Upgrading Oracle 12c and subsequent editions should be easier as well. An administrator can install the new copy of the database and then, in a single operation, switch all the pointers in the user databases to the new copy on the root database, an operation that should take only a few seconds. Upgrading the database software is "1,000 times faster, because you are just updating the metadata," Rajamani said.
The pluggable approach also allows easy database cloning, which should simplify back-up operations as well as give developers an easy way to test new products against an identical copy of a working database.
Attendees of the sessions seemed excited about the changes for the most part, although they peppered the speakers with questions to learn as much as they could.
Ajai Gupta, a network manager at NetApp, praised the new architecture, noting that organizations are increasingly using a single database for multiple applications, which requires a lot of security management at the application and networking layers. This approach also makes it more difficult to move databases from location to location. The pluggable architecture "provides continuity across clouds and data centers," he said.
Gupta did note that the new architecture would also raise a number of challenges. Organizations may have to rethink how to allocate computational resources, he said. Database administrators will have to determine the new workload characteristics of running multiple databases on a single server. The optimum size of a server, in reference to memory and storage space, may also need to be reconsidered.
"Databases coming from separate servers to one server will pose some challenges in performance management," Gupta said.