With the introduction of database appliances, Oracle is not only giving database administrators (DBA) more control over the virtual and physical IT environment, the number of databases that a single DBA can manage is increasing dramatically.
Oracle today launched Oracle Database Appliance X3-2, which increases overall database performance by a factor of two by adding the latest Intel Xeon processors, over twice as much on-board memory, three times as much Flash memory and four times as much storage capacity.
According to Sohan DeMel, Oracle vice president, product strategy and business development, Oracle has yet to commission a study concerning the number of databases that a single DBA can now manage. But the company is seeing customers manage as many as 36 database appliances using a single DBA.
DeMel says that combination of advance deployment templates that give DBAs more control over the IT environment means that DBAs have never been more empowered because the templates automate much of the management of parallelism across the IT environment. In addition, the patch management process across both hardware and software is automated, says DeMel.
With this new version of the Oracle database appliance, Oracle is also adding support for OracleVM, which gives DBAs a virtual machine platform that allows them to pin a specific database to a specific set of infrastructure resources.
In some respects, DeMel says appliances represent the second coming of highly integrated midrange systems such as the IBM AS/400. Midmarket IT organizations have huge demand for compute capacity; they just lack the ability to hire specialists to run storage and networking alongside a database.
The degree to which the appliance phenomenon will take hold in the midmarket remains to be seen. But what is for certain is that across the IT spectrum generalists are being asked to do more not necessarily with less, but rather with more integrated IT platforms.