Oracle vs sql server
Posted: Nov 21, 2018
Any enterprise evaluating a database management system solution for their data should also evaluate the systems regarding their management of data. The capabilities of the servers to properly manage data is the essence of having them in organizations since data is one of the most critical assets in any business whereby the success of any organization depends on how well it can use its data to make business decisions. The data needs to be available and its integrity and confidentiality preserved. If the data of organizations is not available or not protected, the enterprises are likely to lose millions of dollars due to unplanned downtime and negative publicity. Having good data management in organizations is critical to ensuring business success in today’s economy. The document offers a detailed comparative assessment of the two most popular servers, that is, Oracle and SQL Servers in light of data management.
Overview of Data Management in Oracle vs. SQL Server
One of the greatest challenges in the design of high availability information technology (IT) infrastructure is addressing the issues of data management. Data management, when it is done properly can reduce downtime that many organizations always face (Bassil, 2012). The IT companies should consider the potential causes of both planned and unplanned downtime when they are designing their IT infrastructure. We know that a server does play a dispensable role in managing the data so that it is always available and in the form I which it was saved. That helps in the continuity of business operations because they highly depend on that data. Data failures in organizations can result from the human errors, data corruptions or disasters, a, so it is the responsibility of a database management system to make sure that it includes features that can highly manage the data so that it is not negatively impacted by those events (Oracle Corporation, 2013).
While data failures are not frequent, their adverse effects on the business operations are very significant because it results in high costs of downtime. The database management system used, whether Oracle or SQL Server should allow for the maintenance activities to take place transparently, and that causes no or minimal interruptions to the normal business orations. The Oracle database comes with a plethora of capabilities integrated to ensure that organizations can minimize data failures as much as possible so that they do not adversely impact their businesses (Callan et al., 2010). For instance, the Oracle Multitenant is a new option in Oracle that delivers a groundbreaking technology useful in database consolidation as well as cloud computing. It also makes extreme high data and system availability a fundamental requirement wherever database consideration ahs application to the business critical applications.
The Microsoft Corporation introduced the Always On solution in their SQL Server for the purpose of addressing the issue of high availability and disaster recovery requirements. The major features that are inclusive in SQL Server include the always on failover to address the instance failovers and the AlwaysOn Availability Group to address the failover of a set of databases (Bassil, 2012). Although the SQL Server introduced these new capabilities to better manage data, it cannot match the breadth and depth of the data management capabilities found in Oracle (Oracle Corporation, 2013). The SQL Server continues to lag behind regarding data availability and for that reason, the Oracle database has application in many companies that require high data management and system availability. There are also many differentiators as explained below regarding how data management takes place in Oracle and SQL Server. Note that the SQL Server referred to here is the SQL Server 2012 whereas the Oracle database referred is the Oracle 12c EE (Enterprise Edition).
The Oracle database incorporates an inbuilt database failure detection, repair, and analysis whereas the SQL Server lacks this feature (Oracle Corporation, 2013). In the light of this matter, Oracle includes a fast-start fault recovery functionality that controls the instant recovery. The feature helps in the reduction of the required time for cache recovery as well as recovery bounded by limiting the dirty buffers and redo records that are regenerated between the most recent record and the last checkpoint. The fast-start checkpointing in Oracle eliminates the bulk writes as well as the resultant I/O spikes that do occur in the case of conventional checkpointing (Callan et al., 2010). Unlike in SQL where the database is not open for applications to access only after the undo or rollback phases, the Oracle database is accessible by applications without the need to wait for the completion of rollback of undoing phases (Kumar, 2007). In the latter, in case, the user process encounters a crashed transaction that locks a row, what the database does is that it rolls back that row.
Whereas the SQL Server stores the undo data in the log files, the Oracle database stores similar data in the database, making the recovery process is very fast in Oracle than in SQL (Callan et al., 2010). The SQL Server has to carry out expensive sequential scanning of the log files, hence increasing the mean time to recover from a data failure. Also, in Oracle, there is an incremental backup strategy while SQL server supports partials backup strategy. Oracle also incorporates a proactive disk health checks using an automatic corruption repair while the SQL Server does not have such a feature (Oracle Corporation, 2013). The data manager in Oracle does not have to check manually for the health of the disks because of that automatic feature. That simplifies the work of managing the data in Oracle as compared to the same tasks in SQL Server where there have to be manual disk health checks.
The standby apply progress in the Oracle databases does not have any performance impact on the primary database or data protection whereas in SQL Server it does have an impact (Callan et al., 2010). However, in Oracle, there are silent corruptions that can be detected as a result of software/hardware faults at the standby and the primary database; such defaults are not detectable in SQL Server. Oracle can quickly recover from logical corruptions and the human errors while in Oracle, it takes a long time to recover (Bassil, 2012). That is because SQL Server puts much responsibility on the hands of the database manager whereas the Oracle database comprises of features that make the recovery automatically. The Oracle database includes the integrated and automatic database failover that guarantees a zero data loss as well as a no split-brain (Kumar, 2007). That feature is lacking in SQL server, thus making it vulnerable to data loss.
The SQL Server’s AlwaysOn feature is a failover cluster instance running in a failover cluster that comprises of multiple failover clustering nodes for Windows. That offers a high availability via redundancy especially at the instance level (Kumar, 2007). That can also be useful in providing remote disaster recovery using multi-subnet failover cluster instance. It allows the hosting of an availability replica by either a failover clustering instance or a standalone instance of the server. That means the database manager can use the failover clustering instance for local instance-level high availability as well as the Availability Groups to offer database level disaster recovery. That feature may give an impression that it is similar to Oracle’s data guard and real application clusters. While the SQL Server’s failover clustering instances and the secondary nodes are all passive: are offline and do not start the SQL Server instances in a steady-state, the Oracle data guard and the real application clusters do start their respective database instances in a steady-state mode and are always online (Kumar, 2007). That is useful in data management at all times.
The paper highlighted the concepts of data management in Oracle and SQL Server, explaining the distinctive features in both database systems in the way they manage data. Data is the reason for the existence of any company and the loss of the same has great financial implications whereby it can even result in the closure of a business. Data management aspects revolve around the prevention of failure, the data availability, data recovery and data backup. The paper addressed the area of data management along those lines when comparing the two database management systems. It shows that Oracle database has several features that are useful for managing data as compared to the features found in SQL Server.
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Bassil, Y. (2012). A Comparative Study on the Performance of the Top DBMS Systems. Journal of Computer Science & Research (JCSCR), 1(1), 20-26.Callan, S. et al. (2010). SQL Server Management Features vs. Oracle Database Management Features. Database Journal, Retrieved from http://www.databasejournal.com/features/oracle/article.php/3879111/SQL-Server-Management-Features-vs-Oracle-Database-Management-Features.htm
Kumar, B. (2007). Oracle data guard: Standby database failover handbook. Kittrell, NC: Rampant TechPress.
Oracle Corporation (2013). Technical Comparison of Oracle Database 12cvs. Microsoft SQL Server 2012. An Oracle White Paper.
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