Database virtualization can improve flexibility, maximize efficiency, lower costs and ease administrative overhead.
virtualized your servers, improved your hardware utilization, reduced your
server administration costs and optimized your energy consumption. You've even moved
part of your workload to the cloud, taking virtualization to the next level.
You might even have virtualized some of your infrastructure to ease administrative
it's time for your databases. Database virtualization is a way to improve
flexibility, maximize efficiency, lower costs and ease administrative overhead.
There's no hardware involved. Instead, the resources you're saving are the money
you pay to database vendors and salaries you pay to a larger staff.
most common virtualization is server virtualization, which allows it to run
anywhere-there are no boundaries," said Brian Babineau, senior consulting analyst
at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "In database virtualization, it's very similar.
We take an instance of rows and columns and allow it to be fluid. We can move
it anywhere. We can shrink the size of it, we can write to it anywhere, we can
allow the table to be split up multiple times."
said that by removing data from a proprietary database, you can accomplish a
number of important things. First, he said, you can make better use of the
databases you already have without having to buy more licenses than you actually
need. Second, you can support communication between applications that normally
would use different databases.
for many early users of database virtualization, the reasons for implementing
the technology are similar to the reasons for implementing server virtualization:
easier management, higher availability and better performance.
primary goal of database virtualization is to enable a standard database to run
on a shared-nothing cluster of commodity servers, thereby improving scalability
and high availability at a lower cost compared to purpose-built shared-disk
cluster databases," said Matthew Aslett, an analyst at The 451 Group.
shared-nothing database, according to Aslett, is based on independent servers
with no single point of contention.
main usage scenario is high availability, although, unlike traditional simple
database clustering systems-where one database installation is active and the
other is passive-with database virtualization deployments, all database servers
are active at all times," he said.
advantage of having all database servers active at once is that you get
real-time updating and better performance, since multiple servers are
load that would otherwise be supported by one. The downside to multiple
instances of a database is that you have to pay for multiple licenses
and you have increased administration load. Fortunately, by using
and decoupling the database from the data and the specific server, you
focus has been that many databases are accessible and manageable as if they
were a single database," said Noel Yuhanna, principal analyst at Forrester
Research. "One of the biggest problems we've seen over the last five or 10
years is the data explosion. Some organizations are running 15,000 databases.
Managing them and provisioning them has become a big problem."
said database virtualization can help here, as well. "Virtualization provides a
common framework for better availability, scalability, manageability and
security," he said. "The biggest challenge is around managing these
environments. It's becoming difficult to maintain the SLAs [service-level
agreements] for these applications."
virtualization, Yuhanna said, the real key is to make the best use of existing
resources. "It's about reusing resources and transparent scale-out-common policies,
improving SLAs, and centralized management and mixed workload optimization," he