Oracle infrastructure - 4 question marks

4 Questions you must answer when choosing Oracle infrastructure

Your organisation may have committed its IT operational future to Oracle – but that is just part of the challenge. Now you must select infrastructure that delivers optimal performance for your Oracle estate.

Here are four questions to answer that will help you make the smartest choice as you consider your options.

1. How will the infrastructure be deployed?

Oracle applications are often just as ‘at home’ in the cloud as they are on-premise – or in a hybrid combination of both. There are distinct benefits for each physical location and you need to choose the deployment option that best suits your goals.

Ultimate performance and control are found with on-premise deployments – scalability and provisioning simplicity in the cloud. Hybrid provides a little of both.

What you hope to achieve will determine where your Oracle infrastructure should be located.

2. Will the solution stimulate innovation?

Digital transformation is intended to help an organisation better apply data to their business challenges. But as the name implies, change empowered by innovation is critical.

Your Oracle infrastructure must enable and encourage innovation so that your business has a platform on which to build new services and processes. And it needs to be able to do so more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively to head off your better-provisioned competitors.

3. Will the solution deliver a consistent customer experience?

An exceptional customer experience now sits at the heart of business success. The better the experience, the happier your customers are, and the more likely they are to return.

The experience has to be excellent every single time. And it’s not just external customers either – your employees also need timely access to information and applications to increase productivity and speed of business.

All of this means you need Oracle infrastructure that is performant, stable and reliable.

4. Will the solution make operations simpler (and cheaper)?

Infrastructure complexity creates technical debt as ‘keeping the lights’ on consumes more of your budget every year. Worse still, technical debt reduces the cash available for investment in strategic projects that will help your business grow.

As you plan for the future, choose Oracle infrastructure that simplifies operations to reduce the total cost of ownership. Making the right strategic choice now will provide more opportunities for growth and innovation in future. Not only will you free up more of your budget for strategic spending, but you will also release more of your people to focus on growth-related projects too.

As you consider the future of your Oracle infrastructure, answering these four questions will help you select the best platform for your needs. In our next article, we’ll look at some of the key reasons why choosing Oracle infrastructure matters for stimulating innovation.

Until then, feel free to contact the WTL team team for further guidance – we’re always happy to help!

Data Management Systems Birmingham

How Oracle is securing your workload transformation

Many organisations have adopted agile strategies like DevOps to help accelerate software delivery. But as the cloud becomes integral to corporate IT strategy, it has become clear that DevOps is missing a key component – security. To address this shortcoming we are seeing the rise of DevSecOps.

Instead of treating security as something that is fixed after development, a DevSecOps approach ensures it is a primary consideration of workload transformation as software is written and deployed to the cloud. Like DevOps before it, DevSecOps uses automation to accelerate certain tasks throughout the development cycle – and this is where the Oracle Cloud can assist.

Two security services included as standard

Whichever model of cloud you choose (hybrid or public), the reality is that infrastructure becomes more complex. Complexity increases risk, which is why security needs to be built into every phase of the development cycle.

In a continuous development / continuous integration (CI/CD) environment, security testing and enforcement needs to be automated – and that’s where Oracle can help. The Oracle Cloud now offers two features designed to assist with secure workload transformation.

Oracle Security Zones

Defining security standards in advance will help to ensure each deployment is properly secured to reduce risk. Oracle Security Zones allow you to pre-define rules and then automatically test each code commit to ensuring it complies. Anything that fails the test is sandboxed until corrected.

Oracle Security Zone is a preventative safeguard, allowing you to catch insecure code updates before they can reach production – or be exploited by bad actors.

Oracle Cloud Guard

Oracle Cloud Guard has been designed to help users understand the overall risk and security posture of their cloud-hosted assets. This service acts as a command centre for cloud security posture management, scaling automatically as your resource usage grows.

Oracle Cloud Guard offers comprehensive coverage of the entire Oracle Cloud ecosystem. This gives users complete visibility of their security – including infrastructure API, CLI and SDKs. Importantly, it also allows them to better direct resources to where they are needed most during an incident.

