Smart Advice: Database Server Consolidation Helps Reduce Cost Of Oracle Licenses

Look at business needs and calculate CPU processing capacity before consolidating databases, <B>The Advisory Council</B> says. Also, as companies are being swamped with unmanageable amounts of information, information life-cycle management holds promise for helping deal with the problem.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 8, 2005

4 Min Read

Question B: How can we solve the increasingly complex information-management requirements of our business?

Our advice: Many years ago I asked one of my employer's software engineers to archive his overly large store of old E-mail. He told me to keep it all online; that disk space was less expensive than his time to sort it. Even though disk was more expensive in those days than today, ultimately he was correct. Inadvertently, he introduced me to the concept of information-life-cycle management.

By combining library science's traditional understanding of how the relevance of information changes over time, and the storage industry's expertise in hierarchical data retrieval, information-life-cycle management offers a different paradigm for companies that are wrestling with a tidal wave of information. Ideally, information should be available instantly and transparently without overburdening the IT infrastructure. Information-life-cycle management provides a framework for organizing vast amounts of information by the requirements for its accessibility and preservation. By defining virtual data policies, information-life-cycle management can identify information that needs to preserved or discarded based on the nature and currency of the information. It's inherently complex, encompassing physical data storage residing literally anywhere -- on disk, online, near-line, offsite, wherever, and data-management tools to automate the access and archiving processes. More important, it's a framework to enable companies to manage their need for virtual storage to satisfy complex regulatory and business-intelligence information requirements.

The big storage vendors -- IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC, and Storage Technology Corp. -- quickly have gotten on the information-life-cycle management bandwagon. They're all touting information-life-cycle management solutions to fit the needs of every company or industry, but as with any emerging technology, the early adopters are building expensive proprietary solutions, not standards-based systems. In addition, there are many smaller players and much venture-capital interest in developing products to address not only large enterprise needs, but the small-to-midsize business market as well. Smaller companies are quickly discovering they, too, are being swamped with unmanageable amounts of information.

The Information Lifecycle Management Initiative (ILMI) was first introduced by the Storage Networking Industry Association in 2004. It articulates a long-overdue need to address the increasingly complex information-storage, -protection, and -archiving requirements of companies. The storage industry recognized that with Sarbanes-Oxley and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements ramping up, and increasingly complex requirements to access vast amounts of data in a timely and cost-effective manner, it was clearly time to create a standards-based framework for managing data.

Companies need to organize and manage their information; and the Information Lifecycle Management Initiative offers a promising framework to enable companies to stay ahead of the curve. Ultimately, companies aren't interested in where the data is physically located; they just want to transparently access it when and where it's needed. As the initiative gains momentum, we will see more information management standards, and better-integrated solutions, in the near future.

-- Beth Cohen

Bin Weng, TAC Expert, has more than 11 years of IT experience, primarily in database management for various applications, including ERP (PeopleSoft and SAP). He has been a technical leader in developing best practices, designing system architecture and engineering infrastructure to achieve optimized performance and cost reduction for enterprise data centers. He has experience managing multiterabyte databases in a high-availability environment. He also has developed unique guidelines for configuring Unix servers and disk sub-systems to run Oracle databases most effectively and efficiently.

Beth Cohen, TAC Thought Leader, has more than 20 years of experience building strong IT-delivery organizations from user and vendor perspectives. Having worked as a technologist for BBN, the company that literally invented the Internet, she not only knows where technology is today but where it's heading in the future.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights