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Why migrate to Oracle Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud@Customer?

As you plan the next stage of your data strategy, the issue of database hosting and architecture will become increasingly important. But with so many available options, how do you know which to choose?

Here are five great reasons why Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata Cloud@Customer should make your shortlist.

1. Ultimate control

One of the persistent concerns about cloud-based systems is sovereignty. Where is your data being held? Are those provisions compliant with GDPR and other data protection regulations?

Exadata Cloud@Customer offers all the elasticity and availability of the cloud – but everything is hosted in your on-premise data centre. In this way you retain complete control of your data at all times, instantly solving your sovereignty challenges without losing the benefits of cloud operations.

2. Increase performance and scale

Autonomous Database allows you to consolidate your existing Oracle databases into the on-premise cloud. Based in your local data centre, your latency-sensitive applications respond more quickly because they are not subject to the network traffic factors that affect cloud-hosted operations.

Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata Cloud@Customer offers exceptional performance too. The service scales automatically based on active database operations ensuring you always have enough resources available for ultra-fast response. The platform can be configured in four high-performance shapes offering up to 400 OCPUs and 479 TB databases, capable of supporting up to 12 million SQL Read IOPS and 300 GB/s SQL throughput. Which should be enough for even the most demanding enterprise operations.

3. Reduce IT complexity

IT sprawl is a significant concern in the cloud era, so any effort to consolidate and centralise resources is to be welcomed. Oracle Autonomous Database can be used to replace your existing Oracle databases, pulling both data and resources into a single cloud for simplified management.

The Autonomous Database also includes a collection of tools to automate configuration, indexing and tuning as well as threat detection and patching. These features reduce admin overheads and the risk of human error causing operational problems. Importantly, Oracle provides full management of the underlying Exadata Cloud@Customer platform.

4. Enable innovation

Because Exadata Cloud@Customer uses machine learning and automation to automate key activities, developers are freed to focus on other tasks. These machine learning functions can even be applied to building ML models – up to 10x faster.

Exadata accelerates multiple database models, APIs, and microservices. So your developers don’t need to be experts in integrating and tuning multiple single-purpose databases. The less time and resources spent on the environment, the more you can invest in innovation.

5. Improve operational efficiency

It may sit inside your firewall but the Cloud@Customer services acts like ‘the cloud’ in every sense – including being fully managed by Oracle. The pay-per-database model and automatic scaling functionality have been shown to reduce database management tasks by as much as 80%.

The use of autonomy and automation reduces manual management overheads. And you avoid common issues like database duplication and security fragmentation, which are common to traditional stand-alone deployments.

Oracle Autonomous Database and Exadata Cloud@Customer are designed to help your business realise more value from its data. Through the use of machine learning, autonomy and automation, coupled with per-use resource billing, your business acquires a platform that accelerates digital transformation programs and maximises your IT budget.

To learn more about Oracle Autonomous Database and Exadata Cloud@Customer, please give the WTL team a call.

Oracle Database Appliance

What is the true value of an Oracle Database Appliance?

Deploying and managing Oracle databases is time consuming, complex and costly, especially when dealing with mission-critical, line-of-business applications. So just how much difference does an Oracle Database Appliance make when choosing a platform to host your database? Why should you choose the more expensive Oracle Engineered Solution over a more generic platform?

The fact is Oracle-on-Oracle delivers some significant benefits – even larger than you may expect. Here is what you need to know.

Performance benefits

When time is money and speed of data access may mean the difference between life and death, performance is a key strategic concern. It makes sense then that a hardware platform designed from the ground up for your database engine should deliver superior performance – and it does.

According to customer testing, Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) offers a 50% improvement on load times and a 49% gain for query speed. Transactions also complete 34% quicker than when using a generic hardware platform thanks to superior I/O capabilities.

In addition to day-to-day operations, the Oracle Database Appliance is also optimised for administrative functions. Backup performance is boosted by up to 41% while recovery completes 38% faster. In the event of a local disaster, your business will be able to recover operations more quickly.

Cost benefits

The headline cost of an Oracle Database Appliance is undeniable more than a generic platform – but this masks the overall value of vendor-specific hardware. Users report that performance and efficiency gains repay the cost of the ODA in just 10 months.

These savings are ongoing too. Over five years, expect to see the cost of operations drop by 54%. This results in a 498% return on investment over the same period, generally from increased efficiency for the business, the IT team and end-users themselves. This is particularly true if the appliance allows you to consolidate hardware to reduce licensing costs and administrative overheads.

Choosing a cheaper alternative to an ODA may actually be a false economy that ends up costing more in the long term.

Operational benefits

Just how more efficient is the Oracle Database Appliance? The ODA experiences less than one minute of unplanned downtime per user per year. Deploying a new database requires 73% less staff time. Infrastructure teams become 70% more efficient and DBA teams are 61% better off, delivering cost reductions of around $26k per database (~£18.7k).

