Less is more

“Listen, we have problems with the performance of our Oracle environment, could you review this further and propose how we best can solve it?”
In response to this question, we investigated which Oracle licenses were bought by a local Town hall and, what licenses are actually needed for the organization. We also looked for opportunities to increase the stability and availability of the database environment. We soon found out that the Oracle databases from the Town hall run on physical servers. There had to be a change!
Too much to handle

Most municipalities in many countries are using Oracle databases. Here they are required to purchase Oracle licenses which are pretty expensive. Many municipalities also decided to buy the most extensive Enterprise license. As it turns out, the municipality makes no use of the additional functionality offered to them in this license, but they run into the limitations of it. That should, of course, be different.
The truth behind the Oracle licenses

Formerly, a server became faster because the CPU was faster. For Oracle Enterprise licenses this meant you could keep the same license, and made the new server available for faster applications.
Now, you often see that processors are faster because manufacturers provide them with more processor cores. The problem with the Oracle Enterprise license is that you pay per processor core. When you purchase a new server, you get a much faster new server, but contains much more processor cores that requires your Oracle license to be extended. The price doubles.
More with less

The solution?

For most of the municipalities, it is a combination of a different Oracle license combined with virtual servers.
First, the Standard Edition Oracle license is sufficient.
The other half of our solution is virtualization.
Oracle, however, is not so keen on virtualization and requires the users to license all servers within a VM environment. We solved this by replacing four servers with two physical servers, installing VMware and running multiple virtual servers inside. The advantage is that we could set up a separate section for the Oracle database and only need to license the processors of the cluster.
The big advantage for the municipality is that their database environment is now more distributed. On a virtual server run fewer databases together. When certain databases are overloaded, the pressure is distributed among different servers. The ultimate effect is that when there are problems with a server or database, this has virtually no impact on the rest of the organization. This has improved the stability and availability of the IT environment, just as the municipalities expected.

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