The Art of the Oracle Backup and Recovery Sale
One the one hand it may be assumed that when it comes to selling backup storage systems to an Oracle database shop solution providers should go in search of the storage specialist that manages that environment.
But because of the nuances of the way Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) software works it turns out that the Oracle database administrator (DBA) exercises a lot of control over the backup and recovery process. According to Rob Emsley, senior director of product marketing, for the EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division, most Oracle DBAs prefer using Oracle RMAN in order to directly control the database backup and recovery process.
Emsley says that customers have historically been using EMC Data Domain Boost (DDBoost) software to backup for Oracle through RMAN using the NFS (Network File System) protocol. The latest update to that software is now directly integrated with RMAN, which makes it easier for DBAs to back up files without having to ask storage administrators to provision storage capacity on EMC Digital Domain systems.
While that doesn’t necessarily mean that storage administrators will no longer be in charge of acquiring backup systems for Oracle databases, it does open up the possibility of pursuing storage sales opportunities by engaging Oracle DBAs directly. Ultimately, it’s the DBA that has responsibility for the availability of data, and many of them would prefer to allocate their own budget to make sure that the backup and recovery process is as pristine as possible using dedicated storage systems under their direct control.
Obviously, that can be a tricky conversation to have in some organizations. But given the massive amount of data that most storage administrators are struggling with these days they may be willing to turn a blind eye to what the Oracle DBA is doing, especially when DBAs are usually higher up the IT command chain.
Of course, the ideal scenario would be to have the support of both the DBA and the storage administrator. Emsley says that Oracle and EMC have been working closely together to foster that level of collaboration for years.
Emsley says some of the more attractive features of EMC Digital Domain storage from the perspective of the DBA is that the company’s DD Boost software increases Oracle backup performance by up to 50 percent and enables more backups across limited storage resources by reducing the amount of data transferred and network bandwidth required by up to 99 percent. In addition, Emsley says DD Boost reduces the load on the Oracle server during backup by 20 to 40 percent, while reducing amount of backup storage required by a factor of 10 to 30 times. Aggregate throughput for those systems can reach up to 26.3 TB per hour, he added.
DD Boost also simplifies the database recovery process by enabling DBAs to manage onsite and offsite backup copies by controlling Data Domain replication from within RMAN.
Given the criticality of the data stored in most Oracle databases, the availability of that data is a subject that is always near and dear to the hearts of the people that manage those environments. And once it's known what someone in IT cares about, it becomes that much easier to sell them a capability they really want.