Upgrade to Oracle/Intel: Go Linux vs Windows

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CIO
Hardware
Linux
Oracle
Oracle 9i
Windows
We are planning upgrade our main database cluster (rs6000/aix) to Oracle on Intel, research done give a lot of papers from dell, hp, intel that about roi of moving out of risc/unix but there is no clear evidence about performance issues between LINUX and Windows Server as the selected OS. Do you have info about an Oracle LINUX vs Windows ROI and TCO ? What about performance ? I would appreciate facts beyond "Larry" betting on Linux and something specific about Oracle since I'm not comparing the OS, but the performance Oracle has in both platforms. Thanks in advance,

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We migrated 4 servers running Windows Oracle databases to one Linux server (Dell Poweredge with external Scsi). The advantage to us is Redhat AS Linux is able to address the 8+ Gig of RAM for Oracle vs only 2 Gig for Windows standard server. The Enterprise CPU licenses we freed from the Windows servers are now utilized in a data warehouse project. We have a massive increase in performance (in part due to hardware).

TCO and ROI may be hard to quantify. There was a good paper here showing a 38% improvement on identical hardware using linux: http://www.interealm.com/technotes/roby/pentmark.html but it is gone now. If you have to provide numeric data you may be forced to use the vendor stuff. Like I said we have a great improvement in performance, but no methodology to prove it.

I was able to convince the executives based on the savings for consolidation related to the data warehouse ($40k a CPU is substantial), less administration costs (we have linux/unix servers up without reboots for years, that is pretty convincing compared to windows), less critical security issues, and the fact that Oracle develops on Unix/Linx and ports to Windows. Gartner has some great stuff on cost of administration for windows vs. nix.

Even CIO and CEO marketing material is hawking linux solutions at this point so they should be familiar with it.

Hope this helps.

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  • Architect57
    Two years ago we performed performance trials for an SAP landscape with Red Hat and Oracle Database vs W2K and Oracle Database. The results were that Linux ran 30+% faster than W2K on the same hardware. As a result, we chose Red Hat and ultimately ran >1100 users in a 3-tier architecture. We also run a significant W2K SQL*Server environment for another application. Downtime on that system far exceeds the downtime on Linux. My administrators like it better!
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  • Dansken
    One of the major differences for me is the memory allocation. As previously stated you're stuck to 2GB on a windows system. On a RH Linux platform you can address up to 16 GB. If you don't need that amount of memory and your server is a dedicated Oracle server, it is possible to modify the memory map in RH Linux so your database SGA is 2.7 GB with only 4 GB on the server. In general terms I'd prefer to run business critical application on Linux over Windows, if possible, since it is a much more stabile platform.
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  • Daveaclayton
    HI, Just in the process of migrating from a 3 teir win2k (9iAS), solaris (9iDB) onto a 3 tier Linux-AS (9iAS+9iRAC) platform for our ebix/11i applications. Existing system supports (so they say) 80+ users using an e450,(3cpu,3g RAM) AND A PAIR OF WINTEL2K APPS SERVERS one for Production and one for test. The new system is initially a 9iASr1 (due to 11i certification restrictions), with plans to migrate over to 9iASr4(10g) early in the new year, as part of the early adopter program. Running a full DELL platform, with EMC-SAN (5Tb) and f5/BigIP load-balancing. (21 servers in total). Currently in the build-out phase, expect to have the 11i test/dev environment environment (Fi+CRM) before XMAS. All running smoothly thus far... Dave
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  • NigelMcFarlane
    The other respondants said it all, but on budgetting issues it's worth pointing out that if you go from an expensive mini to a cheap PC, then you have to expect performance to drop. You get what you pay for with the physical hardware. Make sure that you pay for hardware that can support the performance that you need.
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  • MarkAllcock
    We've been running Oracle Applications on Windows NT since 1997, from 10.7 smart client, through Release 11 and currently 11i. We were the first site live (in the world!) running Apps on NT. We're also an official Oracle reference site. So we know a thing or two about this! There's plenty of press about Linux versus Windows and most of it conflicting. So you can always find an article to support one over the other. I think the argument is relatively simple. Both Windows and Linux offer a potentially low cost computing platform, so the choice is more readily driven by: 1) If you come from a Unix background, then migrating to Linux is no big deal and I would suggest you stick to what you pretty much know and love. 2) If you come from a non Unix background (especially if it's mainly a Windows background) then the migration to Unix can be very costly in training and skills conversion. For those Unix/Linux lovers/Windows haters out there, here is some factual information about Oracle on Windows. There can be memory issues running Oracle on the 32bit versions of Windows. The main problem is that Oracle coded all of the database related processes to run within a single ORACLE.EXE executable, rather than keeping the processes as separate executables/threads as they do on other operating systems. All 32bit operating systems have a fundamental 4Gb memory limit, unless they invoke some kind of extended memory handling. Windows Server Standard editions (NT, 2000 and 2003 varieties) limit any single process to being able to address only 2Gb of memory, even though upto 4Gb of physical memory may be installed - the other 2Gb is reserved for operating system use. If you install the Enterprise Editions (or above) of Windows Server, you can use the 4GT (4Gb Tuning - use /3GB in BOOT.INI) feature to allow any executable to address up to 3Gb of memory. Also, with Windows 2000/2003 Server Enterprise Editions (and above) Oracle can address memory above 4Gb for database read buffers (check the /PAE setting at microsoft.com and AWE on Oracle MetaLink). We are currently implementing new server hardware running Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition with 12Gb of memory. So it can be done if you know what you are doing. If you use 64 Bit versions of Windows, then you can have (pretty much!) as much memory as you like/can afford. At the moment this is limited to Itanium processors, but the latest generation Intel processors with 64bit extensions (look for EMT) and AMD 64 bit processors will be properly supported with the x86 64bit version of Windows Server due in 2005. As for overall performance and reliability of Windows? Well, as an Oracle reference site we have hosted visits from many large corporates with large, Unix based installs. All of them were envious of both the performance of our Oracle Apps and the reliability. Our system is available 24 x 7 and is rarely shutdown, usually for applying Oracle patches! Having said all of this, Oracle do indeed develop on and champion Linux as a platform of choice. There are compromises on Windows, especially with the Oracle EBusiness Suite. So back to my original statement - if you already have Unix skills, why would you not choose Linux - it's your obvious "low cost" solution and you really shouldn't lose any sleep over whether you could have saved a little bit more by going Windows.
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  • Daveaclayton
    Hi, I do not have the information you are looking for. My client decided that the Linux platform was the way forward for it's new applications. So that decision was already made for me, as was the version of Linux - Red-Hat. (As it is supported by Oracle). My view on the whole thing, for what it is worth is that Oracle themselves are now migration, (From SUn/Solaris) to a DEll/Linux platform, with F5/BigIP Loadbalancing. You can checkout the Oracle whitepapers for their internal networks. To me that speaks volumes...! Dave
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  • Paralogist
    In response to the /3Gb switch in the boot.ini on windows. We are using Standard edition mostly, and we use that switch. Can you point to documentation with regards to using this switch on the various editions?
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  • Romerogt
    Great to see this question on the move, thanks for the comments made so far, very interesting information exchanged and new opinions are welcome. By the way, there is reference to a comparison made by a "Roby Sherman" and many sites have links to a page but it seems the report was abducted by -someone- from Internet, do you know something about it ? In response to the /3gb in windows you can check out this page: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEmem.mspx Local support for Oracle sent me this link, please review it and tell me if you can make any conclusion from those results: http://www.oracle.com/apps_benchmark/html/results.html Thank you again.
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