As Published In
Oracle Magazine
November/December 2011



Simple. Reliable. Affordable.

By Fred Sandsmark


Oracle debuts Oracle Database Appliance, a pay-as-you-grow engineered system.

Oracle has unveiled Oracle Database Appliance, putting its end-to-end engineered systems within reach of midsize companies and enterprise departments. Oracle Database Appliance is “the simple, reliable, and affordable addition to our engineered systems product family,” said Judson Althoff, senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels and embedded sales at Oracle, in a September 21, 2011, launch Webcast. The engineered system appliance of software, servers, storage, and networking features Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Real Application Clusters on a two-node Sun Fire server cluster running Oracle Linux.

Simply Configured

The hardware and software components of Oracle Database Appliance are simple to set up and operate. “We try to make the experience as simple as possible from the time the box comes into your shop,” said Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies at Oracle.

That simplicity begins with a single hardware configuration: a four-unit rack-mountable chassis containing two Oracle Linux server nodes, each with two 6-core Intel Xeon processors and 96 GB of memory, interconnected via redundant GbE networking. The chassis also contains 12 TB of raw storage, triple-mirrored to yield 4 TB of usable storage, four 73 GB solid-state disks, and built-in redundant networking, power, and cooling.

When Oracle Database Appliance is first powered up and connected to the network, its wizard-driven Appliance Manager feature makes configuration a matter of answering a series of questions. In minutes, the hardware is configured for the customer’s workload, and the appropriate Oracle software—including Oracle Database 11g Release 2—is downloaded and configured.

Because of this simplicity, Oracle Database Appliance can move from shipping crate to production in just hours. “The time to value is amazing,” Mendelsohn said.

Reliably Available

The reliability of Oracle Database Appliance is ensured because the hardware and software are engineered together by Oracle, and because many of Oracle’s proven high-availability technologies are built in, Mendelsohn said.

Next Steps

 LEARN more about Oracle Database Appliance


 WATCH the launch event Webcast


 SEE the product demo

Oracle Database Appliance can be configured in three ways using the Appliance Manager: a single-node configuration, Oracle Real Applications (Oracle RAC) One Node for active-passive failover, and Oracle RAC for full active-active failover. Customers choose a configuration at setup but can change it as requirements evolve. “You can start simple and then reboot the server into a higher-availability configuration,” Althoff explained.

Flexibly Affordable

Oracle Database Appliance is available direct from Oracle or through its channel partners. The software component licensing is flexible and affordable, thanks to a unique “pay-as-you-grow” licensing arrangement, also known as “subcapacity licensing.” 

With pay-as-you-grow, customers decide how much of the appliance’s capacity they use—from two processor cores to all 24—and license the Oracle software accordingly. Customers can start with just two cores and then add more processing power as business requirements or availability needs dictate, without disruptive or time-consuming hardware upgrades.

Customers’ current Oracle licenses can also be transferred to Oracle Database Appliance, making consolidation and upgrades less costly. “We’re making this as flexible an environment as we can,” explained Oracle President Mark Hurd.

The combination of simplicity, reliability, and affordability makes Oracle Database Appliance a solid choice for most online transaction processing (OLTP) or database workloads, Althoff said, with applicability to customers of all sizes.

“Companies are spending tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours to buy, build, and customize database solutions,” Mendelsohn concluded. “With Oracle Database Appliance, customers get the power of the world’s leading database in a highly available system from a single vendor. We’ve taken the risk out of designing and deploying database infrastructures, which makes it ideal for small and midsize companies or enterprise departments that want higher availability for their application databases.”

Fred Sandsmark is a regular contributor to Oracle Magazine.


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