REVIEWER: Lois Hughes, business systems analyst for Tektronix, Inc.

BACKGROUND: Tektronix, Inc. is a technology company focused on providing test, measurement and monitoring solutions to enable and sustain the explosive growth of global communications networks and Internet technologies. The company holds more than 1,000 patents worldwide and receives close to 60 more each year. Tektronix is dedicated to leveraging this vast store of technology and expertise to deliver products that allow its customers to design microprocessors and computers and deploy communications systems that drive the ongoing revolution in global communications networking.

PLATFORMS: Tektronix runs its database servers and forms server on the Sun systems, running Solaris operating system.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Tektronix has global instances of Oracle Financials, Oracle Order Management and Accounts Receivable installed across 27 countries. The consolidation of financial data gives us a worldwide view of customer orders and operations, but as a result, data has accelerated significantly. In addition, legal and financial reporting regulations require us to retain transaction-level data for seven years or more. Because the data is international, the regulations vary. In China, for example, data needs to be retained for up to 20 years. This led to declining application performance, greater storage demands and increasing costs. We chose OuterBay Application Data Management (ADM) Suite to manage the increasing amount of data, and we've created a best practice in information lifecycle management around the solution.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We initially performed a proof of concept over a three-month period. The project helped endorse the proposed archiving strategy by showing storage savings and dramatic performance improvements directly linked to archiving. OuterBay ADM Suite works by relocating inactive data from production to an online data archive on less expensive storage that is easily accessed through the primary application. Our users experience no change in their working environment - a key criteria for selecting a solution. Once the data is no longer needed by the primary application users, it can be stored in an XML-based format called the Encapsulated Archive, where complete business transactions are stored on more cost-effective storage. The standards-based archive remains accessible for years for compliance with business or federal regulations, even if we were to change applications or hardware.

STRENGTHS: Implementation of OuterBay ADM Suite reduces our database server resource consumption, thereby decreasing hardware upgrade costs and allowing batch jobs to finish on time consistently and predictably. Furthermore, OuterBay ADM Suite provides a consistent and improved online response time. We saw 52 percent performance improvements in the order entry module. The solution reduces disk growth, cost and time for additional development and test environments. It also lessens the time needed for backup, copy and disaster recovery. No additional training was required for users after the initial installation.

WEAKNESSES: OuterBay does not currently support databases on the mainframe where they need to solve the issue of maintaining legacy data for the long term.

SELECTION CRITERIA: OuterBay ADM Suite was chosen for a variety of reasons, including: providing an elegant and simple approach to a difficult problem; product shipping with full support for Oracle Financials and Manufacturing; a transparent extension to the previously implemented Oracle applications; online access to archived data using the same user interface as production; and an upgrade path for archived data that always keeps it in sync with production.

DELIVERABLES: OuterBay includes direct integration with our reporting tools.

VENDOR SUPPORT: OuterBay provided excellent partnership and support, including standard Oracle purge programs and customizations, with minimal IT overhead for archive support.

DOCUMENTATION: OuterBay supplied documentation customized for each Oracle applications module. This means documentation contains not only how to use the product but also how to tune Oracle for best performance with OuterBay.

OuterBay Application Data Management Suite
OuterBay Technologies, Inc.
   an HP Company
20400 Stevens Creek Boulevard Suite 500
Cupertino, CA 95014-2296
(408) 340-1200

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