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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

Tag: DBA

New Oracle 12c R2 features for on-premise customers

April 22nd, 2017

At LSG Solutions, a key part of our work is anticipating new releases from Oracle and defining how they will help our customers. One such release, Oracle's 12c Release 2 (also known as detailed release 12.2.0.1), is now available for on-premise customers.

Previously only available to cloud customers, this version's new features continue Oracle's commitment to streamlining systems for business.

Here are a few important features included in this release.

Hot Cloning

In this version, there is no need to put the source into read-only for cloning. You can refresh a clone and relocate a PDB. This allows for a smoother software development cycle, as well as more efficient integration and delivery.

Expanded Partitioning

Without impacting current DML operations, 12.2.0.1 allows you to convert non-partitioned tables to partitioned tables online. They can also be set to read-only status to prevent inadvertent DML action.

These expanded partitioning features increase the manageability of various applications and continue to drive down the cost for storing volumes of data.

Vault Simulation Mode Protection

Security continues to be a top priority in this version. Vault simulation mode protection allows customers to test realms and command rules protections without denying access to the user.

Violations are logged on a simulation log file for tracking.

This feature increases efficiencies, which allows you to move new realms and command rules to production more quickly.

Approximate Query Processing

Being able to quickly access accurate information from your database is essential for business agility. This new feature allows approximate results of large volumes of data with little deviation from the exact numbers.

Again, aggregation of data in this manner speeds up processing time and makes better use of resources.

As with every new release, we know you may have questions specific to your business and systems. Please contact us for more information. We can help you plan next steps to support your business.

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Oracle ODA X6 and SMB affordability

October 4th, 2016

smb-server-roomSmall and medium businesses have unique database needs. In the past, business owners were priced out of robust appliance applications. But a new option from Oracle is changing that.

This summer, Oracle unveiled a new database appliance specifically for small businesses; the Oracle Database Appliance X6. This is a new version of still-current appliance, the X4 and X5.

The X6 still offers the same ease of set up as Oracle’s other versions. This hardware line is set up as a high availability system, with loads of redundancy. As a 2-server-in-1 option, it allows for a tremendous reduction in downtime. The server is also certified with Standard Edition 2.

Here are a few features that differentiate X6 from the previous versions.

Affordability: The price of X4 and X5 priced out many small and medium businesses. Business owners had to contend with fulfilling a database need in small, affordable increments by paying someone for their time, versus a relatively high cost of buying the X4 or X5 ODA.

Small business savvy: The X6 is specialized for small business. If you’re an SMB and need to run an around-the-clock database system, this is a good choice. It’s meant for people who need to run one database in production on site.

Storage: Buyers should take note that because it’s scaled for small business, X6 has limited storage. This appliance application is geared for organizations whose storage needs won’t grow past 10 terabytes.

Oracle X6 is available in two sizes: 2S (small) and 2M (medium):

 Oracle Database Appliance X6-2SOracle Database Appliance X6-2M
SizeOne rack unit serverOne rack unit server
ProcessorOne 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4Two 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4
Memory128 GB expandable to 384 GB256 GB expandable to 768 GB
Networking2x 10GbE SFP+ (fiber) and 2x 10GBase-T (copper) ports2x 10GbE SFP+ (fiber) and 4x 10GBase-T (copper) ports
Storage6.4 TB high performance NVMe flash storage6.4 TB high performance NVMe flash storage
Storage ManagementOracle Auto Storage Management (ASM)Oracle Auto Storage Management (ASM)
Database SE2 or EESE2 or EE

Oracle Database Appliance X6 offers database option accessibility to the small business market like never before. Not sure if this is a good fit for your business? Contact us today, and we will review options with you.

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Protect your customers’ information

April 5th, 2016

Old fortress, tower under attackAre you ever worried about someone hacking into your company’s database? It’s where all your most secure information is. If someone is able to bypass the security in your website, it’s often not much harder to access your database from there.

A security product from Oracle known as Oracle Firewall could help. It lets you see all the IP addresses of the people accessing your website, monitoring what kind of data is being requested. It also serves as a barrier between your website and your database, making it more difficult to get to your most secure data.

One way you can use this firewall to protect your data is to change the accessibility settings on your website. You have the capability to block your website’s accessibility to people outside of the United States.

If your business is international, of course, that would be a terrible thing to do. But if all of your current and future clients will be Americans, you can filter out literally billions of people who would not be customers but could potentially be hackers by toggling those settings.

Depending on what someone hacks on a website, it could be a minor, embarrassing nuisance, or a large security breach. If someone hacks your website and changes a page, that’s embarrassing. But that’s all it is. If a hacker is able to break into your database, there’s the potential for a significant confidentiality breach, especially if you keep credit card information or social security numbers in your database.

This Oracle firewall is a great resource for website owners who are worried about their customers’ security. It could be a good fit for your business if you need to be PCI (or PCIDSS) compliant to do credit card business, if you need to be HIPAA compliant, or if you need to adhere to SOX. All the security requirements for your printed information are required for your online information as well.

For optimal security, you need to have access-level reporting that will tell you the location of the people who are accessing your website. This system will take care of that.

