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R.L. Polk & Co. Shifts Multi-Terabyte Data Warehouse to Oracle(r) Grid Computing Solution


Automotive Intelligence Provider’s Move to Oracle 10g Grid Enables Company to Deliver Real Time Information, Increase System Availability and Lower Overall IT Costs

REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF. 25-SEP-2006 To better support the demands of its business and its customers moving forward, R.L. Polk & Co., a worldwide provider of automotive industry intelligence and marketing solutions, has deployed an enterprise grid computing infrastructure built using Oracle(r) 10g software to power its core data warehouse.

Founded in 1870, R.L. Polk analyzes automotive market data, and offers its knowledge, insight, and extensive industry expertise to nearly every segment of the motor vehicle industry. The company set a course in December 2004 to extend its competitive advantage by deciding to deploy a grid computing architecture to support its business. R.L. Polk sought a reliable and scalable IT infrastructure to enable the more efficient delivery of its data and software products via an application service provider model to customers globally. In addition, it desired to reduce its technology acquisition and maintenance costs.

R.L. Polk completed the migration of its core data warehouse to an Oracle grid computing solution in May 2006. The four-terabyte data warehouse serves as the company’s “single source of truth” -- containing approximately three billion transactions, 500 million unique vehicles, and 250 million unique households -- and is key to R.L. Polk’s customer-facing applications. Specifically, the company deployed Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Clusterware, and Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g on four Dell PowerEdge 6850 servers with Intel Xeon dual-core processors running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. R.L. Polk’s shift to an Oracle-based grid is enabling the company to automate previously manual processes, enhance system availability, and reduce their overall IT costs.

Equally as important, R.L. Polk’s adoption of a grid computing infrastructure has enabled it to transform its data processing from a batch to real-time environment. As a result, R.L. Polk has improved certain data processing tasks from hours to minutes while increasing the amount of transactions processed per second. With the vehicle market expected to grow at a rate of 20 million vehicles a year, and vehicle-related data on the rise, R.L. Polk is positioned to capture and process data from its suppliers and deliver knowledge to its customers more efficiently. The company is also exploring new products to take advantage of the real-time nature of its IT architecture.

“We’re in the information business and we’re forecasting an exponential growth in the creation of vehicle data,” said Kevin Vasconi, CIO, R.L. Polk & Co. “To be truly competitive, to provide the kind of value our customers want, and to drive the economic engine of our company, we needed to move to a real-time paradigm. A lot of our information’s value is in its currency � its timeliness. We rebuilt our company’s core data engine on an Oracle 10g grid to better capture and then deliver mission-critical knowledge to our customers as fast as possible.”

Streamlining System and Storage Management with Oracle
R.L. Polk relies on Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g as a central system management and monitoring solution for its Oracle Grid Computing environment including databases, application servers, hosts and storage. The company has achieved system performance and reliability gains by simplifying the management of its broad footprint of Oracle infrastructure software with Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g. R.L. Polk has used Oracle Configuration Management Pack for Application Server, Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Application Server, Oracle Diagnostics Pack for Database, and Oracle Tuning Pack for Database in conjunction with Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g to enhance their system management.

R.L. Polk has also improved system administration performance related to database storage management and provisioning. Using Oracle Database 10g’s Automatic Storage Management feature, a database volume manager and file system optimized for database access, the company has automated storage management for their systems. Oracle Automatic Storage Management enables R.L. Polk to add disk space to existing database servers with little to no downtime while automatically rebalancing and distributing the I/O load across the additional disk devices.

R.L. Polk Builds Identity Management into IT Systems
R.L. Polk captures a tremendous volume of vehicle related data including Vehicle Identification Numbers, Vehicle Owner, and Vehicle Registration. The company has taken measures to protect the wealth of data it has accrued by building access control and security directly into its systems. Oracle Access Manager (formerly known as Oracle COREid Access and Identity) provides R.L. Polk with Web single sign-on, identity administration and comprehensive reporting and auditing capabilities. “Our access control and security strategy is and will continue to be a great competitive advantage,” added Vasconi. “Data privacy and security are core to our business.”

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