Screen Actors Guild - Producers Pension and Health Plans Upgrades to Oracle(r) Real Application Clusters to Enable Increased Service Levels
To enable improved availability and performance of core applications serving its membership, the Screen Actors Guild - Producers Pension and Health Plans (SAG-PPHP), is deploying Oracle(r) Database 10g and Oracle Real Application Clusters.
Today, 45,000-plus members and their dependents rely on SAG-PPHP to manage common funds that provide pension and health benefits for all eligible SAG members. Based in Burbank, Calif., SAG-PPHP provides health insurance, retirement and pensions for actors and stunt performers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The SAG-PPHP Web site offers members a wealth of services including the ability to pay premiums online, check earnings history, monitor deductible status, determine eligibility, estimate pension, and verify the status of medical claims.
The Oracle E-Business Suite powers SAG-PPHP’s core claim, pension, contributions and eligibility, and customer service systems. Specifically, SAG-PPHP relies on Oracle Self Service Human Resources, part of Oracle Human Resources Management System, to create customized workflows that enable HR to manage its workforce more effectively while improving security using an automated, enterprise-wide employee tracking system. Leveraging Oracle Financials, SAG-PPHP has streamlined its financial reporting processes.
With a growing database, number of users, and transactions, SAG-PPHP is upgrading to Oracle Database 10g and implementing Oracle Real Application Clusters. The clustered environment will enable SAG-PPHP to manage multiple workloads in their clusters as well as automatically distribute database processing loads across their clusters to improve overall application availability and performance. Oracle Real Application Clusters will also enable SAG-PPHP to add hardware servers incrementally, allowing their applications to adapt easily to growing business demands without disruption. For system backup and recovery, SAG-PPHP utilizes Oracle Data Guard to replicate its data at its remote disaster recovery site.
SAG-PPHP initiated its Oracle Real Application Clusters implementation in January 2007 following a successful eight-week proof-of-concept conducted at the end of 2006. Half of SAG-PPHP’s core applications will be clustered by end of 2007 with the remaining applications to be clustered in the first quarter of 2008. At that time, SAG-PPHP expects to operate two clusters each comprised of three nodes of HP 9000 servers running the HP-UX 11i operating system in production and intends to employ HP Integrity servers in the future.
To simplify the management and monitoring of its applications and clustered environment, SAG-PPHP is implementing Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g. SAG-PPHP will also rely on Oracle Database’s Automatic Storage Management feature, a database volume manager and file system optimized for database access, to automate and streamline performance and storage management for their clustered environments.
In addition to improving overall system availability and performance, SAG-PPHP expects to take advantage of the security features of Oracle Database to better protect its data against theft or misuse. Oracle Database Enterprise Edition options enable the encryption of critical database data on disk without the need to rewrite the applications that access the data as well as encrypt backup data. SAG-PPHP adheres to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and must follow strict standards for the use and dissemination of health care information.
“The upgrade to Oracle Database 10g addresses two important concerns,” said Gokul Sheshadri, applications development director, Screen Actors Guild � Producers Pension and Health Plans. “With Oracle Real Application Clusters, we’re cost-effectively improving redundancy and performance of our core applications to help ensure that our members have access to their information whenever they need it. We’re also committed to safeguarding membership information and expect to utilize the security features of Oracle Database to support those endeavors.”
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