Understanding the business benefits of using ADB
Now that you have an understanding of Autonomous Databases and are considering migrating your database workload to the ADB platform, the very next thing that comes to your mind is what the business value is – potential savings, TCO, ROI, and more. Well, all these are valid concerns, as technical merits are not the only decision-making factor when considering the cloud as a platform for workload migration. You might be interested in comparing the cost of business as usual versus operating from the Oracle cloud. You might need to create a TCO/ROI analysis before a decision can be taken by the LOB or senior management. Oracle’s Data Management Cloud Services team provides a tool to provide guidance in this regard. A TCO calculator was made publicly available by the Oracle team to help organizations or individuals see a detailed breakdown of the potential cost savings that they would realize if they moved their database workload deployments to Oracle’s Database Cloud Service. The TCO calculator provides a side-by-side comparison to an equivalent on-premises deployment or competitive deployments, as well as a detailed report of potential cost savings in terms of compute, storage, software, and facility expenditures. We will look at the steps to calculate a TCO once we understand the various metrics that impact the TCO.
We can look at several metrics that can help you understand TCO comparisons with any traditional deployment or other cloud vendors:
- Improved business performance gains – operating margin improvement due to targeted end process (business) improvement(s)
- Improved DBA and system administrator productivity
- Reduced development cycle time
- Reduced IT infrastructure acquisition
- Reduced IT infrastructure maintenance and support
- Reduced non-compliance risks – data
- Reduced planned and unplanned downtime
- Reduced security and data breaches
We will discuss some of these benefits in detail in the next sections.
Improved business performance gains
- Customers focus on their data and application without worrying about any configuration in terms of infrastructure or database software such as RDBMS and Grid Infrastructure software. ADB automatically handles creating the ADW, ATP, or AJD offering (for example, the compute, storage, and network configuration), securing data (for example, encryption by default at rest and in transit), backing up the database, patching and upgrading the database without downtime, and scaling the database up or down (without impacting system performance or customer experience). As a result, customers can quickly deploy the database while freeing up technical staff to assist with business insight (rather than maintaining infrastructure).
- Second, Autonomous Databases can easily integrate into a variety of on-premises, cloud, and hybrid systems, allowing firms to securely consolidate information for analysis and reporting. Additionally, ATP also supports both relational and non-relational data models to reduce data fragmentation and management issues resulting from siloed data stores.
- Finally, on-demand scalability lowers the threshold for starting and growing data warehouse projects, so proof-of-concept and pilot projects can occur without major financial investments and related approvals. ATP provides in-database ML algorithms to make it easier to build ML models and analytical dashboards without moving data out of the database, resulting in improvided business insight.
Improved DBA and system administrator productivity
By design, Autonomous Databases can increase DBA productivity as follows:
- With ADB, customers do not need to configure or manage any hardware or install any software. Database creation, backups, patching, security/encryption, and scaling up or down all are automatic. For example, all OS and SYSDBA operations are carried out automatically, settings are tuned, and errors are diagnosed and remediated. By continually monitoring the cluster for unusual changes, Oracle can compare any anomalies against known issues and automatically apply a fix (or create a service request and escalate as appropriate).
- ADB provides automatic downtime protection with high availability built into every component and proven Oracle database technologies (for example, RAC, Exadata, and so on) and HA features such as Autonomous Data Guard and cloning.
- ADB does not require manual tuning. Whether it is ADW or ATP, customers just need to load the data using a traditional method, such as Data Pump or GoldenGate, and they can get going with application queries without worrying about specific partitioning schemes, parallelism, indexing, compression algorithms, and so on. Based on the workload behavior (ADW or ATP), the database is automatically configured for high performance, leveraging ML at the backend. ADB continuously optimizes memory, data formats, indexes, parallelism, queries, and so on for each workload using ML.
- ADB offers dedicated cloud-ready migration tools for easy migration from Amazon Redshift, SQL Server, and other databases. As with other Oracle cloud solutions, ADB is fully compatible with existing Oracle on-premises data management workloads, so customers can leverage existing infrastructure and knowledge.
- Best practices for performance, availability, and security can be consistently and automatically implemented from the beginning.