Positioning your cloud infrastructure for a secure future

With proactive and reactive tools at their disposal, Oracle Cloud users are better positioned to achieve truly secure workload transformation without significant resource overheads. Equally important is the fact that security safeguards are now embedded in the environment. This ensures that any user can operate securely in the cloud.

It’s also worth noting that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is still the only hosted platform that has been built from the outset using security-first design principles. Other cloud providers include security as part of their offering – but it has been retrofitted – which is exactly the problem that the DevSecOps methodology seeks to avoid.

When hosting on Oracle cloud you know that the underlying cloud platform and the code you host on it have been properly hardened from the outset. To learn more about workload transformation using Oracle Cloud – and how the bundled tools will help you implement a DevSecOps approach to application deployment – please give us a call

Data Management Birmingham

Why Oracle Linux KVM Is The Perfect Choice For Virtualising Oracle

When it comes to choosing a hypervisor for your environment, VMware vSphere seems a smart choice. It’s popular, pervasive and very well supported – but it may also be a poor option in the long run.

Here’s why any business running Oracle applications should consider Oracle Linux KVM instead.


As a type 1 hypervisor running on bare metal, KVM outperforms other types of 2 technologies (like Microsoft Hyper-V). Admittedly vSphere is also a type 1 hypervisor, but the lightweight, low-code architecture of KVM makes it much faster to boot – and therefore much higher performing too.


KVM is a hugely scalable platform for virtualisation. Where vSphere is capable of supporting 64 hosts per cluster, KVM can sustain 128. Similarly, vSphere can manage 128 virtual CPUs per virtual machine – KVM does 256. If you want to build a hugely scalable, powerful virtualised environment, KVM offers the greatest potential.

Open-Source Licensing

KVM is bundled as part of many Linux distributions – and is therefore distributed under Open-Source licensing. This means that your business can tweak and adjust the source code according to the specific needs of your business.

vSphere is entirely proprietary, closed-source technology. This creates vendor lock-in which means that if you ever want to move to alternative virtualisation technology, you’ll need to completely re-engineer your environment at a significant additional cost.

The total cost of ownership

The Open-Source licensing model means that there are no additional licensing costs for using KVM. You can deploy as many hypervisors as you want for no additional cost, helping to keep your running costs as low as possible.

vSphere requires additional add-on licenses for many of its most important features. As well as paying enterprise maintenance fees for the core product, you will also need to spend big for VSAN (virtualised storage) and NSX (virtualised switching). And you’ll need to keep paying for as long as you use these products.

Oracle licensing benefits

Perhaps the killer feature of Oracle Linux KVM is hard partitioning, allowing you to ‘pin’ virtual CPUs to physical CPU cores. Why does this matter? Under Oracle licensing rules, you must pay license fees for every CPU in your virtual environment, whether they are used or not.

However, the hard partitioning feature of KVM is recognised by Oracle, allowing you to only pay licenses for the virtual CPUs that are being used. This helps to reduce the total cost of ownership for key applications like Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware because you no longer have to license all of your CPUs. This recognition is not available for any other hypervisor – including vSphere.

Oracle Linux KVM is a no-brainer

vSphere helped to drive the virtual server revolution, but it is no longer the hypervisor of choice – particularly not if your business uses Oracle applications. The long-term benefits of KVM far outstrip the familiarity of VMware – particularly once you consider the potential long-term cost savings available

To learn more about Oracle Linux KVM and how it will help your business achieve more for less, please give the team a call.

Data Management Birmingham

10 Reasons To Choose NetApp For Oracle Applications

Infrastructure choice has the potential to make your IT environment acceptable or world-beating. Here are ten reasons why NetApp is the smartest solution for your Oracle applications.

1. Zero downtime

NetApp storage has been proven to deliver 99.9999% availability consistently. Factor in automatic storage failover and you can be sure that your mission-critical Oracle applications will always be available as downtime becomes a thing of the past.

2. Next-generation performance

Built around NVMe/FC technologies (an industry first), NetApp SANs deliver market-leading performance, reducing latency and increasing predictability and scalability. With an exponential performance gain, you will be better able to serve the data-driven needs of your users and customers.

