June 27, 2019 By Kamal Tandon 3 min read

With Oracle customers facing an uncertain SPARC future, many are reconsidering what the IT infrastructure of their future looks like. Those looking for consolidation of their Oracle workloads, as well as high performance, security, resiliency, availability, massive scalability and virtualization may find their answer with IBM LinuxONE with flash arrays. While moving to LinuxONE is a great plan, the idea of migrating to a new IT infrastructure platform produces anxiety for many IT teams, especially in companies with a substantial quantity of data to move. Platform migration can mean downtime for your systems, operational changes and technical risk — just to name a few of the common migration worries.

When beginning this journey, you need to make the right decision for your organization when it comes to the both the server and the available services.

Choosing the right server

There are several critical considerations that any organization choosing a server for an Oracle workload should be aware of:

  • Scalability: Scalability is always an issue with engineered systems, which often requires you to continuously buy more and larger new releases. LinuxONE systems mean fewer servers to buy and maintain.
  • Easy patching and upgrades: Some platforms, like Exadata, require you to be more aggressive with patching your Exadata cell and database software and can be complicated to upgrade. Others like LinuxONE can offer easier processes.
  • Backup and testing setup: With engineered systems, you have no option of offloading the production backup systems or quickly implementing new test environments. LinuxONE’s easy backup and test setup brings big benefits.
  • Ability to copy large data sets: Engineered systems usually don’t include an easy path to copying large data sets but in large, 24×7 IT environments, this is critical. One should consider features like IBM FlashCopy, which enables data to be used with a variety of applications, supporting many initiatives such as software development, business integration and data analysis.
  • Disaster recovery: A DR and near DR site with engineered systems can lead to significant cost increases, and many Exadata-specific features can’t be used with DR. LinuxONE systems have built-in DR features that allow you to economically build more complete and resilient DR systems.

Making the move

After you make the choice to move from Oracle to LinuxONE, there’s no need to panic. While migration can be a daunting task, working with experienced consultants can make a big difference.

Defining an Oracle database migration strategy depends on the source database platform (little endian or big endian). Oracle Exadata runs on standard commodity Intel x86 servers, a little endian platform running Oracle Linux. Exadata runs a standard Oracle database, the same one that runs on IBM LinuxONE. But, migration from an engineered system to LinuxONE can pose various challenges like cross platform and endian conversion and therefore requires detailed planning, especially defining a strategy to transfer the data, given the potential performance impact due to proprietary features of Exadata.

IBM Systems Lab Services has successfully migrated multiple-database workloads for many enterprise class clients. We also help organizations that want to migrate an Oracle database or applications from competing platforms to IBM LinuxONE systems for improved performance and resilience.

Exadata to LinuxOne migration: High-level approach

IBM recommends an initial assessment as a first step. The assessment can help determine the impact and usage of specific key features of Exadata like Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC), Smart Flash Cache, Smart Scan, Cell-Offload Processing and Storage Indexes. Other important considerations include database size, big file table spaces, how the database might be partitioned, objects being used, number of tables and content of tables.

After completing the assessment, IBM works with you to choose the appropriate migration methodology based on the following database metrics:

  • Size of the database
  • Database version
  • Downtime window for migration
  • Compatibility with the applications being used
  • Complexity (HCC, data types, database layout and the like)
  • Source and target architecture and configurations
  • Network connectivity, for quick movement of data between source and target
  • Business requirements including downtime, application dependencies

With an experienced partner like IBM, you have a team of knowledgeable IT professionals to guide you through a proof of concept, mock runs, rigorous testing and automation, troubleshooting and performance optimization techniques, giving you the confidence to progress on your IT journey with IBM LinuxONE.

Contact Lab Services today

Lab Services offers infrastructure services to help organizations build the foundation of a smart enterprise, and we can help you make the move from Oracle Exadata to LinuxONE. Contact us if you have questions about a database migration or other IT infrastructure issue.

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