Oracle Data Guard Review

Very stable but difficult to implement and maintain

How has it helped my organization?

One of my customer's sites was a database made with Data Guard specifically because of some issues that were on the network. We found we could switch to Oracle Data Guard and it took less than one minute to switch over, which was fantastic. 

What is most valuable?

I'm constantly looking for the best solution for protecting my data in data filters, and most are powerless in terms of protecting our Oracle database. The Oracle Replication Solutions and Oracle Data Guard are the best in this area, however. The stability and resiliency are closely monitored, and you cannot find the same protection solution outside of Data Guard or Oracle RAC for protecting your data. 

It's a very good solution if you want to protect your data across two data centers, or you have a middle man or many administrators who use these solutions for protecting their data. It's very reliable compared to other solutions that are most often not storage-based.

What needs improvement?

Oracle is not easy to implement, and you cannot find clear documentation on the internet or, unfortunately, on the Oracle website. You have to do a lot of research yourself and spend a lot of time seeking out all of the best documents that are related to Oracle on other websites. If they could create more documentation and improve their library of resources, it would be very helpful.

The IP implementation and maintenance are a little bit hard to manage across Oracle solutions, including Oracle Data Guard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for more than eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Oracle Data Guard is quite stable but you do need to check on it every day to ensure functionality. You have to define some of the operating system stabilities yourself and you need to be sure to deal with any problem in your operating system because good functionality really depends on the operating system. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good because you can cluster your Oracle Data Guard and Oracle RAC. That way you can switch to Oracle Data Guard gives you scalability, and, in comparison with other solutions, it is very stable and scalable because of these features. Most engineers prefer to use Oracle Database. Compared with other solutions, Oracle is a little bit hard to implement and maintain but as a technology, it's very good.

In terms of the number of users on the solution, it varies by project. On one of our latest projects, we had more than 10,000 people directly on the database.

How are customer service and technical support?

Unfortunately, because of sanctions, we can't directly contact Oracle or use Oracle's knowledge base. I've indirectly contacted them because, in some cases, it's a must to have Oracle support. Sometimes you can't solve problems and you need to have accessibility to support to solve them. Support is very important in many cases because the information is crucial for many companies that want to avoid facing disasters in their data centers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't previously use a different solution. We exclusively use Oracle products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very complex. Users need to be familiar with the operating system, as well as how their network and Oracle Concepts as a network, work.  

In our last implementation, deployment took between five and eight hours. There were some problems in correcting each solution on the network and then we wanted to test for its stability and we wanted to simulate the environment quality before pushing it online. 

Ultimately, we found some problems and discovered how to resolve them after a few hours. We just needed to figure out how to connect the database directly on S08 LAN. We had many issues. In one case the link of S-storage was disconnected for example. 

Some countries try to persuade that you should use all of the networks, but in some cases, you have to find your own best way forward. In this case, we found we had to connect the storage models directly through the user feature on the Oracle Database.

Implementation is not easy. Going forward, I'm going to make a script for implementation for this database, and I think it's going to be easier for implementation in the future.

For most projects, we have two people that handle the implementation of the solution. One as a solutions engineer and the other was DBA administrator. Sometimes you also may need to use a network administrator as well. At minimum, you need two experts and maybe three in some cases. You want accurate maximum availability in-network, especially on the network.

What about the implementation team?

I implement this solution for some of my clients and I consult on the best way to implement the solution. Most of the information on the net is not reliable, but at this point, I'm an expert. I could write my own book on how to implement this solution for my customers. Most of the time I prefer dealing with user experience. Some firms also use ADEO to ensure my implementations are good and stable.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In some cases, some costumers chose to buy a lot of licenses to have software - at least at first. I'm not happy and okay with some policies of Oracle. In some cases, you have to pay extra money for some features. It's very hard to have access to software directly in comparison to buying some licenses. You can adjust them for some Oracle software, however, if you want to develop or expand your features, it's typically hard to do so in my country.

Based on my friend's and colleague's experience, they find it a little bit tricky to use Oracle for buying certain software or getting extra features, and based on my experience, most free and open-source projects are already pretty good. 

What other advice do I have?

Most of my projects are on-premise, and most of them are based on low-cost engineers and information on the internet.

Right now, the cloud is really good if you change units. There is a direct limitation on some solutions because of the cost being high for this type of software and I chose not to use the cloud. 

The solution is quite functional, however, I do find that some features are not great in real production. You need to have the software to ensure the continuity in the case of using Oracle.

I'd rate the solution six out of ten due to its difficulty in terms of maintenance and audio problems. I'm also looking for CTCT maintenance and implementation and wish is was a bit easier.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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