I want you to take a step back and think about a hypothetical company not running any virtualization. The company has an Oracle Enterprise Edition database running on a 4 core server that’s has very heavy (95%) CPU utilization. The company has to decide between buying a new 8 core server to handle the additional computing as their data volume and business grows, or they need to find a way to reduce their CPU utilization.
If the company goes with the new server, they’ve got the cost of the new hardware itself (irrelevant to my point so let’s call it $0) PLUS 4 more cores (2 processor licenses) of Oracle Enterprise Database – $95,000 (According to the latest Oracle pricing list).
The DBA takes a DEV copy of the system and run OEM Diagnostics and Tuning Packs against it and finds he can cut their CPU utilization in half. Cost to implement in production? 4 cores worth (2 processor licenses) of Diagnostics and Tuning Packs – $20,000.
The company saves $75,000, the DBA is regarded as a hero and is about to be given a Porsche Boxster by the company for all the savings.. until accounting rightfully points out that with everything tuned up, the company has an extra Oracle Enterprise Edition processor license of processing power that the company isn’t getting ANY benefit out of and can’t use for another database server, plus the company isn’t getting much additional benefit from the $20,000 of Diagnostics and Tuning licenses.
If only there was a better way!
Imagine the company decided to first virtualize that database server – I’m talking the most basic sort of vSphere virtualization – just one stand alone vSphere ESXi host. Cost from VMware? Zero Dollars. Now, they still have the whole server licensed for Oracle databases. They spend their $20000 and buy OEM Diagnostics and Tuning Packs and now, just like before, they’re left with a database server running on 2 cores, they have two cores unused but licensed for Oracle Enterprise Edition. Because they’re virtualized, they can add another database server virtual machine on the server (getting use out of that wasted license) AND they can leverage the OEM Diagnostics and Tuning Packs to tune that additional database.
So now the company is getting double it’s value out of those Database and OEM licenses – all just by virtualizing under VMware. This is the most rudimentary example, assuming you had a database that was actually utilizing 95% of the CPUs before and that OEM helped you cut that load in half. Imagine the benefit a company that has 5 or 10 physical Oracle database servers each at 25% utilization could benefit by virtualizing under VMware to a couple of hosts and licensing those hosts with those OEM packs.
As a company grows and adds systems, the benefits of virtualizing Oracle really start to add up.
Don’t be shocked when the DBA starts showing up in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.