The value of hands-on workshops for your cloud transformation

October 24, 2023 | 6 minute read
Subba Bhamidipati
Senior Product Architect, Product Management, OCI
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Are you trying to decide which cloud platform is best for your infrastructure-, platform-, and software-as-a-service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) needs? Are you an architect or engineer who wants to do more than research concepts and try out cloud services? Read on to explore how easy it is to get started with hands-on workshops on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

Oracle offers a range of deployment options in its distributed cloud model, including public cloud, government cloud, dedicated regions, and Oracle Cloud Isolated Regions. Choosing a cloud service provider (CSP) is a major investment decision, and hands-on workshops provide the perfect pathway for you to test cloud services to understand which CSP is best for your specific business needs.

With OCI LiveLabs, you can conduct workshops at little to no cost using OCI’s free tier in our public regions, and workshops can be completed in a couple of hours. With step-by-step instructions on how to configure and deploy various cloud services, you can use hands-on workshops to gain practical knowledge on cloud platform features and capabilities, security of cloud services, and how to design solutions to run your real-world use cases.

Access hands-on workshops with OCI LiveLabs

OCI LiveLabs gives you access to Oracle’s tools and technologies to run a wide variety of labs and workshops on OCI. These hands-on labs provide self-guided, detailed steps to easily build and deploy solutions on OCI by various IT roles, such as developer, database administrator, data scientist, and DevOps engineer. You can browse through the OCI LiveLabs catalog and filter by technology focus area, role, skill level. Most of these workshops are designed to be completed in 2–4 hours, so you can fit these workshops into your busy schedules.

You can use the OCI Free Tier in our public regions to create a free tenancy for yourself and run these hands-on workshops with Always Free resources in Compute, Storage, Networking, Database, and other services. You can continue to use the Always Free services after the 30-day trial period ends with no time constraints.

An easy starting point to explore OCI services

The success of hands-on workshops is greatly dependent on a well-defined use case that addresses a particular business challenge and your current pain points. Starting with a small use case and building up is beneficial. While many use cases in the cloud can map to your business requirements, this blog post showcases some common use cases, including DevOps, Kubernetes, and disaster recovery. They’re small, easy starting points to better understand OCI offerings.

Seamless build automation using OCI DevOps

Modern cloud native technologies empower you to build and run scalable applications in the cloud. Customers choose Containers, Service Mesh, and other cloud native technologies to build loosely coupled systems that are resilient and manageable. Modern continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) technologies must provide robust automation for these latest technologies by allowing engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and periodically with reduced manual effort.

The OCI DevOps service provides an end-to-end CI/CD platform for developers with essential features, such as Build and Deployment pipelines, artifact repositories, and code repositories to maintain versioning and seamless build automation. In this workshop, customer teams explore OCI DevOps service features combined with containers, databases, and connecting to open source automation tools, such as Jenkins.

The following architecture shows how OCI DevOps can automate the build and deployment of a cloud native application to Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) with a canary deployment model.

A graphic depicting the architecture for DevOps automation with OKE and canary deployment strategy.
Figure 1: DevOps Automation with OKE and canary deployment strategy

The deployment pipeline in this architecture uses the following stages:

  • Canary OKE deployment or canary instance group deployment: Stage that deploys the updated code to target environments

  • Deployment validation: An optional stage where you can use Functions to validate the deployment

  • Canary OKE traffic shift or canary instance group traffic shift: Stage to switch traffic toward the canary environment based on the ramp limit (% of traffic to shift)

  • Control approval: A control stage for approving deployment to the target production environment

  • Canary deploy instance group production or OKE deploy production: The final stage, where production traffic is switched to the latest deployed environment

Use this OCI LiveLab to easily kick off the workshop on OCI DevOps service in under 90 minutes.

Build and deploy microservices using containers and OKE

Cloud native architectures and modern technologies such as microservices, Kubernetes, API management, and serverless have transformed the way we design, develop, and ship software. In the microservices architecture, the business logic is organized as multiple loosely coupled services. Each service owns a simple task and communicates with the clients or other microservices using lightweight communication mechanisms, such as REST API requests.

A container is a standardized unit of software used to develop, ship, and deploy applications. Containers are essential to deliver successful cloud native applications using microservices architecture. Container orchestration enables you to start, stop, and group containers in clusters. It also enables high availability and scaling. Kubernetes is one of the container orchestration platforms that you can use to manage containers.

OCI Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) is a fully managed Kubernetes service that simplifies the operations of enterprise-grade Kubernetes at scale. In this workshop, you learn how to design and deploy highly available and scalable container-based microservices, enhance existing applications with modern capabilities, and continuously innovate with new technologies using OKE.

The following architecture shows a simple microservice developed using Java Spring Boot framework. This Java program connects to the MySQL Database service and is deployed to an OKE cluster on OCI.

A graphic depicting the architecture for icroservices using Java Spring Boot and MySQL Database service on OKE.
Figure 2: Microservices using Java Spring Boot and MySQL Database service on OKE

Use this OCI LiveLab to start building microservices using OKE and exploring the OKE features in less than 4 hours.

Safeguard cloud workloads in OCI using crossregion disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is aimed at protecting applications and data in the cloud from disasters to ensure business continuity. To implement a robust disaster recovery strategy, you might deploy at least a pair of cloud regions, where one region acts as a primary region, and the other region acts as a disaster recovery site. To read more on disaster recovery and its importance, visit Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery.

OCI supports crossregion disaster recovery with various disaster recovery architectures such as backup and restore, pilot-light, and warm standby, and provides best practices to protect your cloud topology against disasters. The OCI Full Stack Disaster Recovery (FSDR) service is a fully managed disaster recovery orchestration and management service that provides comprehensive disaster recovery capabilities for the layers of an application stack, including infrastructure, middleware, database, and application across OCI regions.

The following architecture depicts crossregion disaster recovery automation for OCI services at the layers of the application stack with application, database, and infrastructure) using OCI FSDR orchestration.

A graphic depicting the architecture for crossregion disaster recovery using Full Stack Disaster Recovery on OCI.
Figure 3: crossregion disaster recovery using Full Stack Disaster Recovery on OCI

Use this OCI LiveLab to learn how to protect cloud workloads using FSDR and orchestrate disaster recovery switchover across two regions within two hours.

Starting your cloud transformation

Hands-on workshops provide the perfect platform for you to explore how to accelerate your cloud transformation journey and modernize your IT infrastructure. With increased competition and feature similarities among CSPs, a great way to decide which cloud platform is best for you is to try out the services while gaining practical knowledge and experience.

We know that every use case is different. A great way to know if Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is right for you is to try it. You can select the Oracle Cloud free tier in public regions to get started with a range of services, including compute, storage, and networking. If you prefer Oracle Dedicated Region or Oracle Government Cloud, including Oracle Cloud Isolated Regions, consult your Oracle sales representative for a proof of concept in the appropriate region.

For further information regarding the hands-on workshop concepts discussed in this post, see the following resources:

Subba Bhamidipati

Senior Product Architect, Product Management, OCI

Subba Bhamidipati is a Senior Product Architect on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Isolated Region team. Subba has extensive experience working in product development, product management, and customer-facing roles in delivering excellece with Oracle technology.  

Subba has a deep understanding across the 3 pillars of OCI (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), with a proven track record of successful customer implementations both on premises and on OCI. Subba has a high level of knowledge on building integration and SaaS (ERP Cloud, HCM, etc.) extensions using PaaS services including OIC, Visual Builder, Serverless Functions, etc.

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