ORACLE DATABASE 11g
THE LATEST RELEASE WILL HELP CIOS SAVE TIME—AND MONEY.
It’s said that the way to a person’s heart is
through the stomach, but not if you’re a CIO.
With IT executives, the sure way to gain
appreciation is through the wallet. Anything
that is going to lop money off the budget,
through direct savings or decreasing IT staff
support responsibilities, is sure to land you on
my Christmas card list.
With the debut of Oracle Database 11g, Oracle has sent customers a release that will increase organizational efficiencies and
create excellent goodwill. Oracle has done a lot of smart things
with their first database release in several years that should save
the City of Orlando money—and my staff some headaches.
Oracle went in the right direction here, stressing manage-ability over new features and functions. Companies are less
likely to move data off a database that’s already performing well
to take advantage of new features. But if the new version can free
up disk space or run faster, that’s a different story.
Moreover, the palpable excitement I’m getting from the
beta test community is alluring. These are people who are not
going to sugarcoat things, but I haven’t heard many complaints.
Instead, the feedback I’ve heard is positive. The numbers I’ve
been hearing are quite frankly staggering—a 25 percent increase
in performance, 70 percent faster in an Oracle Real Application
Clusters environment. That’s very cool, to put it mildly.
What in particular about Oracle Database 11g do I think will
prove to be the big selling points? Speaking for myself, here are
the items that really caught my attention:
Oracle Advanced Compression and Oracle Partitioning. Disk
space is getting cheaper all the time, but data growth remains
explosive, making storage costs an issue regardless of disk price.
Big global corporations are running databases with hundreds of
thousands of terabytes of data, and that can get pricey. Oracle
Database 11g’s compression and partitioning features will help
CIOs save money because they can use multiple storage tiers.
The numbers I’ve seen cite a savings of up to three times the disk
capacity with compression alone. Score one for the budget.
Overall performance. Everything I’ve seen about performance
suggests that Oracle Database 11g really screams. For example,
one number has the database backing up 25 percent more
quickly than its predecessors, which will not only reduce down-
time but also save staff time on backups.
Oracle Real Application Testing. This is the ability to capture
and replay using real data rather than dummy numbers. This
should cut testing time down significantly. In a typical scenario,
it could take four or five weeks for testing, and real application
testing could narrow it down to a couple of days. Something
like this just improves the whole total ownership experience.
Anything I can do to get systems up and running more quickly
with less staff saves money. Another budget pleaser here.
Oracle Active Data Guard. Standby databases are traditionally a business continuity feature, but active data guard lets me
configure the database to offload actual live data activities to the
standby database. This increases performance and lessens the
time it takes to do queries. Looking at the big picture, it also
means that you don’t require as many resources for the production database. Again, a money- and time-saver.
Oracle Total Recall. This lets me go back in time to do a query
for any particular date. If I want to do a query search on something from five months ago to compare it to how we do the
process today, this feature makes it easy to do. I don’t know of
any other database that does this.
High software quality. From what I hear in the testing community, this is a very high-quality release with very few bugs. This
means a number of good things for the CIO. Other companies
that sell applications with Oracle as the back-end database will
be able to certify more quickly, allowing CIOs to leverage these
new features more quickly. If you’re a non-Oracle application
user, shortening the lag time between the database release and
support for your application allows you to get the cost savings
and better performance that much faster.
The bottom line with Oracle Database 11g for many CIOs,
including myself, is that it should save our organizations money
and perform at a higher level than previous incarnations. Translating that into business results should be a slam dunk, and I
think we’ll see many people moving to the latest release fairly
quickly as a result. <>
JOHN MATELSKI is chairman of the International Oracle User Community (IOUC)
and a member of the board of directors of Quest International Users Group. He
has been chief security officer and deputy CIO for the City of Orlando, Florida,
for the past ten years.