The Why and How of Migrating Oracle SPARC/Solaris and Oracle Exadata systems to Power
There is often a lot of misinformation in the marketplace about migrating workloads to Power, especially around Oracle Exadata because Oracle spends a lot of time emphasizing the fact that these are “engineered systems” and focusing on how they are designed, integrated and manufactured. Clients have limited ability to modify these systems giving them an aura of “untouchability” so if they can’t be easily modified then it must be difficult, if not impossible to migrate their workloads to other systems.
The good news is that there is no magic required to migrate any Oracle workload from Oracle Sparc/Solaris, Oracle Exadata, Oracle on Linux/x86 systems or Oracle on HPUX, TRU64 or any other system......no magic, no special tools, no special methodology.
Many years ago, SPARC/Solaris was a formidable competitor in the marketplace but that’s not so today. SPARC Solaris has either limited or no capability in the following areas:
- Processor and operating system roadmaps
- Development teams
- ISV ecosystem
- Cloud platform
- Open-source database support
- SAP HANA
- AI development environments
Exadata is a scale-out x86 based appliance running Oracle Linux designed to run Oracle databases and that is all it can run. Here are some migration considerations:
- Vendor lock-in. Investment in Exadata controlled 100% by Oracle
- Processor performance. 100% dependent on Intel
- Exadata Storage. Not accessible outside the Exadata system without network-based protocols like NFS
- Expensive and the majority is software licenses and maintenance
- Additional investment required. You’ll need other systems to run applications.
IBM Power doesn’t suffer from a dead-end roadmap or a closed proprietary environment. The roadmaps for IBM Power hardware and operating systems are among the strongest and most dependable in the industry.
IBM and Oracle have been working together as partners and collaborators for more than 35 years to ensure that Oracle products take advantage of the architectural features inherent in all Power systems. As a result of this partnership, Power systems have a considerable amount of “co-engineering” with Oracle to ensure optimal performance of its products on IBM Power.
Oracle’s roadmap for support of the Oracle database on AIX® on Power Systems and the joint 80,000 customers remains strong. The Oracle document “Support Statement for Oracle Database Running on IBM Systems (DOC ID 2766930.1)" dated May 4th, 2021 outlines the plans to provide the next Long Term Release of the Oracle database on IBM platforms including Power and AIX. Oracle v19c will be supported at least through April 30, 2027 and the next Oracle database Long Term Release, expected to be announced in 2023, will be supported on AIX on Power Systems through 2031 based on current Long term Release Support policy of at least eight years.
Now that you have compelling reasons for migrating Oracle SPARC/Solaris and Oracle Exadata systems to IBM Power, let me touch on IBM Systems Lab Services’ migration process and what you can expect.
- Workshops and assessments play a key role in understanding the scope of the work to be done and help us create the actual migration plan.
- You should be aware of the important platform considerations you need to think about when migrating either SPARC/Solaris or Exadata systems to Power.
- Tools are critically important to any migration effort as they help minimize the risk that is inherent in any migration process. IBM Systems Lab Services has some key tools to make your migration successful.
- We look at migration methodology from two perspectives. The first is a five-step framework that has been developed and refined over decades of doing migrations. The second is different migration methodologies available depending on the workload to be migrated.
- Testing, like assessments, is not optional. It is a fundamental part of any migration plan.
- The migration team can be a combination of IBM resources, client resources, Business Partners, ISVs and third-party integration companies so you’ll want a clear plan for your team and the roles and responsibilities each team member would have.
- IBM Systems Lab Services has best practices we have developed over the years that help minimize the cost risk and duration of migration projects.
Here to help
Most database migrations are relatively low risk projects. IBM Systems Lab Services is on hand to help you with your migration projects. We have the resources, skills, tools, methodologies and experience to safely and successfully migrate your Oracle database to Power.
I believe IBM Power is better aligned with the technology investments companies need to make today than either Oracle SPARC Solaris or Exadata. The former is no longer being developed and the latter is a closed, proprietary environment that locks clients into an Oracle solution that can only run Oracle databases and the Oracle Cloud. These are two excellent reasons to consider moving workloads based on these platforms to Power.
I’ll be giving a session at virtual IBM TechU 2021 that will look at reasons why moving to Power is a very good investment and describe the tools and methodologies available to ensure these workloads are safely migrated to Power with minimal cost and risk to your organization. You can join me by registering here.