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Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server – Virtualisation versus Consolidation

VMware certainly did shake up the IT industry when they popped up onto the scene. Whilst some may argue that VMware didn’t invent Virtualisation, no one can deny the shift they created in the marketplace.

The [server] Virtualisation in the infrastructure space revolutionised our industry.

Large multi-nationals now neither had to scale out (i.e. build/buy/rent more Datacentre space) nor scale up (buy larger, beefier machines), but now had the option to scale down and reduce hardware/power/datacentre requirements.

Consolidation ratios were awesome. Typically an organisation saw a reduction of up to 20 virtual servers per physical server using Virtualisation technologies.

But what about the Data Platform?

These same multi-nationals had dozens, if not hundreds of databases residing on this new virtualised infrastructure.

The same problem exists – that these organisations still have growing database requirements, driving the need for more infrastructure, more licensing and more operational resources. Virtualised or not, their database layer still sprawl out of the control.

Consolidating an Oracle or MS SQL Database environment goes beyond Virtualisation. Whereas with virtualisation multiple Virtual Machines can share a single physical server, Database Consolidation means multiple databases on an individual Virtual Machine.

Carving up an Oracle or MS SQL database into schemas or instances can increase your consolidation ratios significantly. So once you have virtualised, but you reach that same point where you have to buy/build/rent more data centre space, a smart idea would be to assess your database environment and see what consolidation can happen before you put pen to paper on a new 3 year hosting contract.

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