Pure Storage Helps Oracle DBAs Sleep Better At Night

As key influencers in their companies, Oracle database administrators (DBAs) manage daily activities that directly impact productivity and profit. DBAs enable others to access critical information that lets them complete their own tasks. Rapid, unencumbered access to data is essential to companies across the globe. In turn, a lack of access due to downtime or excessive latency can inhibit a company’s output and create frustrations for the business. Beyond that, we frequently hear of the heavy demands on the time and workload for DBAs – hours spent working nights and weekends to effectively just ‘keep the lights on.’

Here at Pure Storage®, we understand the headaches and challenges of maintaining and keeping Oracle databases running at maximum efficiency.  Read on to learn more about 6 ways that Pure Storage solutions for Oracle make things effortless and efficient for DBAs — giving them back valuable time and in the words of one satisfied customer, “I can truly focus on strategic projects now.”

Database Installation and Upgrades

While storage administrators generally are responsible for the type of hardware selected, the DBA is tasked with initial installation and the regular patching and updating of the databases over time. The main area of risk is during the upgrade phase, where data must be moved from servers and storage to new physical hardware to gain more performance or reduce cost of operations.

Pure Value: DBAs and Storage Admins alike can benefit from Pure’s Evergreenprogram, where we can deliver periodic in-system software and hardware performance upgrades without disruption or performance degradation. Databases stay up and running and performance improvements and capacity expansion can be delivered based on business requirements — without a forklift upgrade. A win-win for DBAs and for the entire organization. Pure arrays also can be installed in a fraction of the time of competing products, usually 50% faster.  And it’s so simple that all the instructions to get up and running fit on a business card.

Performance Monitoring and Tuning

Database performance monitoring is one of the most critical DBA tasks in order to keep the business running. Countless applications rely on smooth and rapid database processing and lagging performance can slow down Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications, resulting in lost revenue or dissatisfied customers and end users. Oracle DBAs frequently make use of Automated Workload Repository (AWR) reports to diagnose wait events and to assist with tuning and streamlining database operations.

Pure Value: Pure FlashArrays™ deliver tremendous performance with sub-millisecond latencies, fast response times, and high IOPS right out of the box — with zero tuning required. Pure’s Data-Centric Architecture is proven to deliver 3x faster transaction throughput for Oracle databases with 10x faster response times than competing arrays based on customer PoCs. DBAs can worry less about constantly performing tuning actions and instead shift efforts to more strategic projects and innovation.

Capacity Planning

Quite simply, Oracle databases enable the business to store and retrieve data but the amount of data created is increasing at around 40% annually on average. Oracle DBAs must worry about data growth trends and advise on short-term and long-term capacity expansion plans, and avoid running out of available disk space by provisioning storage based on complex predictions. Over-provisioning based on incorrect predictions can result in wasted expense, and under-provisioning can lead to potential disruptive outages. It’s an extremely difficult challenge to manage.

Pure Value: Pure understands this complex challenge and uses advanced AI techniques with Pure1 METAmonitoring to understand customer workload profiles and provide capacity planning predictions based on the entire global network of monitoring for all customers. Oracle DBAs can use the META workload planner to explore predictions on performance load and capacity, while receiving actionable inputs when threshold levels are met or exceeded to take action to grow capacity. This functionality provides efficiency through better sizing and is something that will help DBAs sleep better at night.

Implement Backup/Restore and Disaster Recovery solutions

With very few exceptions, today’s businesses rely on databases to be available 24/7/365. DBAs have to manage tight maintenance windows for regular patch updates and also architect backup and restore solutions to enable the business to recover quickly from an outage or data corruption. DBAs schedule regular backups and test recovery plans, usually using Oracle RMAN (Recovery Manager). However, most backup solutions impact production database performance and can be costly due to the space they consume and related costs for licensing. Disaster Recovery solutions can also be expensive and extremely complex to implement and manage, with 100s of pages of instructions to understand and learn.

Pure Value: Pure FlashArray//X systems include space efficient snapshots that consume far less capacity than competing snapshot tools from other vendors. DBAs can take more frequent backup/restore snapshots with minimal impact on production databases, and save on the cost of licensing 3rd party solutions. And Pure’s Rapid Restore with FlashBlade array offers huge read and write bandwidths that enable it to dramatically reduce backup and restore completion times for even faster recoveries.

For disaster recovery, Pure’s all inclusive array-software model means that DBAs can leverage Purity ActiveCluster and with only a few steps, create a zero RPO and zero RTO synchronous replication solution for disaster recovery between data centers. Setup occurs in minutes and involves only 4 steps and a new command. DBAs should be overjoyed to hear about this level of simplicity.

Ensuring Data Security and Compliance

Databases are attractive targets for hackers because they contain sensitive information and provide a single source to access. DBAs need to create structures around security to authenticate access to data, authorize permissions for access to certain data by users, and audit who did what with the database. Auditing is usually a requirement for regulatory and compliance laws.

Pure Value: The Purity operating environment includes data security measures that meet high standards, including FIPS 140-2 data encryption and Common Criteria. Pure FlashArrays deliver secure data at rest with AES-256 encryption that is transparent to DBAs – meaning nothing to administer, no key management and no extra license cost. Full data reduction is possible without impact to production operations, so DBAs know the storage layer is secure and will not impact performance.

Data Extraction, Transformation & Analytics

To perform data warehousing, DBAs must load a data warehouse with large amounts of data typically extracted from multiple production database systems. Sometimes the data to be loaded comes from different data types or formats so that data needs to be ‘cleansed’ prior to loading. Even with well-planned data marts, there is inherent complexity in this operation and data loads and extractions can take a long time to complete, slowing down the ability of enterprises to run queries against the data for reporting purposes. DBAs also are increasingly tasked with determining how to integrate data analytics projects into traditional database environments to support the work of data scientists and analysts.

Pure Value: Data warehousing and analytics operations can benefit from the massively parallel and highly scalable performance of Pure FlashBlade. Built from the ground up to tackle these types of challenges, FlashBlade handles multiple data types and can help Oracle DBAs accomplish their data load activities with faster ingest times, enable faster queries, and consolidate and save cost on existing legacy data warehouse systems. Integrating FlashBlade as a Data Warehouse solution also enables DBAs to build a FlashBlade Data Hub to support next-generation analytics projects.

Summary:

DBAs provide critical services as the guardians of company data today, and they are the ultimate influencers of that data as their companies move into the future. Pure Storage is dedicated to bringing the tools — simple, efficient, and cost-effective — that DBAs need to succeed and excel in their tasks and focus their efforts on innovation and progress.

For more information on Pure Storage solutions for Oracle, check out https://www.purestorage.com/solutions/applications/oracle-database.html.