January 9th, 2011

I’m not sure if you can imagine the ease and savings of virtualizing databases

1) Super fast provision of as many copies of a database as you want – three clicks and a few minutes to stand up a fully functional, point-in-time 10g/11g database copy/clone no matter the size (based off one RMAN backup – one backup copy is *shared* by all virtual databases)

2) Storage savings - a new database copy basically only consists of some pointers and the space it takes for private redo and temp. The original RMAN backup is also compressed typically by 50%.

Delphix doesn’t require filesystem snashots or EMC or NetApps. It only requires an x86 box with about the same amount of the disk space of the database you want to virtualize. The source database is copied onto the Delphix machine with RMAN calls, the data is compressed and Delphix handles the snapshots and provisioning of virtual databases. Virtual database can be provisioned from the original source copy, or any incremental snapshot or if log shipping is used, then any SCN or date in between down to the second. Then you can make as many copies as you want, with in reason, for almost free in terms of storage.

This idea is being harnessed by more and more companies across different industries – we’ve implemented this at (part of ebay), Tivo (consumer tech), Corporate Express (retail), Tagged (social networking), Clearwire (telcom), KLA Tencor (hardware), Holland America (travel) .

When I talk to customers who don’t have development or QA copies of production I cringe. Usually developers work on subsets of production and often query performance on these subsets  doesn’t reflect the performance in production. Even if production is fully copied into a development database, there is often just one copy shared by all the developers and QA. Any change to this copy has to go through a number of hoops and signoffs which slows down the development process and saps  developer’s motivation. I don’t know if you can imagine having a copy per developer of production where each developer can make and test as many changes as fast as they want on an exact copy of production – it’s awesome and inspires the developers. After the developers are confident about their modifications they can submit the final change request for review.

Delphix makes all of this easy with no changes on production and  the creation of virtual database is just a few clicks of a mouse in GUI .
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