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Deploying Oracle on zEnterprise Reaps Many Rewards

Deploying Oracle on zEnterprise Reaps Many Rewards

Deploying Oracle Database 11g Release 2 for Linux on the IBM zEnterprise System offers multiple benefits for IBM-Oracle customers. To learn how, we spoke with Bill Reeder, IBM global IT optimization sales leader, System z, and Wayne Martin, solution relationship manager, ISV enablement with IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Q: What is the significance of the Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11gR2) for Linux releasing on the IBM zEnterprise System?

A: First and foremost, it demonstrates Oracle’s ongoing commitment to the platform. Many clients recognize the mainframe as the strategic infrastructure within their enterprise, particularly as a secure data repository and for mission-critical applications reliant on this data. Some of these clients are also reliant on Oracle database in critical applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite. Others have selected Oracle as their strategic database. Clients reliant on Oracle database on IBM System z eagerly anticipated the release and the ability to use it on the newest mainframe in a high-performance, scalable and easy-to-virtualize environment. Clients not yet using Oracle database on System z and even clients without a mainframe will find that using Oracle database on a mainframe significantly reduces IT costs in installations with 50 or more cores of Linux workload. It also helps to further simplify and reduce IT costs for those with a significant number of distributed servers. With zEnterprise, clients can consolidate the Oracle database and other workloads to reduce (as compared to distributed servers):

  • Physical server space by up to 90 percent
  • Labor costs by up to 70 percent
  • Acquisition costs of hardware and software up to 60 percent


Q: What benefits can clients expect, in addition to the significant savings?

A: zEnterprise provides better operational efficiency, world-class security, availability, reliability and scalability, with great performance. It offers the perfect environment—not only for Oracle workloads, but many other workloads and applications—at the highest server utilization rates. For this reason, many first-time mainframe clients are choosing to deploy System z. Ultimately, the release of 11gR2 on System z shows the Oracle database community that Linux on System z will be a platform for running Oracle workloads for many years to come.

Q: Can clients expect higher availability on zEnterprise?

A: There is no infrastructure in the marketplace with higher availability than the mainframe. zEnterprise’s built-in redundancy includes chips, memory, power, channels and disks. In fact, every element of the machine has redundancy to support this availability. System z can dynamically add resources to a system that is already running to handle demand. This reliability and redundancy means fewer unplanned and planned outages. There are numerous customer examples and third-party analyst reports that clearly show the unbeatable availability of the mainframe versus distributed architectures for many different scenarios and applications.

For this reason, many clients do not see the need to use Oracle RAC. However, for those that do, it is extremely well supported and documented on Linux on zEnterprise. Also, Oracle’s Maximum Availability Architecture is a great fit with System z’s superior virtualization and high availability capabilities, allowing hardware resources to be redistributed seamlessly for the application end user.

Q: How does the solution help clients improve performance?

A: First, zEnterprise runs at 5.2 GHz, which is the fastest in the industry, and is architecturally much more efficient in handling high I/O bandwidth. It also provides caching and system-level tuning tools needed to deliver excellent throughput and performance. For example, if a client needs more I/O, zEnterprise adds more channels to the disk. In the same scenario, a distributed architecture must add more small clustered machines to increase the I/O, which means server traffic is inefficient and takes up more space and power. With each new release of Oracle, Linux and IBM System z, there are significant performance improvements. In a recent IBM study, moving an existing Oracle database from IBM System z10 to a zEnterprise provided a 45 percent performance improvement in transactional throughput.

Other IBM System z Linux clients have reported similar gains of more than 50 percent with Oracle, and a 31 percent gain by upgrading from a previous version of Oracle database to 11gR2. Overall, given the improvement of processing capability, we expect clients moving from z10 to the z196 can combine the capabilities of a faster machine running at 5.2 GHz with Oracle Database 11gR2 to deliver Oracle database workloads in a high-performing, scalable and easy-to-virtualize environment.

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