How we use Oracle at our Utility Company
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 29, 2018

How we use Oracle at our Utility Company

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Oracle Database 12c

We Oracle 12c for our GIS, Document Management and outage management systems (OMS). These are enterprise wide applications. There are a few other departmental databases that we use as well. In most cases, we use Oracle because the vendor of an application does not support SQL Server, which is the database we most commonly use.
  • Oracle rarely has issues or unplanned downtime. I have come across some bugs with older versions of Oracle, but these are usually related to false error reporting and are well documented.
  • Oracle has good and reliable performance. The design of separating the undo and the redo logs makes it so that we never have the issues of an uncommitted transaction filling up the redo and halting the database.
  • Oracle has good documentation available on their website. The Oracle support portal is usually the best place to get information when troubleshooting a problem.
  • Oracle does not integrate well with Microsoft Active Directory. From my understanding, in order to connect using LDAP, or integrate Active Directory users, we need to use Oracle's own LDAP product. I may be mistaken on this, but we have always resorted to using tnsnames and local Oracle users, because it doesn't seem easy to integrate with AD.
  • Some of the documentation is too wordy. Though I appreciate complete documentation, sometimes information is repeated. For example the RMAN documentation has overviews then the full content, so when I was trying to learn about it by reading through the whole document, I felt like it could have saved time for me if information was more concise.
  • Oracle patchset updates are somewhat tedious to install, which is why we don't do them that often. You need to make sure the OPatch software is updated, then you need to install the binaries, then run an update script on the database.
  • Oracle has cost us more money than SQL Server because of its limited flexibility with virtual technology. We mostly use VMware and because we don't have a large number of Oracle databases, it's not practical for us to license an entire VMware cluster.
  • While we don't have any specific numbers, we have benefited greatly by using Oracle Data Guard for high availability. Our outage management system utilizes this technology. As an energy company, it is critical for us to have this system available at all times in order to provide our customers with quick responses to power outages.
Microsoft SQL Server is our most commonly used DBMS because most vendors support it. The user interface for SQL Server Management studio is also very easy to use. For this reason, we usually prefer SQL Server over Oracle. However, we also support Oracle because it is a commonly supported database and not all vendors support SQL Server. Oracle has better documentation and support over SQL Server, and Oracle has more robust high availability and security options. SQL Server integrates well with Active Directory and has a cheaper cost model.
Well suited for critical applications that need high availability and robust security options.