A Shared Database Architecture Can Help IT Tame the Ugly Beast

By Chad Lew, IT Ninja, NetApp

The Beast

If you are a database administrator (DBA), you know that database proliferation is nothing new. Every business unit and each new project needs their own database for storing application data. Hyper-business growth quickly leads to high demands for database services. However, exponential growth in the number of databases can quickly impact your budget, resources, and quality of services.

These constraints forced the DBA team at NetApp to innovate and change how they were managing our databases. We decided that creating dedicated database environments for every single application was wasting valuable resources—not to mention money, as each database requires a separate database license and significant operational administration. Therefore, we needed to devise new ways to decrease our licensing and operational costs while still providing the required database services. This is how we began our journey toward a shared database operating model.

Reign-In Your Company’s Technology Monster

To support the ever-increasing demand for databases, we created a shared database services model that leverages a single clustered database to meet all of our application business requirements. Consolidating many smaller applications into a single shared database significantly reduced the operational management for the DBAs. Instead of having to manage and monitor dozens of small databases, they now only have to monitor a single database instance. This approach streamlined our request and delivery process to just a few steps to quickly deliver the required database services for our business applications.

In addition, this design also enables us to take advantage of high-availability clustering capabilities and non-disruptive performance scaling that was previously cost prohibitive for each individual database. Furthermore, the integrated data protection capabilities embedded in NetApp Data ONTAP gives us the highest levels of data protection for any backup, restore, or recovery scenario. Today, this model serves as the foundation for delivering our internal database services. The result is a more streamlined request-delivery processes and a reduction in the amount of time database administrators spend on operations. 

Reap the Rewards of a Happy Beast

The clustered design of a shared database platform provides the availability, scalability, manageability, and security features required for our company’s mission-critical applications.  This design also allows us to share resources across multiple servers and non-disruptively scale performance and capacity across additional nodes. Most import, our shared database services model helped improve the quality and capabilities of database services while reducing costs for our business application teams.

Read Shared Database Services Model Increases Quality and Business Agility to learn how NetApp successfully implemented a shared database services model.


The NetApp-on-NetApp blog series features advice from subject matter experts from NetApp IT who share their real-world experiences using NetApp’s industry-leading storage solutions to support business goals. Want to view learn more about the program? Visit www.NetAppIT.com.