Eye on Oracle

Dec 5 2007   1:21PM GMT

The second age of the mainframe

Ken Cline Profile: Clinek

Don Burleson posted an interesting article today on Oracle virtualization and makes the point that it is leading us into the “second age of mainframe computing.”

He writes,

It’s back to the future for the Oracle database world. The inefficient one server/one database approach of 1990s client-server technology is long gone and Oracle shops are now re-consolidating their data resources, moving back to the mainframe-like centralization of the 1980s. . . .

Moreoever, he says that this trend is bad for the DBA job market:

Server consolidation is bad for the DBA job market because one of the main reasons for consolidating hardware resources is the savings from reducing DBA staff. A typical shop can save a million dollars a year by removing a dozen DBAs.

Add virtualization to the list of DBA complaints. . .


5  Comments on this Post

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  • Brian Fedorko
    I think Don may be a bit off on this item. VMWare has a firm hold on the virtualization market, despite several flavors of Xen already on the market. It will be hard to persuade a systems architect who has been wildly successful in implementing VMWare to immediately embrace Oracle VM. Secondly, the worst-kept secret in the industry - Oracle runs marvelously on VMWare... Everyone is simply waiting for the licensing to catch up with the technology. Lastly, I disagree with Don on the paradigm that the push behind virtualization is to trim DBAs, or even to expect cuts to DBA shops. In fact, I expect quite the opposite - We will need more DBAs, and the ones who have taken the time to become familiar with storage management and virtualization will see their value increase significantly! With the wave of virtualization that is sweeping most organizations has allowed small-scale prototyping development to flourish and scale into production gracefully. The number of databases is GROWING. The second & third worst kept secrets in the industry - Auto-tuning databases don't, and standard recoveries aren't. Add to this the synergy a knowledgeable DBA can bring to SW development, design, and sysadmin teams, and you have a demand that is on the rise. Given that part of Don's livelihood involves replacing available 'expensive' DBAs with an expensive, remote Oracle administration service - I would take his forecast with a grain of salt.
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  • faizirizal
    Is this Oracle VM can run on Personal Computer (running Windows XP) and put a HP/UX on it? if possible, it is a new thing for me.
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  • frank harrington
    hp-ux requires either a proprietary risc chip from hp or the itanium chip co-developed with intel - I don't think hp-ux has been designed for the virtual machines nor do i think it will work on them. anyone from hp have an opinion for the rest of us ?
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  • Donbald K. Burleson
    Hi Brian, >> Lastly, I disagree with Don on the paradigm that the push behind virtualization is to trim DBAs, or even to expect cuts to DBA shops. Good point. I was referring to the server consolidation, and I've seen many DBA's "let go" after a company moves from 200+ servers down to three servers . . .
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  • Atrujillo
    Letting IT staff go as a result of consolidation seems to be a mixed bag. I've had conversations with data center managers who say that you can reduce staff size when scaling up . . . in theory. More often, though, it is short-sighted. Scaling up and consolidating to increase efficiency from both a power and cooling perspective and workload perspective, in the end, gives businesses room to grow. So, chances are you're going to need MORE people to handle growth as a result of the ability increase productivity. At least, that's the word on the street.
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