Architecting Success: Enkitec Helps KnowledgeBase Marketing Group Create a Blueprint for Oracle Exadata
KnowledgeBase Marketing Group (KBMG) provides global solutions for consumer and business marketing. These solutions are founded on sophisticated data integration capabilities and provide a longitudinal, 360-degree view of the consumer. KBMG’s IMPACT marketing data warehouse solution requires the utmost in database performance and reliability. In 2009, KBMG implemented one of the very first Oracle Exadata data warehousing appliances to support one of its largest hosted database marketing solutions. In 2010, as the second-generation Oracle Exadata platform was introduced, KBMG engaged with Enkitec, an Oracle Platinum partner with database and security specializations, to help create a blueprint for enterprise deployment of Oracle Exadata V2-2. In the past, KBMG acquired standalone servers to store customer data for its marketing and management services. The on-boarding process was labor intensive, time-consuming, and required significant lead time. This approach was also costly and did not offer economies of scale.
When Oracle introduced Oracle Exadata in the fall of 2009, the idea of database and storage consolidation with extreme performance appealed to KBMG. Randy Herzog, vice president, configuration services, KBMG, says, “What we gained was the ability to consolidate our database platform into fewer hardware servers. From a business perspective, this allows KBMG to onboard new clients more quickly, provide better service to our existing clients, and scale our IT resources more effectively.”
The latest Sun Oracle Database Machine is the world’s fastest for any type of database workload. It is a complete package of software, servers, storage, and networking for all data management, including data warehousing, transaction processing, and consolidated mixed application workloads. KBMG wanted to take advantage of these benefits for its growing business.
Randy Hardee, director of technology, Enkitec, says, “KBMG wanted to create a more consolidated software/hardware environment so that they could allow resources to be utilized, upgraded, and managed more efficiently.”
Enkitec was an excellent choice for the project because it is one of the first Oracle partner to achieve Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized status in database and security. To achieve this status, Enkitec had to go through stringent assessment on business readiness and technical competency with Oracle. The result of this program is that the customers can now easily identify the right partners for their business needs.
Hardee says, “We are an Oracle-only consultancy, so the Oracle [PartnerNetwork] Specialized programs really are aligned with our consulting practice. We became involved with [Oracle] Exadata in 2009 with three early adopting [Oracle] Exadata customers, and we acquired our own [Oracle] Exadata hardware for our Enkitec Technology Lab in May of this year. We have approximately 12 people who are skilled at working with [Oracle] Exadata, including Randy Johnson, principal [Oracle] Exadata consultant, who was a critical part of the KBMG project.”
Wade Nicolas, president of Enkitec, says, “Building an [Oracle] Exadata lab that provides hands-on experience with our [Oracle] Exadata machines is helping our clients understand the range of benefits this platform will deliver to the businesses that adopt it.”
KBMG praises Enkitec’s staff for their knowledge and professionalism. “Enkitec sat down with us, talked through our business needs, and provided recommendations on how we could best configure it to meet our client’s requirements and gain the improved performance, reliability and economies for which we were looking. The Enkitec/KBMG team was able to create a blueprint for deployment and consolidation of the [Oracle] Exadata V2-2 in a shared services approach,” says Herzog.
It involved a series of steps. “First KBMG and Enkitec did a capacity-planning analysis on their current environment, and then we created a prioritization and segmentation scheme using the [Oracle] Exadata resource management features to control the [Oracle] Exadata software and hardware resources,” says Hardee.
Enkitec implemented the high-level grouping configuration on the [Oracle] Exadata machine, and now KBMG is in the process of following the roadmap to deploy its first wave of customers into a production Oracle Exadata environment. Herzog is particularly pleased to take advantage of new features in the latest Oracle Exadata V2 database machine, including instance caging, which facilitates resource sharing. He says, “One of our requirements is to support our clients’ need to upgrade software on their schedule. With instance caging, different versions of Oracle software can be supported easier.”
Hardee adds, “The value of a consolidation like this is an overall lower total cost of ownership and then a much more scalable economic model going forward. KBMG will be able to manage this environment more effectively and efficiently. They’re going to be able to onboard customers more quickly, which translates into a competitive advantage and additional revenue.”
Enkitec is looking forward to expanding its Oracle Exadata practice, along with other areas of Oracle specialization it has achieved. As of September 2010, Enkitec is waiting for Oracle’s approval for its specialization in Oracle Real Application Clusters, performance tuning, and data warehousing. Nicolas says, “Being an early adopter of the Oracle PartnerNetwork’s Specialized program has allowed us to focus our service offerings on specific market segments.”
Hardee adds, “It has definitely improved our credentials when it comes to engaging with potential customers and improved our sales and marketing overall. Oracle PartnerNetwork’s Specialized has helped us increase revenue since the program was first introduced a year ago.”