These efficiency savings have a significant effect on your company finances. A 20% reduction in IT infrastructure costs frees up budget for investment in strategic projects for instance. ODA users also report an average revenue increase of $0.9m (~£650,000) per year, marking a significant gain for the business.

By making management and administration more efficient, ODA enables your business to become more responsive and agile. This in turn positions you to better overcome the challenges of digital transformation and a more demanding customer base.

Discover the Oracle Database Appliance family

To learn more about your Oracle Database Appliance options and how they could help your business achieve more without busting your budget, please get in get in touch.

NetApp for Oracle Databas

Why choose NetApp solutions for your Oracle deployments

Oracle on Oracle is often regarded as the gold standard for database operations – and it is certainly high performing. But there are credible alternatives to Oracle hardware that are worth investigating.

This is particularly true for businesses who are already committed to the NetApp ecosystem. As well as offering comparable Oracle performance, NetApp hardware usage extends far beyond ‘just’ database operations.

Here are some additional factors to consider:

Exceptional performance

NetApp all-flash arrays (AFA) are built on NVMe and fibre channel technologies to deliver exceptional performance – and the six-nines (99.9999%) uptime your mission-critical operations require. Running Oracle on NetApp increases database response times by as much as 12x.

There are also benefits in the event of a system failure too. Data recovery on an AFA can be completed as much as 98% faster during a system outage than from a traditional disk-based array.

Increased efficiency

As existing NetApp users will be aware, ONTAP can automatically allocate workloads and data to the most appropriate storage location. Line of business Oracle databases are almost certainly best suited to local AFAs, but archive data sets can be migrated to a low-cost cloud service where appropriate. An automated transfer is seamless, reducing management overheads for your infrastructure team as well as the total cost of ownership.

Familiar ONTAP management

Choosing NetApp for Oracle database operations is a smart strategic move for businesses already invested in that ecosystem. Leveraging existing ONTAP skills will help to accelerate infrastructure deployment. And any learning curve will be minimal, allowing your team to focus on database operations and development and maximising return on investment.

Future-proofed infrastructure

NetApp AFAs are designed with the future in mind, simplifying the process of cloud migration where appropriate. In addition to FlexPod storage servers, the product range also includes Cloud Volumes for Oracle which allows your business to take full advantage of hybrid cloud operations.

With NetApp, you have the option of running Oracle databases on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. As connectivity improves and latency decreases, an easy transition path to cloud-only operations is made available. Importantly, this also provides virtually infinite scalability as your data stores continue to grow.

Cloud volumes also support containerisation technologies. You can use them to build next-generation microservices and to deliver the service-oriented IT infrastructure your business needs to support DevOps and digital transformation programs.

Speak to a NetApp specialist

Oracle on NetApp is highly performant, making it a more than viable proposition – and for many businesses makes more sense than Oracle on Oracle. For organisations committed to Oracle as their database engine of choice, NetApp offers clear future-proofing and the opportunity to build a best-of-breed storage infrastructure that will not limit strategic choices in future.

To learn more about running Oracle on NetApp and what it may mean for your business, please get in touch.

Oracle Linux provides OS optimisation for Oracle Database

Oracle Linux – The Only OS Choice for Oracle Database

As we’ve discussed previously in our blog, running Oracle database applications on Oracle SPARC provides significant performance and stability benefits. But for organisations that rely on x86 servers performance gains need to be realised elsewhere, namely the operating system. Solaris is obviously one option, but Oracle also offer their own Oracle Linux distributions. Available in two kernel variants, Oracle Linux is specifically engineered for open cloud infrastructure in your on-premise data centre. And it has the advantage of being completely free to download, install and use.

Overcoming common OS problems with Oracle Linux

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) variant is enterprise-focused, offering superior stability, scalability and performance with an emphasis on Oracle Database. However, UEK offers several other key benefits that make it a worthy alternative to Solaris.

Reducing downtime

Oracle Linux is a rock-solid, proven operating system suited to enterprise-class workloads. But thanks to the unique Ksplice Zero Downtime Updates technology, core OS components can be updated on live systems without rebooting. Ksplice ensures optimisations and security updates are applied quickly and effectively without affecting availability.

Optimised for Oracle

There are numerous workload optimisations available for Oracle Linux. Among the headline benefits is a potential 3.6x performance gain of SPECjbb by eliminating lock contention. The OS also automatically locates processes near its RAM for faster retrieval and execution, particularly for workloads that do not fit on a single NUMA node.

Enhanced security

The Ksplice engine ensures that kernel, hypervisor and user space libraries are kept patched and updated against security vulnerabilities. It will also audit your system to identify privilege escalation vulnerabilities that need to be addressed to prevent system compromise. In recognition of these capabilities, Oracle Linux has received Common Criteria (CC) certification and FIPS 140-2 validation for its cryptographic modules. Oracle Linux also features hardware accelerated memory encryption to prevent data loss or theft and to improve the overall security protections of the host system.

