Database Consolidation at Dell IT

A little more than a month and a quarter ago, in parallel with the daily production support routine, I had the pleasure to join the team running the database consolidation project in Dell IT. I was assigned as technical team lead for a group of Oracle DBAs with a goal of turning off a few hundred physical database servers each year.

Our team has to find the most suitable targets for consolidation, communicate with application teams, negotiate timing, execute the consolidations, decommission the old databases and make sure the old infrastructure is released/removed.

By the end of 2010 we had accomplished and exceeded the year’s targets. This year we’re also ahead of the game. It’s great to work with a strong team, to have support from other teams and thus be part of great results.

Special thanks to the PM which skillfully orchestrated the teams. Also to the database grid team which has been supportive at all times, provisioning, supporting, everything with an excellent service level.

In order to accomplish all this, Dell’s database practice team deployed 16-node grids with RAC and ASM, and is using Dell’s own blade servers and storage for it. Each grid handles up to 300 databases! More detail on this project was published by Dell as a case study and can be found in their site, following this link.

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