Thursday Feb 26, 2015

OpenWorld Double Dose: Maximum Availability in the Cloud

Integrated, high availability IT infrastructure capabilities are critical for reducing downtime and costs, and creating ideal performance and SLA results. In this next session of the Oracle Open World 2014 series, Shari Yamaguchi and Frances Zhao from Oracle’s Product Management team share best practices on how to architect highly available multi-data center solutions. They also share what real world customers are doing to achieve maximum available architectures with WebLogic Server—so be sure to check out the video itself here (http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions) for those highly relevant case studies and proven strategies.

What is Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)?

Maximum availability architecture (MAA) incorporates the high availability solutions that Oracle has invested in and built out across the stack. The key focus is on ensuring customers’ businesses and applications can fully meet their end-user community’s needs and requirements. In today’s world, downtime is no longer an option, but a given—and this is why Oracle has strategically invested in end-to-end MAA solutions to ensure your systems stay up and running across the board. At the end of the day, the #1 priority is that your end users can get to the environments and applications they need to within a specified period of time.

MAA Strategy & Investment

Within IT, customers need a quick way to easily get a view of what's going on across all their data centers, environments, and applications so that in case of a sudden performance degradation or failure, alerts are immediately sent to the right administrators. Given the importance of manageability, Oracle has invested significantly in Enterprise Manager Grid Control (EMGC), building tools within EMGC for easier monitoring and management such as job systems for automated patching and backup. The Oracle Traffic Director has also been a key tool in connecting the management console to the middle-tier—it is a front-end WebLogic Server that handles web-tier requests and routes them to different clusters.

From a Database 12c perspective, features like Flashback provde significant capabilities especially for those connected to applications, because customers can bring up a test environment, read and write against that environment, validate, shut it back down, flash it back to a previous state, and continue rolling forward through a recovery. Active GridLink, Data Guard, and Site Guard are also key investment areas that allow seamless and automatic failover between different RAC instances. Finally, Coherence is another big investment area as it is a high-end caching product that provides an integrated solution with WebLogic. With session replication, Coherence can be used not only to offset your data from database, but also could be high-availability disaster recovery solution for your WebLogic Server session state.

Core Technologies and MAA Features

To support these core investments in maximum availability, there are three primary areas of technology that Oracle focuses on implementing to support MAA in its platform architecture. The first area is management configuration monitoring—with Enterprise Manager and Site Guard, we monitor your product across different data centers. The second area is in RPO (recovery point objective)—which is related to how fast you can move your data for replication and for recovery—Oracle is investing in file base data replication. And finally, for RTO (recovery time objective)—which is related to how fast you can recover your transactions—one huge new feature is XA transaction recovery, removing the need to write every transaction statement in the T-log and making transactions automatically recoverable.

In conclusion, MAA is extremely critical to your business, which is why it is a huge priority for Oracle. The complete Oracle Solution is a global-level management configuration with Enterprise Manager, RPO, and RTO runtime for the middle-tier (including WebLogic, Coherence, and Oracle Traffic Director), and an integrated back-end database. Any one-tier disaster recovery adds value but the real importance lies in connecting all the pieces together, to maximize operational efficiency and minimize risk. 

Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Is your IT private PaaS ready? Take this 10-minute Assessment to find out

By the end of 2015, end-user spending on cloud services is expected to exceed $180 billion[1]. The shift toward cloud is undeniable, as is the need for hybrid cloud. Driven by legal, political, security, control, historical, cultural [add more reasons here] needs, organizations will continue to run some of their applications inside their firewall (in addition to running many of their applications on a public cloud), which will ultimately drive the need to create a private cloud infrastructure.

From the extensive insights we’ve compiled as leaders from our product and consulting teams have engaged with customers architecting their cloud infrastructure, we have developed an assessment for you to determine your IT organization’s private PaaS readiness. The tool comes with a 4-tiered dashboard based on the cloud adoption & maturity levels we’ve seen from hundreds of our customers, ranging from “preliminary” to “strategic.” Your organization’s current readiness rating is coupled with specific action items to help you reach the “strategic” level.

Take 10 minutes now to begin your private PaaS journey. Once you go through this assessment, you will receive a comprehensive 12-page report describing your PaaS adoption vis-a-vi your business strategy, governance, organization, integration and more. Not only that, we will compare your maturity with those of your peers, hundreds of whom have already taken the assessment, and include that comparison data in the report so you have a benchmark of your PaaS adoption readiness. Don’t get left behind. Take the assessment now!