Scalable file systems

One of the few certainties in server architecture is that storage demands will continue to grow exponentially. Scalability of underlying file system will be vital to meeting future resource demands. The native XFS file system is not only fully scalable, but also offers ‘near native’ I/O performance. For mission critical real-time database operations, reducing latency is an operational priority.


Containerisation is an essential aspect of cloud-based operations, even in the local data centre. Oracle Linux supports both Docker and Kubernetes to maximise the potential of your hardware investments.

Completing the Oracle technology stack

Oracle Linux provides an important interface between database and bare metal. The UEK kernel can be used on a range of server architectures, including x86, SPARC and ARM to ensure peak performance and compatibility throughout the entire technology stack. Choosing any other OS will create a ‘gap’ in the stack, ensuring that your database never reaches its full potential.

To learn more about Oracle Linux and its role in your database strategy, please get in touch.

Useful Links

White Paper: Why Oracle Database Runs Best on Oracle Linux

Oracle Solaris Operating System

Why Oracle Solaris is the ideal operating system for your Oracle Database

The adoption of SaaS and subscription-based systems has helped many firms reduce costs by building vendor-agnostic best-of-breed solutions tailored to their specific operational needs. This development has certainly helped to increase IT flexibility, but it may have come at a cost to performance.

Yes, cloud-based platforms offer unrestricted growth and scalable resource assignment – but they are not typically tuned to the demands of specific workloads. Technologies like AI and IoT and 5G rely on real-time processing – the faster the better. With Oracle Solaris running your Oracle Database, you’ll have the agility to take advantage of these technological innovations. Benefiting from a flexible infrastructure that can easily scale as demand increases and allow you to set your own pace for moving to a multi-cloud environment.

So, as you plan for a more agile, faster future, it may be time to re-evaluate your Oracle set-up.

Operating systems still matter

Without an up-to-date, modern operating system, your infrastructure could be prone to system outages and potential data loss. Creating extra work for your IT team firefighting problems when they should be focusing on other business-critical tasks.

When using Oracle Database, it makes sense to use the full Oracle technology stack – including the Solaris operating system. Even before Oracle acquired Sun, resources were being allocated to ensure maximum performance from SPARC-based hardware running Solaris. The result of these efforts is several significant benefits:

Maximised hardware returns

The latest Solaris offers superior virtualisation functionality over generic alternatives. Oracle Solaris Containers are optimised for SPARC hardware, allowing you to operate several Solaris 11 virtual machines on a single physical server for maximum resource utilisation – and return on investment.

The Containers also offer a future for your legacy systems if required. Applications and workloads can be migrated onto the newest Solaris hardware to improve performance and increase resilience.

Granular OS analysis

Optimising code and application configurations help to provide a performance gain – as does tweaking the underlying operating system. But unlike most OSs, Solaris does away with the trial-and-error approach by delivering actionable insights direct to your systems administrators.

Oracle Solaris StatsStore automatically monitors the full technology stack, generating valuable performance statistics and isolating potential issues early. These granular insights dramatically shorten the troubleshooting process and can also be used to better direct your efforts to optimise the performance of your Oracle databases.

Automation goes beyond analysis too. Solaris ships with all the tools you need to manage the full software lifecycle – including a stack diagnosis facility. This automatically checks for software faults – including the database engine – and suggests potential fixes.

Improved security

Solaris 11 has been designed to boost security at every point of the IT lifecycle, from design to build, test and ongoing maintenance. The OS also offers a built-in framework to ensure that your database operations are fully logged to assist with proving compliance with security standards like PCI DSS and HIPAA.

Defence-in-depth technologies further protect your Oracle databases by preventing cybercriminals from attacking your systems. Without the ability to establish command and control, accessing data becomes almost impossible for unauthorised users.

Enhanced data management functionality

As well as being resilient, Solaris has been built to protect the integrity of your data. The native ZFS file system offers near-zero administration to reduce the burden on sysadmins and DBAs. Advanced file system and volume management capabilities give even greater control of your technology stack – and the overall performance of your Oracle databases.

Oracles Commitment to The Future

To reduce the complexities and cost of systems upgrades Oracle Solaris now follows a continues delivery model. So, since the launch of Oracle Solaris 11 customers no longer have to go through time-consuming upgrades to gain the latest features and capabilities. Instead, you get them as a simple update, included in your Solaris subscription. Which means less work for you, less disruption to your business, and constant reassurance that you have the latest features and security coverage.

Oracle are also committed to offering support for Solaris 11 until at least 2031 under Oracle Premier Support. And if you get Oracle Extended Support, you’re covered until 2034. This all means that you can count on the latest system enhancements for years to come, and your investment is fully protected.

WTL are Solaris and Linux specialist, with the skills and knowledge required to support customers’ heterogeneous environments, both on and off premises.

We offer a Solaris Heath Check that is designed identify and address configuration, updates, security, and performance problems you might be experiencing.

Ready to get more from your Oracle Databases with Oracle Solaris. Give us a call today.