When you hear the name Oracle, you probably think databases. Oracle® Database has been one of the leading relational databases on the market since its debut way back in 1979 and still powers millions of enterprise applications around the world. As thousands of database administrators and developers gather for Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas this week, one topic that’s sure to come up is database patching. But that’s not because it’s everybody’s favorite task!
In fact, if you’ve ever tried to roll out operating system or database server patches to more than a handful of databases, you know how labor-intensive and error-prone the process can be. It typically requires a coordinated effort between multiple groups of stakeholders - DBAs, network administrators, sysadmins, and more - over an extended period of time. The process can be labyrinthine, varies from database engine to database engine, and can negatively impact database availability if patches aren’t applied in the correct order. This is especially important when it comes to highly-available clustered databases, like Oracle RAC. Meanwhile, all the time spent patching databases is time not spent optimizing database performance, adding new application features, and doing other higher-value tasks.
It’s not surprising, then, that database patching often gets short shrift. But delaying or overlooking database patching can have significant security consequences. A recent survey found that 46% of on-premises databases worldwide contained known vulnerabilities due to a lack of patching. That leaves databases - and the data they manage - at risk of infiltration, ransomware attacks, and more. Put simply, organizations simply can’t afford to overlook database patching, no matter how time-consuming the process may be.
That’s why we're excited to announce new database patching automation capabilities for Oracle Database, PostgreSQL®, and MongoDB®, as part of the latest release of Nutanix Database Service™, or NDB (formerly known as Nutanix Era). NDB is the only hybrid multicloud Database-as-a-Service for the most popular database engines. NDB already allows you to define standardized gold images as software profiles, then apply new database patches as versions to those software profiles. With the new NDB 2.5 release, customers have the option to schedule and automate operating system and database patching to occur during pre-determined maintenance windows. Customers can select either, or both, operating system and database server patching, depending on their particular circumstances. And this capability can be applied to both new and existing databases.
These capabilities further Nutanix’s mission to help organizations simplify database management and speed up software development across clouds. With these new capabilities, customers can significantly reduce the time spent and operational burden associated with applying database patches. Patching that used to take multiple days and require two or more maintenance windows can now be scheduled in as little as a few minutes and executed automatically during a single maintenance window in a matter of hours. The result is more timely, consistent database patching supporting the ability to cut down on the number of database vulnerabilities, freeing up DBA and IT time for more strategic and impactful work, and less downtime for developers that rely on databases to power their applications.
And, of course, customers that don’t want to automate some or all of their OS and database patching still have the option to be notified when new patches become available and apply them on-demand via software profiles
In addition to maintenance windows for patch automation, NDB 2.5 also introduces Oracle RAC to RAC cloning, which should be of particular interest to Oracle CloudWorld attendees. Now, NDB customers running licensed Oracle RAC can quickly and easily spin up clones of RAC-based databases into new RAC environments. This is especially important for customers that count on Oracle RAC for 24x7 availability and horizontal scalability.
Other new capabilities and features with NDB 2.5 include:
- Support for up to 1,000 databases across three Nutanix clusters with a log backup frequency of 15 minutes using Nutanix Objects for Log Files
- Operating system support for PostgreSQL, MySQL and MongoDB has been extended to Debian 9, 10, and Ubuntu 20.04.
- Support for provisioning of MSSQL Failover Cluster Instances (FCI) and FCI Databases.
Customers can upgrade to NDB 2.5 directly from the NDB console. To learn more about how Nutanix Database Service can help your organization simplify database management and speed up software development across clouds, visit nutanix.com/products/database-service or take NDB out for a free Test Drive. And if you’re attending Oracle CloudWorld, come visit us at booth #290.
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