Public Cloud consequences with an Oracle environment

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The title suggests a negative statement of using a Public Cloud. Well, it isn’t.  I’m convinced the Cloud is the next BIG thing, with huge advantages for businesses. But companies should be aware of what they choose. A lot of providers, including Oracle, are pushing us to the cloud, Public, Private or Hybrid. And make us believe that a public cloud will be an inevitable extension to our on-premises environment. Moving your weblogic and database environment including data from on-premises to the public cloud and back is no problem, or will be no problem in the future. But what kind of hassle you have to cope with, technical and business-wise?

The list of implications and consequences in this post is not exhaustive, it intends to give you an idea of the technical and non-technical consequences of moving to and from the cloud.

Public Cloud

The title of this blogpost is about the ‘Public Cloud’. What I mean here is the Oracle-authorized Public clouds: Amazon, Azure and of course the Oracle Cloud. More drilled down: the PaaS and the IaaS environments. What were the big differences again and why am I not talking about consequences with a Private Cloud.

I like to think that a Private Cloud is a better version of the average on-premises environments with at least some of these characteristics of a Public Cloud:

– Self-serviced

– Shared services

– Standardized

– Virtual

– Metering, automatic cost allocation and chargeback

So on-premises may be a Private Cloud, but most of the time it’s not the same. One – not mentioned yet – characteristic is very important: you (your IT-department) should be in control of the environment regarding versions, patches, Service Level Agreements etc.

 

A Public Cloud has at least the following characteristics next to the one mentioned above:

– Shared resources with other companies

– Available through the internet

And: no department of your company is in full control of versions, patches, Service Level Agreements etc.

 

So the scope of the article will be the Public Cloud

Version differences

When deploying Oracle software in the Public Cloud, you are depending on the versions and patches offered by the cloud provider.E.g. Oracle announced it will deploy the most recent patches and releases at first in the Oracle Public Cloud. And afterwards these releases and patches will be available for the on-premises environment.

So when having a development- and test- environment in the Public Cloud, and the production at on-premises or private cloud, you must be fully aware of the version differences regarding your life cycle management.

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License differences

When deploying your software in an IaaS environment it’s possible to ‘Bring Your Own License’. But in the Oracle Cloud it’s possible being charged ‘metered’ and ‘unmetered’ subscription.

Databases in the Oracle Public Cloud are fully installed with options, and it’s possible and sometimes inevitable to use them.  E.g. the extra tablespace you create in the Oracle cloud is default encrypted. So when moving this database  to on-premises, you must be owner the Security Option license of the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition to be compliant.

And moving a Pluggable Database from the (Oracle) cloud to on-premises, to a Container-Database with already one Pluggable Database in it, you are running into a Multitenancy Option.

The next picture is a test of creating two tablespaces in the Oracle Cloud, one default, and one with TDE. The result is two tablespaces with TDE.

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Centralized administration

It’s an ideal world when you are able to manage your database in the Private and Public Cloud from one central mangement point. When using the Oracle management solution this should be the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control. It’s relatively simple to deploy agents on-primises ánd in the Oracle Cloud (PaaS and IaaS). But unfortunately it’s not supported to deploy databases or middleware in Azure or Amazon RWS with Oracle Enterprise Manager. You will get the following message:

 

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It’s technically possible to overcome this, but not supported at the moment. So with Oracle Enterprise Manager you basically have two options: Oracle Public Cloud or the Cloud@Customer option.

Standards

Deployment of Oracle PaaS software is automated in the cloud according to the standards dictated by the provider. It should be very convenient that these standards are the same as the on-premises software, but that’s not always the case . At least, not in a PaaS environment in de Public Cloud.

In an IaaS environemt you’ve got generally almost full control over the Deployments. Almost? Yeah, you will still be relying at the version and configuration of the Operationg System. To also overcome this, you have to choose for a bare metal option in the Public Cloud.

 

Azure / Amazon

However the Clouds of Microsoft Azure and Amazon are for some a way ahead of the Oracle Cloud, the fact is that for Oracle the Oracle Cloud prevails.

As already said, it’s not possible to manage the Oracle software in the Azure / Amazon public cloud by Oracle Enterprise Manager on-premise. Amazon does support an Agent for Enterprise Manager on-premise, but not the one you actually want to make your life easier.

You’re depending on the breadcrumps Oracle is willing to share with the other Cloud providers.

 

SLA

The business would like to have a Service Level agreement with the IT-department, but the IT-department could be relying on the SLA of the Public Cloud provider. And that could be a mismatch. For example, in my tests I had a trial agreement with Microsoft Azure a while ago. All working fine, but suddenly Azure had a dispute with Oracle (I think) and I got the following message.

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You don’t want this in a real environment.

Security

There is and there has been a distrust against security in the Public Cloud. I believe the security in the mentioned Public Clouds is generally better or at least the same as  what the average company wishes.

Nevertheless you may have to cope with different security-bases and changes of security-roles in your company in a so-called ‘hybrid infrastructure’.

 

Roles – Cloud Administrator

As already mentioned, there will be new roles (and more likely new jobs) to manage the Oracle software in the Public Cloud. Managing subscriptions, interoperability, compliancy etc. New processes, new management, new challenges.

 

Data Sovereignty

For a lot of companies it’s important to know where the data geographically actually resides.This data is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located. What is the roadmap of these Public Cloud providers?

 

Latency

Seperating the database and middleware will cause latency when one of them is in the Public Cloud. Oracle has two solutions for that:

Cloud@customer. Bring the Public Cloud to on-premises with a seperate machine, managed by Oracle.

– Connect the Internet backbone to your company. Equinix now provides access through a direct connect or Equinix Cloud Exchange to Oracle Cloud in five (5) metros in the US, Europe, and Australia. Enterprise customers with a presence in these Equinix IBX data centers can leverage Oracle’s FastConnect giving them a high-performance private access to Oracle Cloud.

 

 

Resources:

Private vs hybrid: http://www.stratoscale.com/blog/cloud/private-cloud-vs-public-hybrid-or-multi/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=blog_recycle

Time to embrace the cloud: https://software.dell.com/community/b/en/posts/dbas-embrace-the-cloud

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About Author

Job is a solution architect at AMIS Services with a special interest in Oracle licensing, High Availability architectures and managing complex (Oracle) environments, which includes Cloud environments.With a background as Oracle developer, DBA, team-manager and license-consultant he is able to utilize the Oracle technologies to a cost-efficient architecture for his customers.He is regularly involved in consultancy regarding: - Unlimited License Agreements (ULA). - License compliancy-checks and advice regarding optimizing the environment. - Second opinions. - Education / presentations about licensing and managing your infrastructure in the most cost-efficient manner.Twitter: @jobaclenl

1 Comment

  1. Job, nice article, good overview! You could elaborate more on the new roles needed to administer the cloud environment. Oracle itself distinguiehd between service-, identity- and accountadministrators although a strict segregation of duties is not possible yet.
    Kind Regards Ise

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