IOUG Insight: Oracle Database 12c—Consolidate Databases Without Compromising Security or Recovery Requirements

According to a recent survey on enterprise cloud environments conducted by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) there are plans for enterprises to move to more service platforms and especially database as a service. The IOUG survey shows 38% of the companies surveyed already running workloads in a cloud, with an expected increase of more than 51% in the number of companies using cloud within the next few years.

IT organizations see benefit in providing cloud services and database as a service in consolidation environments and in being able to deliver the needed business solutions quickly and cost-effectively. A first step to starting the journey to providing databases as a service is to consolidate database environments, and the Oracle Database 12c actually provides a great way to do just that.

More than 43% of the companies stated that they have many separate databases for each of the critical business applications, according to the IOUG survey. Being able to consolidate those databases is not necessarily an easy task. Typical reasons for creating separate databases for different applications might be security concerns, applications having different recovery or maintenance requirements, and the desire to allocate resources to database differently.

So, how can Oracle Database 12c help with these reasons to separate the databases in the first place?

Multitenant database architecture is definitely one way, and, along with the new features to manage and deploy databases, the consolidation effort just got easier.

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons for separate databases to see how 12c can help:

  1. Security. Isolation is one way to limit access to a database, and if there are different DBAs working on different databases, this isolation might have been necessary. With container databases and pluggable databases, the security can still be isolated to just the pluggable databases. Using the container database, DBAs could have access to manage the environment but be restricted from accessing individual pluggable database they are not managing. Having users separated by pluggable databases and even a container database, this security isolation is available. There are also plenty of other new security features with 12c, but that is a topic for another time.
  2. Maintenance and Recovery Requirements. In the 12c multitenant environment, each of the pluggable databases can be backed up using RMAN and recovered individually. They can be on different schedules and, instead of having to recover an entire instance, each of the individual pluggable databases can be recovered. The maintenance window might also be different to patch and upgrade. Here is where having pluggable databases and the ability to patch each one differently is an option. It starts to look like several separate databases at this point, but the container database does provide an easy way to manage, upgrade and perform the maintenance that is needed.
  3. Resources. Consolidation requires moving to single servers and sharing the resources on that server with all of the databases that are there. If these were all individual databases, they would each need memory and CPU allocated to the instance. One container database would manage all of the server resources, which would minimize the overhead needed for the individual database instances. The pluggable databases would share the resources, but they can be contained with resource plans. The consolidation effort to have fewer servers to host smaller database instances instead of several servers hosting would save on an environment’s costs for hardware and data center space. Even if there are a few individual databases on a server, having one container and creating pluggable databases for these will allow a more effective way to use the server’s resources.

The Importance of Providing a DBaaS Platform

Providing database as a service platform is a valuable company resource. It provides a database cloud for applications to minimize the rollout of their databases and continues to provide a secure and stable environment for their applications that is efficiently managed and maintained.

The new database features for Oracle Database 12c can simplify the consolidation of the databases that are needed in the important first step of the journey to delivering a database cloud.

Interested in learning more about the IOUG research survey referenced in this article. Please download a complimentary executive summary of the “Enterprise Cloudscapes: Deeper and More Strategic 2012–13 IOUG Cloud Computing Survey” at

Become an IOUG member today to gain access to full research reports as well as have the opportunity to participate in the studies themselves. Contact for more information.

About the author:

Michelle Malcher, president of the Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG), is a DBA team lead with several years of experience in database development, design, and administration.