It can even monitor SQL commands to determine what kind of data is being requested. That means this Oracle security system can help block hackers from your database based on what they’re looking for on your website. They won’t even get close.

This firewall will give you realtime alerts and you can give it passive or active permission for monitoring and addressing threats. It works for a variety of database systems, as well-not just on Oracle systems.

Whether you’re a small business-owner or you have your own IT team, this new Oracle system can greatly increase your company’s database security. Especially if you have confidential information stored on your database, it’s worth your consideration.

If you want to know more about this security system, feel free to give us a call.

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Why Datapeers?

January 19th, 2016

Database copyingData needs are ever changing within organizations. In order to test environments or new features for that data, it’s necessary to make a copy of the database.

This can be problematic, especially with large databases. Not only can the task of copying the database take a large amount of time and manpower, ensuring there is enough storage, both for the actual database and the test copy can be a challenge.

Datapeers was created to resolve these and other issues. Here are just a few of the benefits.

Reduces Maintenance Costs

Instead of the headache of purchasing extra data storage, just for testing purposes, Datapeers allows you to copy just what you need, thus reducing storage costs.

This allows needed information to be copied directly from the original database without copying the entire database, which may be several terabytes.

Because it also minimizes the environments deployment times, this saves resources during testing.

Delivers Quality Data

One of the challenges of large databases is inaccuracy when information is copied. Datapeers corrects that issue by only copying the needed information.

This can be especially critical when testing needs to be accomplished with real-time production data. Instead of test information being days or weeks old, fresh data can be used in a subset database environment.

Protects Sensitive Information

Does your organization need to share its sensitive data, which could reveal confidential information in the process, to a third party? Is your organization faced with data protection laws?

The protection of your organization’s sensitive information is paramount, especially during testing or training and development. The use of Datapeers can insure that your company’s test data policies are being enforced.

Fast and Easy to Use

Finally, Datapeers provides a way to simplify the complex. Quit spending large amounts of man-hours year after year securing and prepping sensitive data in non-production database environments.

Datapeers allows the work to be done of the front end, without having to replicate the entire database during the test of every new feature. This drastically reduces testing preparation time.

As the face of data storage and management continues to change, Datapeers seeks to solve the associated problems. Allowing greater efficiency in testing and development generates efficiency in all areas of business, providing a winning solution.

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Jump start team productivity

November 17th, 2015

DBA for increased productivityThe idea of building a house without a strong foundation doesn’t sound very smart, does it? We all know without a solid base, the walls and roof would eventually collapse, leaving the owner with an inhabitable home.

That same analogy can be used to understand the importance of Oracle Administrators. They set the rebar and pour the concrete of the foundational structure of a platform, so to speak. Here’s a few things to know about their foundational work.

A High Learning Curve

The administrative role and tasks associated with it have a high learning curve. In other words, there’s a lot to know just to lay down the platform.

Using an Oracle administrator frees your team up to do with they do best, like developing software products. The return on investment for that productivity is likely a better option than the cost of time and capital just building the initial structure.

On Premise PaaS

In order to achieve results quickly, using a company, such as LSG Solutions, as the system administrator is the equivalent of having an on-premise platform-as-a-service (PaaS). We are able to offer this specialty type service due to our in-house talent.

Businesses find that the time savings alone is enough to offset the cost. In other words, let us do what we do well, so that you can do what you do well.

Wrapping It Up

At LSG Solutions, we strive to meet the unique IT needs of each of our clients. Every business is different, and so technology needs will always vary. We have the ability to outline your needs and provide solutions.

To find out more about how we can provide resolution for your organization’s IT challenges, please contact us today. LSG Solutions stands ready to help you move your business forward.

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Oracle launches Standard Edition 2

October 20th, 2015

Small and medium business databaseOracle has always offered a database option for small to medium sized businesses with Oracle Database Standard. When compared to Oracle Enterprise, the cost savings alone, made it the obvious choice for its targeted users.

However, Oracle continues to upgrade and develop new software and databases to meet the changing needs of customers. Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 is part of that change.

Oracle says that Standard Edition 2 is:

  • An affordable, full-featured database
  • Built for ease of use, power, and performance
  • Available on servers supporting a maximum of two sockets
  • Optimized for small business

Comparing Standard Edition 2 and Enterprise Edition

When deciding which option may best fit your business, it’s important to understand the differences between Oracle’s two types of databases.

Standard Edition 2

This version was specifically created for small businesses. It is scalable as your business grows. However, you should be aware of possible licensing requirements when changing from one version to another.
As mentioned above, affordability is a hallmark of this version. Prices range from $700 to $17,500. Though it has a maximum support of two sockets, this is typically a good option for small to medium sized businesses.

Enterprise Edition

For those businesses needing greater scalability, Enterprise Edition will be the better choice. This version is available on single and clustered servers. There is no socket limitation.

Cost will be a consideration with this version as prices range from $4,750 to $47,500. Before choosing this option, you will want to discuss your business needs with Oracle professionals. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Moving Forward

As Oracle moves forward with Standard 2, customers may have questions about migrating from their old edition to the new. Oracle says they expect this to be a seamless process. Though, as with any new database, delays or challenges may arise. It is important to fully understand the transition, and how it will affect your business before the migration actually occurs.

