Blog

integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

August 2013

Can you afford database systems downtime?

August 20th, 2013

What is the cost of your IT systems being down for an hour? $10,000? $100,000? More? Not only does downtime lead to lost sales and production, there's the additional cost of damaged reputation, especially if your business provides a service to the public.

We offer solutions to downtime woes that often pay for itself by preventing just one outage.

High availability, low failure

Most downtime events are caused by a single point of failure – a network connection gets cut, hardware dies, or maybe something as simple as a power outage. Removing those points of failure is critical to achieving high uptime.

Various Oracle technologies allow your IT staff to protect mission critical databases and ensure that a single database server going down doesn't bring business to a halt. Whether your database is Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition, LSG Solutions leverages a variety of Oracle licensed options or custom non-licensed options, ensuring a safe, lossless, or minimal impact failover if there is an outage.

If an entire site goes down (maybe your datacenter lost power) remote failover servers can pick up the load and keep the business running until everything is operational again.

Scale up cheaply

One licensed option is Oracle Real Application Clusters, aka RAC. RAC provides businesses a way to increase performance without buying new, expensive hardware. Spare servers can be added to the cluster on the fly to meet performance requirements and help your business handle busy rushes. The management software is even smart enough to hand out high-workload tasks to the member servers with the most spare capacity.

Clusters don't need any additional software to run – you don't have to setup Windows clustering or any type of virtual solution to get up and going. It's self contained, so all you need are your servers, a network, and some shared storage to get started.

Using Oracle Real Application Clusters, LSG Solutions has been able to help businesses and governmental agencies keep their downtime to a minimum (Even basic tasks like patching and software updates can be performed with no downtime.). It's been a go-to solution when a client visits with us about system outages that cost them big money. In most cases, they can't afford not to implement it.

Another common option is the standby solution known as Oracle Data Guard. For those customers concerned about site failure and disaster recovery, Oracle Data Guard is typically a great fit. While it eliminates a single point of failure, the standby database managed by Data Guard operates with quasi-independence. One may offload user reporting processing to the ‘Active’ standby, which does not require any resources from the primary production database. Data Guard is included with your Enterprise Edition license. Active Data Guard is a superset option to the Data Guard option.

If you'd like to learn more about our high availability implementation solutions and how they can benefit your business, contact us at sales@lsgsolutions.com or 405-285-2500.

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Improving the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry

August 6th, 2013

Last year, LSG Solutions was contracted by the State of Oklahoma to update the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry (OSOR). In Phase One of the project we rebuilt OSOR using modern technology and gave law enforcement and the public better, more dependable access to this important tool.

The new OSOR has been a great success and now we've been contracted to continue those improvements and make it even better.

Beginning Phase Two

Phase One of the OSOR project was largely focused on technology. The application being used was outdated and difficult to use. Many features were broken and hindered law enforcement agencies' abilities to keep offender registrations up-to-date. In Phase One, LSG rebuilt OSOR from scratch and gave the State of Oklahoma a solid, modern foundation to build on.

In comparison, Phase Two is all about people. Now that OSOR has strong footing, we went to work improving processes and refining the application. Users had adapted their workflow to the quirks and limitations of the old system. Now we had the opportunity to ask them, "How do you want the application to work?"

Creating Priority

One of the first improvements we are working on is giving users a better view of important information. Users are spending a huge amount of time sifting through updates originating from local law enforcement because everything needing approval is being categorized into a few large non-prioritized buckets.

Critical updates about 3rd-tier sex offenders had the same appearance as minor notes and demographic updates. Because every new note in the system looked the same, everything had the same priority.

So we're using the context of the information that's already in the OSOR to highlight important updates and notes so Department of Corrections OSOR staff can be more efficient and deal with higher priority work sooner.

Refining the System

We're working closely with law enforcement officials and users at the State to tweak and refine all areas of the workflow to speed up offender processing and help officers spend more time on enforcement and less on paperwork and fighting against system limitations and downtime.

All remnants of the old application are being brought offline and the new OSOR is being migrated to a single, modern database that will be easier and more cost effective to update and maintain.

On the public front, we're improving notifications so that public users have more control over the locations they want to monitor and timely, informative updates when sex offenders move to their area.

As we make these changes, users are beginning to see the power and opportunities that the new OSOR provides and have begun to make requests for even more changes that give them new capabilities and make their jobs easier.

Phase Two has just started and there's already a huge level of excitement around it as we work together with the State of Oklahoma to make Oklahoma a safer place to live and work.

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CONTACT

501 E. 15th St., Suite 200B
Edmond, OK 73013
(405)285-2500
info@lsgsolutions.com