NRMA motoring services upgraded to Oracle's 11g database at the end of last year from 9i, carrying out the migration in just two hours.
NRMA uses a computer-aided dispatch system to send out patrol vehicles to members who have rung in for help. NRMA tries to respond to calls within 40 minutes. The third-party system had been running on Oracle Database 9i.
"Support for this version was being phased out and we realised we could gain some significant performance improvements if we upgrade," NRMA Motoring and Services DBA team leader Ashok Sharma said.
The new database helps staff bring up customer details in five to 10 seconds as opposed to 40 to 50 seconds, according to Sharma.
"On average, we have seen a 300 per cent improvement in database performance without having to do any tuning," he said. "We have reduced the time it takes to complete daily batch processing jobs and to archive between 20GB and 30GB of data from three hours to 30 minutes," he said.
Real-time backups had also freed employee time, while outages had been reduced from one to two hours every two months to nothing.
"Previously, one database administrator could spend around 16 hours each month retrieving information from our backups. That administrator is now free to spend more time fine-tuning the database and deploying bug fixes."
The company used Oracle Streams to carry out the 9i to 11g migration, resulting in only two hours of downtime. Streams automatically applies captured updates to destination databases.
"To achieve the migration in a two-hour window, we couldn't do a normal shut down and start up," said Sharma. "We used Oracle Streams to keep both databases in sync."
Without the tool, NRMA would have had to shut down the Database 9i and done a full data export, which Sharma said would have taken seven hours to finish.
"The business wouldn't have tolerated that amount of downtime," he said.