VMware has been making the case that IT organizations can reduce costs by using virtualization to consolidate database servers for some time now. Now VMware wants to reduce the cost of managing those Oracle databases by automating much of the provisioning and routine management tasks associated with managing Oracle databases.
With the release of vFabric Data Director 2.0, VMware is extending the management capabilities it currently provides for its own Postgres database implementation out to Oracle environments. According to Fausto Ibarra, senior director of product management for data and analytics, it’s only a matter of time before VMware extends these management capabilities out to other database systems.
Ibarra says that Oracle shops can not only use vFabric Data Director to easily create clones of databases, they can link the management of those clones. In effect, that means a single database administrator (DBA) can now more effectively manage multiple database instances. In addition, Ibarra says that in some instances VMware administrators might want to set up a database without necessarily having to wait for a DBA to do that for them.
Virtualization in Oracle database environments pays for itself almost instantaneously because Oracle charges licensing fees based on the number of processors used. Virtualization reduces the number of processors required. Ibarra concedes that not every DBA is convinced that their database doesn’t require direct access to the physical hardware to meet performance requirements, but in reality Ibarra says the performance penalties associated with running a database on modern virtual machine software these days is nominal.
As database environments become more heterogeneous, DBAs are being asked to expand the number and types of databases they can manage. There may still be one dominant database environment, but the days when one type of database dominated to the exclusion of all others is over.
Obviously, VMware wouldn’t mind seeing more of those Oracle applications move over to its implementation of Postgres, which is based on an open source database that is compatible with Oracle applications. But regardless of VMware’s intent, the fact remains that the challenge facing IT organizations now is finding the tools that make managing multiple database instances easier to accomplish, which almost by definition means moving beyond tools that are optimized for only one particular database.