Reduced development cycle time
Autonomous Databases help reduce development time:
- Architecture is the same for both the cloud and on-premises; there is also support for familiar development and administrative tools, such as Oracle SQL Developer, Data Pump, and SQL*Loader, so developers don’t need to learn about new ones when they use ADB.
- Customers get full interoperability with their on-premises Oracle databases, as well as integration with other Oracle (for example, Analytics Cloud) and third-party cloud services (for example, Amazon, Azure, various BI/analytics tools, and so on); migration tools are also provided for all major database providers. ADW supports multi-model data and workloads (e.g., analytical SQL, ML, graph, and spatial). ATP supports both relational and non-relational data models, along with Oracle’s low-code application development platform (APEX).
- Autonomous Databases do not require any tuning. ADB is designed as a “load and go” service: you start the service, define tables, load data, and then run queries. Customers do not need to consider any details about parallelism, partitioning, indexing, or compression. The service automatically configures the database for high-performance queries with ML optimizations.
- Customers can work directly with their data by connecting via any of the available Oracle client language libraries, including Oracle Net (SQL*Net), JDBC, and other drivers.
- The ability for developers and related groups to autonomously provision and elastically scale databases, rather than waiting weeks or months for traditional infrastructure acquisition, installation, and provisioning, can significantly improve productivity.
Reduced non-compliance risks – data
Autonomous databases provide enterprise-class security:
- An autonomous service, so it always runs the latest security patches and avoids the inevitable delays when administrators try to maintain hundreds or thousands of servers.
- Data is automatically encrypted by default in the cloud, as well as in transit and at rest, with customer-controlled keys. Data at rest is encrypted by default using TDE, and only authenticated users and applications can access the data when they connect to the database. Connections to ADB are made via SQL*Net. TCP and TCP with SSL security protocols are supported methods. TCP with SSL uses certificate-based authentication and the SSL security protocol. Using this mechanism, ADB ensures secure communication between the Oracle database and any clients that are connected to it and prevents any breach of the confidentiality of data during communication because of the encryption in place.
- ADB uses strong password complexity rules for all users based on Oracle Cloud security standards.
- Oracle’s autonomous cloud services offer adaptive intelligence-enabled cyber threat detection and remediation.
- Administrative access privileges are greatly reduced, increasing resiliency against human errors, malicious insiders, and hackers.
- Security best practices can be consistently implemented from the beginning. By improving the overall security and offering the agility to meet new requirements, ADB can help reduce non-compliance security risks.
Reduced planned downtime
Autonomous Databases offer excellent availability features with a 99.995% SLA (less than 2.5 minutes of unplanned and planned downtime per month).
ADB is based on proven, enterprise-class Oracle technologies and solutions (for example, RAC, Exadata, etc.), offering high availability characteristics and redundancies. Secondly, patching, updates, and backups are automatically applied without service interruptions; the same is true for the on-demand scaling up/down of compute and storage resources. In fact, since all aspects of the service are autonomously handled on a standardized, extremely scalable platform operated by Oracle, planned maintenance activities can be more easily handled, and best practices (for example, rolling patching) are consistently applied from the beginning.
Reduced unplanned downtime
Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service (ADWCS) offers excellent availability features with a 99.95% SLA. First, ADB is based on proven, enterprise-class Oracle technologies and solutions (e.g., RAC, Exadata, Autonomous Data Guard, etc.) offering high availability characteristics and redundancies. Secondly, since ADB is fully compatible with on-premises Oracle databases and all existing applications, it is less likely to experience unplanned downtime.
Thirdly, since all aspects of the service are autonomously handled on a standardized platform operated by Oracle, the chance for human errors, as well as actions by malicious insiders and hackers, is greatly reduced. Moreover, availability best practices are consistently applied from the beginning. Equally, patching, updates, and backups are automatically applied without service interruptions; the same is true for the on-demand scaling up/down of compute and storage resources. Finally, ADWCS offers a single contact point for end-to-end support, which can further reduce the amount of time spent troubleshooting issues.
