Backing up an Oracle database used to be the sole responsibility of database administrators. This mundane task was often performed in the back alleys of corporate IT, not gaining much notoriety, and as such was often considered to be an easy task for DBAs. The truth of the matter is that backing up an Oracle database has gone through many changes in the last 30 years and has always been met with some uncertainty.
Considering that many enterprise organizations have numerous applications spread across many server platforms with numerous database servers on the backend, the value of decommissioning these application servers quickly becomes evident. However application retirements go beyond just the hardware and software costs. Maintaining and managing the infrastructures needed to support legacy applications takes expertise, often specialists.
On top of the storage news this week we saw the demise of COPAN Systems; or did we? It really isn’t quite clear as to what has been going on over at COPAN as we have yet to get any confirmation from within the industry. Bill Mottram, a managing partner at Veridictus Associates, and fellow Coloradan such as myself, was unable to contact the Colorado company for comment. Concrete information is hard to find regarding COPAN but we were able to put a few pieces together from across the social sphere:
Since many companies have not had this luxury of starting off thin, 3PAR has, in today’s announcement, released four new products that will make it easier for companies to adopt thin provisioning even if they are already using fat volumes and then stay thin. The
OEMs face tough competition and slim margins so they are continually looking for ways to reduce costs while still providing exceptional products and service to their customers. One of the more favored tactics for OEMs to accomplish this is to get as many of the required components to build or support their solutions from a single source.
The question of FC or ATA disk is now a moot point as 3PAR makes use of, and has for a while, a FC-to-SATA bridge that enables high-capacity ATA drives to be integrated into its storage arrays that provides customers like CEDAR a low-cost but highly available storage infrastructure for even the most demanding application loads.
Again, I have nothing against deduplication when used appropriately and other factors are uncontrollable. But in a properly architected database I am still skeptical about the fit. Databases are just too dynamic with temporary sort, rollback, and redo areas and high transaction rates that make me question what there could possibly be to dedup in the first place.
Personally, if someone told me that they could reduce my database storage footprint by 50% I’d begin to worry about data quality within my database. Reducing the storage requirements for databases, through deduplication, really just puts a Band-Aid on this problem and doesn’t address the real issues.
This blog entry contains a series of questions DCIG posed to Andy Johnson, OEM Product Manager at Bell Micro. Andy maintains a business development role for Bell Micro and has responsibility for Bell Micro’s branded solutions with a strong focus on Bell Micro’s HP relationship. In this interview, Andy gives us insight into how Bell Micro is working with HP to satisfy the OEM market and in particular how Bell Micro and HP provide solutions that differentiate it from the competition.
One can hardly argue against the success of Linux. User and developer communities such as The Linux Foundation and The Linux Developer Network attest to the success and steadily increasing set of robust development tools and user communities. And while Linux is still free, many large distributors, companies such as Dell, IBM, HP, and Sun Microsystems, have latched onto its benefits by creating business models that support selling, supporting and contributing to the Linux free software and open source initiatives.
But because of the internal nature of databases, migrating to thin provisioning can pose some interesting dilemmas if the free space is not dealt with before or during migration–resulting in a thin provisioning system that contains the same wasted space and consumes as much storage as the original system.
While we may think of email applications as a communication tool, the formal definition of what constitutes an individual email is changing. Regardless of an email’s folder location, intent, or status, email is a vital piece of corporate electronic information and no different than any other document. Email is now much more than just a communication mechanism but a legal document of record that can be used to an organization’s advantage.
Moving information from primary to secondary storage to relieve operational and performance issues is only half the issue; archiving the data is the problem. Financial institutions that might use Oracle as a back end database will find that relocating information to lower cost storage can be quite difficult.
Just as the economy is floundering, 3PAR is seeing an increased demand for its highly virtualized, cost- and energy-efficient storage arrays.
With all this great dynamic Web 2.0 experience comes the high potential for application and content delivery performance problems. Accepting and delivering content from users, to be shared amongst many users, places a high level of stress on backend systems.
The use of tape as a primary target for backup has changed over the years. The onslaught of low-cost, disk-to-disk based backup solutions coupled with the many problems associated with using tape as a primary target has rightfully enticed many data centers not to use tape in that capacity. But that does not mean there is no requirement to use tape within the data center.
Regardless of your individual opinion on eco-awareness, we can all agree that cutting power consumption is a good idea as not only is conservation good for our future generations, it just makes good business sense to reduced power and cooling costs. The caveat here is that organizations need to keep pace with growing storage needs as well as deploying powerful systems that deliver sufficiently high levels of performance as organizations still want more power, just not always the power consumption that goes along with the systems.
Oracle’s ASM and 3PAR’s Thin Provisioning could be combined to offer a complete, end-to-end, storage solution. Oracle’s ASM feature would create, allocate, place, and rebalance data files for performance and 3PAR’s Thin Provisioning would dedicate disk space on the fly and only when needed.
Organizations have learned that the benefits of piece of mind, simplified operations and lower TCO that MSPs can offer are too good to pass up. By taking much of the burden of application maintenance and management off of internal IT resources, organizations can focus on more strategic initiatives that will help them respond more quickly to market opportunities and grow the business.
The use of tape as a primary target for backup has supposedly changed in large part due to the onslaught of new disk-based backup solutions with many features that are enticing data centers to change course. One could even say that vendors and analysts have abandoned tape for greener pastures by seeking to associate themselves with disk’s sexier features–all the while forgetting about tape’s evolving role within the data center.