Benefit 1: Accelerate Upgrades with Cloning

This post is part of the 7-part series Seven Top Benefits of Virtualizing Business Critical Applications.

According to feedback from the DBAs we’ve worked with, the primary reason DBAs and IT architects virtualize Oracle or SAP is for cloning.

Application provisioning can be a cause of major inefficiencies. IT administrators must support the overhead of configuring each application tier, including the hardware, OS, and application. At the same time, configuration errors and configuration drift are very common, often leading to application downtime. To make matters worse, provisioning isn’t limited to production environments, but often includes test, development, and training systems. Over time, these systems often fall out of sync with production systems, resulting in inaccurate testing and QA cycles.

With vSphere, once an application is ready to be rolled out into production, application teams are able to package the application as a vApp, a golden image of the application that can be provisioned on demand onto the production infrastructure. A vApp is essentially a template of a multi-tier application. It includes multiple pre-configured virtual machines containing the different application tiers (e.g., Web, app, and database).

The virtual machines are pre-integrated through network fencing, and the virtual machine boot sequence can be customized.

Customer Case in Point
“In a physical server model, cloning our production Oracle Database for test and development was time consuming, complex, and expensive. Virtualizing our Oracle databases with vSphere allows us to quickly create many test and dev environments in minutes. Our ability to virtualize Oracle has saved the bank hundreds of thousands of euro.” – Andrei Maier, System Architect of Swedbank

Learn more: Virtualizing Business Critical Applications Whitepaper [39-page PDF]