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Enhanced Compute Instance Management on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Andy Corran
Principal Product Manager

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has released two new features that augment compute instance management with the introduction of Instance Configurations and Instance Pools. While the cloud provides a lot of useful standards - standard OS images, standard shape configurations, etc. - there is still additional overhead in provisioning and attaching resources like volumes and VNIC's. Provisioning at scale and managing instance setup has been difficult, until now. The release of Instance Configurations feature simplifies the provisioning of an instance and all required resources with a single API call. This simplification then extends to Instance Pools, where Instance Configurations are used to create a logical grouping of many identical compute instances and automatically launched at scale.

What are Instance Configurations?

An Instance Configuration is a template that defines a set of required and optional parameters needed to create a compute instance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, including OS image, shape and resources, such as block volumes attached to the instance as a single configuration entity. You can create an Instance Configuration from an existing running instance or construct a custom Instance Configuration via the CLI. When Boot or Data storage Volumes do not already exist, these resources will automatically be created for you when launching an instance. With one single action, you can launch an instance, we create storage volumes, attach VNIC's and stripe the set number of Instances evenly across the desired availability domains (AD's) for you. This is something that would normally require manual provisioning of each individual resource on the platform to launch an instance..

Creating an Instance Configuration

Create an instance configuration from an existing running instance with the new Create Instance Configuration button. Select a compartment and give your configuration a name. All the metadata from this instance is then captured for you.

On the left menu, go to Compute, select Instances, and then click Instance Details.

Create Instance Configuration

To view the saved configuration, go to Compute, and then Instance Configuration.

Oracle Instance Configuration Settings

How Instance Pools Work

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has created a new powerful approach that launches and manages identical VM instances in a logical group called an Instance Pool. The pool automatically provisions a horizontal scalable pool of VM instances. An Instance Pool uses an instance configuration template that contains all the settings for how you want an instance created. Instance Pools manage the launching of identical instances based on the instance configuration template. The pool maintains your configured instance count and can be updated to scale on demand. The Instance Pool constantly monitors its own health state to ensure all instances are in a running state. In the event of any instance failure, the pool will automatically self-heal and take corrective action to bring the pool back to a healthy state.

Easily Create and Launch a New Instance Pool

Create an instance pool in less than 30 seconds. 

  1. Go to Compute, and select Instance Pools. Click the Create Instance Pool button, and enter the number of instances you want for the pool.
  2. Select the instance configuration that you created previously.
  3. Select the availability domains for desired resiliency. (Instances will evenly be distributed across selected AD's)
  4. Select the primary VNIC and subnet.

Oracle Instance Pools

Provisioning the Instance Pool launches the configured instances.

Oracle Instance Pool Provisioning

 

After the Instance Pool is running, you can perform power actions on the pool.  The Edit button allows you to update the pool size with the number instances (0-50). Stopping the pool stops all instances in the pool. Reboot restarts all instances and Terminate destroys all the instances and the pool itself.

Instance Pool Running

Common Use Cases

Instance Configurations:

  • Clone an instance and save to a configuration file.
  • Create standardized baseline instance templates.
  • Easily deploy instances from CLI with a single configuration file.
  • Automate the provisioning of many instances, its resources and handle the attachments.

Instance Pools:

  • Centrally manage a group of instance workloads that are all configured with a consistent configuration.
  • Scale out instances on-demand by increasing the instance size of the pool.
  • Update a large number of instances with a single instance configuration change.
  • Maintain high availability and distribute instances across availability domains within a region.
  • Scale up the VM size within a pool easily by updating the instance configuration with a larger shape.
  • Enable automatic self-healing within the pool to maintain pool size and availability.
  • Keep up with customer demand with large-scale support for hundreds of custom VM images. 

With the synergy of both Instance Configurations and Instance Pools, these features have removed the complexity it takes to manage and deploy hundreds of VMs with ease on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

There is no additional cost for Instance Configurations and Instance Pools. You only pay for the resources consumed from a launched VM instance. 

Next Steps

Learn more about how to get started with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Instance Configurations and Instance Pools in our Managing Compute Instances documentation.

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