Implementing mission critical enterprise database servers used to be a lengthy process. Configuring server hardware, implementing clustering, and making sure all of the software components are correctly patched and configured can be very time consuming. Oracle seems determined to change that, with the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) launched recently to huge fanfare.
So why bother with an integrated pre-configured solution?
It really comes down to complexity. The ability to simply unpack an appliance and have the baseline functions work as advertised is a huge improvement.
Of course Dataweave charges clients for complex server installations. But from our perspective, we now have an option we can offer to clients which allows common solutions to be delivered much faster, and with less engineering time. The reduction in complexity and implementation risk offers a huge benefit for both us, and our clients.
Implementation time for a full RAC cluster high availability system is normally 1 to 2 weeks. With ODA it can be done in a single day! It will certainly reduce the quantity of services we need to charge for, but on the bright side that can only make us more competitive and keep our customers happier!
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Dataweave has already proven that ODA is very tasty indeed.
We have already implemented ODA as the Database server for an E-Business Suite project for our client Nextgen Distribution. Nextgen Distribution are a start-up company that will be distributing Oracle hardware and software products in Australia. They have aggressive growth plans, and have wisely decided to invest in scalable systems from startup, to avoid scalabilty issues down the track.
Because we have implemented the first Oracle Database Appliance in Australia, I have been lucky enough to meet with the development team and most of the beta partners for this new device at Oracle OpenWorld. Their comments have been interesting and match our own experiences in the Dataweave lab.
The Oracle Database Appliance really packs a performance punch, weighing in at 73kg and 4RU. It arrived in an incredibly robust shipping crate, and unpacking literally took longer than the appliance setup to get the database up and running.
Because we were working with a pre-release version of the appliance, we needed to update the box to the latest software image. From there it was plain sailing. No messing around with SAN configuration, no missing packages in the Linux operating system, and no version mismatches.
Going forward, I think this box has the potential to revolutionise the database market. It has lower maintenance costs in terms of DBA, sys admin and storage engineer time. Even better, it is soft-key re-configurable from 2 core single node to a 24 core dual node RAC cluster. It will be interesting to see how they go!