This is a guest post by Chris Pasternak, Managing Director, Accenture.
Why do more and more enterprises want to move to the cloud? In my work with clients around the world, I’ve heard a lot of good reasons:
Here’s the problem: Simply moving existing workloads to the cloud as-is rarely delivers these hoped-for benefits. Sure, it helps reduce some of the worry around procuring hardware and managing floor space. But you’re still left with a lot of complexity and costly, hands-on management of everything from operating systems to patching to environment refreshes.
We’ve found that the key to maximizing value from your move to the cloud is to embrace a range of automation tools and technologies—such as DevOps and infrastructure-as-code—to speed software delivery and boost security and agility. This is also a critical component of cost reduction.
With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you can automate almost all of the cumbersome infrastructure management tasks that traditionally bog down IT teams—especially with jobs that don’t require deep technical expertise. Automation allows faster turnaround for business requests while freeing IT to focus on more strategic initiatives.
When you’re making the move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we recommend revisiting and revalidating your previous architectural decisions, such as server sizing. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, there’s a better way to handle sizing. For example, you can use Container Engine for Kubernetes—an open, enterprise-grade, container-native platform—to deploy a demand-based sizing model that virtually eliminates manual server management.
For applications that are tough to containerize, you can also right-size your workloads with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure autoscaling. Combine this with capabilities like Oracle Cloud Infrastructure File Storage, and now your app is automatically scaling up based on server capacity metrics that you define.
Another option is to actually resize the servers themselves. Using software development tools (APIs and SDKs), you can automate the process of changing a server’s shape (CPU and memory). Although this requires you to temporarily take the server offline, we found that the process takes just a minute or two and can be done during off-hours. This is a great option for ramping servers up and down for batch processing demands.
On top of server scaling, you can also dynamically adjust your database processing power with Oracle’s batch bursting technologies. This means that you can now control your database spending based on real usage, not just on what you consume during peak.
With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you can build out your core architecture faster and minimize troubleshooting. This is even easier to do with the help of Terraform, an Oracle-supported, open source tool that allows you to programmatically manage, version, and sustain your IT cloud environment by using infrastructure-as-code techniques. After you design the basic layout of your infrastructure, you can create Terraform scripts to build it for you. When the build is complete, you can check your results and test the layout.
To shorten the learning curve, Accenture’s Oracle Cloud Infrastructure team built a front end to the infrastructure solution that's easy to use and handles the Terraform actions. We’ve also created templates to help organizations integrate tools like IT service management to enable even faster builds.
We often iterate this infrastructure-as-code process to quickly fine-tune initial layouts. It works extremely well. In fact, we once rebuilt an architecture 50 times in a single week to get exactly the configuration that we wanted. Doing it manually would have taken weeks or even months.
Let’s say that your team manages a critical Oracle E-Business Suite solution. You regularly have testers, trainers, and business users asking for new environments, refreshes, patches, and upgrades. The job might be so time-consuming that you need a full-time IT staffer to handle the requests.
This is where Oracle Cloud Infrastructure makes your life better. Now you can set up a request and approval process that is easy to follow in your tool of choice, such as your service management system. When a new request is approved, the system calls a set of scripts (such as Terraform) or directly calls the APIs of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services.
These scripts are limited only by your imagination. You can clone existing servers, deploy new servers from images, deploy a new database, backup and restore that database, create a whole new set of subnets, and execute all kinds of other actions by using cloud-init scripts. When it’s all done, the service management tool can alert the requestor and others. How cool is that?
Now take that scenario a step further and add robotic process automation (RPA) to test that the new environment is up and running as expected. Those time savings can liberate your team to focus on making the processes better for your consumers. You could go further and set a schedule to ensure server availability at key time periods, or even plan to take down environments that are no longer being used. Congratulations, now you can cut spending.
When you combine all these planning and automation capabilities, you can really see the value of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and what Accenture calls the “art of the possible.” We’d love to show you how you can make it work for your enterprise. Learn more about Accenture’s partnership with Oracle and how we’re helping clients with journeys to Oracle Cloud.