Looking for an alternative to Oracle on Solaris? Try AIX (or Linux) on IBM Power!

At SIXE we love Solaris, and have worked with many SPARC machines for many years. Unfortunately, its life cycle is coming to an end, but not that of its Oracle databases (nor its not at all cheap per-processor licenses). What are the alternatives? This is what we thinkbased on our experience. As a systems integrator, we specialize in mission-critical environments. We work hard to design them, configure them and keep them secure and available 24x7x365. Our natural choice is IBM Power with AIX (for Oracle, DB2 or Informix) and Linux for new workloads with open source databases. Within proprietary environments, Oracle 19c and 21c databases form a large part of our customers’ installed base. Legacy SAP environments and a wide variety of applications depend on them.

Why choose IBM Power for Oracle?

We are going to give you five reasons to try, if not to convince you, at least to make you want to talk to us and discuss it in more detail. Those of you who know us know that we are generally better engineers than sales people. For those who don’t, you will soon find out why. Here we go!

1. It is a better long-term investment

As long term as SPARC machines have been with so many customers. When you have a Power20 you will be able to prove us right. It is a robust, secure, high-performance architecture with full support for UNIX (AIX) and Linux environments. In fact, before Oracle bought Sun, the Power-AIX-Oracle combination was even in TV commercials. Much of IBM’s UNIX server technology was designed for large Oracle, DB2 and Informix databases. Oracle marketing says their bet is Exadatas based on OracleLinux , but more than 80,000 customers worldwide use Power. There must be a reason.

2. If you want, you can keep or switch to UNIX (and this is not a joke).

Although we love Linux, containers, free software and all this world, we think that there is no more stable environment for a critical database (other than HOST / IBM Z) and secure than AIX. It is a modern UNIX, flexible, compatible with hundreds of free software packages and extremely easy to use. If you come from Solaris, you’ll see that they are first cousins and at SIXE we give you the Training you need, or a L2 and L3 support for the entire infrastructure throughout the lifecycle of the machines so that you only have to worry about the database or your applications. Many are surprised that we execute Oracle Linux to AIX migration projects, but it’s all advantages for customers and their system administrators. AIX is a UNIX will remain with us, just like FreeBSD or MacOS for many reasons. Even so, if for whatever reason you prefer Red Hat or SUSE, they also work perfectly well, although Oracle only supports them on its Z systems (LinuxOne). But the other Oracle alternatives like PostgreSQL / EnterpriseDB, MongoDB or MariaDB work great and have full support for all Linux distributions running on Power (ppc64le). Also free ones such as Alma, Rocky Linux and OpenSUSE.

You are going to save many, many thousands or hundreds of thousands of Euros.

IBM has for many years migrated to Power the micro-partitioning technologies of processors from Mainframe environments. This means that you can allocate the portions of processors you need with extreme flexibility and reliability. For example you can buy 10 Oracle licenses and run 20 virtual machines on a 24-core physical machine. You do not have to license the entire machine. In addition, each IBM Power core performs approximately 3 to 4 times as well as an equivalent generation x86 core. Oracle’s Exadatas are (in our opinion) more expensive, less reliable and less secure.

4. You radically reduce the attack surface.

We have many customers who have been attacked with ransomware (and worse). No Power system upgraded, maintained and with our PowerSC-based cybersecurity solution has been affected. And we’re going to state the obvious, but most malicious code is not compiled for Power environments :P Just as your money is safer in a Z / s390 environment, your database will probably live more peacefully in ppc64. And don’t worry, we are heading towards a multi-architecture world, where there will be more and more freedom to choose whether you want ARM, x86, ppc64le or RISC-V. Or don’t you know anyone with a MAC?

5. It is very well documented, works by default and you can automate it.

There are hundreds of guides for architecture, deployment, administration, problem determination and general day 2 operations. Also in the case of AIX, the default kernel setting is optimized for large databases such as Oracle. In addition, the Power architecture has no bottlenecks between processor and memory, with very good performance on SMT-4 and SMT-8. You can also automate most administration tasks with Ansible. There is
updated collections
developed by IBM and Red Hat.

Services for Oracle on AIX / Power by SIXE

SIXE offers specialized Oracle services in IBM Power
providing a smooth and efficient transition, with full support and resource optimization, ensuring a successful migration and operation, taking into account the needs of availability, performance and security. We can help you with:

In conclusion: migrating Oracle from SPARC / Solaris to IBM Power with AIX (or Linux) is not only a smart decision in terms of performance and support, but also an investment and strategic decision. Contact us!

SiXe Ingeniería
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