With very little tweaking, AFG was obtaining impressive results.
“We’ve seen an average 8 times performance improvement at the
database level for reads, and an average 20 times improvement for
writes,” Lai adds.
Since deploying Oracle Exadata in conjunction with other Oracle
technology, AFG’s brokers have reported significant performance
improvements at each phase of their online processes, including faster
login times (from 12 seconds to 3 seconds), quicker navigation from
screen to screen (from 3 seconds to less than 1 second), and faster
product qualification. With 800 mortgage products in the system, it
used to take more than 30 seconds to determine which products a
particular customer could qualify for. Now it takes about 6 seconds.
IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EFFICIENC Y
AFG’s IT staff tallies up additional savings and improvements behind
the scenes. For example, Durston says loading data into AFG’s data
warehouse from Siebel CRM used to take nine hours, and now it
takes just two hours. And while system administrators previously
had to look after the operating system, databases, and storage environment separately, now they are all part of one integrated system.
Oracle Exadata combines all of these IT assets under a single support
contact, leading to easier system management and easier license
administration. With prebundled hardware and software, there are
no lengthy implementation, configuration, and tuning chores.
“Moving to Oracle Exadata was a no-brainer for us because it is so
much easier to maintain the infrastructure,” Durston confirms.
In addition to these administrative improvements, Durston says
the Oracle Exadata platform has provided strategic benefits to the
business. “It enables us to deliver a market-leading technology solution to our brokers,” he adds.
For example, by improving the performance and availability of
AFG’s I T infrastructure, Oracle Exadata makes it easier for AFG to
recruit and retain brokers, increasing revenue and driving the business forward. In addition, Oracle Exadata enabled AFG to deliver an
interactive sales reporting system to its brokers. Durston believes
that this is a first for AFG’s industry. “We made a strategic business
decision to deploy Oracle Exadata because it gives us a competitive
advantage,” he states.
AFG currently processes more than 500,000 commission calculations every month. Being able to do this reliably and quickly is critical
to broker relations. “It used to take 37 hours to process commission
payments to brokers, and now it takes less than 9 hours,” says Durston.
“We have never missed a commission payment, and Oracle Exadata
significantly minimizes the risk of that happening in the future.”
David Baum ( email@example.com) is a freelance business writer
based in Santa Barbara, California.
LEARN more about Oracle Exadata
DBA | Oracle Exadata
Smart Scans Meet
Understand how Oracle Exadata
uses storage indexes to speed I/O.
B Y ARUP NANDA
The Oracle Exadata Database Machine
performance to a whole
new level, but have you
ever wondered what
exactly makes it so fast?
Several components of
the Oracle Exadata Database Machine, such as Oracle
Database 11 g Release 2; Oracle Exadata’s Smart Flash
Cache, Hybrid Columnar Compression, and SmartScan
features; and InfiniBand interconnect, help deliver high
performance. One of the key technologies that supports
this performance is the storage index, which is not a
regular database index. Storage indexes reside in the
memory of the storage servers—also called storage
cells—and significantly reduce unnecessary I/O by
excluding irrelevant database blocks in the storage cells.
This article shows you how storage indexes work and how
to make sure they are used effectively.
TRADITIONAL DATABASE I/O
Computational power in the form of CPU capability and
memory has increased exponentially in the last several
decades, whereas the power of the storage subsystem has
not increased nearly as much. There are many reasons
why storage performance has not improved with CPU and
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