9 minutes | Dec 4th 2014

LMT Episode 01 - Oracle 12c Multi-tenant

Thanks for Downloading this episode. Thanks again for the feedback on the previous first episode. The sound quality was not great and we had a few bloopers. I hope this recording is a little better. If you would like to contribute or have any Oracle licence questions please contact me via the contact page at Madora.co.uk or email me. Kay.williams@madora.co.uk Does 12c Multi-tenant offer real opportunity for cost savings through consolidation? For those not familiar with Oracle 12c, which was released in June last year, it offers a host of new features. The ‘C’ in 12c stands for Cloud and it is focused firmly on providing a back bone for the Oracle Cloud strategy. With all the announcements around cloud, DBaaS, PaaS and the like, I thought it worthy of giving an introduction to Oracle 12c for the non technical – well not too technical. Some four years in development this was a major release with a fundamental new architecture. Oracle Database 12c provides a bunch of extras such as database consolidation, query optimisation, performance tuning, high availability, partitioning, backup and recovery. Tom Kyte does a nice job of explaining the new features in YouTube for those who are a bit more technically minded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekTTXoHBmWw&feature=youtu.be It is the database consolidation capability via pluggable databases that really are the game changer for consolidation. Officially now known as multi-tenant, this is a paid for option that could have a massive impact on the cost of building and running a large database estate. So what is the multi-tenant option? In simple terms I like to think of the Multi-tenant option as an egg box which is the container database, holding many eggs which are the pluggable databases. The egg box provides the ability to share its memory and background processes across the many eggs it holds. The egg box holds the metadata and the eggs hold the user data. Traditional database architecture requires each database instance to have a discrete set of memory and storage allocated to it. Sometimes this results in poorly utilised resources. Clearly as your database estate grew you could find yourself buying more memory and storage on a regular basis. This also has an impact on management as more effort is required to manage and maintain the hardware infrastructure as well as the growing instances of databases. Add the non-production environments and the disaster recovery and backup options and the physical servers can soon sprawl. One of the solutions pursued by a great number of organisations to the physical server sprawl was the use of virtualisation software. Although this has greater benefits in physical server reduction it still required each oracle database instance to have its own resources set aside. Multi-tenant databases offer an additional level of consolidation by sharing the database resources amongst the pluggable databases. You can create up to 253 pluggable databases all managed as a single instance via the container database. That is one giant egg box! In production environments it is not uncommon to see 20 different instances all requiring routine maintenance from upgrades, patches, tuning, back up and configured for RAC and Data Guard. With Oracle 12c Multi-tenant all 20 instances can be treated as one. A DBA can easily plug or unplug an existing database to or from a container database. There is no need to change any code in the application. When the user connects to a plugged database, the database environment looks exactly as if the user had connected to a traditional database. The Multi-tenant option helps provide the following: High consolidation density: Many databases can share memory and background processes, reducing significant hardware. Provisioning: A database can be unplugged from one environment and plugged into another in seconds using SQL commands. Spinning up and cloning new instances for test and dev is now a breeze. Patching and upgrades: Patch a new container. Now unplug from the un-patched container and plug into the patch container – job done. Manage many databases as one: Do your routine tasks like back up on the container database not individual instances. An order of magnitude when you consider a container can hold 253 databases! Resource management: The Oracle Resource Manager feature can work at the pluggable database level for you to manage resource competition among the databases in your environment. In the words of Oracle senior vice president Andy Mendelsohn, Pluggable databases represent “a fundamental rearchitecture of the [Oracle] database. Now if I’m an administrator, I have one database overall to administer.” Can 12c really deliver substantial cost savings? There is no denying there are cost benefits to be gained through increased agility via rapid cloning, reduced overheads in management and lower hardware infrastructure. It was a disappointment to a number of customers that this became a paid option. This cost should be offset by the lower demand for compute, storage hardware and people costs. The elephant in the room though is the impact on licence costs. Seeing the real benefit of reduced licence fees will be a challenge. We all know how Oracle likes to safeguard its support revenues. Although a significant reduction in Database cores could result, this will need to be offset by the purchase of the 12c Multi-tenant option which is some 37% of the list price of Enterprise Edition. Even a recalculation of the support fees after dropping a number of database cores should make a contribution. I don’t know how many references Oracle has of customers using the 12c Multi-tenant option in anger. I guess not too many. I am sure that there is an opportunity for early adopters to make a good case to negotiate a great deal. Some serious analysis and modelling will be required to work through cost savings on existing deployments. Green field and new projects will be great candidates for Oracle 12c and you would be almost crazy not to use it. So what do you think? Have you starting looking at 12c in terms of consolidation? Does it stack up?
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