What is our primary use case?
We implemented Oracle Data Guard for disaster recovery, even though one can't implement disaster recovery across multiple sites using stretch clusters, and implement a server pool at both sites. You have to build a dedicated server pool on each of the locations.
What is most valuable?
We only use this solution from a functionality point of view to provide software coverage, so I haven't seen any special functionalities yet. It just really provides recovery in case of a disaster. It also provides a really good product forecast, like what will happen after 2023.
What needs improvement?
It is a rather complex solution, so it could be more user-friendly.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution has been stable so far. I would like to know what the performance impact will be when we go to the really big database of a customer. Because you have to synchronize everything to that effective location, with no data loss extracted, which means you have to go for a really hot interface. So you have to look at the experience for big databases. But so far there have been no problems with big databases.
How are customer service and technical support?
So far we've only had to open one ticket regarding a failure with the encryption manager of defected fault and it was handled well. We've dealt with Oracle's customer service for eight years, and their service is astonishingly good.
How was the initial setup?
Oracle has a team that can help you with the setup. We have tested the solution for more than 2 months because moving our labeled, especially our big databases, because it's always an issue. With Data Guard, the main thing was for the application to switch the default recovery site in case of a disaster, and finding out how to score this site afterwards.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It's a master of making money! If you want to have everything automated and done smoothly, you have to add additional licenses. They should have more standard licenses without us having to go for additional licenses to get full support.
Regarding infrastructure, most of the time the additional costs for uploading systems, alarming the operations, patching the operating system, caring about the shadow data, all of this needs to be maintained as well. So we end up having additional costs and that's why I would advise others to avoid it, if possible.
What other advice do I have?
I don't really have any advice for other users, because we only use the solution's basic functionality for disaster recovery. Personally, I would advise others to avoid it due to its complexity. On a scale from one to ten, I rate this solution a seven. From a functionality point of view, I can't complain about Data Guard. But I would avoid it as it adds more complexity to a configuration, which is not necessary. From a setup point of view, Oracle has experienced people that will help you with it.