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VMware: Content Delivery

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

While this scenario may not currently be quite as common, it is increasingly becoming much less unusual. Sometimes customers will buy third party reference data to support their own applications or even to support other third party software. For example, you might want to add a US postal verification and completion option to your bogus ERP or BERP deployment. You also know that this need is so common that you can reuse it multiple times across many different applications within your company.

It would be much easier to purchase a virtual machine based product for that data that offered two methods for utilizing its data. First, it could simply be a virtual machine that serves as a self-contained application server for the business logic necessary to verify and complete address information. That way you could deploy it once and use it many times. But many people are still uncomfortable with DBLINKs, so this might not be their first choice. But with cheap hardware these days, why not allocate a small virtual machine per application that performs this task just for that specific application? That way, you can keep the remote database access to a minimum, i.e. 1 level deep, and also not introduce any potential cross application performance problems.

Repository Platforms

Many third party products require a repository or centralized database to record historical information, and/or to permit the management of processes from a single location. This is especially true in the database world and we will look at time prevalent and almost identical product lines within the Oracle DBA support software arena.

We all have to do backup and recovery because data is the most important asset any company has. Many backup and recovery tools have a centralized management console and repository that they recommend setting up on a dedicated server. From there, the products often deploy light weight agents on the servers being serviced in order to actually perform the work. In many ways, the steps to set this type of product up might be quite like the prior BERP example, which includes a lot of steps, but restricted to a single physical server this time. As before, it would be very easy to package this up as a single virtual machine and, once again, place it wherever spare capacity exists. In fact, you might perform backups just once a week, like Saturday at midnight, and then you can load balance execution of that sporadic task onto whatever server each Saturday morning has capacity to host that weekly process.

Another mission critical area is database performance, or the users perception of it, such as response time and meeting your service level agreements (SLAs). As with backup and recovery products, many Oracle monitoring and diagnostic tools have a similar architecture. It is not uncommon to also have a dedicated monitoring server for its repository and management console. But unlike backup and recovery which is generally executed on a defined schedule, your performance efforts will be unpredictable as to when they will occur and how long they will last. You might even leave a monitoring dashboard up at all times. So you cannot relocate your monitoring tools based upon spare capacity at the time like you did with backup and recovery. But you still could deploy your monitoring and diagnostic product as a virtual machine and just treat that VM like any other mission critical system. Hence, it would be up at all times and be allocated a permanent slot within your resource pool.

In fact, these last two examples make so much common sense that it is my hope that all third party database software vendors start using this software delivery model exclusively. I would even go so far as to say we as users should demand it. It is a win-win scenario for both vendor and customer and it lets the DBA focus on the task instead of the technology of the product used for that task. Thus, it is truly a beneficial black box solution and one that could make DBA life a little better.

This is an excerpt from
Oracle on VMWare: Expert tips for database virtualization by Rampant TechPress.


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