We at LSG Solutions look forward to speaking with you and working with you through this change. Please contact us with any questions or simply to discuss options.

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No full time DBA needed

June 16th, 2015

Bored DBAOur experience with Oracle and large SQL Server systems has taught us that a production database, if managed correctly, shouldn't require a full-time administrator. Combine that with the fact that DBA jobs currently exceed the supply of experience and trained personnel, and that's why we offer a managed services solution called Remote Control.

If you manage to find and hire a qualified DBA, it's actually a fairly risky endeavor. Because they're in such high demand, keeping them can be difficult and expensive. If they feel bored or underpaid, they're fairly easily able to move on to a different job.

On the flip side, your strategy can be to hire someone less experienced and train them. However, while you're training them, it's risky to have them managing the production database, as they don't yet have the expertise to effectively do so. And once you've invested the resources in training them, you're back in the position of employing a qualified DBA that's in high demand.

By using our Remote Control solution, you let us take care of the problem in a number of ways.

1. Reacting to issues

Of course, you can use monitoring software, and we can help set that. up. However, how do you know what to do when the problem actually happens?

Most drivers know when a light on their dashboard comes on that something needs attention. However, they typically have to take their car into the shop to actually fix it.

Similarly, monitoring packages can notify you about a known problem, but they can't help you fix it. And they can't notify you if a new type of problem crops up, either. They also can't design databases, patch production databases, clone environments to a development server, or help programming staff on optimizing their SQL statements.

2. Keeping DBA's engaged

One huge problem in retaining DBA's is keeping them actively engaged so that they don't get bored and move on to another job.

At LSG Solutions, our DBA's work with a variety of clients, and on a variety of projects. So the risk of them leaving out of boredom is far, far lower.

3. Concentrate on your core business

Finally, outsourcing or just augmenting DBA personnel allows you and your team to concentrate on improving your core business.

We enable businesses to achieve and sustain their annual and long-term growth goals via our Remote Control managed services .

If you believe that's worth a conversation, feel free to contact us at 405-285-2500.

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Upgraded Oracle Database Appliance: ODA X5-2

March 3rd, 2015

ODA X5-2We talked last year about Oracle’s solution for companies that need to roll out a new database and application infrastructure quickly, Oracle's Database Appliance (ODA). It utilizes a number of technologies that make it a highly intelligent solution for large networks.

We’re committed to the ODA as a solution when it is a good fit, and are now offering the recently released ODA X5-2.

The new model has the following key features:

  • Fully integrated and complete database and application appliance
  • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle Real Application Clusters or Oracle Real Application Clusters One Node
  • Oracle Automatic Storage Management
  • Oracle ASM Cluster File System
  • Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
  • Two database servers
  • Up to two storage shelves
  • InfiniBand interconnect
  • Solid-state drives for database redo logs and frequently accessed data

Essentially, it’s a rack-mountable system containing two Oracle Linux servers and one storage shelf.

The biggest difference from the previous model is that this one has more memory and more horsepower. Each of the servers contains two 18-core Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 processors, 256 GB of memory, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet external networking connectivity. The two servers are connected using a redundant InfiniBand interconnect for cluster communication.

There are 64 TB of raw storage that’s double or triple mirrored, resulting in 32 TB or 21.3 TB of usable database storage. There are also four 400 GB solid-state drives for frequently accessed data, and four 200 GB SSDs for database redo logs to boost performance.

If you need a surprisingly affordable database appliance, contact us to see if the ODA X5-2 is a good fit for your needs.

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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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How to Eliminate Expensive DBA Turnover

November 30th, 2012

Are you sick and tired of training your DBA's, then watching them leave? You're not alone. Nobody wants to constantly be training new DBA's, have them around for just a short period of time, then watch them leave.

Fortunately, that brain drain is one of the primary problems LSG Solutions help companies in Oklahoma and surrounding states address.

Many times, database administrators move around from company to company. They really want to be challenged by the work they're doing. If there aren't many new projects, they get bored. They want to experiment and learn with new technology.

Essentially, they are constantly concerned that they may be getting rusty. Playing with those new technologies lets them keep their skills sharp. The issue is that if you don't have that kind of dynamic environment, and you keep hiring good DBA's, you'll keep losing them. If they're good, they know the only way to stay fresh is to be somewhere they can learn those new skills.

LSG Solutions can help retain those employees by taking care of the mundane, routine database monitoring that bores your DBA. We continually monitor and review your production database environment with the goal of proactively identifying and eliminating factors that tend to end up causing issues.

We have over 10 years of DBA success, and can provide you with senior-level production support coverage on a fixed fee basis.

When you have us do that monitoring instead of your DBA, it frees him up to be constantly challenged with more interesting projects. And since he's working on more interesting projects, he's much less likely to leave you for greener pastures.

If you've been frustrated by high DBA turnover, contact us at 405-285-2500 or at sales@lsgsolutions.com to see if we're a good fit for your DBA needs.

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CONTACT

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