Oracle Database Review

The most valuable features for us are the cloud-like traits of ODB, grid computing with version 11g onward, live database, and Data Guard.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the cloud-like traits of ODB, grid computing with version 11g onward, live database, and Data Guard.

How has it helped my organization?

We're a non-profit with branches all over the world -- Africa, India, and the US -- so we need a database solution that can be centralized. We have an entire datacenter in India, but our users need access to it from our other locations.

The key thing we need is a database that can pretty much run virtually in the cloud, that is, with a virtual datacenter. When we decided on Oracle three years ago, OBD was the only database that was cloud-like, scalable, and more robust than other solutions available at the time.

What needs improvement?

Honestly, it's not really in the cloud as such, but the definition of "cloud" changes daily. It's more on VMs, but the VM's are so powerful that we can access the database from anywhere without investments in machines or other hardware. We've been doing this since 2010 and we haven't hosted with cloud providers like Datamark or AWS, so we essentially have our own cloud.

While Oracle has been excellent, they haven't been growing or leaping forward like other vendors. I heard that Microsoft SQL Server will begin working with Linux. If that happens, Oracle has to do something because the cost will be one-tenth that of Oracle.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with the deployment of ODB.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good as the product has matured over the past few years. We initially implemented in 2014 and had upgrades since. We had some issues, which we told Oracle about and which they fixed. We had integration with a backend database because we are an Oracle workshop when it comes to database. They did not have too many customers using Oracle as a backend database.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't scaled because of the unique constraints of our customized datacenter, but we use Linux because of Windows limitations. But we have been able to go from a mom-and-pop garage shop to where we are now.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is amazing. We have a great relationship with the non-profit technical support as well as with our sales rep with whom we've been with for ten years.

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

We have used Microsoft SQL Server, but the problem with that is that runs only on Windows. We wanted it on other units. Then we used Sybase, but that is more of a financial database, and didn't help much for our non-profit business. Then we used IBM DB2. That's a nice database, but IBM was considerably more of a hardware than a software part.

We wanted someone who is a player only in the database world because we had everything else and because we are non-profit, we do have tie-up with different companies where we get a different special rate for licensing.

We prefer Oracle because they are the niche players in the database world. We are pretty happy.

How was the initial setup?

Because I'm a technical person and I have experience as a database administrator, the initial setup was pretty simple for me. The support was amazing and we didn't have huge roadblocks. If anything happened, such as issues with plugins, Oracle just gave us a patch.

What about the implementation team?

Our implementation was done in-house by me and my team.

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

Because we're a non-profit, we have a buffet deal. For the first three years, they won't charge us any license fees for any use. It's all-we-can-eat. After three years, they'll come back and look at the footprint and license us based on that. This is a big deal for non-profits, but Oracle is willing to do it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at others who specialize in the cloud, such as CloudData. But Oracle is penetrating the cloud field. If you look at the Magic Quadrant, Oracle is positioned well with its RDBMS and Exadata, along with EMC Greenplum, Microsoft Azure, IBM's cloud solution, and others. We did PoCs with them all.

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