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Case Studies

Finance Company

Oracle Upgrade on Windows – London Stock Exchange listed Finance Company

Our client, an AIM-listed independent finance company, provides a range of high quality financial products to both business and personal customers.

The organisation had experienced sustained, strong organic growth over a four year period, with business volumes further increased through acquisition.

Much of that success was accredited to our client’s innovative proposal system, powered by an Oracle database implemented, maintained and supported by Pro DBA.

Rapid Data Growth Brings Challenges

Our client faced the challenge of sustaining good performance from their proposal system while data volumes increased through business growth and the introduction of new product lines.

The existing architecture had served the client well through four years of business growth, but limited hardware scalability and Oracle version obsolescence meant the installation was nearing the end of its useful life.

Pro DBA had worked closely with the client and their application vendor since the proposal system was launched, providing strategic advice where appropriate. Our client therefore recognised the key role that Pro DBA could play in shaping future technical direction.

Designing A Solution Appropriate To Requirements And Budget

Through detailed discussion with the client’s business managers and technical staff, Pro DBA determined that system performance and price were key factors in designing a new hardware platform.

Though high uptime was vital, the business chose not to implement Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), Oracle’s highly resilient and scalable clustering technology. This decision was based on cost benefit analysis performed jointly by Pro DBA and the client.

Business continuity had been safeguarded since system launch by a resilient standby database solution. This used Pro DBA’s free archive log ship-and-apply procedures to replace functionality only available in Oracle’s more costly Enterprise Edition product. The client chose to retain this functionality in the new infrastructure.

Implementing The Solution

For a modest investment our client purchased new hardware running Windows Server. Pro DBA recommended both vendor and hardware specification, as a comparable purchase had recently yielded exceptional results for another Pro DBA client with a similar application profile.

Oracle Database software was installed and patched on the client’s new hardware several weeks prior to the scheduled migration date. Rigorous testing then took place using a migrated copy of the production database.

Diligent planning by Pro DBA, the client and the application vendor paid off on go-live day, with the database migration completing without a hitch in less than three hours.

Benefits Gained

The move to latest Oracle and Windows versions on fast new hardware allowed Oracle to address a much larger data cache, vastly reducing physical disk access and thus improving database performance massively.

Migrating to the latest Oracle version brought additional benefits. Oracle optimizer enhancements and improved PL/SQL efficiency made the system significantly faster than before, even on old test hardware. The version migration also delivered improved supportability and a richer feature set.

The Immediate Future

The results of the project exceeded our client’s expectations, with key application processes running five times faster directly after the migration. Subsequent tweaks and fine-tuning yielded more gains, and the client’s application enjoyed faster-than-ever response times.

The Longer Term

Pro DBA continues to support and patch the system for this client. The system still performs impressively well, backed by Oracle’s unfaltering reliability on Windows.

"Our system seems to be operating well on the new virtual server. Many thanks for your support. I have let our managers know we have received excellent service from you"

Business Analyst, Pharmaceuticals company

"What a great display on your skills!"

IT Director, Healthcare products company

"I'm really impressed with the Pro DBA team, response times are amazing and very much appreciated"

IT Manager, UK Public Sector organisation

"I really appreciate all the time and effort taken to make my visit and the upgrade operation from pre-upgrade tasks, during upgrade tasks, post upgrade tasks and upgrade performance issues pleasurable"

IT Manager, Sovereign wealth fund

"Thank you for sorting this out, fantastic – I’ve just had a very happy client on the phone to say thanks"

IT Director, IT Services provider

"We continue to be incredibly impressed by the Pro DBA service. We often hold you up to other suppliers of what good should feel like"

IT Director, Agronomy company

"Quick note, I’m always impressed with your service. Thanks again for everything you do."

CEO, London-based ISP

"Many thanks for your help. Excellent, much appreciated!"

Head of IT Services, UK College

"10/10 for your consultant. His response time and knowledge has been right on point. I'm glad to have you guys on board, and brilliant timing!"

IT Manager, Metals and Mining company

"Pro DBA's service has always been excellent!"

IT Manager, UK University

"Thank you to you and your team for the fantastic job you have done in supporting us over the last week - it is much appreciated"

Director, NHS Trust

"Your consultant is a legend!"

Head of IT, Investment Services company

"Can you personally thank the Oracle team for me? We really do appreciate their expertise and advice"

Service Desk, IT Services provider

"Can I thank all your guys for their help this week? They have worked tirelessly to get these releases into the system"

IT Director, Automotive company

"We are very happy with the service you are providing"

IT Director, Healthcare products company

"I just wanted to thank Pro DBA on our behalf. They’ve cracked our indexing problem resulting in a huge increase in performance. Well done, and thanks again."

IT Manager, Global Environmental Services provider

"Your out-of-hours DBA support is first class"

IT Manager, Derivatives Broker

"I had an urgent issue with one of my customers. I called the office directly and spoke with your consultant, who was extremely helpful and responded straight away. I wanted to highlight this to you as a positive first experience of using your services by myself and my customer"

Account Manager, Global ERP vendor

"You're worth your weight in gold!"

IT Sponsor, Agronomy company

Thank you again for your help with the CRM SQL migration. I got really good feedback about how much you helped. I was really impressed by how you did not take any nonsense and gave the best solutions for the migration and supportability. It’s obvious you’re knowledgeable and passionate about your work and it has been a pleasure to have you as part of the project team.

Project Manager, Global Telecoms company

"I would like to thank Pro DBA for the professional work in setting up the databases. We would recommend your services and we are looking to using your company [more] in the future. We look forward to working with you again."

Senior Systems Engineer, Pharmaceuticals company

"I just wanted to pass on my thanks to Pro DBA for the support they give us. The team are fantastic to work with and are making us far more proactive"

Head of IT, Corporate Law firm

"Pro DBA are great!"

Chief Software Officer, Telecoms company

"Have to say a big thanks to your teams for the support and works they have been providing. Both client and us are very pleased"

Senior Services Consultant, IT Services company

"I just wanted to say that during my near 13 years here, it has been a pleasure dealing with all at Pro DBA. The support, guidance and willingness to help has always been at the highest level"

IT Manager, Global Telecoms company