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Today, enterprises have to make sizable investments in hardware and software to roll out any infrastructure changes. For example, suppose an organization considers upgrading its databases to Oracle Database 11g to leverage its enhanced functionality and improve database performance. This would traditionally require that the enterprise invest in duplicate hardware for the entire application stack, including Web server, application server, and database, to test their production applications. Organizations therefore find it very expensive to evaluate and implement changes to their data center infrastructure. Despite extensive testing, unexpected problems are frequently encountered during implementation in the production system. Data center managers are therefore reluctant to adopt new technologies and adapt their businesses to the rapidly changing competitive pressures.
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