As a modern CIO in difficult times you will most likely have received the memo about cutting costs in the IT budget a couple of months after your received the memo about "we have to go green in the IT department". So there are a couple of options and ways to go on this. Most likely you have been considering the options of virtualization and clustering. I do make the presumption that we are talking about a Oracle minded company so you will have looked into the possibilities of clustering and virtualization with Oracle VM and Oracle clustering.
Running more than one operating system on a single server or making a large server by deploying a couple of small servers instead of buying a large expensive server. Now there is an other alternative which can help cutting IT budgets. Oracle is for some time now working with Amazone on cloud computing. Amazone is providing Amazon S3 "Amazone Simple Storage Service" and Amazon EC2 "Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud". As I already pointed out in a previous article about Oracle and Amazone teaming up and I posted a article about amazon EC2 and python.
So it is possible to run your Oracle database and applications within the Amazone computing cloud and store information at the Amazone storage service. This will make that you can minimize your own hardware infrastructure while providing your users with the same, or even higher' level of service.
"Oracle customers can now license Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Enterprise Manager to run in the AWS cloud computing environment. Oracle customers can also use their existing software licenses on Amazon EC2 with no additional license fees. And for on-premise Oracle installations, AWS offers a dependable and secure off-site backup location that integrates seamlessly with Oracle RMAN tools."
On the RMAN part, Oracle has released "Oracle Secure Backup Cloud Module". This module is a extension on the RMAN functionality, you are now able to backup your database to a storage cloud, for example Amazone S3. The nice part of this module is that you can backup a database that you are running in your own datacenter into the cloud. This means you encrypt and compress your backup and send it to the storage cloud instead of doing a backup to tape or a backup to disks. You send your data to Amazone automatically like you are doing a backup as you normally would do.
The other part is that, if you run your database in the Amazone Elastic Compute Cloud you can also backup your Oracle database to Amazone S3. When you run your database in your own datacenter you can have the bandwidth as a bottleneck even do the backup cloud module uses the 11G fast compressed backup feature it can still be a lot of data. If you run your database at the EC2 you will not have to worry about the bandwidth in your datacenter because the bandwidth between the computing cloud and the storage cloud is handled by Amazone.
So when you are looking for ways to reduce the datacenter costs it can be worth to look into what Amazone is providing for Oracle customers at the moment.