Reduced IT infrastructure acquisition
Autonomous Databases provide virtually unlimited scaling capacity with no upfront hardware and software costs for the hardware involved with either transaction processing, analytics, JSON, or mixed workload database infrastructure. Other than paying for an initial subscription, there are no other upfront costs. Additional resources can be purchased as needed in any combination of computing and storage sizes (that is, no rigid shapes). ADB offers both serverless and dedicated deployment options on ECS, so customers can balance costs and other considerations (for example, performance, security isolation, software control, and so on). ADB offers instant scaling up/down of compute or storage independently of each other with no downtime. This elasticity avoids the need to acquire and provision transaction processing and mixed workload infrastructure potentially months or even years in advance, thereby shifting customers to a cost model driven by actual usage, rather than longer-term projections.
Further, ADB offers proven Oracle features and solutions including Active (or Autonomous) Data Guard, RAC, multitenant options, and Exadata infrastructure. With these capabilities, customers can conserve bandwidth, improve performance, and reduce cloud requirements to further decrease costs. Finally, since Oracle architectures, standards, and products are similar for the cloud and on-premises, migrations, integrations, and other changes are relatively seamless, allowing transparent movement between the two. As a result, a firm’s existing transaction processing and mixed workload infrastructure can be reduced and simplified.
Reduced IT infrastructure maintenance and support
ADB provides a virtually unlimited scaling capacity without many of the ongoing infrastructure maintenance and support costs for traditional on-premises or third-party hosting environments involved with transaction processing and mixed workload database infrastructure. Firstly, with its elastic capacity, ADB customers avoid maintaining and supporting the under-utilized infrastructure that typically exists at their own sites. The compute and storage capacity can be adjusted independently. Secondly, ADB operates at a scale that isn’t achievable for most firms, providing further cost advantages. ADB offers both serverless and dedicated deployment options on ECS, so customers can balance costs and other considerations (e.g., performance, security isolation, software control, and so on). Thirdly, ADB offers proven Oracle features and solutions including Active (or Autonomous) Data Guard, RAC, multitenant options, and Exadata infrastructure. Finally, since Oracle architectures, standards, and products are similar for the cloud and on-premises, related knowledge and procedures are easily transferable. Together, these features and capabilities help reduce maintenance-related costs.
Steps to calculate the TCO
Please perform the following steps to calculate the TCO/ROI for your use case:
- First, go to the TCO tool at the following link: https://valuenavigator.oracle.com/benefitcalculator/faces/inputs?id=408D37F02AF0A012283B0D29A4A0708A.
- Once there, click on the Start Now arrow.
- Now, you will need to input your company name, select a location, and a currency type.
- Review and generate the report.
Let’s review each step in detail. Open the following URL in a browser: https://valuenavigator.oracle.com/benefitcalculator/faces/inputs?id=408D37F02AF0A012283B0D29A4A0708A. This will open up the ADW TCO page as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 1.7 – TCO tool page for ADW
When you click on Review your figures, it presents you with a TCO calculation based on certain assumptions and also provides an opportunity for you to edit assumptions for your specific scenarios. For example, you can choose either Bring Your Own License (BYOL) or License Included for TCO calculations. Many other parameters can be changed to suit your needs.
In the next screenshot, you can see a place to describe the environment, such as the number of cores available in computing, the size of storage, which can be calculated based on usable or raw storage capacity, and so on:
Figure 1.8 – TCO comparison for ADW versus traditional deployments
For example, Figure 1.9 compares on-premises TCO versus the cloud TCO for ADB and shows a 70% cost reduction; if you look at the TCO section, it shows cost distribution across software, compute, storage, network, and labor. The Environment section compares cores or OCPUs and storage across two environments.
Figure 1.9 – TCO savings with ADB
Figure 1.10 – TCO proposal download for ADB
Figure 1.11 – Three-year TCO savings representation with ADB
From this screenshot, a comparison of business-as-usual deployment versus that of Oracle Cloud clearly shows two things: reduction in cost and fewer resources needed on autonomous services compared to a traditional deployment because of Exadata-based database capabilities. It is a great saving for customers and helps them make the decision to move their workload to the cloud with data points in hand.
With the TCO and ROI calculator report, the next step would be to get costing involved based on the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) of the Autonomous Database and associated storage, and so on. Let’s see how you can easily create a Bill of Material (BOM) for your solution.