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Companies of all sizes are looking for ways to make better use of their data while also reducing costs.

In many cases, that means looking for alternatives to enterprise databases such as Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 that are more cost-effective and flexible.

Those alternatives include enterprise-class open source database management systems, relational database management systems, and NoSQL solutions.

Gartner states that, “By 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS, and 50% of existing relational DBMS instances will have been converted or will be in process.”

Pizza Hut Restaurants, UK has decided that these options are worth exploring further.

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Pizza Hut’s database environment

Pizza Hut Restaurants, UK runs several applications on their Oracle database platform.

They run MyMicros for their point of sale (POS) aggregated data environment, MyInv as their hospitality inventory software, and a data warehouse platform.

In 2014, Pizza Hut turned to their database partner, RDB Concepts, to assist in moving their entire POS database environment from 5 Intel-based servers to a single IBM Power System server with a POWER7 processor.

That environment has been running soundly for over 3 years, in fact its performance has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Licensing and budget challenges — A way forward

Pizza Hut saw the benefits of owning their own dedicated hardware for their database environment.

They now have a need to set up a duplicate, disaster recovery (DR) environment. While examining the costs involved, they realized that they would need to add Oracle licenses to achieve this goal—a cost-prohibitive route.

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Following some consultation with RDB Concepts Pizza Hut Restaurants have begun a proof of concept exercise.

This solution will include several key components. Pizza Hut will upgrade their IBM Power System to the latest POWER8 based server.

For this project to be considered a success, it must result in the following benefits:

  • Improved performance
  • Better scalability
  • Significant cost savings

To reduce spend on Oracle license, Pizza Hut is testing their data warehouse functionality in TmaxSoft’ s Tibero database.

Tibero is highly compatible with Oracle, ensuring that customers’ existing skill-set will translate to the new solution with RDB Concepts providing any training shortfalls that may arise. This also means that all reports and internal applications will still be able to communicate with the database with minimal intervention. 

Tibero is also a far cheaper option.

The Tibero solution will cost 60% less on the upfront licensing and a fraction of Oracle on annual renewals.

If Pizza Hut were to remain with Oracle, the additional licenses for their DR environment would cost them approximately £400,000, or £500,000 GBP (approximately $505,000 - $630,000 USD as of 12/01/16). Tibero can save them about £300,000 GBP (approximately $378,000 USD as of 12/01/16).

Pizza Hut also has several reports that take a long time to run in their current Oracle environment.

To address this challenge, RDB Concepts has introduced Neo4J. Neo4J is a graph-based database system that runs in-memory.

This change should result in dramatically reducing the time taken for specific reports. Pizza Hut Restaurants are also evaluating this functionality in the Proof of Concepts environment supplied by RDB Concepts.”

Pizza Hut had this to say about the project

RDB Concepts is working closely with Will Broome, Head of Business Systems at Pizza Hut, UK. Here is how Will describes the new proposed solutions and his history with RDB.

“RDB Concepts has been providing database services for Pizza Hut Restaurants for over 12 years. Recently, RDB Concepts introduced us to the IBM Power architecture, and we migrated our entire Point of sale database solution from 5 Intel-based servers to a single POWER7 server.

The migration was not without incident; however, the result has been 2 years uninterrupted service.

The environment has proved to be extremely reliable, and the performance has surpassed what even RDB Concepts had deemed possible.

Recently, the Pizza Hut business split into 2 organizations: restaurants and delivery. The Power 740 server has been delivering service to both sides of the business without incident.

Moving forward, Pizza Hut is looking to move to a dedicated server that will enable us to be more flexible to business demands and changes.

Moving to the latest POWER8 architecture will extend the life of the server and enable us to build out a 5-year strategy on this platform. Moving to a POWER8 server also simplifies the migration process and will reduce our overall downtime significantly during the project.

As part of the move to a new server, it is important that we not only demonstrate performance improvements to the business, but we also need to show concrete cost reductions.

RDB Concepts introduced us to the Tibero database as a high-performing, lower-cost solution. Tibero is one of the database vendors that has worked to optimize their platform specifically for the Power Server.

This is where the 2 POCs will be focused. If the 2 POCs can demonstrate valuable performance gain and cost savings whilst at the same time releasing some of our existing Oracle licenses, then we can demonstrate real value to the business.

The ability to implement a DR solution for our POS database architecture without additional Oracle spend would be the perfect outcome.”

Conclusion: There are viable alternatives to the Oracle status quo

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Enterprise customers are no longer locked in to a single database vendor.

There are many alternatives available today that operate well in a mixed environment. This allows organizations to select the database platform(s) that best matches their unique business and technology need.

Businesses also have choices when it comes to hardware. Many organizations could benefit from the performance, high-availability, and scalability of IBM Power Systems.

RDB Concepts employ highly experienced and certified professionals whom today can support 14 database solutions and 12 different operating system solutions.

By remaining vendor agnostic, they ensure the client receives the right solution that not only addresses their immediate challenges, but also one that is scalable to meet their growth ambition. 

Infrastructure does matter for application performance and reliability.

To learn more, download the Developers’ Guide to Infrastructure and Maximizing Data Performance today.

Written by IBM BP Network