Comparing servers for Oracle database 11g upgrades

An Oracle 11g upgrade means server hardware will need more octane. Find out how to compare Oracle 11g servers for database upgrades and which servers will speed performance.

Upgrading from Oracle 10G to 11G: a look at servers that can speed database performance

One of the biggest challenges today facing departmental IT administrators is the upgrade process. They are continually balancing performance against ROI in order to justify purchasing new hardware. Nowhere is this a more pressing concern than with mission critical databases such as Oracle 10g and 11g. In order to make the best decision for their companies' strategies and their own careers, administrators need to understand all the intricacies of picking the right server to draw out the best value for Oracle 10g and 11g upgrades. We hope this eBook can serve as a valuable tool as part of that decision making process.

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Four servers, one each from the four leading server manufacturers (Dell, HP, IBM, Super Micro) are examined that all stress value and performance at the departmental level. Each server is configured appropriately according to the needs of a department and analyzed for ROI, as well as deployment and upgrade costs. Features found to be unique among each contender is highlighted and the benefits judged for the appropriate deployment scenario. Also included is a discussion of how Sun fits into the hardware decision equation – and what Oracle's recent Sun acquisition announcement could mean for hardware planning strategies.

In this eBook, readers can learn:

  • View a technical comparison of four servers capable of running Oracle 11g
  • Which edition of Oracle 11g best fits your needs
  • Is it better to do an in-place upgrade compared to a migration upgrade
  • How Oracle's Sun acquisition might influence hardware buying decisions


Read the other sections of this guide on Oracle 11g upgrades and servers:

Comparing servers for Oracle database 11g upgrades
Oracle database upgrades: the in-place vs. migration upgrade decision
Choosing the right server hardware is all about choosing the right software
The best of the Oracle 11g-ready servers
Can Sun shine running Oracle 11g?

The departmental database has become one of the most important knowledge stores for businesses of any size. More often than not, that database is powered by Oracle and is customized to meet the needs of a single department within a corporation, making the database and its supporting equipment an island unto itself. It may be isolated, but it remains critical.

As with every piece of technology, the time comes when one must consider an upgrade. In Oracle's case, that upgrade process can entail moving to a new version of the product and new hardware concurrently. That can be a daunting task for thousands of IT administrators who have been using existing versions of Oracle for an extended period of time, but who now have to consider not only the impact of a fundamental change in database software, but the implications of a shift in server technology.


For more on Oracle 11g upgrades
Get advice for Oracle 11gupgrades from an upgrade veteran

Read a step-by-step Oracle database 11g upgrade document

Learn about the benefits of an  upgrade from 10g to 11g

Traditionally, most IT departments have stuck to the time-tested theories of SDLC (System Design Life Cycle), where a technology is kept in place until the cost of maintaining that technology exceeds the cost of replacement. But with the adoption of web-based applications, middleware integration and compliance-driven initiatives, external factors have come into play to drive the upgrade cycle. Applying those factors to an Oracle upgrade brings up some interesting points and highlights the advantages of Oracle 11g over earlier versions.

Oracle 11g is available in four separate editions, Express Edition, Standard Edition One, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. While each of these editions offers different capabilities, such as total database size and number of processors supported, all share the key reasons for upgrading from an earlier version of an Oracle database. 11g brings the following enhancements to the table:

  • Support for unstructured data: Oracle 11g includes a new storage representation and indexing method for XML documents, binary XML and XML Index. Binary XML improves storage efficiency and XML Index provides a performance improvement of 15 fold in accessing XML documents.
  • Information Growth Management: Oracle 11g introduces Interval and REF partitioning, which simplifies the maintenance of databases across different platforms, while improving the versatility of how data is organized. Administrators can now define equal ranges of information, which the database uses to automatically create new partitions, as qualifying data is inserted into a table. REF partitioning handles automating partitioning schemes for parent-child tables so that the child table simply inherits the parent's partitioning scheme.
  • Reduction in hardware costs: Oracle's ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) offers a method for reducing storage costs. ILM offers the ability to place the data in multiple storage tiers. As data ages and is less active, it is placed on lower cost storage media.
  • Improved Performance: Performance has been improved by using server and client side result caching. Administrators can see as much as a two times performance increase for PL/SQL and 11 times for Java. The Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM) can now diagnose performance issues in Oracle RAC environment with the SQL Performance analyzer.
  • Compliance and Security Improvements: Oracle Secure Backup offers data encryption at the table space level and stores tape data in an encrypted and compressed format. Additional support for hardware security module (HSM) devices allows high performance encryption and supports auditing for DML.

Those additional features are just a small cross section of the enhancements offered by Oracle 11g and pretty much puts to rest the arguments against upgrading, at least from a software point of view. Those considering upgrades will also need to address hardware requirements. At the departmental level, most upgrades will be to Oracle 11g Standard Edition One, which supports two processor sockets (two physical CPUs), no limits on database size, support for 64-bit operating systems (including Windows, Linux and Unix), and all major Oracle features for a single site/location SQL database.

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