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June 5, 2020

Announcing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework

By: Rohit Rahi | Senior Director, Product Management, OCI

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To highlight architecture assets for Oracle Cloud, we launched the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architecture Center in February 2020. These assets, which include reference architectures, sample code, design patterns, and training content, help you build applications faster and more effectively on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Today, we’re announcing the general availability of an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework and limited availability of a Best Practices Tool. This framework (and the tool) includes a collection of over 80 best practices, gathered from hundreds of customer engagements.

Why a Best Practices Framework?

Architecting cloud solutions is different than building traditional on-premises applications. Design considerations for cloud include the following concepts, and more:

  • Be well versed with cloud concepts and know how to effectively use the ever-expanding list of cloud services and features.
  • Understand cloud security to reduce security and privacy risks.
  • Design your applications to withstand outages and minimize planned downtime.
  • Account for unexpected cloud costs aim to reduce overall cost of ownership.

So, what are the proper ways to use a cloud platform and build a solution? What are best practices to follow and potential worst practices to avoid?

It’s hard to come up a single one-size fits all approach when designing applications in the cloud. The key is to construct the right cloud architecture by following a standard framework with pointers to concepts and action items that are relevant to your own architecture. Being familiar with a framework like this can help you create better architectures and avoid security breaches and outages down the line.

This practice is not a one-time exercise. You can repeat the process as many times as you see fit. There’s no such thing as “go back and fix it later” when dealing with solution architectures in the cloud. Why? Eventually, small issues and discrepancies build up to overwhelm and create bigger issues downstream. Therefore, it’s imperative to repeat the process, fix issues as we see them and keep the architecture clean and in good shape for the future!

We’ve built the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework (and a tool) to design and operate cloud topologies that deliver maximum business value. Also, the framework is designed to help you avoid the common pitfalls and blind spots that you most likely encounter in your journey to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework

The best practices for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services are organized under the following business goals:

  • Security and compliance: Secure and protect your systems and information assets in the cloud.
  • Reliability and resilience: Build reliable applications by architecting resilient cloud infrastructure.
  • Performance and cost optimization: Use infrastructure resources efficiently, and derive the best performance at the lowest cost.
  • Operational efficiency: Operate and monitor your applications and infrastructure resources to deliver the maximum business value.

Each of the business goals further subdivided into multiple best practices categories. For example, the security and compliance section includes the following sections:

  • Managing identities and authorization by using best practices around use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and federation
  • Isolating resources and controlling access by using compartments, tagging, and role-based access control provided by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Identity and Access Management (IAM) services
  • Securing Compute and database instances at every layer, including host, OS, and network
  • Protecting data by using encryption at rest and in-transit (along with bringing your own keys)
  • Creating a network security architecture by using the various network services available in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

For more information, read the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Tool

You can go through any framework like this manually, but it can quickly become exhaustive. Not only do you risk missing a few best practices, but you also miss on a continuous update cycle. Remember, we recommend going through this framework several times during your application design and implementation.

To minimize the manual effort, we have created a Best Practices tool, internally available right now and generally available in the coming weeks. In this tool, you answer a set of questions related to your workloads and get guidance on Oracle recommended best practices.

You can begin by creating a workload as shown in the following graphic:

A screenshot of the Define Customer Workload screen.

Click Start Review to review your workload against Oracle’s recommended best practices.

A screenshot showing the review status of the workload named Oracle E-business suite.

You can choose any of the four pillars to start. Here, I’m going through the security pillar. This pillar has six questions, each with multiple answers. The related resources and links are displayed on the right panel for you to review and get more information.

A screenshot of the Workload Review page with questions and resources.

I can go through the remaining pillars and get the results in PDF format. It shows categories marked as critical and warnings. Then, I can save a version and access the Improvement Plan to review items marked as critical or warning.

A screenshot of the review overview for the sample PDF.

What’s to Come

Over the next few weeks, we’re announcing general availability of this tool, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, if you want to be added to the Limited Availability program, you can request access. For more information, read the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices Framework.

Senior Director, Product Management, OCI

Rohit Rahi is a Senior Director in the OCI Product Management team focused on Go-to-Market Strategy, Technical Enablement, Certifications and Training.  

More about Rohit Rahi
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