Some of my recent experiences with the Oracle Cloud left me less than wildly enthusiastic. Actions seemed to take long in a non-responsive, non-intuitive UI and I was required to go through too many configuration steps to get various cloud services to work together. Getting a free month trial seemed a lengthy process – if it went through at all. The other vendors seemed to be able to offer more/better/greener pastures.
Yesterday I had my faith restored at least to some extent. I had the following experiences with Oracle Cloud:
- I requested a Trial Environment through the website. Within 15 minutes after requesting the PaaS trial, I was sent an email that confirmed a month long access to 11 cloud services – including the latest ones (Container Cloud, MySQL Cloud, GoldenGate Cloud and the DbaaS for Release 12cR2)
- I provisioned a DBaaS instance – and could create one for Oracle Database 12cR2 (220.127.116.11), the very latest release that I had not previously been able to make use of outside the Beta program.
- I ran into an issue – my misunderstanding as it turned out – with Storage Cloud and was helped almost instantly through an Live Oracle Cloud Chat conversation by an operator (Erik Castro) who did a great job; within 80 seconds after initiating the chat, the conversation started and within 2 minutes Erik had directed me to the solution. At a moment I was starting to get quite frustrated (from not understanding the documentation, as it turned out)
- I used Oracle Cloud Stack to provision a stack of DBaaS, JCS and Storage Cloud (including of course Compute Cloud). Previously, I would have had to first create a container on Storage Cloud, provision a database on DBaaS before I could even start provisioning the JCS instance. With Cloud Stack (as I will describe in this article) I had to provide one page worth of entries and Cloud Stack took care of provisioning the service instances – co-configured with each other and ready to use.
A quick overview of the motions I went through with Oracle Cloud Stack:
I started Oracle Cloud Stack from the menu:
On the dashboard page – where no currently existing stacks are shown – I click on the button for creating a new stack:
I can choose currently between two stacks: LMP (Linux, MySQL and PHP) and DBaaS & JCS. I need the latter:
The details I need to provide are all relevant – and there are not too many of them. Name and template of the stack, administrator password for SYS/SYSTEM (DBaaS) and weblogic admin users, connection details for the Storage Cloud of choice and the name of the backup container (note: that container does not need to exist; if it does not, it will get created by Cloud Stack Manager). Finally: the configuration details for the DBaaS instance (11gR2 or 12cR1 at this moment, SID for the database and the sizing details).
Click Next, inspect the confirmation page:
Click Confirm and sit back and relax.
Granted, getting the correct value for the Cloud Storage Container took me a little while, as I did not interpret the hint text and the documentation correctly. That took some time. Now that I know how to specify that value, filling out the Stack Details form will take less than one minute.
I get returned to the Cloud Stack Dashboard page and can track the progress of the provisioning:
Note: the provisioning process itself is not any faster because of cloud stack. However, the time and effort and risk of making mistakes on my part is drastically reduced.
After 30 minutes, provisioning is nearly done:
And after 40 minutes it is complete: DBaaS and JCS instances at my disposal. A full blown Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server, ready to run. It took me 60 seconds to get this environment set up for me. I am happy and impressed!