CQU servers on the RAC

Central Queensland University (CQU) is set to retire a number of "disparate servers" as its implementation of Oracle 10g (version 2) nears the end of the hardware deployment phase.The University, which is based in Rockhampton, Queensland and has campuses in most eastern capital cities, opted to deploy Oracle's real application clusters (RAC) solution to consolidate its database environment mid last year.

Central Queensland University (CQU) is set to retire a number of "disparate servers" as its implementation of Oracle 10g (version 2) nears the end of the hardware deployment phase.

The University, which is based in Rockhampton, Queensland and has campuses in most eastern capital cities, opted to deploy Oracle's real application clusters (RAC) solution to consolidate its database environment mid last year. IT staff began implementing the hardware in November and are migrating individual applications to the grid during the course of 2007.

CQU's new RAC is running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 on top of Hewlett-Packard's c-Class blades -- the University purchased two chassis and 16 blades from HP last September.

The RAC enables the University to quickly manage the peaks and troughs in terms of system load, according to Adrian Yarrow, corporate systems administration manager, IT division. Additionally, maintenance can be conducted without taking applications down, allowing a 24x7 environment.

Yarrow said that a "disparate" number of Hewlett-Packard Alpha and Sun Solaris servers would be decommissioned with the transfer of the database to the RAC environment. Yarrow did not comment on the number of servers to be retired.

"I expect by Christmas this year that the majority of business critical apps will have been migrated to the new RAC. The reason it takes so long is that the transfer coincides with software upgrades," he said.

Yarrow had little comment to make about Red Hat's support costs, which have been criticised in the past for being expensive. As with other operating systems -- even though people think Linux is free -- you have to pay for the added guarantee of upkeep, according to Yarrow.

"They [the support costs] are not any worse than those for other operating systems," told ZDNet Australia during HP StorageWorks.07 in Vietnam recently.

CQU's efforts to consolidate its IT infrastructure does not start and end with the deployment of the RAC environment.

"IT is a fundamental must have to organisations. With consolidation there is no distinct start and finish.

"You have to take a holistic view of the process to ensure growth and flexibility. Don't paint yourself into a corner [by just looking at today's objectives]. You don't want to chop off your nose to spite your face," Yarrow said.

To this end Yarrow is looking more closely at server virtualisation and the benefits to an organisation that has multiple locations.

Scott Mckenzie travelled to StorageWorks.07 in Vietnam as a guest of HP.

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