[1] Gartner: http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/gartner-tells-outsourcers-embrace-cloud-or-die/d/d-id/1110991

Thursday Feb 05, 2015

OpenWorld 2014: Next up, Coherence Strategy & Roadmap

Oracle Coherence 12c leads the market with its in-memory data grid. Entries can be reliably processed in place, queried, and aggregated. Coherence scales applications to support growth, offloads and protects shared services in addition to delivering information in real time. Coherence is part of the Cloud Application Foundation along with WebLogic Server and Tuxedo.

Coherence has introduced a range of new features to help customers deliver next generation applications that scale to handle mobile, social, and "internet of things" demands. HotCache makes database updates available in real-time to applications. It detects and reflects database changes in cache in real time while leveraging existing technologies i.e. GoldenGate and TopLink Grid in order to broaden the applicability and usability of Coherence. Meanwhile, Managed Coherence Servers quickens time-to-market and simplifies operations. These servers combine WebLogic and Coherence infrastructure while introducing the Grid Archive (GAR).

This session reviews these features and takes a look at our most recent features and coming roadmap. Coherence provides new options for integration, including support for JCache (JSR-107), and new monitoring capabilities. We will also look at exciting innovative features like Recoverable Caching, Federated Caching, Multitenancy, and support for the Oracle Cloud. For other CAF sessions at OpenWorld you may want to review, visit http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions

Friday Jan 30, 2015

Exciting News: Prime Content from OpenWorld 2014… Highlighting WebLogic Strategy and Roadmap

This one is for those of you who haven’t developed that app [iphone or otherwise] which defies the laws of physics and lets us be at two sessions at once at OpenWorld. The good folks at Oracle University recorded many OpenWorld sessions and some of the most prominent Cloud Application Foundation sessions are now available here. I wanted to kick it off with the WebLogic Server Strategy and Roadmap session hosted by Will Lyons, Head of WebLogic Product Management. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend watching the show!

Will talks about how to leverage WebLogic today and in the future, sharing WebLogic’s current features as well as illustrating the product’s future capabilities in the impending 2015 release of WebLogic 12.1.3. Oracle is investing in several strategic areas for WebLogic and Java Cloud Service (JCS) to ensure complete flexibility for our customers with their cloud and on-premises applications. The investment areas include improved performance, scalability, and availability for applications deployed on WebLogic and JCS, cloud-level management to simplify provisioning of WebLogic environments, multitenancy, ease of deployment flexibility, improved developer environment, and more.

Recap WebLogic 12.1.3 — Easier Development, Cloud Scale Management, and the Java Cloud Service

In the most recent WebLogic version 12.1.3, released in July 2014, new features include improved Oracle Fusion Middleware product support, mobile client application development features, and performance and availability innovations from the beginning of the development lifecycle.

For instance, the OTN Free Developer license makes WebLogic easier to get started and free for development on developer desktops, and includes refined language to broaden applicability and usage. With traditional Oracle licensing, developers could develop on their desktop for free but once applications were put in production, licensing fees would apply on the desktop where applications were developed. Now, the entire development lifecycle is free. Developer zip updates also update zip distributions with Patch Set updates for automatic bug fixes and common developer issues.

Other improvements include high availability and performance via simplified disaster recovery with 3x better output due to transactional updates without TLOG transaction writes, and Exalogic optimizations such as JMS replicated stores. Improvements in cloud scale management also see dynamic clusters that eliminate the need to create clustered configuration and managed server configurations to those clusters (ie machines, listen ports, etc.), allowing for enhanced JMS support and maximum scaling. In doing this, there is seamless upgrade, application compatibility, and interoperability with previous WebLogic versions, as well as flexibility and choice for development and runtime. Developers can now take advantage of all the latest Java SE technology, such as JDK 8 improved memory management features.

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in WebLogic 12.1.3 is the release of Oracle Java Cloud Service, which allows customers to deploy full-featured WebLogic instances anywhere with full ability to move applications on-premise to the cloud and vice versa. Java Cloud Service includes a self-service provisioning interface which makes it easier to provision clusters and domains. There is also an option of exposing the entire surface area of the WebLogic server to do whatever you need to replicate on-premise environments to the Oracle cloud and vice-versa, with full compatibility.

WebLogic 12.2.1 Roadmap — What is Coming?

WebLogic 12.2.1, to be released in 2015, will see even further advancements including multitenancy, built-in elasticity, a REST-based management infrastructure, disaster recovery improvements, Java EE 7 support, and more seamless Exalogic integration. A truly differentiating factor is WebLogic’s multitenancy capabilities - in other words, its ability to run applications supporting multiple tenants within the same server cluster, domain, or instance.

