit price," a state official told me. Now that cloud options are emerging, Texas will consider those options as well, he said.
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