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The software in our organization uses various databases, many on different database platforms.

Can we put all the various database platforms on a single machine? What are the limitations to this?

Should we have a single machine for each DBMS type? What are the limits to the number of database per DBMS in this example?

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-1 since the post does not show evidence of any research. You should attempt to show what you have done in the past, what has worked, and what problem you are currently having. – Max Vernon Sep 9 '12 at 17:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted


SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 et al typically do not play nicely alongside other "server" software. They tend to monopolise system resources, particularly memory, so while you could install them side-by-side, you won't be getting the best from them. It would also be challenging to diagnose performance issues with two different DBMS's competing for resources.

Given a collection of ageing or little used applications that required a mix of database systems, virtualisation would be a tempting solution to consolidate.

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Virtualization is not the answer here. If it is hard to reason about the performance of a system where two databases are competing for resources, it will be doubly hard to do that when you have the additional abstraction layer! I have on many occasions deployed co-existing Oracle/MySQL/Informix/Sybase and have never had issues with them "playing nicely" when correctly configured. – Gaius Dec 12 '11 at 9:10
Which is why I restricted virtualisation as an option for "ageing or little used appications". I agree it would not be the preferred route anywhere that performance was going to be tested. – Mark Storey-Smith Dec 12 '11 at 11:08

Now that virtualization is common and accessible there are no factors that I can think of that would force a business to put all their databases on one server. I see cases where there is more than one Oracle database in use on the same server but if you are talking Oracle and MSSQL and MySQl all on one server this constitutes a single point of failure.

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In the case of Oracle the license policy towards non-oracle virtualization will make many businesses think twice. In most cases you'll have to pay licenses for the underlying hardware, not per vCPU. – Niall Litchfield Dec 12 '11 at 8:35

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