A brand new innovation in WebLogic is a new configuration construct called a partition, which represents a ‘slice’ of a domain that can span all the servers running in your domain. Each partition can be dedicated to tenants, providing appropriate levels of end-to-end isolation of resources among partitions so you can deploy resources individually though they share a domain. Examples include memory and CPU isolation at the JVM level, or separate work managers. This concept is highly significant as it dramatically decreases density of deployments on WebLogic server, and allows customers to get far better utilization of their infrastructure. It is also a great use for consolidation--ie departmental applications that maintain isolation between multiple applications but want the same domain.

This multitenancy provides strategic end-to-end value that is completely unique to Oracle, as it will be implemented not just at the application server level but will be integrated into the entire Cloud Application Foundation stack. Elastic clusters in WebLogic 12.2.1 will also define configurable rules for cluster scaling that will help customers define actions like scaling a cluster up or down, scheduling defined by workloads or time of day, or driving other configuration changes.

Finally, there are also improvements to the Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 12c, on which WebLogic Server is supported and optimized for. In 2015, Exalogic will allow for capabilities to build private clouds that run on the same IaaS and PaaS provisioning technology in Java Cloud Service, as well as similar interfaces.

Well, I really cant cover 45 minutes worth of content in one blog, although I tried. So go ahead and take a listen at Will’s sessions that is hosted at http://bit.ly/oow14cafsessions. Next week, we will highlight the Coherence Roadmap and Strategy session for the in-memory data grid buffs amongst you.

Friday Jan 23, 2015

Cloud Online Forum Coming January 28

Cloud. It's a big term but it doesn't have to be so, well, cloudy.

Many WebLogic (and broader Oracle users) are finding that their cloud strategy is being enabled by specific, industry-leading advances in Oracle's PaaS offerings.

Prove it! (you say) Show me! (you demand)

Then today is your lucky day! Well, January 28th is, anyway. We're hosting a Cloud Online Forum with a strong agenda to explore how you can rapidly build, deploy, manage, and secure rich applications and enable business collaboration and innovation using an integrated cloud platform - all built on the industry’s #1 Database and Application Server.

And this isn't some fluffy marketing event where we do nothing but talk about how great Oracle is and expect you to believe us without hesitation. We're being joined by IDC (the research and analyst firm) and some key guests, including 7-11's Greg Haertling, their Chief Enterprise Architect and Sr. Director of Software Development. They'll help you understand the Oracle PaaS offering from an industry perspective, as well as give an customer view of adoption and implimentation.

The event covers database and middleware platforms in the cloud, so grab your favorite DBA, developer, executive, Ops or middleware guru and join us by registering now!



January 28, 2015 | 10am PST/1pm EST
REGISTER
Modern Business. Modern Cloud.
Is Your PaaS Delivering the Agility Your Users Demand?




The Middleware General Session begins at 11:30AM PST. 7 Eleven's, Greg Haertling, Chief Enterprise Architect and Sr. Director of Software Development will you how 7 Eleven "Accelerated their Digital Transformation with Oracle's Platform as a Service." He will be joined by Oracle’s Siddhartha Agarwal, Vice President, Product Management and Strategy.

They will discuss how Platform as a Service is driving efficiencies for development, operations and LOB, including highly scalable and cost efficient development & testing in the cloud, delivery of enterprise class cloud & mobile apps, rapid integration of cloud & on-premise investments, and seamless workload portability between on-premises & cloud.

Afterward, you can watch these additional Middleware Sessions in the following tracks:

Application Developer Track: Build, Test, Extend Cloud Applications
  • Java App Performance at the Speed of Cloud: Hot Tips for Successful Cloud Development
  • Jazz Up Your SaaS with Oracle PaaS Solutions
  • Mobile Development in the Cloud

Middleware IT Operations Track: Integrate, Secure, Manage your Cloud
  • Simplify SaaS and On-premises Integration
  • Extend Your Identity Management Services to the Cloud
  • Top Tips for Managing Your Application PaaS

Business User Track: Connect, Collaborate & Analyze in the Cloud
  • Next-Gen Enterprise Content Management in the Cloud
  • Rapid Business Process Automation in the Cloud
  • Unlocking the Power of Business Analytics in Oracle Cloud

There will also be a Database General Session and Database Cloud Platform sessions that you can attend. Join us!

Friday Nov 14, 2014

But what about portability and migration?

SOLVING THE INTEROPERABILITY PUZZLE

Providing traditional RASP [Reliability, Availability, Scalability, and Performance] support is necessary but not enough for cloud success. According to about 80 percent of survey respondents, achieving unified, standards-based interoperability among public and private clouds—as well as traditional datacenters—is critical. This includes the ability to use the same standards and code base to deploy applications on either public or private clouds without the cost and delay of rewriting or retesting those applications.