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Enterprise Manager Edition
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Q&A: Leng Tan, Vice President of Development, Discusses the New Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack

Leng Tan first joined Oracle as database developer back in 1989. Today she's vice president of product development for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. We asked Tan for an insider's look into Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack—a complete, integrated solution that spans the entire lifecycle of database management, including
  • Discovery and inventory tracking
  • Patching and provisioning
  • Ongoing change and configuration management
  • Reporting and compliance
Q. Talking with customers and IT executives, what have you found are their biggest business challenges?
A. There are three things I hear again and again. First, IT is being asked to cut costs, but at the same time is expected to maintain or even increase service levels.

Secondly, IT is being asked to support a more agile business, so that in a fluid economic climate companies can respond quickly to rapidly changing conditions to gain competitive advantage.

Finally, security is at the top of people's minds—IT is more pressured than ever to keep up with the latest security patches at all times.

Q. Can you tell us how the capabilities in Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack address these challenges?
A. First, change and configuration management enables IT to be more efficient by enforcing corporate and industry standards, such as PCI, SOX, CIS, and COBIT. Administrators can define gold standards and baselines for configurations in order to standardize their environment against those definitions. Databases that deviate from the standards are automatically flagged. And DBAs can manage the entire process from a single console.

With standardized systems in place, it is possible to make mass changes automatically. Critical patches, such as the latest security patches, can be tested with standard configurations first before applying them to hundreds of databases in parallel. Mass patch automation significantly reduces the manual intervention, error rate, and down time. This enables IT to be more agile as many organizations have hundreds or even thousands of database instances to change and manage. Automation also frees up IT resources to take on value-add projects, helping to ensure a better response to new business requests.

Q. How critical is Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack for managing databases in cloud environments?
A. Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack provides the foundational tools needed for managing the lifecycle of databases in cloud environments. Database as a service leverages the automated database provisioning mechanism in the pack to provide self-service database provisioning. One key concern I hear from DBAs is the proliferation of databases in the private cloud without their supervision. Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack gives a real-time inventory of all the databases in the cloud—giving administrators even greater control.

Q. For those considering Oracle Exadata, how can Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack help them?
A. Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack helps manage Oracle Exadata at every step. Many customers are consolidating dozens or even hundreds of databases to Oracle Exadata. Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack dramatically streamlines the operation to provision databases. It also supports rolling and out-of-place database patching, which means almost zero-downtime patching—a huge advantage to customers running mission-critical applications on Oracle Exadata.

And since Oracle Exadata is entirely engineered by Oracle, Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack has deep visibility to the configurations of databases, right down to individual storage cells and hardware components. It alerts DBAs about configuration differences between one compute node or storage cell to another, which is crucial for optimal Oracle Exadata performance.

Get more detailed information about Oracle Database Lifecycle Management Pack.
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