Data-driven organizations—which is to say most organizations—often face challenges in supporting multiple databases. Keeping on top of older versions of databases can further complicate IT management. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) offers a solution. As the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, RHEL enables data managers to support a broad range of databases, including Microsoft SQL Server. In this article, PeerSpot members who use RHEL discuss how it has helped them with database management. 

The challenge of running a variety of databases

PeerSpot members, like most IT professionals, find themselves juggling more than one relational database management system (RDBMS). This means having to stay on top of multiple system configurations, updating processes and patch management. Without the right tools, it can be very demanding work.

For instance, Fayaz A., a Linux administrator at a tech services company, has to support RAID servers as well as database clusters. TJ, a Cloud and Infrastructure Architect at a communications service provider, runs a mix of applications and databases to support software for embedded design.

A hospitality company is planning a migration of their SAP HANA in-memory database, which they use for websites, ERP and open sources environments, according to their Principal Analyst for AIX and Linux. For Jonathan S., a System Analyst II at an energy/utilities company, his database workloads span MySQL and Oracle

RHEL database support

Red Hat Enterprise Linux supports a robust database ecosystem, creating a relational database management system that provides a scalable foundation and a more consistent application experience. Bruce Y., for example, a Senior Systems Engineer at a university, has PostgreSQL running in support of PeopleSoft and websites that are deployed on RHEL.

Fredrik L., a Systems Analyst at a government office, has many different databases running on RHEL, including MySQL and Postgres. He shared, “They all run great on RHEL 7 and RHEL 8. Using this solution, we can offer our customers an easier way to get a WordPress site, and they can have Postgres and Tomcat installations, and these run smoother on Linux than they do on Windows. That means we don't have to worry that much about the patching. If we want to deploy the same config file to 100 systems, we just run the playbook with Ansible and it's done. We don't have to run it on 100 servers.”

“We are able to scale applications and databases. It is easy,” said Dinesh J., a Senior Information Technology System Analyst at a government office. He has Oracle databases with databases as large as 30 to 40 terabytes running on RHEL. He added, “Before deploying an application, we check the scalability of each product, and we plan accordingly. So, there are no issues.”

Don B., a Systems Administrator at a university, agreed that Red Hat should be used to host an Oracle database, saying, “My experience with my developers and my DBA [database administrator] is that they love Linux. It's easy for them to use. It's easy for them to deploy things like Oracle databases and web servers. We found that hosting an Oracle database works really well and is very competitive with Microsoft's SQL Server.”

An educational organization uses RHEL to run multiple versions of the same application and database. As Joerg K., their Systems Administrator explained, “We run several versions of the MediaWiki platform on the same system. We usually have one version of a database management system per host. If we need another version, we deploy it on another host.”

Similarly, Usman M., a Joint Director at a government office, has several deployments of databases. He said, “A few of them are running on older versions of Red Hat and some of them are running on newer versions. We are running different versions on different platforms.”

Finally, Bruce Y. added that, “We try very hard to ensure that everything is working irrespective of what it's running on, in terms of the operating system and middleware, including what database is running. RHEL helps maintain consistency of application and user experience, regardless of the underlying infrastructure, simply by not being part of the problem.”

It can be challenging to support multiple databases in a heterogeneous application environment. As PeerSpot members explained in their reviews of RHEL, the operating system helps with this workload. It allows organizations to run a wide variety of applications and databases without overtaxing DBAs or IT managers.