3. Sub-one-minute DR

NetApp allows you to backup and restore petabyte-scale Oracle databases in a matter of seconds. So you can recover operations in less than a minute should something go wrong.

4. Zero loss as standard

Data protection is built into every layer of NetApp infrastructure – edge, core and cloud. No matter where your data is stored, you know it is fully protected against loss at all times.

5. Maximised storage potential

NetApp offers advanced storage efficiency technologies to optimise your data footprint. This means no more wasted capacity or spending caused by storing duplicate data unnecessarily.

6. Automated storage management

Use policy-based quality of service settings to ensure your mission-critical apps have automatic access to the resources required for maximum performance. Smarter, automated optimisation allows you to maximise resource usage – and to safely run production and development environments on the same shared hardware.

7. Simplified provisioning

NetApp tools can automate and accelerate provisioning allowing your developers to bring new products and features into production faster. By reducing the manual effort required to provision your environment, developers and operators can devote more of their resources and time to the strategic projects which will drive your business forwards.

8. Future-ready infrastructure

Native integration with Ansible and Kubernetes allows your team to build service-oriented technologies faster. And with tools to move data seamlessly between on-premise and cloud locations, your applications can be migrated quickly according to your changing business needs.

9. Native multi-cloud integration

Achieve your optimal cost/performance balance with tools to move workloads across on-premise, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Take control of your storage spend using simplified tools to migrate to wherever offers the best value at any moment in time.

10. Optimised efficiency

Clear reporting and benchmarking tools allow you to quickly and easily understand resource usage and costs. You can use these insights to make smarter strategic decisions that maximise budget and operational efficiency.

Taken together, these ten benefits underscore why NetApp is the ideal choice for your Oracle applications.

Ready to learn more about your Oracle apps on NetApp? Give the WTL team a call today to discuss what it could mean for you.

Data Management Solutions West Midlands

Oracle On NetApp – Real World Experiences

Whenever any technology company releases a new product or update, it is accompanied by bold, eye-catching benchmarks. Knowing that speed is critical to operations, most vendors will publish data suggesting exponential gains over previous releases.

But benchmark testing is usually conducted under optimised conditions in a lab. Every potential factor is tweaked to provide the very best performance. And all too often these lab tests are nothing like the real-world operating environments of most businesses.

So when NetApp claims to offer market-leading performance for Oracle databases., how does that match up to reality?

A report by Evaluator Group looked at two organisations using NetApp ONTAP on Oracle. The first was a large healthcare provider operating a medical record system for 300 distributed offices. The second was a technology infrastructure supplier of hardware, software and cloud computing resources.

This is what they found.

Simplified data protection and backup

The healthcare provider operates a 100TB database on Oracle. This was part of a larger data warehouse environment that relied on ETL processes to move data between systems.

Under their previous multi-vendor infrastructure, Oracle RMAN backups ran forever – sometimes failing to finish at all. This created the potential for permanent data loss when backups did not complete.

Following migration to Oracle on NetApp ONTAP, the company shifted their backup strategy to use FlexClone. This relatively simple change reduced database copy and distribution times from “potentially forever” to a matter of minutes. Data can be copied and cloned quickly and easily, reducing the risk of data loss caused by failed backups.

Ultrafast disaster recovery provisions

The IT infrastructure provider has a similarly complex set-up, with five data centres holding 100PB of raw data in 375 applications and 418 databases. By implementing NetApp ONTAP, they have been able to dramatically simplify and accelerate their disaster recovery and backup provisions.

Testing of their new NetApp infrastructure reveals they can:

  • Backup a database in 5 minutes
  • Restore a database in 5 minutes
  • Refresh a system in 15 minutes
  • Synchronise their disaster recovery platforms in 10 minutes

Whether these speeds match NetApp’s own benchmarks is debatable – but for the two companies described here, the improvements have been impressive. Not only are they able to complete backup and disaster recovery operations quicker, but their businesses (and data) are safer as a result.

If you want to know more about these specific use cases, you can read the Evaluator Group report here.

And if you would like to know more about how NetApp ONTAP can help turbocharge your Oracle databases, please give the WTL team a call